Trying new things can be scary. Whether it’s the first time you drive a car, go onstage, or sing karaoke trying new things takes guts. This includes trying new foods and new yet strange pizza toppings. We love to travel and try new foods as part of the experience; sometimes, we try a new food and love it, and other times we discreetly spit it out.
We understand that not every new thing will turn out to be a favorite; at worst, we learn we don’t like something, and at best, we have a new taste and appreciation for a new food.
We believe you should never yuck anyone else’s yum. So in honor of trying new scary things and Halloween, we present a list of scary strange pizza toppings to try this spooky season.
Don’t worry; we did not include anything gory or gross; no cow blood sauce or tarantula toppings, we promise. Everything on the list is edible and, for some folks, really yummy. We gathered our list after talking to friends and family in an informal survey to see what pizza toppings people found scary to try.
So here is our list of scary strange pizza toppings and how to best use them on homemade pizza. C’mon, in honor of Halloween, try something new on your homemade pizza, don’t be scared; step out of fear and into pizza.
The Best Strange Pizza Toppings Available
Ok, anchovies, not everyone likes them; they get a bad rap. We get it; these salty little fish with a fishy flavor aren’t everyone’s favorite. But you should at least try them on homemade pizza once.
Anchovies fillets are sold in tins with olive oil. They have a strong flavor and are a staple in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. On pizza, they pair well with capers and olives, which are also salty, but the umami-rich anchovies steal the show.
You can add sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes for a little balance of flavor. In Sicily, they add anchovies to tomato sauce for pasta, but the sauce would work well as a pizza base too.
Capers are another staple in Mediterranean cooking. Capers are the unripened, green flower buds of the caper bush. These little green balls are filled with salty, tangy flavors. Approach cooking with capers with a less is more philosophy. They are strong and can easily overpower other flavors.
We like them with sweet peppers and red onions. You can also pair them with tuna and a squeeze of lemon for a light pizza. They are excellent on focaccia, too, because the thick bread benefits from the zesty capers.
Corn is not scary, but a corn maze can be scary. What about corn on pizza? Well, our first reaction was that it was not right, but in the spirit of trying new things, we tried corn on pizza, and it was good.
It adds a crunchy texture and a sweet, vibrant taste. You can add it to a Tex-Mex pizza with ground beef and peppers. Or try it with bacon and arugula. You will be surprised at the unique texture and taste.
Shrimp are a part of the world’s culinary cuisine. They are great bathed in butter and garlic, on salad, grilled, stir-fried, and on pizza. There are many different types and sizes of shrimp, and which one you use on pizza depends on the other ingredients and, of course, personal taste. Seafood on pizza is not for everyone, but don’t be afraid!
In the classic Italian Mar e Monte (Sea and Mountains) pizza, large shrimp and mushrooms come together with garlic and parsley for a superb pizza.
If shrimp is going to be in an ensemble of other toppings using the smaller shrimp is better, so it doesn’t overpower. Shrimp is the scary strange pizza topping that isn’t so scary after all; you just need to know how to prepare them.
You can buy fresh or frozen shrimp, and the frozen comes either cooked or raw; it’s definitely convenient. But if you live by the sea or have a good fishmonger, then try fresh shrimp. Make sure to remove the black line that runs through them.
And remember, they cook quickly. A few minutes in the sauté pan with some butter and garlic is enough, then add them to your favorite pizza.
We have been seeing this one on many pizzas lately, and while it is new for us, we included it. Butternut squash is everywhere this time of the year. And we have mostly seen it roasted and blended into soup or even stuffed into ravioli but on pizza was something new.
The best way to use it is to cube it and roast it in the oven with a drizzle of maple syrup, then add it to your pizza. It’s good with prosciutto and blue cheese. While we liked it and will use it when in season, it’s probably not going to be in regular rotation at our house.
Sardines are another popular little fish that are common in Italian and Mediterranean cooking. These silvery guys are a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition, packed with omega-3s and protein.
Tinned sardines come in oil or tomato sauce and are a simple addition to homemade pizza. Try them on a pizza with red onion, green olives, and artichokes. Think Mediterranean flavors, and you can’t go wrong throwing sardines in the mix.
We liked the crunchy tanginess with the rich smoky flavor of pork, but it was odd on a pizza. We are glad we tried it, but we probably won’t try again. But hey, you live and learn.
Curry on pizza is another new one. We came across this recently and had to try it. If you’re unfamiliar with curry, it is an Indian spice common in stews. It can be red, green, or bright yellow and ranges from mild to hot.
We tried a pizza with yellow coconut curry, cheese, potato, carrot, chicken, jalapeño, sriracha, cilantro & lime juice. It was unique and surprisingly good. The chicken was smoky, the jalapeño spicy, and the coconut curry sweet; it really was good.
We plan on experimenting with different curries and homemade pizza because we think curries are scary strange pizza toppings that have a lot of potential.
Pro Tips When Trying New Scary Things
- Be open-minded.
- Try everything once.
- It is ok if you don’t like it; just try something new.
- Understand everyone’s tastes are different.
- Always be kind, especially when someone takes the time to prepare food for you.
Have you tried any of our strange pizza toppings? What are your favorite strange pizza toppings to try?