Pizza is a favorite food of many, but plain old pepperoni can get boring after

a while. While standard pizza toppings are definitely delicious, pizza is actually a

pretty versatile food. The crust is basically bread, so you can top it with just about

anything you’d like. If you’re looking for an interesting take on one of the most

popular meals out there, try one of the following toppings; you never know when

you might find a new favorite.

Exotic Sauces

Move over, tomato sauce. Instead of plain tomato sauce, try using something a

little different. Pesto and Alfredo are friendly alternatives, but what about using

something like pureed beans, hummus, or a vegetable puree like squash or

sweet potatoes? Almost any kind of dip would work well, just thin it out with a

little bit of water before you add it to your pizza if necessary. Then top with your

favorite toppings and bake.

Want something super simple and easy to make? Try no sauce at all. With the

right toppings, it can be amazing, but make sure your pizza dough is good if

you’re going this route.

Unthinkable Vegetables

Sure, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers are delicious, but they certainly

aren’t the only vegetables out there. If you’ve never had Brussels sprouts or

sauerkraut on your pizza, you’re missing out. For harder veggies like Brussels

sprouts, you may want to cook them beforehand, but if you slice them thin

enough, high heat will roast them to perfection. Try topping a hot out of the oven

pizza with fresh baby greens; arugula or watercress add amazing flavor, but baby

spinach is a good choice too. Make sure to put them on a piping hot pizza so

they wilt slightly for a veggie delight that will rival your all meat version any day of

the week.


Fruit can be a sweet or savory addition to pizza. For a savory version, try using

thinly sliced pears and blue cheese or summer peaches and fresh mozzarella.

Throw some basil in the mix and you’ve got a flavor bomb you’ll be craving come


For a dessert pizza, try spreading a pizza crust with Nutella and topping with

fresh berries and sliced almonds. You can bake it with the fruit or add it after;

experiment to find your favorite option. You can also make a pizza crust with

cookie dough, piecrust, or even brownie batter spread very thin. Bake it, top it,

bake it again if necessary, and then slice and enjoy!

Fish and Seafood

If you’re a seafood lover, but have never thought to put fish on pizza, you’ll be

amazed when you try it. Try this: Mix equal parts Dijon mustard and sour cream

and spread it on your pizza crust. Top with tomatoes, onions, and drained tuna.

Bake until the crust is done and then add some capers and fresh herbs when it

comes out of the oven. It’s got amazing flavor, and while you may think you’re

missing the cheese, you’re wrong.

Shrimp, crab, or lobster makes an excellent choice, especially when paired with

a cream sauce. A little Parmesan adds a savory flavor without greasiness, and

fresh vegetables make it something special.

Breakfast Foods

Make a breakfast pizza by topping your pizza crust with scrambled eggs,

sausage and baking. Drizzle a little bit of maple syrup on top for an amazing

breakfast you’ll crave every morning.

You can also try adding a poached or fried egg on top of a savory pizza for a

different twist. While your pizza is in the oven, cook your egg to your liking. Top

the hot pizza with the hot egg and enjoy.

Other Dishes

Macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, and mashed potatoes are pizza toppings

you’ll see in other countries, but you can just as easily try these at home on your

own. Everything from a salad to a steak can be eaten on top of a pizza; all it

takes is a little bit of creativity.

Make it International

Try topping your pizza with a Korean kimchi, an Indian curry, or even corned beef

and cabbage for an Irish pizza. Whatever your favorite ethnic food, it’s almost

guaranteed that it can be used as a creative pizza topping. The sky is the limit; if

you like it on its own, chances are you’ll like it even more when it’s on a pizza.

The next time you’re ready to call and order your favorite pizza, take a minute

and think about what you can add to your own to make it a delicious and extra

special meal. Remember that when you break it down, a pizza is simply bread

with a variety of toppings. Whether sweet or savory, these toppings can be

whatever you want them to be.

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Jeff Fenster is a food enthusiast and writer for Chef Works, the top culinary apparel resource for hospitality and food service professionals worldwide.

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2 Responses

  1. Ted

    Always loved egg on my pizza. Personally I also enjoy sauces on-top of my pizzas, drizzled on after baking. Recently though, my go-to glutton food has been super easy tortilla pizzas. Since I have been making a habanero-ranch-cucumber sauce that we use on virtually everything, the next logical step was quick pizza. Simply lather on some sauce on tortilla, add cheese and toppings (onion, chorizo, whatever else on hand) and throw in oven. Thin, crispy white pizza in a few minutes!! 🙂


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