Neapolitan vs Sicilian Pizza

Welcome all pizza lovers! We all know that Italian food has taken the world by storm and one of their most iconic dishes is none other than pizza. The most typical are two types of pizza that have been debated for a long time: Neapolitan and Sicilian.

Are you ready to settle the battle? Which style of pizza reigns supreme – Neapolitan vs Sicilian Pizza?

In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the history and defining characteristics of Neapolitan and Sicilian pizza, and compare their ingredients, cooking methods, textures, and flavors. So grab your favorite toppings and get ready for a delicious showdown!

History Of Neapolitan Pizza

Neapolitan pizza is said to have originated in Naples, Italy in the 18th century. The famous “Margherita pizza” was conceived in honor of Queen Margherita of Italy when she visited Naples in 1889.

It featured the colors of the Italian flag – green basil leaves, white mozzarella cheese, and red tomatoes. This style of pizza has a thin and crispy crust with minimal toppings.

Over time, Neapolitan pizza has evolved into a symbol of Italian cuisine and was even recognized as a Traditional Specialty Guaranteed (TSG) product by the European Union in 2009. 

History Of Sicilian Pizza

Sicilian pizza, on the other hand, originated in Sicily in Southern Italy. It is believed to have been created during the 19th century by housewives using leftover dough and ingredients from their weekly bread-making.

This style of pizza has a thick and fluffy crust, usually rectangular, with generous toppings that include tomato sauce, cheese, and various meats and vegetables.

Unlike Neapolitan pizza, Sicilian pizza gained popularity in the United States thanks to Sicilian immigrants who brought their traditional recipes with them.

Similarities Between Neapolitan and Sicilian Pizza

Despite their differences, Neapolitan and Sicilian pizza share a few commonalities that contribute to their worldwide popularity. At their core, both varieties adhere to the basic components of a pizza: a dough base, sauce, and toppings.

Both pizzas originated from Italy and have deep-rooted histories that trace back centuries, contributing significantly to Italian culinary culture.

Both use a tomato sauce base and are traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven.

They also use similar types of cheese such as mozzarella, although the way it is used may vary between styles.

Another similarity is that both pizzas often use fresh and simple ingredients, emphasizing the quality and freshness of each component.

Lastly, both types of pizza are cooked at high temperatures to achieve a perfect blend of crispy and chewy textures, albeit the methods and cooking times may vary.

Neapolitan vs Sicilian Pizza – What Are The Differences?

Now that we know a bit about the history and the similarities of these two styles of pizza, let’s dive into their defining characteristics. 

What makes them distinct? Are they delicious and worth eating? Keep reading to discover all about the differences between these two pizzas. 

1. Crust

The crust is one of the key factors that differentiate Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas.

Neapolitan pizza features a thin, soft, and chewy crust, often slightly charred on the bottom. The dough is hand-kneaded and must not be rolled with a rolling pin or mechanically prepared.

On the other hand, Sicilian pizza boasts a thick, spongy, and bread-like crust that can withstand a generous amount of toppings.

2. Sauce

When it comes to sauce, Neapolitan pizza uses a simple, fresh tomato sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, and only a thin layer is spread on the dough to maintain the crispness of the crust.

In contrast, Sicilian pizzas are known for their rich, thick, and hearty tomato sauce, which often includes onions, herbs, and a hint of anchovies for extra flavor.

3. Topping

Besides, the toppings used for the two pizzas mentioned here are also quite different. 

Neapolitan pizzas are typically topped with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil. The toppings are used sparingly to keep the pizza light, allowing the quality of the ingredients to shine.

Sicilian pizzas, conversely, don’t hold back on the toppings. They can include a variety of cheeses, meats, and vegetables, layered on thickly.

4. Cooking Method

Neapolitan pizzas are cooked at extremely high temperatures (approximately 900°F) in a traditional wood-burning oven for about 60 to 90 seconds, resulting in its characteristic blistered and slightly charred crust.

Sicilian pizzas are typically baked in a rectangular tray in an electric oven at a much lower temperature (400 – 600°F) for a longer period, yielding a crunchy bottom and a fluffy interior.

5. Flavor

With their different cooking methods and preparation, Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas have distinct flavor profiles.

Neapolitan pizza is simple yet bursting with fresh flavors of the ingredients used. The crust has a slight smokiness from the wood-fired oven, while the basil adds a hint of sweetness to complement the tangy tomato sauce.

Sicilian pizza, on the other hand, has a more complex flavor due to the variety of toppings used. The tangy and savory tomato sauce pairs well with the richness of the cheeses and meats, creating a bold and satisfying flavor profile.

6. The Calories Of Them

When it comes to calories, both Neapolitan and Sicilian pizzas, like all foods, can vary greatly depending on the ingredients used.

Generally, a slice of Neapolitan pizza, due to its thin crust and minimal toppings, might contain fewer calories. Sicilian pizza, known for its thick crust and generous toppings, tends to be higher in calories.

For reference, a typical 10-inch Neapolitan pizza, with its thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil toppings, contains approximately 640 to 990 calories. A 10-inch Sicilian pizza, known for its thick crust and generous toppings, typically contains more than 1000 calories. 

This estimate can vary depending on the specific ingredients used and their quantities. Remember, though, that while this pizza may be lower in calories than some other pizza varieties, it should still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Which One Is Suitable For You?

The decision between Neapolitan vs Sicilian pizza comes down to personal preference. Both styles have a rich history and unique characteristics that make them stand out in the world of pizza.

Neapolitan pizzas are perfect for those who enjoy a simple yet elegant pizza with a crispy crust and minimal toppings that allow the flavor of the ingredients to shine through.

On the other hand, Sicilian pizzas are ideal for those who crave a hearty, filling meal with a thick, fluffy crust and an abundance of toppings.

Choosing the perfect pizza for yourself depends on your personal taste and dietary preferences. Here are a few pointers to help you make the right choice:

1. Identify Your Preferences 

Do you prefer a thin, crispy crust or a thick, fluffy one? Do you like a rich, hearty sauce or a simple, fresh one? Your preferences for these basic pizza components can guide you toward either Neapolitan or Sicilian styles.

2. Consider Your Dietary Needs

If you’re watching your calorie intake, a Neapolitan pizza with its thin crust and minimal toppings could be a better choice.

On the other hand, if you’re seeking a filling meal, a Sicilian pizza with its thick crust and generous toppings could be the way to go.

3. Quality of Ingredients 

Both styles of pizza emphasize the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. So, take into consideration what ingredients you prefer and how they are used in each style.

4. Experiment

The beauty of pizza is its versatility. Don’t be afraid to try different styles and toppings until you find your perfect match.

The perfect pizza for you brings you joy and satisfies your taste buds. Whether it’s Neapolitan or Sicilian, the choice is yours to make!

Tips For a Delicious Pizza Meal

Are there any tips to have a delicious meal with pizza – this is a common question posed by many people. Don’t worry! We are here to provide you with all potential tips for a delicious pizza meal. 

1. Choose Quality Over Quantity: When it comes to pizza, the quality of the ingredients is crucial. Fresh, high-quality ingredients can make a significant difference in taste.

2. Don’t Overload Your Pizza with Toppings: Although it might be tempting to add many toppings, keep it simple. Too many toppings can make your pizza feel heavy and overshadow the flavors of the individual ingredients.

3. Pair Your Pizza with a Good Wine: The right wine can enhance the flavor of your pizza. A light red wine is often a good match for a rich, meaty pizza, while a crisp white wine can complement a seafood-topped pizza nicely.

4. Try Different Cheese Combinations: Mozzarella is a classic choice for pizza, but don’t limit yourself. Experiment with different cheeses to add depth and variation to your pizza’s flavor.

5. Enjoy Your Pizza Right Away: Pizza is best enjoyed hot, straight from the oven. Waiting too long can cause the crust to become soggy and the cheese to harden.

Remember, the best pizza is one that satisfies your taste buds and brings you joy, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find your perfect pizza match!


In conclusion, deciding between Neapolitan vs Sicilian pizza is a flavorful journey guided by personal taste, dietary preferences, and a love for quality ingredients. No matter your preference, be it the simplicity of the Neapolitan or the heartiness of the Sicilian, the world of pizza offers a slice for every palate. 

So, enjoy the exploration and savor the incredibly diverse and delicious world that is pizza. Keep experimenting with different toppings, crusts, and combinations until you find your perfect match. Happy eating!

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