12 Unbelievably Awesome Pizza Toppings
Bored of regular pepperoni? Ham and pineapple pizzas? Well check out these less well-known ingredients that make epic pizza toppings…
When it’s baked, kale goes crispy. And along with melted mozzarella and garlic, it’s a brilliant topping for pizza. Kelly, from the website Just a Taste, has piled this garlicky kale pizza with bacon too - a perfect partner for those earthy, curly leaves. Blue cheese works well with kale, too, so try crumbling on some Stilton, Gorgonzola or thin slices of Taleggio.
Fans of Florentine pizzas will know the satisfaction of a runny egg yolk trickling into the cheese, tomato sauce and then the bread base of a pizza. It’s rich and silky and adds moisture, too. Katie, of the blog Katie at the Kitchen Door has gone one step further and created a Carbonara Pizza complete with prosciutto ham and a cheesy, creamy sauce. Try egg on pizzas with greens - especially spinach - along with bacon, chorizo and onions.
Broccoli isn’t seen on pizzas very often, but it should be. It works well with practically all cheeses which makes it a perfect pizza topping in our book. The individual florets will jazz up any pizza, but it’s best to blanch them in hot water first. Dry them and scatter over your pizza before baking. Try this Artisan Broccoli Pizza by Sandra’s Easy Cooking - she’s added mushrooms, olives and red onions, too.
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You can buy tinned palm hearts in the supermarket. They’re commonly used on salads, in sandwiches… and on pizza. In Argentina, they eat palm hearts (called ‘palmitos’) on pizza all the time, drizzled with a pink Marie-Rose style sauce called ‘salsa golf’. Just slice them lengthways and arrange on your pizza. They give a sweet, briny flavour and a creamy texture - great with ham and olives, as well.
Curry or pizza? Well, thanks to the blog Spicy Southern Kitchen, you can have both. Try this Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza recipe which uses naan bread as a base, topped with chicken in a Tikka Masala sauce, coriander and squash. Aromatic Indian flavours work surprisingly well with the melting mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.
Seafood is no stranger to pizza toppings, but we tend to use prawns rather than squid, even though it has a milder flavour and works brilliantly with garlic and herbs. For a great seafood pizza topping, boil squid rings in water for 1 minute and then toss with chopped garlic, parsley and olive oil. Scatter over the pizza in the last 5 minutes of cooking to heat through.
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When you think about it, there’s no reason why black pudding wouldn’t make an awesome pizza topping. It works well with cheese, bread, tomatoes and bacon - and gives your pizza a sweetness, and dark, contrasting colour. Brilliant with egg, spinach and kale for that matter, too. Crumble up a couple of slices of black pudding and dry-fry for a few minutes until just starting to turn crisp and then scatter over your pizza before baking.
If you’ve never eaten a potato pizza, you need to go and try one now. It doesn’t matter that’s double the carbs. There’s an extra, creamy indulgence in the thinly sliced, starchy potato and then the doughy base. Slice the potato very thinly so it cooks through easily. Other flavours to use on potato pizzas include fennel, garlic, red onion and rosemary - as Lisa of the blog Spicy Ice Cream has done for her potato and rosemary pizza.
If potato works as a pizza topping (and it does) then there’s no reason why butternut squash wouldn’t, too. It’s sweeter than potato but still gives that comforting starchy texture along with cheese and meats or other veggies. Try it with chicken, ham, bacon or greens - this kale, butternut squash, potato and ricotta pizza from Savoring the Thyme makes the most of any leftover veggies that are already cooked. Just strew them over your pizza and bake.
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If you have a courgette lurking in the bottom drawer of your fridge, chuck it on a pizza. Slice thinly and arrange over the top of a pizza base, with grated cheese and tomato sauce. Courgette works especially well with goat’s cheese, bacon, thyme, chicken, peppers and chilli. These individual-sized courgette pizzas from Mele Cotte combine sautéed courgettes with a rich, slow-roasted tomato sauce.
We’ve topped this pizza with goat’s cheese, figs and parma ham. The figs give a burst of sweetness alongside the cream cheese and crisp, salty ham with the yeasty base holding everything together. Just cut baby figs into quarters and scatter over your pizza before baking in the oven. This works best with soft, ripe figs.
No, we haven’t gone mad. Red grapes will give bursts of sweetness to a savoury pizza topping, like in this Pesto, Chicken and Red Grape pizza from the blog A Hint of Honey. The blog’s author, Jessie, writes: “it sounds crazy but tastes amazing.” Definitely one to try, then. Try red grapes with other pizza toppings as well, for example different cheeses, ham and woody herbs like rosemary and thyme.