Homemade Pizza School

Updated: October 11, 2023

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Delicious & Unusual Meats for Homemade Pizza

Meat on pizza adds a special kind of smoky, savory taste, and the most common meats on pizza are pepperoni, sausages, Canadian bacon, salami, bacon, meatballs, and prosciutto.

Of course, pepperoni is the king of meats on pizza but what about other types of meat? Here we look at unusual meats for homemade pizza.

Key Takeaways:

  • Meat on pizza adds a smoky, savory taste, and the most common meats on pizza are pepperoni, sausages, Canadian bacon, salami, bacon, meatballs, and prosciutto.
  • There are several unusual meats that can be added to homemade pizza, including lamb, venison, pastrami, gyro, pulled pork, tinga, bison, guanciale, elk, pork belly, turkey, and duck.
  • These meats are readily available in supermarkets, butchers, or ranches and can add unique flavors to pizza, such as the earthy undertones of venison or the salty richness of guanciale.
unusual meats for homemade pizza
Photo by Tonya Wright on Unsplash

Don’t worry, we aren’t going to look at anything gross or weird, just meats that maybe are associated with other dishes but that would be good on pizza, too.

We promise not to get too exotic. You won’t find alligator or kangaroo on our list. Every meat we list is available in the supermarket, butcher, or ranch near you.

List of Unusual Meats for Homemade Pizza


lamb on pizza
Photo courtesy of Kerem Ozcan on Wiki

Lamb is an underused meat in the U.S. It’s available in roasts, shanks, ground, and chops. You can eat it on skewers, in meatballs, or added into a nice ragu or curry. It’s a versatile meat that tastes good and is a great source of protein, and it’s high in Omega-3s. So why not add it to pizza?

You can add shredded lamb or thinly sliced chunks slices to your pizza. Or mix ground lamb into meatballs. Or you can try making Turkish pizza, which is a dairy-free pizza with a paste made from ground lamb, herbs, and spices. It’s served on thin-crust pizza with a squeeze of lemon.

Try making a Naan pizza with ground lamb, pesto, feta, and red onions.


venison on pizza
Photo by Yosuke Ota on Unsplash

We are not hunters, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy venison from our uncles, cousins, and friends. Venison is sold in most grocery stores these days. You can find it ground or steaks. Local butchers, ranches, or online venison vendors sell it, too.

If you have never had venison, it tastes like a richer, less fatty beef with earthy undertones. Shred it, make mini meatballs, or add ground venison to a pizza for a unique taste.

Try making venison pizza with Cougar, white cheddar, green peppers, and red onions.


pastrami on pizza
Photo by Magnus Manske on  Wiki

Pastrami is mostly considered a sandwich meat; think thin slices of pastrami layered between two slices of rye bread or added to a tasty Italian sub sandwich. But pastrami is good on pizza, too!

Pastrami is made from beef brisket and is brined and seasoned with herbs and spices. After the brine, it is smoked and steamed, leaving it infused with flavor.

Try a pastrami pizza with dill pickles, mustard, ricotta, and caraway seeds.  


gyro meat on pizza

Gyro meat isn’t just for gyro sandwiches. This Mediterranean meat can be made from pork, lamb, beef, or chicken. The meat is the base of the popular gyro pita bread sandwich and is excellent on a Greek-inspired pizza.

Try making a pizza with gyro meat, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a drizzle of tzatziki for a fresh, flavorful pizza.

Pulled Pork

pulled pork on pizza
Photo by Thogru on Wiki

Pulled pork is one of our favorites. We like it on a toasted bun with a pile of coleslaw or wrapped in a tortilla with salsa. And we have recently discovered just how good it can be on pizza. You don’t have to be an expert barbecue pitmaster to make pulled pork.

And if you have a pizza oven that doubles as a smoker, then you are one lucky home chef. We make pulled pork regularly and share it with friends. We love how pulled pork adds a smokiness to pizza. We actually add a fresh vinegar-based coleslaw to the pizza post-cooking for a smoky mix of tangy and crunchy.

There are a lot of different ways to season pulled pork. You can use a bottle of BBQ sauce or mix your own herbs and spices or choose a pre-mixed seasoning packet. Once it’s cooked to perfection, shred it for pizza, sandwiches, and other goodies.

If you make pulled pork a lot like we do, try these shredding claws. They make shredding so much easier than using small forks.

Try pulled pork pizza with coleslaw, smoked gouda, and slices of red onion.


tinga meat on pizza
Photo by El Mono Espanol on Wiki

Chicken tinga is a dish that we first had in Mexico, and we loved it so much it has made its way into our rotation. Chicken tinga is shredded chicken mixed with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, tomato sauce, and white onions.

You can play with the amounts and add a whole can of chipotle peppers or keep it mild with one pepper. Tinga seasoning packets are also available to help you get the spices just right. Chicken tinga is a meat that can do double duty. It’s amazing in tacos and on pizza. Let the flavors of Mexico inspire you to make a chicken tinga pizza.

Try chicken tinga pizza with sweet corn, black olives, and fresh cilantro, and serve with pickled radishes.


bison on pizza
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Bison meat is a lean, healthy meat that is becoming more widely available. You can find it at most supermarkets in steaks, ground, or premade hamburger patties.

The meat isn’t as fatty as beef, and more people are giving bison meat a try. We like it thinly sliced on pizza. You can also smoke it for a more nuanced flavor.

Try bison pizza with blue cheese, roasted red peppers, and spinach.


guanciale on pizza

Guanciale is an Italian cured meat made from the animal’s jowls or cheeks. It is not smoked and instead cured, giving it a salty richness that is fantastic on pizza. You will need to visit a butcher or international deli to find a guanciale or buy it online. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it for pancetta to get that fatty taste.

Try guanciale on pizza with provolone cheese, fig jam, spinach, and lightly roasted slivered almonds.


elk on pizza
Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels

You may need to befriend a hunter to get your hands on elk meat. Or try your local butcher, ranch, or online shop. Elk meat is a protein-rich lean red meat with a cult following thanks to a certain podcaster who often shares photos of him grilling it.

Elk meat is less gamey than venison and can be used like other red meat ground, sliced, or shredded. You can even use ground elk meat to make tasty homemade Italian sausage.

Try shredded elk meat on pizza with mushrooms, caramelized onions, marinated artichokes, and goat cheese.

Pork Belly

pork belly on pizza
Photo by Amanda Lim on Unsplash

Pork belly is the fatty cut of meat from the belly of the animal. It is a staple in many cuisines around the world. Pork belly is different from bacon because it isn’t cured or smoked. It can be braised, sauteed, or roasted. You can replace the chicken in a Thai pizza for a richer pizza.

Try pork belly pizza with grilled pineapple, burrata, and arugula for an unforgettable pizza.


turkey on pizza
Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

We don’t necessarily think of turkey as a pizza topping. But post-Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, every household turns into Top Chef trying to find fun ways to use up leftover turkey. We love to make a Thanksgiving pizza and use up all of our favorite leftovers, but there are other ways to use turkey on pizza that are just as good.

Try turkey club pizza with bacon, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and Monterrey Jack cheese. Don’t forget the Ranch dipping sauce.


duck on pizza
Photo by Robertodan on Wiki

Chances are, if you have eaten duck before, it was the classic Peking duck at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Duck meat is available at most supermarkets nowadays, and it is excellent on pizza.

Duck is a fatty meat that has a more robust taste, like red meat. It has a tender texture that mixes well with soft creamy cheese and fresh veggies.

Try duck pizza with spinach, marinated tomatoes, and goat cheese.

Have you tried any of these unusual meats for homemade pizza? Which ones are your favorites?

One of our Favorites

Sliced gyro meat is a delicious addition to any homemade pizza. Not only does it add a unique flavor profile with its blend of spices and tender texture, but it also saves time and effort in the kitchen. No need to marinate and cook your own meat – simply add the pre-sliced gyro to your pizza for a quick and easy meal. Plus, it’s a great way to switch up your usual pizza toppings and impress your guests with a Mediterranean twist.

Share With Other Pizza Lovers:

ooni Brand

Ooni pizza ovens have gained a reputation as the go-to choice for homemade pizza enthusiasts, and for good reason. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovative design sets them apart in the realm of pizza ovens. One of the standout features of Ooni pizza ovens is their versatility. Whether you prefer the classic taste of wood-fired pizza or the convenience of gas or charcoal, Ooni offers models to suit every preference. This versatility allows home chefs to experiment with different cooking methods to achieve their desired flavor profiles and textures.

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.

Related Pizza Posts

Cold Fermentation Pizza Dough: Mastering the Art of Flavorful Crusts

Best Ooni Pizza Oven Accessories: Essential Tools for Perfect Pies

Price of a Pizza Oven: Factors That Affect Cost

Ooni New York Pizza Sauce

Ooni New York Pizza Sauce Review: Authentic Flavors Tested

Best Pizza in Phuket: Unveiling the Top Spots for a Slice

how much does a pizza oven cost

How Much is a Pizza Oven: Factors Affecting Price and Options

Related Pizza Categories


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!

Recent Pizza Posts

Upgrade your home/kitchen’s homemade pizza setup with authentic commercial pizzeria-style pizza dough proofing boxes. They hold all the dough you need for an awesome pizza night prep with friends and family. Size is 17.25 x 13 x 3.54 inches and fit perfectly in our home fridge…

Our Pizza Favorites:

These cup & char pepperoni cups from Battistoni brand are by far our top seller here on the blog. They’re the single best topping we use on our own homemade pizzas (as we almost always use pepperoni) and probably order them monthly, at least. Want those lovely charred pep cups? Buy Battistoni.

By a large margin, this is the most affordable, albeit tiny, pizza “oven” on the market today. Sold at Uncommon Goods, this personal-sized pizza maker is perfect for children or picky eaters who only want their specific toppings. Note: only works with charcoal grills. Try it today!

We love the authentic Italian-style Neapolitan pizzas from Talia di Napoli! Now you can do, for a limited time offer of 20% off all of their pizza packs. We recommend the Taste of Talia~