Passionate about pizza? Looking to explore new and exciting flavors? From classic favorites like pepperoni, pineapple, and prosciutto to unexpected delights such as pickles and prunes, we dive into the world of pizza toppings that start with the letter ‘P’.
Pepperoni is a popular pizza topping that originated in the United States and has become widely loved worldwide. It is a type of spicy Italian-American salami made from cured pork and beef, seasoned with various spices such as paprika, chili powder, and garlic. Its distinctive flavor and slightly smoky taste make it a perfect choice for pizza. The thin slices of pepperoni add a bold and zesty kick to the pizza, enhancing its overall taste profile. When cooked, the pepperoni slices become slightly crispy around the edges, which adds a delightful texture to each bite. Pepperoni is often used as a topping on traditional American-style pizzas, and it pairs well with other classic ingredients like mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.
Pineapple as a pizza topping sparks a lot of debate and divides pizza lovers around the world. While it may not be traditional or popular in Italy, it has gained a significant following in certain regions, especially in North America and parts of Oceania. The combination of the sweetness of the pineapple and the savory flavors of other pizza ingredients creates a unique and contrasting taste experience. The tangy and juicy pineapple tidbits provide a burst of tropical flavor that can complement the saltiness of ham or bacon, making it a key component in the classic Hawaiian pizza. The contrasting flavors and textures of the pineapple add a refreshing twist to the overall pizza composition, making it a popular choice for those who enjoy a fusion of sweet and savory tastes.
Prosciutto, also known as prosciutto di Parma and Parma ham, is a thinly sliced, dry-cured Italian ham that has gained worldwide recognition for its delicate and rich flavor. It is typically made from the hind leg of a pig and undergoes a specific curing process in the Parma region of Italy, which has granted it the prestigious Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Prosciutto is a popular pizza topping that is often added after the pizza comes out of the oven. This is because prosciutto is delicate and can easily dry out or become tough if exposed to high heat for too long. By adding prosciutto to a pizza post-baking, it retains its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and distinct taste. The saltiness and subtle sweetness of prosciutto can elevate the flavor profile of a pizza, especially when paired with ingredients like arugula, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Prosciutto is commonly used as a topping in Italian-style pizzas and is enjoyed in many parts of the world, thanks to its remarkable quality and PDO-protected status.
Peppers, also known as bell peppers, are vibrant, crunchy, and nutritious vegetables that make a fantastic addition to pizzas. They come in a variety of colors, including green, red, orange, and yellow, each with its own unique flavor profile. Bell peppers add a burst of freshness and a satisfying crunch to pizzas. They have a slightly sweet and mild taste, making them a versatile topping that pairs well with various other ingredients. Whether they are sautéed, roasted, or added raw, bell peppers provide a vibrant pop of color and texture to a pizza. Apart from their visual appeal, bell peppers are also a great source of vitamins and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice for pizza lovers. Bell peppers are popular as pizza toppings in many cuisines around the world, including Italian, American, and Mexican-inspired pizzas.
5. Parmesan Cheese
Parmesan cheese is a hard, granular cheese that originates from Italy and is widely recognized for its strong, nutty flavor. It is made from cow’s milk and aged for a minimum of 12 months, resulting in its distinct taste and texture. Parmesan cheese is a fantastic topping for pizza due to its ability to add a rich, savory element to the overall flavor profile. When sprinkled on top of a pizza, it melts and creates a beautiful golden-brown crust that adds a delightful crunch. The umami-rich taste of Parmesan cheese complements a variety of pizza combinations, from classic Margherita to more elaborate gourmet options. Parmesan cheese is a staple in Italian cuisine and is used as a topping on pizzas not only in Italy but also around the world.
Pancetta is an Italian cured pork belly that is often referred to as Italian bacon. It is a versatile pizza topping that brings a unique blend of flavors to the table. Pancetta is typically seasoned with various herbs and spices, such as black pepper, garlic, and fennel seeds, before being cured and aged. The result is a delicate, slightly salty meat that adds depth and richness to pizzas. When cooked, pancetta becomes crispy and releases its flavors, providing a delightful contrast of textures and tastes. It pairs exceptionally well with ingredients like mushrooms, arugula, and goat cheese, enhancing the overall savory experience of the pizza. Pancetta is commonly used in Italian-style pizzas and is cherished both in Italy and in many other parts of the world.
Pesto is a sauce that originates from Genoa, Italy, and is traditionally made with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. This vibrant green sauce adds a burst of fresh, herbaceous flavors to pizzas. Pesto is an excellent choice for a pizza topping due to its versatility and ability to complement a wide range of ingredients. The aromatic basil, combined with the nuttiness of pine nuts and the sharpness of Parmesan cheese, creates a delightful combination of flavors. Pesto can be used as a base sauce or drizzled on top of other ingredients, infusing the pizza with its distinctive taste. It pairs exceptionally well with ingredients like mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, and grilled chicken. While popular in Italy, pesto has also gained popularity worldwide as a delicious and vibrant pizza topping.
8. Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms are large, mature cremini mushrooms that are widely enjoyed as a pizza topping. These meaty mushrooms have a robust flavor and a satisfyingly chewy texture, making them a great substitute for meat on vegetarian or vegan pizzas. Portobello mushrooms have a deep, earthy taste that adds depth and richness to the overall flavor profile of a pizza. When cooked, they release a savory aroma and develop a tender consistency. Their size and shape also make them ideal for stuffing, allowing you to create unique flavor combinations on your pizza. Portobello mushrooms are used as toppings on various styles of pizzas around the world, particularly in gourmet and vegetarian/vegan pizzas.
Pepperoncini, also known as Tuscan peppers or golden Greek peppers, are mild chili peppers that are often pickled and used as a pizza topping. These peppers originate from Italy and are known for their slightly tangy and fruity flavor. The vibrant yellow-green pepperoncini peppers add a touch of subtle heat and a pleasant tanginess to pizzas. They provide a mild spiciness that doesn’t overpower the other flavors on the pizza. The pickled version of pepperoncini peppers adds a unique zing and a hint of acidity, which can balance the richness of cheese and other toppings. Pepperoncini peppers are commonly used on pizzas in Italian-American cuisine and are also popular in Greek cuisine.
10. Provolone Cheese
Provolone cheese is a semi-hard cheese that hails from Italy. It is made from cow’s milk and is known for its smooth texture and mild, buttery flavor. Provolone cheese is a fantastic choice for pizza due to its excellent melting properties. It creates a luscious, gooey layer of cheese that stretches beautifully when baked. The mild and slightly nutty taste of provolone cheese complements a variety of pizza toppings without overpowering them. It works well with both meat and vegetable-based pizzas, adding a rich and creamy element. Provolone cheese is popular in Italian cuisine and is widely used on pizzas not only in Italy but also in other parts of the world.
11. Piri-Piri Sauce
Piri-piri sauce, also known as peri-peri sauce, originates from Portugal and is widely used as a spicy condiment. The sauce is made from African bird’s eye chili peppers, which give it a fiery kick. Piri-piri sauce is a popular choice for pizza toppings for those who enjoy a bit of heat and a burst of flavor. The spicy and tangy notes of piri-piri sauce can elevate the taste of a pizza, adding a fiery punch to each bite. It pairs well with various ingredients, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or vegetables, creating a dynamic and spicy flavor profile. Piri-piri sauce is commonly used on pizzas in Portuguese and African cuisines.
Pastrami is a highly seasoned, cured, and smoked meat that is commonly made from beef. It has a rich, smoky flavor and a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Pastrami is a versatile pizza topping that adds a savory and robust element to the overall pizza experience. When thinly sliced and placed on a pizza, pastrami can become slightly crispy around the edges, providing a delightful crunch. The intense flavor of pastrami pairs well with ingredients like mustard, pickles, and Swiss cheese, reminiscent of a classic Reuben sandwich. Pastrami is particularly popular in American cuisine, especially in New York-style deli pizzas, where it is enjoyed for its bold taste and meaty texture.
Pears are a unique and delightful pizza topping that brings a touch of sweetness and a refreshing twist to the overall flavor profile. Sliced pears add a juicy and slightly crisp texture to pizzas, creating an interesting contrast with the other ingredients. The natural sweetness of pears can balance out the savory and salty elements on the pizza, such as cheese or cured meats. Pears work particularly well with creamy cheeses like Gorgonzola or goat cheese, creating a harmonious combination of flavors. While not as widely used as traditional pizza toppings, pear-topped dessert pizzas have gained popularity in gourmet and creative pizza variations. This combination is especially enjoyed in regions where the sweet and savory flavor pairing is appreciated.
14. Pecorino Cheese
Pecorino cheese is an Italian sheep’s milk cheese that is commonly used as a pizza topping. This cheese has a rich and robust flavor, ranging from mild to sharp, depending on the aging process. Pecorino cheese adds a distinct tanginess and saltiness to pizzas, enhancing their overall taste. It has a crumbly texture that melts beautifully when heated, creating a deliciously creamy layer over the pizza. Pecorino pairs well with various ingredients such as cured meats, vegetables, and even fruits like figs or pears. It is widely enjoyed in Italian cuisine, particularly in regions like Tuscany and Sardinia, where pecorino cheese is produced.
15. Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a flavorful and succulent pizza topping that originated in the southern United States. It is made from slow-cooked, tenderized pork that is shredded or “pulled” into small, juicy pieces. Pulled pork is marinated and cooked with various seasonings and sauces, such as barbecue or smoky spice blends, which infuse the meat with a deliciously rich and smoky flavor. This topping adds a hearty and satisfying element to pizzas, bringing a balance of savory and slightly sweet notes. Pulled pork pairs well with tangy barbecue sauce, cheese, and other ingredients like onions, peppers, or pineapple. While popular in the United States, pulled pork as a pizza topping has also gained popularity in other parts of the world, where the combination of tender, flavorful meat and pizza is appreciated.
16. Pickled Onions
Pickled onions are a tangy and flavorful pizza topping that adds a burst of acidity and crunch to each bite. These onions are thinly sliced and preserved in a vinegar-based brine, resulting in a zesty and slightly sour taste. The pickling process enhances the natural sweetness of the onions while providing a tangy counterbalance. Pickled onions work well on pizzas as they bring a refreshing element that cuts through the richness of cheese or fatty toppings. They pair excellently with ingredients like cured meats, goat cheese, or even barbecue sauce, adding a vibrant and tangy dimension to the overall flavor profile. While pickled onions are enjoyed in various parts of the world, they are particularly popular in British cuisine, where they are often used as a condiment or accompaniment to dishes.
Pistachios are a versatile and flavorful pizza topping that brings a delightful nuttiness and crunch to the table. These edible seeds are often roasted and lightly salted, enhancing their natural flavors. Pistachios add a unique texture and a subtle, slightly sweet taste to pizzas. Their distinct flavor profile complements a variety of ingredients, such as creamy cheeses, leafy greens, or even fruits like figs. Pistachios also offer nutritional benefits, being a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Pistachios can be found in gourmet and inventive pizza creations around the world, adding a touch of elegance and richness to the overall pizza experience.
18. Plant-Based Sausage
Plant-based sausage is a vegan alternative to traditional meat-based sausage that has gained popularity in recent years. Made from a combination of plant-based proteins, grains, and spices, plant-based sausage provides a meaty texture and savory taste that resembles traditional sausage. This pizza topping is a great choice for those following a plant-based or vegetarian diet, as it offers a cruelty-free alternative while still delivering a satisfying pizza experience. Plant-based sausage can be seasoned with various herbs and spices, mirroring the flavors found in traditional sausages. It pairs well with a variety of pizza ingredients, such as vegan cheese, vegetables, or even barbecue sauce. Plant-based sausage is enjoyed in many parts of the world, particularly in regions where plant-based and vegetarian options are popular and appreciated.
Potatoes are a versatile and delicious pizza topping that adds a unique twist to the traditional pizza experience. Sliced or diced potatoes can be cooked and used as a topping, bringing a hearty and satisfying element to the pizza. Potatoes have a mild, earthy flavor and a starchy texture that complements a variety of other ingredients. They work particularly well with creamy cheeses, such as mozzarella or cheddar, creating a comforting combination. Potatoes also offer a nice balance to spicier toppings, like pepperoni or jalapeños. In terms of regional popularity, potato-topped pizzas are particularly popular in certain European countries, including Italy, where they are enjoyed as a traditional ingredient on pizza bianca or pizza al taglio.
Prunes, which are dried plums, may not be a typical pizza topping, but they can add a unique and sweet dimension to certain pizza creations. Prunes have a rich, sweet flavor that can balance out the savory and salty elements on the pizza. They work particularly well in combination with ingredients like blue cheese, prosciutto, or even caramelized onions, creating a delightful blend of flavors. While prunes are not widely used as a pizza topping, their inclusion in gourmet and inventive pizza recipes can offer a surprising and memorable taste experience. The popularity of prune-topped pizzas may vary by region, but they are more commonly found in culinary explorations and experimental pizza variations.
21. Pumpernickel Crumbs
Pumpernickel crumbs are finely ground crumbs made from pumpernickel bread, which is a dense, dark rye bread traditionally made in Germany. These crumbs can be sprinkled on top of pizzas, adding a distinct flavor and texture. Pumpernickel crumbs have a rich, slightly sweet taste with hints of cocoa and molasses. They bring a unique earthiness and depth to the pizza, especially when paired with ingredients like smoked salmon, cream cheese, or caramelized onions. Pumpernickel crumbs provide a contrasting crunch to the softness of the pizza crust and toppings.
22. Pinto Beans
Pinto beans, a type of legume, may not be the most traditional pizza topping, but they can offer a nutritious and satisfying addition to certain pizza creations. Pinto beans have a mild and slightly nutty flavor that can add a protein-packed element to the pizza. When mashed or pureed, they can be used as a base sauce, providing a creamy and hearty texture. Pinto beans work well with ingredients like Mexican-inspired flavors, such as salsa, cheese, avocado, or cilantro. They also add a substantial element to vegetarian or vegan pizzas, offering an alternative source of protein.
Pickles are a tangy and crunchy pizza topping that adds a burst of flavor to each bite. They are made by pickling cucumbers in a brine solution, resulting in a pleasantly acidic and slightly sour taste. Pickles bring a refreshing and zesty element to pizzas, cutting through the richness of other ingredients like cheese or cured meats. They work particularly well in combination with ingredients such as ham, bacon, or even spicy sauces, adding a contrast of flavors. While the popularity of pickles on pizza may vary by region, they are commonly enjoyed in North American cuisine, especially in certain styles like Chicago deep-dish pizza.
24. Pepper Jelly
Pepper jelly is a unique and sweet-spicy pizza topping that adds a delightful kick to the flavor profile. It is made by combining peppers, sugar, and vinegar, resulting in a sweet and tangy jelly with a hint of heat. Pepper jelly offers a perfect balance between sweet and spicy, making it a versatile choice for pizza. It pairs well with various ingredients, such as creamy cheeses, cured meats, or even vegetables like bell peppers or onions. Pepper jelly adds a touch of complexity and excitement to each bite, elevating the overall taste experience.
25. Plum Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes are a classic and widely used pizza topping. These tomatoes have a firm texture, low moisture content, and a rich, tangy flavor. Plum tomatoes work exceptionally well as a sauce or diced topping for pizzas. They have a vibrant red color and a slightly sweet taste, providing a perfect balance to the other ingredients. Plum tomatoes add freshness and juiciness to the pizza, enhancing the overall taste and texture. They are a staple in Italian cuisine and are used in various styles of pizza, from Neapolitan to New York-style. The popularity of plum tomato-topped pizzas extends beyond Italy, as they are cherished in pizza cultures worldwide.
26. Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are a small, nutty, and slightly crunchy pizza topping that adds both visual appeal and a subtle flavor to the overall experience. These tiny black seeds are derived from the poppy flower and have a mild, earthy taste. Poppy seeds work well when sprinkled on top of the pizza crust or used as a coating for dough, adding texture and a touch of nuttiness. They are often paired with ingredients like cheese, garlic, or even lemon zest, offering a complementary note to the overall flavor profile. Poppy seeds are not limited to a specific region in terms of popularity and can be found as a decorative and flavorful addition to pizzas in various culinary traditions around the world.
Paprika is a versatile spice made from ground dried peppers, often used as a pizza seasoning and topping. It adds a rich, smoky flavor and a vibrant red color to the pizza. Paprika can range in intensity from mild to hot, allowing for customization based on personal preferences. When used as a topping, it can be sprinkled over the pizza or incorporated into sauces or marinades. Paprika complements various ingredients, including meats, vegetables, and cheeses, enhancing their flavors and adding a touch of smokiness. While paprika is not exclusive to any particular region, it is frequently associated with Hungarian and Spanish cuisines, where it is commonly used in a wide array of dishes, including pizzas.
28. Pine Nuts
Pine nuts are small, cream-colored nuts with a delicate and buttery flavor that can elevate the taste and texture of a pizza. They add a pleasant crunch and a subtle sweetness to each bite. Pine nuts work particularly well in combination with ingredients like pesto, roasted vegetables, or even creamy cheeses like ricotta or goat cheese. Their rich flavor profile complements both savory and herbaceous flavors, making them a versatile topping choice. Pine nuts are popular in Mediterranean cuisine, and their use in pizza is especially notable in Italian and Middle Eastern culinary traditions.
Parsnip, a root vegetable closely related to carrots, is an underrated but flavorful pizza topping choice. When sliced or diced and added to a pizza, parsnips bring a slightly sweet and earthy taste to the dish. They have a tender texture that softens during the baking process. Parsnips work well with other roasted vegetables, such as bell peppers or onions, and can be combined with ingredients like goat cheese or caramelized onions for a delightful flavor combination.