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Our Favorite Pizza Toppings Ranked

Delicious toppings for the ultimate pizza order.

There is absolutely no denying that pizza is one of the best foods ever invented. Italian food in general is top tier, but pizza holds the gauntlet as it is, perhaps, the best food ever created.

The best thing about pizza is that it is totally customizable. From the base, to the sauce, to the cheese, to the toppings, you can choose different options to create a pizza that is totally unique to you. 

Flatbread pizza garnished with fresh arugula on wooden pizza board.

If you have ever sat and thought about pizza, like lots of us have, you might be wondering which toppings are the most popular.

Of course, the best pizza topping for you will depend on your preferences. But, in this guide, we’ll be ranking 16 of the most popular pizza toppings from worst to best. So, with no further ado, let’s dive right in. 

The Best Pizza Toppings

  1. Pepperoni
  2. Sausage
  3. Mushrooms
  4. Bacon
  5. Onions
  6. Extra Cheese
  7. Peppers
  8. Chicken
  9. Olives
  10. Spinach
  11. Tomato and Basil
  12. Beef
  13. Ham
  14. Pesto
  15. Spicy Pork
  16. Ham and Pineapple

Pepperoni 

pepperoni topping on a pizza
pepperoni topping on a pizza

In our top spot, we have pepperoni pizza. For so many Americans, pepperoni is the ultimate pizza topping, and this is primarily because it is a classic.

When you are a child, you are often only given two pizza options: margarita or pepperoni, and pepperoni would always come out on top.

This topping is surrounded by nostalgia, and this might be why so many adults still enjoy this topping on their pizza.


Sausage

Pizza topped with sweet Italian sausage
Pizza topped with sweet Italian sausage

Continuing with meat themes, we have sausage. There are lots of different types of sausages that exist, and depending on the type that you choose, the flavor of your pizza will be completely different.

Some people prefer mild or sweet sausages, others prefer sausages with a real meaty flavor, and some people like spicy sausage. Whatever your preference, it is guaranteed that it will taste insane when added to a pizza. Let’s face it, everything does. 


Mushrooms

Delicious pizza with mushrooms
Delicious pizza with mushrooms

Even if you don’t like mushrooms in other meals, it is definitely worth trying them as a topping on your pizza.

Mushrooms have a naturally earthy flavor, and you might expect this to have a bad effect on the flavor of your pizza. But it doesn’t. Instead, the flavor of the mushroom tastes divine when combined with the other ingredients of your pizza, so it is definitely one to try.  It’s no surprise why this one is popular for so many.


Bacon

Italian Pizza with sliced ham, bacon, and cheese on a wooden pizza pan.

With a bit of a theme emerging, next we have bacon. Even though bacon is usually associated with breakfast dishes, there is no dish which it can’t make better.

The same rule applies to pizza. Whether you choose fresh bacon, bacon crumbles, or pancetta, this addition to your pizza is guaranteed to be a hit. And if you aren’t sold yet, just wait until you hear the smell of your bacon pizza cooking. 


Onions

pizza with red onions
pizza with red onions

Onions are a versatile topping for most food and pizza is no exception. You have a few different types of onions when it comes to toppings for pizza. I prefer yellow onions that are sauteed in butter or olive oil. Some specialty pizza recipes call for red onions or sweet vadalia. Cooked, raw, diced or sliced, onions are always a good choice to top your pizza.


Extra Cheese, Cheese, And More Cheese

Pizza with cheese toppings on a round wooden plate.

For some, this might not count as a topping, but for us, there isn’t much better than extra cheese on a pizza.

Especially if the base cheese used on your pizza is mozzarella. While all cheese is great, when you add extra cheeses you get a much fuller flavor, and this can make your pizza a lot more enjoyable.

There is nothing better than the pull of cheese when you pick up a slice of pizza, and this topping is the best way to achieve that. 


Peppers

veggie pizza with peppers
veggie pizza with peppers

Most of the vegetables that we have looked at on this list have ranked pretty badly, but one that stands out from the rest is peppers. Peppers are extremely versatile vegetables, and any color will taste excellent when cooked on a pizza base.

Usually peppers are served with a crunchiness to their bite, but when they are cooked on a pizza they become significantly softer. This softer texture works much better with the crunch of your pizza base, and the flavor works perfectly. 


Chicken

Chicken Pizza
Chicken Cutlet Pizza

Chicken isn’t a traditional items for topping your pizza, but it is still one that a lot of people opt for. When it comes to meats, chicken is always a safe bet, because it is almost impossible for chicken to taste bad.

Chicken is also insanely versatile and can be used to create a variety of different pizzas, from BBQ chicken, buffalo chicken to chicken bacon ranch, and lots more. So when it comes to pizza ingredients, chicken is one of my favorites. 


Black Olives

pizza with black olives
pizza with black olives

Sticking with the theme of light and refreshing toppings, we have black olives. This is another potentially controversial topping, but black olives can give your pizza a salty kick.

When your pizza comes out of the oven, you might be unable to resist the lure of the black olives, and might find yourself picking them off to eat them. But don’t worry, the flavor of the olive will have spread throughout the entire pizza, transforming the entire flavor. 


Spinach

Spinach Pizza
Spinach Pizza

If you are a lover of vegetables, then you probably really enjoy a spinach topping on your pizza. Greens on pizza aren’t for everyone, after all this is often seen as an unhealthy meal, but if you want a light and refreshing dish, then spinach is the perfect topping.

The flavor of the spinach complements the natural flavors of the pizza perfectly, and it also makes the meal taste a lot healthier, which is why this is such a popular topping. 


Tomato and Basil 

Tomato And Basil Pizza
Tomato And Basil Pizza

If you are going for a classic style margarita pizza, then the perfect topping is tomato and basil. This topping works best when you use mozzarella cheese and rounds of tomato upon your classic marinara base. Cook in the oven, then add fresh basil as a garnish.

If you are looking for a pizza to enjoy on a hot summer’s day, this is the one for you. 


Beef

Meat lovers pizza with pepperoni, beef, sausage and bacon.
Meat lovers pizza with pepperoni, beef, sausage and bacon.

If you are a fan of a meat lovers pizza, then beef is probably a topping that you are very familiar with.

When you think of beef, you might first think of roast beef, and this would be a strange way to top a pizza. But when prepared in the correct manner, ground beef makes a top tier pizza topping.

You can get pizzas topped with beef meatballs, or a ‘cheeseburger’ topping, and even pizzas with steak as a topping. So, the versatility of a beef pizza is clear, and this is why it is one of the best toppings to exist. 


Ham

Pizza with ham topping
Pizza with Ham

If you aren’t a diehard fan of the controversial ham and pineapple pizza, you might prefer just ham as your topping of choice. Ham on pizza is so versatile, and it tastes excellent when paired with almost any other topping.

Ham is very common in a meat lovers pizza, and it is also commonly paired with toppings such as chicken and bacon. But, in our opinion, ham tastes better when served on its own. When it is served alone, you are able to really enjoy the flavor of the ham, and it is amazing. 


Pesto

Pizza Pesto with tomatoes and capers
Pizza Pesto with tomatoes and capers

We have another controversial option. Tomato-based sauces on pizza is a hill that some people are willing to die on, so a pizza that uses pesto as its base sauce is far too much.

But remember, you don’t have to cover your entire pizza base with pesto, you can simply drizzle it on top of a margarita pizza if you would prefer. Whatever you choose, pesto can completely transform the flavor of a pizza for the better. 


Pulled Pork

pizza with bbq pulled pork and red onion
pizza with bbq pulled pork and red onion

If you are a fan of takeaway pizza, then you have probably tried pulled pork as a topping. It is included in most meat lovers pizzas, and it is definitely the flavor that stands out the most.

Pulled pork is often served in incredibly small pieces, so small you might not even notice it, but these small pieces pack an insane amount of flavor.

The natural taste of the pork combined with a series of spices makes this the perfect topping if you want to switch your pizza up, and it is delicious too. 


Ham And Pineapple

Hawaiian pizza with ham, pineapple, tomato and basil on a backed paper.
Hawaiian Pizza

When we spoke of controversial pizza toppings, you already knew that this was the one that we were speaking about. Ham and Pineapple, or Hawaiian pizza as it is often known, is the topic of much debate, and rightfully so.

This combination of sweet and savory all topped with cheese isn’t for everyone. But for lovers of this topping, Hawaiian pizza is the bee’s knees. But due to the controversy of this pizza, it comes in at number 15. 

Final Thoughts

There is no situation which pizza can’t make better, and you will be hard-pressed to find a food as versatile as this delectable dish.

Pizza toppings are generally something that are widely debated. Just like with sandwich fillings, different people prefer different types of pizza, and there are some combinations that are totally controversial but, there are a lot more fillings that are loved across the nation. 

Can’t decide which tasty topping to try? Why not try them all in order! Let us know in the comments which toppings you like best!

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.