Are Anchovies Good On Pizza?

Anchovies are one of those toppings that tend to divide opinion when placed on a pizza. Some love the bold bursts of salty, savory flavor anchovies provide, while others find their intense fishiness overpowering. 

This debate raises the question – Are anchovies good on pizza? Pizza toppings are very much a personal preference, but there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this anchovy debate. 

This blog post will explore both perspectives to help determine whether these small, salty fish belong permanently on the pizza toppings list or are best avoided.

What Is Anchovy Pizza?

Anchovy pizza is a type of pizza that utilizes anchovies as a primary topping. Anchovies are small, oily fish that are known for their strong, distinctive flavor.

They are typically cured and salted, which gives them their unique taste. This pizza originated from the traditional Italian culinary scene and has made its way to the menus of pizzerias around the world.

The saltiness of the anchovies contrasts beautifully with the richness of the cheese and the sweetness of the tomato sauce, creating a perfect balance of flavors.

While it might not be for everyone, anchovy pizza certainly has a dedicated fan base among those who appreciate its distinct, robust flavor.

Are Anchovies Good On Pizza?

Whether or not anchovies are good on pizza is entirely subjective and depends on personal taste preferences.

From a culinary perspective, anchovies add a distinct flavor profile that is high in umami, the so-called fifth taste. This can bring an added depth to the pizza’s overall flavor.

Moreover, anchovies are packed with essential nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, and magnesium. These nutrients can contribute to heart health, bone strength, and overall wellness. They are also a good source of protein, which is beneficial for muscle development and repair.

However, anchovies are known for their strong, fishy flavor which may not be appreciated by everyone. If you’re not a fan of such flavors, you might want to stick with more traditional pizza toppings.

But if you’re an adventurous eater, the unique taste of anchovy pizza might be something you’d enjoy exploring.

In the end, the decision to include anchovies on pizza comes down to personal preference. Some people find the combination of the fish’s saltiness with the cheese and tomato sauce to be wonderfully delicious.

Others might not be as appreciative of the flavor. But as with all foods, the best way to know for sure is to try it for yourself.

What Taste Is Pizza With Anchovies?

Anchovy pizza presents a unique gustatory experience, combining a varied taste profile. The anchovies themselves contribute a strong salty, fishy flavor, often described as umami-rich.

This flavor can be intense for some, but that’s where the other ingredients come into play. The rich cheese and tangy tomato sauce help to balance out the strong flavor of the anchovies, providing a creamy and acidic contrast respectively.

The crust, depending on its preparation, can add a touch of sweetness and a variable texture – from crunchy to soft. For a more nuanced flavor, some pizzaiolos also add ingredients like olives, capers, or fresh herbs.

While enjoying an anchovy pizza, it is recommended to pair it with a dry white wine to refresh the palate and enhance the overall dining experience.

Worth Of Nutrition In Anchovy Pizza

If you want to know the answer to the question of whether are anchovies good on pizza, we must also look at their nutritional value.

Anchovy pizza, like any other pizza, can vary in its nutritional value depending on the specific ingredients used and the portion size. However, here’s a general overview of the nutritional content of a slice of large anchovy pizza:

1. Calories: Approximately 274 calories per slice.

2. Fat: About 10 grams of total fat, with 4.6 grams being saturated fat.

3. Cholesterol: Roughly 20 milligrams per slice.

4. Sodium: Around 745 milligrams per slice.

5. Carbohydrate:  Roughly 33 grams of carbs per slice.

6. Protein: Around 13 grams of protein.

Keep in mind, that these values can fluctuate based on the recipe and serving size. It’s always recommended to check the nutritional information if available when purchasing from a restaurant or supermarket.

NutrientsAnchovy Pizza – 1 Large Slice
Amount% Daily Value
Serving Size1 slice (104 g)
Total Fat10 g13%
Saturated fat4.6 g23%
Trans Fat0.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat2.8 g
Cholesterol20 mg7%
Sodium745 mg32%
Potassium193.8 mg4%
Total Carbohydrate33 g12%
Dietary Fiber2.3 g8%
Sugars3.6 g
Protein13 g


How Do You Make The Best Pizza With Anchovies?

You know that the debate on the question of whether anchovy pizza tastes good depends on personal preference. Those who love this kind of pizza have their way of making it.

But if you’re planning to make your anchovy pizza, here are some basic ingredients and instructions you should follow:

1. Ingredients

For pizza dough:

– ¾ tbsp of olive oil

– ½ tsp of fine salt

– 180 ml of lukewarm water

– 190 grams of all-purpose flour or bread flour

– ½ tsp of instant yeast

For toppings:

– 4 oz of fresh mozzarella

– 1 tsp of dried oregano

– Fine salt

– 8-10 anchovies in olive oil

– ½ cup of tomato sauce

– 1 tbsp of capers in brine (optional)

2. Instructions

For pizza dough:

– Step 1: In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and yeast.

– Step 2: Add water and olive oil, mixing with a spoon or spatula until just combined. The dough will be rough and sticky. If needed, add 1 extra Tbsp of water.

– Step 3: Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

– Step 4: Transfer the dough to a floured surface, dust with flour, and gently stretch. Fold each side toward the center, then shape into a ball. Let rest for 30 minutes.

For baking pizza:

– Step 1: Place the oven rack at the lowest level and preheat to 450°F (232°C). Prepare a large piece of parchment paper if using a pizza stone, or grease/line a baking pan.

– Step 2: Using a spatula, transfer the dough onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle with flour and gently press it out from the center to form a large round pizza. Let it rest for 10 minutes while the oven heats up.

– Step 3: Spread tomato sauce on the dough. Add shredded mozzarella, anchovy fillets, and oregano. You can also add capers and black olives.

– Step 4: Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pizza is golden and crispy.

– Step 5: Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, serve immediately and enjoy!

Of course, feel free to add any additional toppings or seasonings according to your taste. With these simple instructions, hope that you can create your perfect anchovy pizza at home.

What Preserves Go Well With Anchovies?

Anchovies, with their unique, robust flavor, can be complemented by a variety of preserves to enhance or balance their taste. If you’re wondering if are anchovies good on pizza, the answer is definitely yes, especially when paired with the right preserves. 

Here are some typical preserves for you to refer to:

1. Calabrian Chiles

Calabrian chilies, originating from Calabria, Italy, are well-known for their fruity, smoky, and spicy flavor.

When preserved, they can be an excellent pairing with anchovies on a pizza, adding a kick of heat that complements the salty, umami flavor of the fish. These chilies are commonly preserved in oil and can be easily spread on a pizza before baking. 

2. Garlic

Preserved garlic is another excellent companion for anchovies on pizza. Garlic, when preserved, mellows in flavor – becoming sweet, aromatic, and slightly tangy.

This softened flavor profile can act as a counterpoint to the robust flavor of the anchovies, providing a balance that enhances the overall taste of the pizza.

Preserved garlic, whether in oil, vinegar, or as a confit, can be easily spread or dotted over the pizza before baking.

3. Capers

Preserved capers, with their tangy and slightly floral flavor, can also be a delightful addition to an anchovy pizza. They offer a vibrant contrast to the saltiness of the anchovies, creating a flavor mix that is complex and satisfying.

Capers are typically preserved in brine or salt and should be rinsed before use to prevent the pizza from becoming overly salty.

4. Tomatoes

Preserved tomatoes, particularly sun-dried tomatoes, can bring a sweet and slightly tart flavor to an anchovy pizza. 

The sweetness of the tomatoes provides an excellent counterbalance to the strong, salty flavor of the anchovies, adding to the overall depth and complexity of the pizza’s flavor profile.

Sun-dried tomatoes are typically preserved in olive oil, which can also add a touch of richness to the pizza. They can be chopped and scattered over the pizza before baking.

5. Sausage

Sausage can be a delightful, savory addition to an anchovy pizza. Sausages come in a variety of flavors, from sweet Italian to spicy chorizo, and can add another layer of complexity to the pizza’s taste profile.

Salty anchovies paired with a hearty, well-spiced sausage create a balance that is both satisfying and indulgent. 

If you prefer a spicier flavor, consider using a chorizo or spicy Italian sausage. For a milder taste, a sweet Italian sausage or even a chicken sausage would work well.

Sausages should be cooked and crumbled or sliced before being added to the pizza. To ensure even cooking and optimal flavor, it’s best to add the sausage on top of the cheese and underneath the anchovies.

Remember, when using any preserves, it’s essential to balance the flavors to ensure one does not overpower the other and the taste of the anchovies still shines through.

How Can Anchovy Retain Its Flavor When Processed Into Anchovy Pizza?

Anchovy is known for its strong, distinct flavor, which can be a challenge to retain when making anchovy pizza. Here are some tips to ensure the anchovy taste stands out:

1. Quality Ingredients: Use fresh or high-quality canned anchovies to ensure a robust flavor.

2. Proper Preparation: Rinse canned anchovies to remove excess salt. This helps balance the flavor without overwhelming the pizza.

3. Even Distribution: Spread the anchovies evenly across the pizza. This ensures each bite contains some of its unique taste.

4. Complementary Toppings: Pair anchovies with mild toppings like mozzarella, tomatoes, and olives to highlight their flavor without competition.

5. Cooking Time: Add anchovies halfway through the cooking process to prevent them from drying out and retaining their soft texture.

By following these tips, you can achieve a delicious anchovy pizza where the flavors blend seamlessly, yet the anchovy’s character remains prominent and enjoyable.


Are anchovies good on pizza? Absolutely! Anchovies bring a unique, umami-rich depth to the flavor profile of a pizza. Their saltiness adds an extra dimension that enhances and balances other toppings. 

While they may not be to everyone’s taste due to their distinctive, strong flavor, for those who appreciate the complexity and a bit of a flavor adventure, anchovies on pizza can be a truly delightful culinary experience.

Remember, it’s all about personal preference and exploring different taste profiles. So, give anchovy pizza a try – you might just discover your new favorite topping!

Leave a Comment