Enjoy a carnivorous symphony of flavor with the ideal pizza toppings. Discover the universe of meats that transform a basic pie into a carnivore’s delight to elevate your pizza experience. Here, we explore the world of the best meat partners for your pizza dough, from the powerful flavor of Italian sausage to the savory embrace of pepperoni. Learn how to strike the perfect balance between flavors and textures as we examine the best options to turn your pizza night into a memorable carnivorous feast. There is a succulent match made in pizza heaven ready to entice your senses, regardless of whether you’re a traditionalist who sticks to tried-and-true alternatives or an adventurous diner who explores unique ones.
Fatty, crispy, and salty, bacon has many qualities that make it a great pizza topping. The meat pairs well with other meats or works on its own. Its savory flavor also works with sweeter ingredients like figs and balsamic vinegar. What makes bacon great is its versatility! One of my favorite ways to enjoy bacon on pizza is a simple olive oil drizzle topped with bacon, herbs, and olives.
We couldn’t talk about the best meats to put on pizza without mentioning the classic pizza topper: pepperoni. The meat topping adds a bit of a spicy kick to pizza and is a great place to start if you like your pizza hot. Because of the heat of pepperoni, I usually like to use this meat on a classic pie with sweet tomato-based sauce to cut the spice.
Perfectly seasoned sausage adds a layer of savory flavor to your pizza. Like bacon, sausage is extremely versatile. Plus, there are many types of sausage to choose from, and you’re not limited to pork! Sweet and savory chicken apple sausage has become one of my favorites, especially when paired with spinach on a pizza.
If you’re substituting marinara for BBQ sauce, chicken is one of the best meats to put on pizza. Chicken and BBQ is one of my favorite combinations. Chicken is mild in flavor, so it can be used in many ways. Whether your pizza is loaded with vegetables and Mediterranean herbs or covered in hot sauce, chicken is an excellent choice with lower fat content than other options.
Regardless of if you bought them fresh or are using leftovers from last night’s spaghetti, meatballs are another popular option to add to pizza. Most meatballs fit right in on a pizza since they’re usually used in dishes with similar flavor profiles. If the meatballs you have are large, try slicing them in half, so they don’t weigh down your pie.
Prosciutto is an aged and thinly sliced pork product that adds a touch of subtle savory sweetness to pizza. Another ingredient with lots of versatility, prosciutto goes excellent with savory and sweet toppings. If you decide to use this meat on your pie, try a sauce different from the traditional marinara, which can cover the delicate flavor notes of the prosciutto.
If you can’t find prosciutto, ham is the next best option. That doesn’t mean ham doesn’t have merits of its own! Like prosciutto, ham has sweet and savory flavors, but the taste is fresher, and so is the product. Ham holds up to other aggressive flavors, making it my favorite option to add to a pizza with other strong-tasting ingredients like pineapple.
An often overlooked option, seafood goes well on many types of pizza, especially the mild-flavored shrimp. One of my favorite combinations is shrimp and pesto pizza, but this is far from the only option. Many types of fish and even squid are now becoming popular pizza toppings. Clams are another great choice for a truly unique pizza.
Another classic pizza ingredient, salami, offers another option to add a spicy kick to your pizza. The salty meat goes excellent on nearly any pizza, adding a little heat depending on the variety. This thinly sliced meat is ground before preservation, creating a good mix of meat and fat. Salami does tend to get a little greasy, so I like to pair it with fresh veggies and herbs for contrast.