Some things just go together like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, ham and cheese. Have you ever tried peanut butter and cheese or ham and jelly combinations? Of course not. We all know classic food combinations and what doesn’t go together.
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Personal taste aside, there are always certain things that just taste great together. And pizza is no exception. Classic pizza topping combinations like ham and pineapple or sausage and peppers are classic for a reason they taste great.
We decided to round up a list of seven of our favorite pizza topping combinations, some classic and some a bit more unusual.
Favorite Creative Pizza Toppings Combinations
Pepperoni, Peppers, Mushrooms, and Jalapeños
Pepperoni is one of those classic pizza toppings that everyone loves. When you see a slice of pizza in movies or cartoons, it’s always a slice of pepperoni. It is the number one pizza topping in the USA. So how can this great pizza topping get better?
The trick to this perfect combo is using sweet bell peppers for crunch, and creamy white mushrooms for smooth texture, while the pepperoni and jalapeños give off the heat. We love pickled jalapeños on this because they even out the heat in the pepperoni, making a satisfying pizza topping combination.
Shrimp and Mushrooms
Often called the Mar e Monte in Italian (Sea and Mountains), this famous pizza toppings combo deserves a spot on the list. Seafood on pizza has been a controversial topic in the past as some prefer to keep dairy and seafood separate, but we disagree. Shrimp and mushroom pizza is divine.
The trick is to use a few different kinds of mushrooms. We like a mix of crimini, morels, shiitake, and white mushrooms. In the summer, we like to cruise the farmer’s market and try other local varieties too.
The best way to make this is to lightly sauté the mushrooms in olive oil with a little garlic, maybe just two or three minutes. You want the mushrooms to cook slightly, but you don’t want them overcooked.
If you use dried mushrooms you can skip the sauté step just rehydrate and add to the pizza.
For the shrimp, we use either fresh or frozen, but the key is to marinate it for half an hour before adding it to the pizza. We use a simple marinade of olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, and basil. We even tried a marinade of a basic store-bought Italian vinaigrette, which worked great too.
Pizza bianco or white pizza has become quite popular recently, and we are on board with this trend. White pizza is a pizza made without tomato sauce instead of using a white sauce as a base. We like to use Alfredo sauce as a base for a creamy white pizza.
Our chicken alfredo pizza takes all of the same yumminess of pasta alfredo and puts it on a pie. We prefer to use grilled chicken because the smokiness adds to the flavor.
To make Alfredo sauce, you will need:
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
First, add the butter and cream to a sauté pan and stir while it heats up on low to medium heat. After three to five minutes, you can add in the garlic and cheese. Keep stirring if you have a whisk, even better. After everything is thoroughly heated but not boiled.
You can remove it from the stove and add the fresh parsley. Alfredo sauce needs to be made at the moment. So to use it on pizza, make it while your dough is rising, and you will want to parbake your crust so the sauce doesn’t make your crust too mushy.
You can also use jarred Alfredo sauce to make this chicken Alfredo pizza. Jarred sauce is usually a bit thicker, so make sure to spread evenly on the crust.
Tropical Pizza Topping Combinations
So you have heard of the Hawaiian pizza, but have you heard of the Polynesian? This one is a take on a pizza we had when we were traveling. It seems odd, but you know when in Rome. Now we make it regularly at home.
Some pizza topping combinations are hard to wrap your head around until you actually try them, and this falls in that category. A Polynesian pizza starts as a Hawaiian pizza but with the addition of mandarin oranges and slivered almonds. Are you still with us? We promise it’s good. It’s crunchy, sweet, and salty all at the same time.
You can use fresh mandarin oranges or canned, and the slivered almonds should be unsalted. The ham and cheese have enough salt to keep the balance of salty and sweet. The trick here is to use equal parts of all of the toppings except the almonds. The almonds are for crunch, so a light sprinkle is enough.
Pineapple, Pulled Pork with Jalapeños
Another pineapple one because we believe pineapple on pizza is A-OK. This one has pulled pork and jalapeños. We have made this pizza with BBQ pulled pork and a basic pulled pork either one is fine.
If you are using BBQ pulled pork, we suggest using less pineapple because most BBQ sauces already have a sweet, smoky flavor that you don’t want to kill with too much sweet pineapple.
The jalapeños are for fun because we like the sweetness and the heat. This is a great way to use up any pulled pork you have. Or you can make a batch just for this pizza.
Unusual Pizza Topping Combinations
Smoked Salmon, Smoked Oysters, Goat Cheese, and Spinach
We decided to add one that is considered an unusual pizza combination by our family and friends but usual in a good way. This seafood-inspired pizza combination uses sliced smoked salmon, but you can also get the bigger chunks and break it up if you can’t find the sliced kind. The smoked oysters are tinned in olive oil, and the spinach is fresh.
To make this, you will want to sauté the spinach with olive oil, so it shrinks a little. The goat cheese adds a creamy texture. You can do this with a red or white sauce, but the key is to barely cover the crust with sauce and a small amount of mozzarella for a base.
Then add the toppings. We have found a little mozzarella helps balance the goat cheese. The saltiness of the salmon and oysters is intense, so you want to keep the other flavors on the mild side.
Pear, Prosciutto, and Gorgonzola
This is one is for blue cheese lovers. Sweet pears, salty prosciutto, and tangy blue cheese are one of the perfect pizza topping combinations. We like to use fresh Anjou pears when slightly unripe, so they have a crunchy texture and aren’t too sweet like when they are overripe. You can still use ripe or overripe pears, but they will be softer.
As for blue cheese, we like to use Gorgonzola, but there are many types of blue cheese. Some have a stronger bite than others, and some are expensive. If you are new to blue cheese, a Danish Blue is a good place to start because it is fairly mild and easy on the wallet.