Let’s face it, pizza is amazing. We rarely meet anyone who doesn’t love pizza, and it’s even more fun when you make it yourself. Making pizza yourself is great for many reasons, but it’s especially good for people who only like certain ingredients.
If you think it doesn’t matter what order your pizza ingredients are in, think again. While it isn’t a necessity to put pizza ingredients in a specific order, the pizza simply tastes better when you do.
Here is a great order to put toppings on your pizza.
1. Tomato Sauce
Your tomato sauce should always go first, directly onto the pizza dough. Dough gets extremely hot when it’s in the oven and therefore, it can evaporate the moisture from the sauce without affecting the pizza’s consistency.
If you put the sauce over the other ingredients instead, it wouldn’t evaporate as it should and you might end up with a soggy pizza.
2. Hard Cheese
Hard cheese should go on the pizza right after your sauce. These cheeses include cheddar, gorgonzola, and pecorino romano, among others.
Putting hard cheese on top of the sauce means the other ingredients will stay on the pizza without falling off because hard cheese is like a glue for those ingredients.
3. Meaty Toppings
Next, you’ll want to put all of your meat toppings on your pizza. This includes all of your meat items, such as pepperoni, chicken, bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, and any others.
If it’s considered a meat product, it should go on top of your hard cheese on your pizza.
The vegetables you use (think onions, bell peppers, etc.) should go on top of your meat toppings for two reasons.
First, unlike meat, veggies contain water that turns into steam when it’s cooked. If they’re put on the incorrect layer, that steam has nowhere to go.
Second, it takes longer to cook veggies than it does to cook the meat, so putting them near the top of the pizza means they’ll cook faster than if you put them near the bottom of the pie.
5. Soft Cheese
The next ingredient you’ll want to include on your pizza is the soft cheese. This means cheeses such as mozzarella, camembert, ricotta, brie, and feta.
Soft cheeses have much more water than hard cheeses, and if you place them before your ingredients, the dough would absorb that water and you could end up with a soggy pizza. Any ingredient with a lot of water in it needs to go near the top of the pizza, which is why your veggies and soft cheese go right next to one another.
Finally put your garnishes including herbs and spices, last on your pizza. This includes garnishes such as arugula, spinach, and fresh herbs such as oregano and basil.
If you’re using dried herbs, you should still put them last on top of the pizza, but this rule is especially important when you’re using fresh herbs.
Just a few leaves of fresh basil will take your pizza to the next level giving it a fresh and delicious taste.
7. Exceptions to the rule
If you’re wondering if there are exceptions to this rule, of course there are! The Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, for example, usually includes their cheese first and then the sauce.
The same goes for a true Sicilian-style pizza, which is very similar to the Chicago-style pizza except that it isn’t as thick.
Some pizzas will have the hard cheese placed on top of the pizza after it is cooked and out of the oven. Finally, some people include Prosciutto on their pizza but prefer it cooked first instead of raw.
Can You Have Too Many Toppings on a Pizza?
Yes, it is entirely possible for you to put too many toppings on your pizza. When it comes to meats and veggies, if you put too many of them on your pizza it can have an inconsistent taste and texture.
Some fresh vegetables including capsicum and mushroom can take longer to cook if they are left in large pieces and can lead to the pizza being too mushy and undercooked while other ingredients end up burnt.
Too many ingredients and flavors can mix together and it will be hard to tell them apart.
Keep in mind that regardless of how long you cook your pizza, your dough will continue to cook at the same speed. When you have a lot of extra toppings on your pizza, some of those ingredients might take longer to cook than your dough does, and they can end up raw.
So what is the number of toppings you should include in your pizza for the best results? That’s hard to say, but many Italian recipes will specify 3 main ingredients.
Do You Put Toppings or Cheese on a Pizza First?
Most pizza recipes will specify putting the cheese on a pizza first. The cheese will protect the dough and stop it from getting too soggy from the vegetable ingredients.
If you are cooking a Chicago deep style pizza then layer your cheese and then follow up with a thick layer of sauce.
What Order Do You Put Toppings on Pizza? | Summary
As you can see, there is a recommended order of toppings for most pizzas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change the order up if you like.
What you have to do is remember some of the reasons why the toppings are best placed in this particular order in the first place. If you do this, it’ll be much easier to alter the order of toppings without ruining the taste and texture of the pizza.