Meat Pizza Toppings: From Pepperoni to Prosciutto – My Favorite 13 Types(With Recipes)

While many innovative ideas include all kinds of spices and veggies, a lot of people prefer a protein-rich option. We all got used to typical salami and pepperoni on a pizza, but many other types of meat can be turned into a perfect slice.

I love experimenting with various pizza recipes, and, today, the focus is on meat toppings. Stay with me because I will share some interesting combinations that will motivate you to enjoy this fantastic dish even more.

Popular Classics Protein-Rich Exotic Toppings
Pepperoni Chicken Anchovies
Bacon Meatballs Shrimp
Ham Italian Sausage Mussels
Salami Ground Beef Crab
Prosciutto

1. Pepperoni

Pepperoni Pizza

I’m particularly fond of pepperoni for its zesty and slightly spicy taste, adding a lively kick to any pizza. The way it slightly chars and curls at the edges when baked brings a delightful texture and visual appeal.

Since this is a classic version, most common vegan alternatives have almost the same recipe, and all you need to do is replace the pepperoni with some plant-based meat and decorate the dough with more vegetables.

A tip for pepperoni lovers: try layering some slices under the cheese and on top for an extra burst of flavor in every bite.

Recipe for Pepperoni Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni slices
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil (for brushing)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness on a floured surface.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or a baking sheet.
  4. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough.
  6. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  7. Arrange the pepperoni slices on top of the cheese.
  8. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over the pizza.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
  10. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

2. Bacon

Bacon pizza

 

Bacon on pizza is a game-changer for me. Its smoky, rich flavor elevates the pizza’s overall taste profile. Bacon bits crisped to perfection add a wonderful crunch.

A helpful hint: Pair bacon with a drizzle of maple syrup on your pizza for a sweet and savory experience.

Recipe for Bacon Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup white sauce or Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup caramelized onions
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh arugula (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or a baking tray.
  4. Spread the white sauce over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the sauce.
  6. Add the cooked, crumbled bacon and caramelized onions on top.
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and cheese is melted.
  9. If desired, top with fresh arugula after baking.
  10. Slice and serve warm.

3. Ham

Ham pizza

The sweet and salty nature of ham makes it a great topping for balancing flavors on a pizza. I adore its tenderness which contrasts well with the crispy crust. The standard recipe is quite simple, and all you need to do is to combine the ham and classic toppings.

For an additional twist: Combine ham with pineapple for a classic Hawaiian pizza, or try it with some caramelized onions for a more gourmet touch.

Recipe for Ham Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced ham
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface.
  3. Place the dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  4. Spread tomato sauce evenly over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
  6. Arrange ham slices and pineapple chunks (if using) over the cheese.
  7. Sprinkle dried oregano on top.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.
  9. Let it cool slightly, then slice and serve.

4. Meatballs

Meatballs pizza

Meatballs bring a hearty and homely feel to pizza. I love the robust and rich flavor they add. When using meatballs as a topping,

I suggest slicing them thinly to ensure they cook evenly and integrate well with the other toppings.

Recipe for Meatball Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked meatballs, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough to your desired thickness.
  3. Place the dough on a pizza stone or a baking tray.
  4. Evenly spread tomato sauce over the dough.
  5. Add mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  6. Place sliced meatballs evenly on the cheese.
  7. Sprinkle garlic powder and Parmesan cheese over the top.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes until the crust turns golden and the cheese melts.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  10. Slice, serve, and enjoy.

5. Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage

Italian sausage is a favorite for its spicy and herby notes. It adds a juicy and savory dimension to the pizza. Combine it with Authentic Italian Pizza Sauce and you can easily create a masterpiece.

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, pairing Italian sausage with some chili flakes can really enhance its flavor.

Recipe for Italian Sausage Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  4. Spread tomato sauce evenly over the dough.
  5. Add mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
  6. Distribute the cooked, crumbled Italian sausage and sliced red onion evenly over the cheese.
  7. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for extra heat, if desired.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  10. Slice and serve while hot.

6. Prosciutto

Prosciutto pizza

Prosciutto is all about subtlety and elegance on a pizza. I appreciate its delicate, slightly salty flavor and how it complements milder ingredients like mozzarella.

A pro tip: Add prosciutto after baking the pizza to maintain its texture and flavor, and pair it with arugula and a balsamic glaze for a gourmet touch.

Recipe for Prosciutto Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced prosciutto
  • Arugula (a handful)
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Heat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Place the dough on a pizza stone or a baking sheet.
  4. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately top with prosciutto slices.
  8. Add arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
  9. Drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper.
  10. Slice and enjoy this elegant pizza.

7. Salami

Salami pizza

Salami’s slightly tangy and robust flavor is what makes it stand out for me. It pairs excellently with a variety of cheeses and adds a wonderful depth to pizza.

Try adding some roasted red peppers alongside salami for a vibrant and flavorful combination.

Recipe for Salami Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup salami slices
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out your pizza dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or a baking tray.
  4. Evenly spread the tomato sauce over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Arrange the salami slices and black olives over the cheese.
  7. Sprinkle dried basil on top.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Slice, serve, and savor this classic salami pizza.

8. Chicken

Chicken pizza

Chicken is a versatile topping that works well with a range of flavors. I love using BBQ or buffalo-style chicken for a flavorful twist.

Adding some gorgonzola or blue cheese with chicken can create a deliciously rich and tangy pizza.

Recipe for Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (as base)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Place it on a pizza stone or baking tray.
  4. Spread BBQ sauce over the dough as the base.
  5. Add the mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
  6. Distribute the shredded chicken, red onion, and bell pepper evenly over the cheese.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
  8. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
  9. Slice and enjoy this BBQ chicken pizza adventure.

9. Ground Beef

Ground Beef pizza

Ground beef adds a wonderfully meaty and filling aspect to pizza. I enjoy it most when seasoned with garlic, onion, and a hint of chili for extra flavor.

Combining ground beef with jalapeños and cheddar cheese can turn your pizza into a delightful cheeseburger experience.

Recipe for Ground Beef Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked ground beef (seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Place the dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  4. Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  6. Add the seasoned ground beef, red onion, and green bell pepper.
  7. Sprinkle dried oregano on top.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
  9. Slice and serve this comforting ground beef pizza.

10. Anchovies

Anchovies pizza

Anchovies are for those who love a bold umami punch. Their intense salty flavor is something I particularly enjoy.

I recommend balancing them with milder toppings like fresh mozzarella or ricotta.

Recipe for Anchovy Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Heat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or baking tray.
  4. Evenly spread the tomato sauce over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Arrange the anchovy fillets and capers over the cheese.
  7. Add red pepper flakes for some heat.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden and cheese is melted.
  9. Slice and enjoy this bold and flavorful anchovy pizza.

11. Shrimp

Shrimp pizza

Shrimp offers a delicate, slightly sweet taste that’s perfect for a lighter pizza. I love pairing it with fresh herbs like basil or cilantro and a squeeze of lemon for a fresh, zesty flavor.

Grilling the shrimp before adding them to the pizza can enhance their flavor.

Recipe for Shrimp Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup garlic-infused olive oil (as base)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out your pizza dough.
  3. Place it on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  4. Brush the garlic-infused olive oil over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Add the cooked shrimp and cherry tomatoes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust turns golden and the cheese melts.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
  10. Slice and enjoy this elegant shrimp pizza.

12. Mussels

Mussels pizza

Mussels add a unique, oceanic flavor to pizza, creating a sophisticated dining experience. I love their subtle taste, especially when paired with garlic and a white wine sauce.

Be sure to cook the mussels just right – they should be tender, not chewy.

Recipe for Mussel Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup white wine garlic sauce (or Alfredo sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked mussels (shelled)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Lemon zest

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or baking tray.
  4. Spread the white wine garlic sauce over the dough.
  5. Add the mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Distribute the cooked mussels and red onion evenly.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest.
  9. Slice and serve this delightful mussel pizza.

13. Crab

Crab pizza

Crabmeat brings a luxurious sweetness to pizza. Its tender texture is a delightful contrast to the crispy crust.

I recommend pairing crab with creamy sauces and fresh herbs like dill or chives to enhance its delicate flavor.

Recipe for Crab Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • Fresh dill for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Roll out the pizza dough.
  3. Place the dough on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
  4. Evenly spread Alfredo sauce over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top.
  6. Add the cooked crabmeat, green onions, and red bell pepper.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust turns golden and the cheese melts.
  8. Garnish with fresh dill.
  9. Slice and enjoy this exquisite crab pizza, a true gourmet treat.

FAQs

How Many Pizza Toppings Exist?

The number of pizza toppings available is vast and diverse, encompassing a wide range of meats, vegetables, cheeses, and even fruits. Creativity and cultural influences continually introduce new toppings, making the list ever-expanding.

How Many Toppings Should a Pizza Have?

The ideal number of toppings for a pizza usually ranges between three to five, ensuring a balanced flavor without overcrowding the pizza. Too many toppings can make the pizza soggy and overshadow individual flavors.

Can I Combine Different Meats on Pizza?

Yes, you can combine different meats on a pizza to create a rich and diverse flavor profile. Popular combinations include pepperoni with sausage, bacon with chicken, and ham with ground beef, among others.

What Are the Most Popular Pizza Choices?

The most popular pizza choices often include classics like Margherita, Pepperoni, and Hawaiian. Variations with combinations of meats, vegetables, and different cheeses like Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Gorgonzola are also widely favored.

Last Words

The best pizza is the one that resonates with your palate and brings a smile to your face. Whether you’re a fan of loaded toppings or prefer the elegance of minimalism, there’s a pizza out there for everyone.

So, the next time you’re kneading the dough or selecting your toppings, think of it as an opportunity to express yourself, to explore new flavors, and most importantly, to enjoy the timeless pleasure that only a good slice of pizza can offer.