38 Best Pizza Toppings Ever Ranked

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While there are plenty of pizza toppings available, most of us are stuck in our ways and tend to choose the same standards, especially with most pizzas needing to appeal to multiple people rather than individual tastes. But there's a world of pizza topping options out there when you decide to branch out a bit.

We'll tell you a secret: You can put anything you want on your pizza. The only limit is your personal taste. If you're ready to explore all the possibilities, we've created a list of the best pizza toppings ever. That doesn't mean that there aren't other possibilities out there or that we expect you to like everything on the list. If you're one of those people who think pineapple doesn't belong on pizza, then skip it and try another topping that does sound good. Some of these toppings may already be lurking in your fridge or cupboard waiting for you to add the next time you make a pizza at home from scratch or even from the freezer.

38. Broccoli

If you're dubious about whether broccoli is among the best pizza toppings, just think about how good broccoli tastes with cheese and creamy sauces. Now, imagine that combination on top of a piece of crusty bread, and it's not quite as odd of a pairing as you might have originally thought. Much like the lovely Broccoli and Friends sandwich from Mollie Katzen's famous vegetarian "Moosewood Cookbook," broccoli on pizza is an unexpected surprise favorite.

Broccoli tastes good on pizza with a number of other toppings, including chicken, bacon, soft cheeses like ricotta, pesto sauce, and mushrooms. Even pepperoni is surprisingly good with broccoli, with the salt and oils from the pepperoni melding well with this tasty green veggie (via Reddit). Of course, also a great addition to a veggie pizza.

37. Arugula

It may seem a little odd to consider a leafy green vegetable (other than spinach) for a pizza, but arugula is a pretty common pairing when you start branching out to more gourmet-style pizzas. It's a beautiful and fresh finishing touch to a pizza that you add after you've taken it out of the oven. You can add quite a variety of salad greens atop your pizza from romaine and radicchio to even shredded cabbage. However, arugula is a gourmet favorite because of its spicy, tart, and peppery flavor. It adds an extra kick to stronger flavors like pork-based toppings and softer flavors like veggies with white sauce (via Pizza Today).

36. Capers

While most of us don't think of putting flower buds on our pizzas, you absolutely can in the form of capers. In fact, these lemony-tart garnishments are fairly common on traditional Italian pizzas (via L'amore Italian Restaurant).

Capers fall into the same tangy pizza topping flavor category as green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, and tangy cheeses like feta. So keep their flavor profile in mind when you're deciding what to pair them with on your pizza. It's not uncommon to see capers on an anchovy pizza like the one at Francesco's Pizza in London (via Instagram).

35. Eggs

Eggs have their place on pizza. You just have to put them on the right pizza. We're not necessarily advocating for adding an egg on top of your pepperoni pizza. While you'll find egg pizzas that are meant for eating any time of the day, the most common place you'll find egg as a topping is on a breakfast pizza.

If you've ever stumbled into a convenience store like Casey's on your way to work or school in the morning, you've likely encountered their breakfast pizzas that come with egg and your choice of bacon, sausage, ham, or veggies. You can even choose between cheese sauce or sausage gravy for the base. So, as you can see, eggs are perfectly at home on pizza with the right toppings.

34. Artichokes

Just as artichokes taste amazing in spinach dip, they're also great on pizza. They pair well with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onions, olives, both mild and sharp cheeses, and white sauces.

You get them fresh, frozen, or soaked in oil or brine in a can. Jarred artichokes are likely to come in a marinade that contains vinegar and spices, which makes them a little more challenging to pair with other ingredients. Chef William Olun of Willy O's Pizza & Grill in South Haven, Michigan, says he prefers to use canned, brined artichokes on pizzas (boiling for a minute first) and that frozen artichokes tend to have the wrong texture for pizza (via Pizza Today).

33. Sweet balsamic vinegar glaze

Adding vinegar to pizza might sound a little odd, but it can be a beautiful final touch for Caprese pizzas and other pizzas topped with fresh basil, like Hideaway's Da Bomb pizza. The trick is that you need to use thick, sweet balsamic vinegar glaze as the topping. And you'll want to add it after cooking instead of during the cooking process.

You can use ordinary balsamic vinegar glaze or a flavored one like fig balsamic vinegar glaze that pairs well with your other pizza ingredients. You can easily make your own sweet balsamic vinegar glaze with honey and your favorite balsamic vinegar. It's important to cook it for around 15 minutes to reduce it and make it thick like syrup.

32. Sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes can add a sweet and tart flavor to pizza that can be quite pleasant. They go well with other intense flavors like basil, strongly-flavored cheeses, olives, artichoke hearts, and capers (via Kulinarian). Unconventional pizza sauces like pesto or Alfredo sauce are excellent choices for pizzas with sun-dried tomatoes. And milder meat like chicken allows the sun-dried tomato flavor to stand out.

Keep in mind that since sun-dried tomatoes are (by their nature) dry, they can sometimes burn during the cooking process. To prevent this, you either tuck them into the pizza sauce or soak them in water before adding them to the pizza to help them rehydrate (via Reddit).

31. Pancetta

Despite being a pizza topping in Italy for centuries, U.S. pizza eaters are only just recently discovering pancetta (via Pizza Today). This salt-cured meat comes from a pig's belly, just as bacon does. As such, it can be an excellent substitute in pizzas that taste good with bacon. Just keep in mind that you're going to experience saltiness but not the smokiness you get with bacon. Its rich, nutty flavor pairs well with tomatoes, tomato sauce, onions, hard cheeses, garlic, jalapeños, and even pineapple (via Howstuffworks). Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis lists pancetta among her top three pizza toppings (via YouTube).

30. Prosciutto

Food Network star Giada de Laurentiis says prosciutto is in her top three pizza toppings (via YouTube). Like pancetta, prosciutto has been a beloved pizza topping in Italy for centuries. Traditional prosciutto pizzas contain subtle toppings like mushrooms or arugula with a red sauce or just olive oil (via Pizza Today).

Prosciutto comes from a pig's leg, like ham (via Howstuffworks). Most people tend to add prosciutto to their pizza after baking or during the last few minutes. However, if you're using cooked prosciutto cotto (which is more like ham) instead of dry-cured prosciutto crudo, you can go ahead and add it to your pizza during the baking process (via Reddit).

29. Pickles

If you've not experienced pickles on a cheeseburger pizza, you're probably feeling dubious about whether pickles belong on pizza. However, most pickle lovers find the experience impressive. Similar to taco toppings, you will find pickles either cooked into the pizza or added after baking as a fresh, crunchy topper.

Hungry Howie's has gone a step further by making its pickle bacon ranch pizza with a crust that also tastes like dill pickles. Hungry Howie's vice president of research and development Jeff Rinke says, "We know it sounds crazy and it may be the next controversial pizza topping since pineapples — but if you're a fan of the salty-sweet combo, pickles and pizza is a winning flavor combination worth trying" (via Franchising).

28. Taco toppings

Pizzas with taco toppings certainly have a fan following. According to a 2022 study by Zippia, Iowa's favorite pizza is taco pizza. Taco pizzas come in a couple of different formats. For one type, all the ingredients bake into the pizza and are served hot. Domino's chicken taco pizza fits this category, with three types of cheese, taco seasoning, grilled chicken, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes all cooked together. 

However, some taco pizza recipes tend to add fresh ingredients after baking the crust, sauce, beans, and meat. Cold toppings added after baking may include shredded lettuce and fresh diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, corn, and salsa, which approximates the feeling of a real taco.

27. Pesto

Green basil pesto pizzas make a striking visual and flavorful difference when compared to ordinary pizzas that come with red or white sauces. Because of the strong flavor profile of the basil in the pesto, you're more likely to see it with chicken than spicy meats.

If you've ever tried Schlotzsky's grilled chicken pesto pizza, it will instantly convert you to the wonders of pesto as an alternative pizza sauce. The combination of chicken with pesto, mozzarella, parmesan, green onions, olives, and tomatoes is a pizza revelation. Other topping options for a pesto pizza include sun-dried tomatoes, sauteed spinach, ricotta, bacon, mushrooms, Greek olives, feta cheese, and salami (via Reddit).

26. Pistachios

We promise that putting pistachios on pizza isn't completely nuts. Sure, it's an unexpected flavor, but it absolutely works. It's such a stand-out flavor that it's usually on a pizza served without sauce. It's surprisingly simple and astonishingly good. Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona, often has a pistachio pizza on its menu that consists simply of pistachios, red onions, rosemary, and parmesan cheese (via 12News)

Other restaurants, like Inizio Pizza in Charlotte, North Carolina, go for pistachio, rosemary, ricotta, big dollops of buffalo mozzarella, garlic, and pistachio pesto (via Instagram). You'll even find pistachios on pizzas in Italy like the one with burrata, thinly-sliced mortadella sausage, and pistachios at Pizza in Trevi in Rome, Italy (via Tripadvisor).

25. Soppressata and hot honey

Soppressata is a spicy cured sausage usually filled only with lean cuts of pork. Italian soppressata contains seasonings like cinnamon, cloves, rosemary, chili peppers, and peppercorns, so it has a flavor that begs for a sweet accompaniment (via La Cucina Italiana). Enter hot honey. 

Hot honey is like regular honey but is infused with hot chili peppers and often a little vinegar. And it absolutely belongs on your soppressata pizza. Holt's in Park Ridge Illinois says that while both the sausage and honey bring a little bit of heat to the party, but not so much that you'll blow out your palate (via Instagram).

24. Cheeseburger toppings

One of the most peculiar and strangely satisfying pizzas you'll ever try is a cheeseburger pizza. Just as hamburger meat, cheese, ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, pickles, and onions taste good between two buns, they also taste good atop a pizza crust. Hold the lettuce.

Just think of a cheeseburger pizza as using a different type of bread as a vehicle for your cheeseburger fix, and you can get past the idea of pickles, mustard, and ketchup on your pizza. If you don't like cheeseburgers, you should probably just walk away, but if you do, you might find yourself craving a cheeseburger on a pizza rather than between two soft buns next time around.

23. Jalapeños

Jalapeños roasted on top of pizza are entirely different beasts than eating them fresh or pickled. They can add a happy heat to an otherwise ordinary pizza. The trick is not to overdo it unless you're a hardcore jalapeño fan and heat seeker. You can start with fresh or pickled jalapeños. Then add the appropriate toppings. Jalapeños taste great with toppings like pineapple, ham, onions, bacon, and pepperoni. They're also excellent on straight-up veggie pizzas (via Reddit).

Jalapeños rate medium (2500 to 8000) on the Scoville scale. If they seem a little too hot for you, you should remove the inner white veins before cooking or try a milder pepper like a poblano (1000 to 2000) instead (via Isabel Eats).

22. Steak

We say that you can put any topping you like on pizza, and steak is no exception to this mantra. A cheap cut of steak may need marinating first, but don't be afraid to try out more expensive cuts as well. Your first inclination may be toward a Philly cheesesteak pizza, but there's no need to limit yourself to that flavor combination. 

Think about what you like on or with steak to inspire your pizza palette. For example, mushrooms, garlic, and caramelized onions are lovely additions to a steak pizza. And you can break beyond the traditional mozzarella with more robust provolone to complement your steak (via Pizza Making).

21. Barbecue pulled pork

We rank barbecue pulled pork pizza below barbecue chicken pizza mainly because you're less likely to find it on a pizza restaurant menu than chicken. Plus, pork is less popular among smoked barbecue meats than chicken in the U.S.A. (via BBQ Revolt).

If you can't find barbecue pulled pork at a pizza parlor near you, you can always smoke your own and add your favorite BBQ sauce or buy some from of your grocery store. It's also a great way to use up leftover barbecue from your favorite barbecue joint the next day. For a little extra pizzazz, try it with red onions and bacon.

20. Barbecue chicken

Even if you don't like chicken on your pizza any other way, we dare you to give barbecue chicken pizza a try. A 2022 study shows that in seven U.S. states, barbecue pizza is the favorite pizza, making it among the best pizza toppings ever.

The BBQ sauce adds a sweet component to an otherwise savory pizza that is absolutely out of this world. Next time you're at a pizza buffet, watch how quickly the BBQ chicken pizza goes, and be sure to grab a slice before its' all gone. Different pizza places definitely have varying takes on it. The key to a great vs a mediocre — or even bad — barbecue chicken pizza is in the sauce. Sweet, tangy, and smokey always wins out.

19. Meatballs

You eat meatballs with spaghetti all the time, so why not try meatballs on your pizza? While adding plain ground beef to your pizza provides an umami flavor that blends into the dish, meatballs can provide a flavor explosion, especially if you use flavorful, spicy meatballs for your pizza.

For New York-style pizza, you would slice the meatballs into rounds that look like pepperoni rounds. But there's no shame in just smashing half meatballs — or even whole ones — directly into your pizza sauce. While you can go spaghetti-style with a red sauce, white sauce also tastes great with meatballs (via Pizza Making).

18. Canadian bacon

Canadian bacon takes its place alongside ham as one of the top pork toppings for pizza. If you'd prefer the flavor to blend into the pizza rather than stand out like the smoked or cured flavors in ham, it's your best bet. Canadian bacon comes from the loin rather than the leg of the pig, so they really are two distinct types of meat. 

Despite the brining preservation process, Canadian bacon has less sodium than ham. It also has less cholesterol and more protein (via MasterClass). So, it's ultimately a healthier choice if you're trying to decide between the two for an extra topping or a Hawaiian pizza.

17. Ham

Along with pepperoni, sausage, and bacon, ham is among the leading pork toppings for pizza. It's especially popular paired with pineapple for a Hawaiian pizza. While both ham and Canadian bacon are common on Hawaiian pizzas, the two types of meat come from different parts of the pig. Canadian bacon comes from the pig's loin, while ham comes from a pig's leg. Ham is cured or smoked rather than brined, but it tends to have more sodium and carbohydrates than Canadian bacon (via MasterClass).

The draw of using ham on pizza comes from the flavors it acquires through the preservation process. Any spices used for curing and any smoke used for smoking become strong pieces of the overall pizza flavor.

16. Burrata

Burrata pizza became a whole thing in 2022, with TikTokers going crazy for it. If you visit the #burratapizza hashtag, you'll be mesmerized by a variety of pizzas that go into the oven with a whole large ball of white burrata cheese placed gently in the middle of the pizza before baking. Then, when you take the pizza out of the oven, you season the burrata ball and slice it open, after which it oozes creamy burrata yumminess all over the entire pizza. 

Quite often, the pizzas are topped with pepperoni or small slices of burrata. Other times, the toppings are prosciutto and arugula.

15. Basil

You'll find basil in most pizza sauces, but, like adding extra tomatoes, adding fresh basil leaves atop your pizza adds a different flavoring component altogether. When fresh basil leaves grace your pizza, they make a strong flavor statement that can't be ignored. While whole basil leaves work for a bold basil statement, finely chiffonaded pieces of basil work best as an integrated flavoring component.

Hideaway Pizza has perfected adding fresh basil to its pizzas with its fan favorite, the Da Bomb pizza. Fresh basil perfectly complements salami, pepperoni, pineapple, and cheese, with a divine sweet balsamic drizzle on top (via Facebook). And a 2022 study reveals that the favorite pizza in Hawaii is Caprese pizza, featuring cheese, tomatoes, and basil.

14. Tomatoes

Go ahead and add sliced tomatoes in addition to the tomato sauce on your pizza. They really do provide two separate flavors since the tomato sauce has been pre-simmered with herbs and spices while tomato toppings start out raw before you bake your pizza. 

The tomatoes atop your pizza will end up roasted, sweet, and yummy. And if you add cherry tomatoes, they can be a warm explosion of flavor and yumminess in your mouth (via Reddit). To prevent a watery topping, it can help to salt and drain the tomato on a paper towel before adding it to the pizza (via Reddit).

13. Garlic

If you're one of those people who always add more garlic to a recipe than it calls for, you're probably going to love adding garlic to your pizza. There may be a little garlic in your pizza sauce already, but if you're ready to take your pizza to the next level of flavor, extra garlic may just do the trick.

You can spread a layer of minced raw garlic directly on top of the crust before adding the other ingredients, or you could mix it straight into the sauce (via Reddit). To avoid peeling and chopping garlic, why not just buy it pre-chopped in a jar?

12. Spinach

Spinach is, by far, one of the healthiest ingredients you can add to pizza. This leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamins A, C, K1, B9, B6, and E, along with iron and calcium (via Healthline). Some may even argue that pizza is less of a junk food once you add spinach.

Some people add fresh, raw spinach to their pizzas, while others choose to sautee it in olive oil and spices first. These two methods give you the best chance of not ending up with a soggy crust from the cell structure of the spinach breaking down (via Stack Exchange).

11. Pineapple

Yes, we hear those of you in the back shouting that pineapple doesn't go on pizza. And, while it doesn't for you, plenty of people adore it. Cooked pineapple's sweet tanginess melds well with tomato sauce to make a flavor combination that many people crave. In fact, according to our survey, one in 10 people calls it a favorite topping.

The pineapple pizza debate is heated enough to have inspired pineapple pizza hate memes. But perhaps all this negative publicity has inspired more pizza lovers to give it a try. In 2020, Grubhub orders showed that Hawaiian pizza (where pineapple really shines) had increased in popularity by a whopping 689% (via PR Newswire). And a 2022 study shows Hawaiian pizza to be the favorite pizza of three U.S. states.

10. Chicken

While chicken can go with red sauce pizza, it's one of the best pizza toppings when it comes with Alfredo sauce, white sauce, pesto, or barbecue sauce. 10 U.S. states' favorite pizzas contain chicken, including BBQ chicken, chicken bacon ranch, grilled chicken white, and Buffalo chicken pizza (via Zippia).

If you've had a bad experience with chicken on pizza, it's likely that it wasn't fresh or flavored well. But if you make chicken pizza at home, you can really elevate the chicken up to greatness. Poaching it in a flavorful stock can help keep it moist. And flavoring it with garlic, balsamic vinegar, and even pesto can bring it up a notch (via Reddit).

9. Bell peppers

There are two schools of thought when it comes to adding bell peppers to pizzas. Some people like them raw so that they add a bit of crunch to the pizza, while others like them cooked first (via Quora). 

If you add your bell peppers to your pizza raw, keep in mind that larger pepper slices are more likely to maintain their crispness throughout the baking process. But if you prefer your bell peppers well-done, you may want to cook them before adding them to the pizza. Cooking them first is especially a good idea for Philly cheesesteak pizzas.

8. Bacon

Pork makes a strong appearance on pizzas, so it's not surprising that bacon is near the top of the list of best pizza toppings After all, nearly everything tastes better with bacon. Bacon is primarily thought of as a breakfast food and tastes amazing on a cheesy bacon breakfast pizza. But you don't have to limit your bacon on pizza to breakfast pizzas. You'll find it tastes good alongside other meats, and it enhances the flavor of a chicken pizza with white sauce.

One important thing to note when making your own pizza with bacon is that you should never put it on raw unless your aim is to create a river of bacon grease atop your pizza (via Pizza Today). Definitely cook your bacon first.

7. Olives

Olives are prevalent throughout the Mediterranean and Italy, so it's no surprise that they are commonly featured on pizzas. Everyone has an opinion on olives and which ones they like best (or dislike most). However, these strong, salty, and slightly bitter drupes are here to stay on pizzas. Even some people who don't otherwise like black olives will eat them on pizza (via Reddit).

They work well with various flavor combinations like supreme pizzas and pizzas with pineapple. Most pizza parlors only offer black olives as a pizza topping, but you can certainly try green olives, kalamatas, or other olive favorites instead.

6. Ground beef

When you're not in the mood for the spiciness of pepperoni or sausage, ground beef is a fabulous choice for pizza. If you think about how great ground beef tastes with spaghetti, you can understand how it can really bring out the savory qualities of a pizza. It's a good substitution for sausage on a supreme pizza or can hold its own alongside other favorite toppings, like mushrooms and onions.

If you're using ground beef on a pizza at home, you can either start from cooked or raw. Starting from raw will ensure that it doesn't get overcooked during the baking process (via Pizza Making). However, you'll want to use ground beef with a low fat content so it doesn't turn your pizza overly greasy.

5. Onions

There are several varieties of onions, and they all taste magnificent on pizza. White onions are probably the ones you're most likely to see on pizza, but others have their place as well. Sweet onions like yellow onions are among the best for caramelizing, which works well with white pizzas. 

Red onions are excellent additions to barbecue chicken pizzas. Just add them toward the end of baking to prevent burning and allow them to still release sweetness (via Pizza Chef HQ). However, if you're thinking of putting green onions on a pizza, you'll want to wait until after it's emerged from the oven so that they don't burn (via Quora).

4. Mushrooms

The umami flavor of mushrooms pairs beautifully with a variety of pizza toppings, whether it's cheese, meat, veggies, or a little of everything. They also taste good with both red and white sauces. The trick is to make sure they're well-cooked so their savory flavor can meld into oneness with the pizza as a whole.

Most American pizzas end up with ordinary button mushrooms on top, but if you ever have the chance to try one with locally-foraged mushrooms like chanterelles or morels, you're in for a real treat. You can find such pizzas at places like Mezza Luna Pizzeria in Oregon (via The Register-Guard).

3. Sausage

While pepperoni is the king of pizza meat toppings, sausage is a close second. But sausage has been around longer, with Italian sausage dating back to the first century BC in Rome (via Rosati's).

The type of sausage you use on a pizza can completely change its flavor profile. Breakfast-style and Italian sausages are the ones you're most likely to encounter in most pizza restaurants, but chorizo and other types of sausage are also contenders (via Brooklyn Craft Pizza). Italian sausage provides a mildly licorice-like flavor to pizza from fennel and comes in varieties ranging from sweet to hot. Meanwhile, breakfast-style sausage tends to blend in smoothly unless it has an overabundance of sage.

2. Pepperoni

Pepperoni is quite possibly the most perfect pizza meat available. As an Italian-inspired meat with fennel and garlic, its spices pair perfectly with herbs like oregano and basil in a traditional pizza sauce. The holy grail of pepperoni pizzas is the one whose pepperoni edges curl and crisp during baking, like the one Domino's makes.

Both Domino's and Pizza Hut say that pepperoni is their best-selling pizza topping, but that wasn't always true (via Foodsided). According to pizza scholar Colin Caplan, pepperoni only accounted for about 30% of pizza orders from Domino's a few decades ago. Now about half of all pizza orders from the chain include pepperoni (via Thrillist).

1. Cheese

While many people list pepperoni as their favorite pizza topping, it's not necessarily the best pizza topping. How many of your favorite pizzas wouldn't be the same without buttery, gooey, stringy cheese? Even if you're vegan, you've likely located a vegan cheese substitute to make your pizzas complete.

But you don't have to take our word for it. A 2022 study shows that cheese pizzas are the favorite pizza in 29 U.S. states. And, when Grubhub revealed the top takeout orders for 2022, cheese pizza was item number three on its list (only beat out by burritos and cheeseburgers). Cheese pizza was also the fourth most-popular lunch order and the fifth most-popular late-night order. No other type of pizza even made the list — not even pepperoni.