Pizza Toppings List for One-of-a-Kind Pies

Gather friends and family for a weekly pizza night to connect over homemade food and fun.

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by Luke Brummer

Create unique pizza ideas with friends and family for a one-of-a-kind homemade pizza night. Check out this pizza toppings list for some tasty ideas!

I’ve long associated weekends with pizza — buying a slice from a walk-up window while I’m out on the town, or ordering a pie to pair with a movie and wind down from the workweek. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these pizzas were almost always made by someone else and usually eaten fast to fuel other indulgences. I dreamed of someday having a routine homemade-food night with friends, but our busy schedules and mismatched work shifts often had us eating in small groups or in isolation.

When the pandemic began, it aggravated some of the ways I’d been engaging with food. At first, the perks of ordering ready-made meals to my door and eating alone were all too appealing. But this expensive and wasteful habit conflicted with my desire to make and eat food more thoughtfully and communally using affordable, regional ingredients. And that’s where the pandemic also presented an opportunity: Between my laid-off friends’ suddenly open schedules, the necessity of staying in, and our desire to co-create a ritual to look forward to each week, we found our way to “Pie Fri.” Every Friday, rain or shine — often rain, since we’re in Seattle — we get together to make and eat homemade vegetarian pizzas.

It begins with an easy dough that I make and roll out into four rectangular pies. We rotate who chooses from our pizza toppings list — sometimes someone has a specific idea they want to try, sometimes we’re cleaning out the fridge to see which leftovers we can use, and sometimes we just stick to cheese. Once we have the dough ready, we form an assembly line to add sauce and toppings, eagerly wait for the pizzas to bake, and then squeeze around our small table to eat and share the ups and downs of our weeks — a practice that brings us closer to the ingredients that go into our food, and closer to one another. I hope this tradition lasts long after the pandemic does, and that you and your friends and family will enjoy introducing your own Pie Fri, playing with topping combinations, and bonding over the making and sharing of good food.

Start with a Simple Pizza Dough

(Based on “The Easiest Pizza You’ll Ever Make” by King Arthur Flour.)

This dough is easy to remember how to make, with its 1-to-1-to-1 ratio of sugar, yeast, and salt, and it’s also easy to double if you’re hosting a larger group. If you end up making too much dough, just keep the extra in the freezer for a future pizza night.

Yield: about four 12-inch pizzas.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
    (about 110 to 115 F)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon or 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Steps

  1. In lukewarm water, dissolve sugar and yeast, and let proof 5 minutes before adding salt.
  2. Add flour, starting with 5 cups and adding more as necessary to make a soft, smooth dough.
  3. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  4. Place dough in lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 to 2 hours. To encourage and hasten rising, I place dough in the still-off oven with a pan of boiling water to create a warm, steamy atmosphere.
  5. When the dough has risen, pull it out, preheat oven between 450 and 475 F (depending on your oven), and prepare toppings.
  6. Gently deflate dough, and divide it into 4 pieces for thin-to-medium-crust pizza, or 3 pieces for thicker crusts. Hand-stretch or roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into your shape of choice…–…you can create circles for a 12-inch pizza pan or pizza stone, or shape the dough into rectangles, as we do, to bake on baking sheets lightly brushed with olive oil. Spread your sauce lightly over the surface, place your toppings, and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crust is golden-brown and cheese is melted. Immediately transfer pizzas to a cooling rack or cutting board so they don’t get soggy. After about 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Get Innovative with this Pizza Toppings List

For topping ideas, we peruse The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, the odds and ends in our cabinets and refrigerators, our gardens and farmers market, and what grows all around us — blackberries, fennel, and rosemary are abundant in Seattle, and all three have found their way onto our pizzas. The following is our favorite pizza toppings list, with delicious combinations from the hundreds of pies we’ve made in the past couple of years, contributed by some of my friends. Layer the listed ingredients in order, but feel free to mix and match and adjust to your tastes, removing or substituting any ingredients for similarly satisfying results. And don’t be afraid to get creative! In addition to the toppings listed here, we’ve made and savored pizzas topped with soya-based barbecue; cream cheese, jalapeño, and pineapple; biscuits and gravy; macaroni and cheese; honey, goat cheese, and fig; and many other combinations that might’ve sounded strange at first but were devoured in a flash.

Pair a fruit-filled side salad and homemade healthy salad dressing with your pies for a refreshing bite between slices.

Spring Green Pizza

  • 2 whole roasted red bell peppers,
    puréed (instead of tomato sauce)
  • Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped asparagus
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary

Contributed by Trout Fishing in America Scott

Cheesy Broccoli Pizza

Closeup of someone cutting a pizza on a cutting board.

  • Tomato sauce
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, grated (add another layer of cheese after spinach, and another after broccoli)
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper, sliced
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

— Contributed by Trout Fishing in America Scott

Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Pizza

Overheard view of Mexican street corn pizza, with dollops of che

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, spread over dough (instead of tomato sauce)
  • 1 full bulb roasted garlic, chopped and sprinkled over cream cheese
  • Pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2-1/2 cups corn, roasted in a skillet until lightly browned
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cumin, to taste

— Contributed by Kate Flaming

Cheeseburger Pizza

Diagonal shot of a cheeseburger pizza on a cutting board.

  • Tomato sauce
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1-1/2 cups soya or other meat substitute, cooked
  • 1 whole small onion, sliced and cooked
  • 3 to 4 long slices (2 to 3 spears) dill pickles, roughly chopped
  • Yellow mustard, added after baking

— Contributed by Joe Scott


To share pizza topping ideas with Amanda and her Pie Fri friends, email them to ASorell@OgdenPubs.com, or send them to 1208 NE 55th St., Seattle, WA 98105.

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