Pizza Topping Ideas

Creative Pizza Toppings to Jazz Up That Slice

Pesto Pizza
Pesto Pizza. Stephanie Gallagher

My kids all-time favorite dinner used to be pizza. And I soon realized that there was no reason to get delivery when it's so easy to make pizza at home. I also learned that I could make pizza night grown-up-friendly, too by having lots of creative toppings.

I set up a topping bar, and we each build our own individual pizzas. It's a great way to introduce kids to new foods they might not otherwise try and get them in the kitchen cooking.

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You can make the crust as easy or as fancy as you like. Use individual store-bought pizza crusts, English muffin halves, flour tortillas, homemade pizza dough or whole wheat pizza dough or even bagel halves for your pizza crust. Then top with one or more of these creative toppings (unless otherwise specified, use a tomato sauce):

  • Hawaiian - Chopped ham, pineapple chunks (drained if you're using canned) and shredded Swiss cheese.
  • Chicken and Veggies - Roasted broccoli, shredded cooked rotisserie chicken and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Cheeseburger - Cooked ground beef, sauteed onions and American cheese (shredded or sliced). After baking, garnish with sliced pickles and tomatoes.
  • Fancy French - Caramelized onions, shredded smoked mozzarella and very thinly sliced brie.
  • Tostada - Instead of tomato sauce, spread a thin layer of salsa on the crust. Top with black beans and shredded cheddar cheese. After the pizza comes out of the oven, top with fresh diced tomatoes, sliced black olives and shredded lettuce.
  • Basil Chicken - A drizzle of olive oil, garlic and dried basil topped with grilled chicken and shredded fontina cheese or Italian cheese blend. After baking, top with fresh basil and lemon zest.
  • Apple and Bacon - Drizzle olive oil on the crust instead of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with sliced apples, crumbled cooked bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Spinach Dip - Leave off the tomato sauce. Thaw a package of prepared spinach artichoke dip and spread on the crust. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  • California - Instead of tomato sauce, drizzle olive oil over the crust. Top with fresh chopped garlic and dried basil. Shredded mozzarella and fontina cheese, fresh chopped tomatoes and chopped marinated artichokes. When the pizza comes out of the oven, top with sliced avocado.
  • Shrimp Pesto - Spread pesto on crust instead of tomato sauce. Top with shredded Italian cheese blend or mozzarella. After the pizza is baked, top with cooked shrimp.
  • Philly Cheesesteak - Deli roast beef, chopped into bite-sized pieces, sauteed onions and peppers, shredded provolone cheese.
  • Greek - Hummus instead of tomato sauce, Feta cheese, sliced red onions, sliced black olives. After baking, top the pizza with chopped fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.

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