Pizza Recipe Ideas Using Italian-Inspired Toppings

While a simple cheese pizza is tasty, the right toppings can make the pie even more delicious. Using Italian-inspired ingredients to top your pizza is sure to please everyone in your family or party guests.

Pizza makes a great, hearty meal anytime, such as during hectic weeknights or on weekends. It is also the ideal food to serve for a wide range of special events or occasions, including kids' and adults' birthday parties, anniversary or graduation celebrations, holidays, class or family reunions, bridal and baby showers, and even wedding receptions. Since topping options are endless, you'll be able to please everyone one your guest list. 

Italian-inspired pizza toppings are versatile in that they range from meat products to vegetarian items, such as fresh produce. You can either make the pizzas yourself or buy plain cheese pizzas from a local restaurant and top them with your own favorite ingredients. As another, more affordable option, you can "dress up" a frozen pizza using gourmet Italian toppings.

If you're planning on making pizza for a large event, such as a wedding rehearsal or reception, you can buy the topping ingredients in bulk from a specialty food services retailer. You may even be able to save money by purchasing in bulk.

Here are some pizza recipe ideas to get you started:

1.Italian Sausage and Peppers 

When topping a pizza, you can't go wrong with zesty Italian sausage and a variety of fresh red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers. Italian sausage typically ranges from mild to hot, depending on your preference. You can either crumble up the cooked sausage or slice it before placing it on top of the pizza. 

If you want extra heat, you can also use hot peppers, such as pepperoncini,  or serve them on the size. Whole Italian sausages also make great side dishes for those with heartier appetites.

2. Vegetarian Toppings

When it comes to Italian pizza toppings of the vegetarian variety, you'll have plenty of choices. As a one-topping combination, try green olives marinated in an Italian vinaigrette, along with fresh mozzarella cheese. 

Another idea is minced garlic, sauteed eggplant, and grated Pecorino Romano cheese. For those who are lactose-intolerant, top a pizza crust with diced tomatoes and grilled onions and mushrooms, and then top with marinara sauce. 

For a kid-friendly pie, start with individual mini pizza crusts, or even halved English muffins, and then top with shredded mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.