Homemade Pizza School

Updated: December 10, 2023

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

How to Make Simple Homemade Mortadella Pizza

We tried mortadella pizza recently at an authentic Italian pizzeria and absolutely loved it, so we had to share one of our new favorite pizza toppings. It is rich in flavor and smooth in texture and perfect with melted mozzarella on thin-crust pizza.

Key Takeaways:

  • Homemade mortadella pizza is a delicious and flavorful option for pizza lovers.
  • The combination of mortadella and melted mozzarella adds a unique and satisfying taste to the pizza.
  • With its smooth texture and rich flavor, mortadella pizza is a must-try for anyone looking to elevate their pizza game.
homemade mortadella pizza meat wrapped in twine
Photo by Stefano Brush Parisi

What is Mortadella?

Mortadella is an Italian cold cut similar to bologna. It has a rich pork flavor with some added texture with crushed pistachios. Mortadella is originally from the Italian city of Bologna and is considered a delicacy.

There are four difference types of mortadella: Mortadella Bologna, Mortadella di Camptosto, Mortadella di Prato, and mortadella.

Mortadella Bologna

Mortadella Bologna is the most common mortadella and is made in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. This is the region that is known for Parmesano Reggiano cheese made near the city of Parma and also where prosciutto di Parma is made.

The nearby city of Modena is responsible for some of the best balsamic vinegar in the world. Something about this region just makes excellent food. Traditional Mortadella Bologna is made with cured pork with at least 15% pork fat cubes and chopped pistachios.

It is usually spiced with black pepper and myrtle berries, but there are local and regional variations with some different spice blends. The meat is then encased and cooked low and slow for at least twenty-four hours. Interestingly, the pork used for mortadella comes from the pig’s throat, which is able to stay tender without melting during the long cooking process.

Mortadella di Compotosto

Mortadella di Compotosto is made in the province of Campotosto in Abruzzo. It has a different flavor profile because it is made with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and white wine. The most notable thing besides the flavor difference is that instead of fat chunks throughout, it has a stick of lard that runs throughout the middle of the loaf.

salame mortadella on pizza

Mortadella di Prato

Mortadella di Prato is from the province of Prato and several municipalities north of the city of Florence. This type of mortadella combines the fatty pork flavor with the sweet touches of Alchermes Italian liqueur.


Mortadella is the general term for mortadella that is made anywhere outside of Italy. It is similar to Mortadella Bologna, but it may or may not have pistachios. Basically, it’s the cheap stuff that may be at a mainstream deli counter near you.

There is another type of mortadella, but you won’t find it outside of the small region of Albano Laziale south of Rome; it is called mortadella di cavallo and is made with horsemeat (we apologize to our horse-loving friends)

In many parts of Europe, like Poland for polish pizza, horse meat is consumed in salamis and meatballs. We have never had it, but we don’t judge when in Rome…

What Does Mortadella Taste Like?

what does mortadella taste like
Photo from AIMare on Wiki

Mortadella kind of looks like bologna, as it’s packaged in the same way. The pistachios remind us of the bologna with pimientos that used to be a popular lunchmeat. But mortadella is different than bologna in a couple of ways.

First, mortadella uses fat cubes, which gives it white spots, and in bologna, the fat and pork are emulsified, making it smooth and all a uniform color. Second, mortadella has spices and pistachios that add extra flavor and texture. 

We suggest a visit to your local international foods market or Italian deli for true mortadella. The ones we have seen packaged in stores often don’t have the pistachios and don’t seem very appealing. Ideally, you should have it freshly sliced at the deli counter when you buy it for the best taste.

Speaking of taste, it’s delicious. Thinly sliced mortadella has a satisfying melt-in-your-mouth richness with a little tanginess of pepper and a slight crunch from the pistachios. The fat cubes are what give it a smooth mouthfeel.

How to Make Homemade Mortadella Pizza

fresh mortadella pizza with mushrooms
Photo by Nadin Sh

Mortadella is a star cold cut. It is excellent on sandwiches, charcuterie boards, mixed into scrambled eggs, on eggs Benedict, pizzas, and so much more; pretty much anything ham can do, mortadella can do better. 

When you want to make homemade mortadella pizza, start with the best mortadella, visit your local Italian specialty shop, international market, or Amazon. You will want to slice it as thin as you can. A deli slicer is the best way to slice it, but most of us don’t have a deli slicer at home.

If you buy it in a loaf, you can use a mandolin to slice it. Just be careful and wear protective gear on your hands because mandolines can be dangerous. trust us, we have learned the hard way.

Once you have thin slices of mortadella, you are ready to make pizza. Start with your favorite pizza base, like homemade pizza dough, naan, or store-bought dough. We like to use our own homemade dough to make a nice thin-crust mortadella pizza.

The thing about mortadella is that you can add it before cooking for a crispy, flavorful pork-filled bite, or you can add it after the pizza cooks, just like prosciutto or jamon serrano.

We have tried both ways, and it really depends on the other ingredients and flavor profile. If using uncooked, it will be saltier, and cooked will deepen the flavor, and it will have a less salty taste.

Our Favorite Way to Make Homemade Mortadella Pizza

italian style mortadella pizza
Photo by Raining on Wiki

This pizza calls for a fresh, no-cook tomato sauce. It is quick and easy. And only takes five minutes. Make it before you start making the pizza, and set it in the refrigerator until you are ready.

If you are using a pizza stone, preheat the stone to 450º F for thirty minutes. When the pizza stone is almost ready, start rolling out homemade pizza dough on a floured pizza peel. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce, sprinkle on mozzarella, and add halved cherry tomatoes.

Transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone and bake at 450º F for 8-10 minutes. Remove and add mortadella, folding it on the top. Take spoonfuls of soft burrata cheese and add small spoonfuls. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

Other Ideas for Homemade Mortadella Pizza

Frequently Asked Questions

What is mortadella pizza?

Mortadella pizza is a type of pizza that is topped with mortadella, an Italian cured meat similar to bologna. It is often combined with other ingredients such as cheese, tomatoes, and herbs.

What is mortadella made of?

Mortadella is made of finely ground pork, including lean meat and fat, seasoned with various spices, such as black pepper, myrtle berries, and pistachios. It may also contain small cubes of pork fat known as lardons.

How does mortadella taste?

Mortadella is a popular Italian deli meat that has a distinct flavor. It is typically described as being savory, slightly salty, and mildly spiced. The taste of mortadella can vary depending on the quality and ingredients used, but it often has a rich, smooth, and slightly fatty texture with a subtle blend of herbs and spices.

Can you make mortadella pizza at home?

Yes, you can make mortadella pizza at home. Here’s another simple recipe:

– Pizza dough
– Tomato sauce
– Mozzarella cheese
– Mortadella slices
– Olive oil
– Salt
– Pepper
– Fresh basil leaves

Preheat your oven to the highest temperature setting. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface to your desired thickness. Place the rolled-out dough on a baking sheet or pizza stone.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce evenly over the dough. Sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Arrange mortadella slices on top of the cheese, covering the entire pizza.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the mortadella slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the pizza in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and crispy.

Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Allow the pizza to cool slightly before slicing and serving. Enjoy your mortadella pizza from the comfort of your home!

Have you tried making homemade mortadella pizza before? Have you even tried it before? What’s your favorite way to use mortadella?

One of our Favorites

Pre-sliced prosciutto is the perfect addition to homemade mortadella pizza. It’s a convenient and delicious way to add a touch of sophistication to your pizza. The thin slices of prosciutto are easy to handle and distribute evenly across the pizza, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor. Plus, pre-sliced prosciutto saves you time and effort, allowing you to focus on perfecting the other components of your pizza. With its rich, salty flavor, pre-sliced prosciutto is sure to elevate your homemade mortadella pizza to the next level.

Share With Other Pizza Lovers:

ooni Brand

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Pizzelo Brand

Elevate your homemade pizza game with Pizzelo’s precision-engineered pizza ovens. Achieve that perfect, crispy crust and gooey cheese you’ve been dreaming about every time you smell pizza. With customizable temperature control and quick heating, enjoy authentic pizzeria taste in the comfort of your home. Unleash your inner chef with Pizzelo – where passion meets perfection.

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DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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