What Cheese Goes On Pizza?

When ordering a pizza, one of the most important choices is deciding what cheese to top it with. What cheese goes on pizza is a question many ponder when scanning pizza menus. 

Depending on personal taste and regional preferences, there are several cheese varieties commonly used as toppings for everyone’s favorite Italian pie.

This blog post will explore the most popular cheese options available and provide information about what they contribute to the overall pizza experience.

Overview Of Pizza and Cheese

Pizza, a culinary delight born in Italy, has become a beloved dish worldwide with countless regional variations.

Originating from Naples in the 18th century, pizza was once a simple flatbread topped with tomatoes, oil, and local spices. Today, it has evolved into a versatile meal that can be adorned with a multitude of toppings to cater to every palate.

The heart and soul of pizza lie in its cheese, traditionally mozzarella. The creaminess and elasticity of mozzarella provide the perfect texture, while its delicate flavor does not overpower the other ingredients.

Famous types of mozzarella used on pizzas include ‘Mozzarella di Bufala’ (made from the milk of water buffalo in Italy) and ‘Fior di Latte’ (made from cow’s milk).

However, there are many other cheeses loved by pizza enthusiasts worldwide. Provolone offers a slightly sharper flavor, while gouda and fontina add a robust, nutty profile.

For a more intense flavor, blue cheese and gorgonzola are popular choices. In short, the combination of pizza and cheese is a testament to culinary simplicity and flexibility, creating a comfort food relished across different cultures and tastes.

Why Cheese Should Go With Pizza?

Have you ever wondered why cheese must appear and be included in a pizza? If never, the list of reasons below will reveal to you.

1. Flavor Enhancement: Cheese, with its wide variety, can dramatically enhance the flavor of a pizza. From the mild and creamy taste of mozzarella to the pungent and salty notes of blue cheese, the chosen cheese can set the overall tone of the pizza.

2. Texture: Cheese lends a delightful texture to pizzas. The gooey, melty quality of cheese when heated brings a mouthwatering visual appeal and provides a satisfying chewiness to every bite.

3. Nutritional Value: Cheese contributes to the nutritional profile of pizza. It is a good source of protein and calcium, providing essential nutrients your body needs.

4. Cultural Authenticity: Cheese holds historic and cultural significance in pizza, tracing back to its origins in Italy. Using cheese helps preserve the authenticity and tradition of this globally loved dish.

5. Variety: The variety of cheeses available allows for endless combinations and innovation. Whether it’s a classic Margherita with mozzarella or a gourmet fig and gorgonzola pizza, there’s a cheese-topped pizza for every taste preference.

What Cheese Goes On Pizza?

You’ve just covered some benefits of cheese on pizza. But what type of cheese is most used on pizza? Read more.

1. Mozzarella

Mozzarella is the quintessential pizza cheese, prized for its incredible melting characteristics. It pulls into the perfect stringy texture when hot, enhancing the eating experience.

The mild flavor of mozzarella complements other ingredients on a pizza without overpowering them. It’s available in several forms, ‘Mozzarella di Bufala,’ ‘Fior di Latte,’ and shredded mozzarella being the most popular.

This cheese’s moisture content and fat levels vary, influencing the final texture and taste of the pizza. Therefore, mozzarella remains the first choice for many, from traditional Neapolitan pizzas to contemporary gourmet versions.

2. Parmesan

Parmesan, also known as Parmigiano-Reggiano, is another cheese that’s often paired with pizza. Hard and granular in texture, Parmesan is usually grated over pizzas either before baking or as a finishing touch, after baking.

It imparts a rich, nutty flavor to the pizza, adding depth to the overall taste. Parmesan’s low moisture content ensures it doesn’t make the pizza soggy, while its high umami content enhances the savory notes of the pizza.

3. Gouda

Gouda cheese, hailing from the Netherlands, is a versatile choice for pizzas. Its rich, creamy flavor and smooth, semi-hard texture make it an excellent choice for gourmet or fusion-style pizzas.

When melted, Gouda becomes delightfully gooey, adding to the overall visual appeal and texture of the pizza. Its mild, slightly sweet flavor can nicely complement stronger toppings like prosciutto or olives.

Whether used on its own or mixed with other cheeses, Gouda offers a unique taste experience that pizza lovers are sure to enjoy.

4. Ricotta

Ricotta is a creamy Italian cheese that brings a soft, granular texture and a mildly sweet flavor to any pizza.

Often used as a topping in dollops, Ricotta cheese adds richness without becoming too overwhelming. 

Perfect in a white pizza recipe or with toppings like spinach and garlic, it is especially beloved in gourmet pizza varieties.

Its delicate flavor offers a refreshing contrast to the heavier, more robust cheese types, making it an interesting cheese option to explore for pizza enthusiasts.

5. Provolone

Provolone is a semi-hard Italian cheese known for its bold, tangy flavor. It melts well, making it a popular choice for pizza toppings.

Provolone pairs excellently with a variety of ingredients, from sweet caramelized onions to spicy Italian sausage, providing a robust flavor profile to any pizza.

Its versatility makes it a fantastic option both as a stand-alone cheese on a pizza or mixed with other cheeses for a complex flavor combination. Whether used in thin slices or grated, Provolone adds a delightful savory punch to any pizza variety.

6. Cheddar

Cheddar, originating from Somerset in England, brings a sharp, pungent flavor and a firm, smooth texture to the pizza. This cheese comes in various forms, from mild to extra sharp, allowing for a customizable flavor profile.

When melted, cheddar becomes creamy and has a distinctive orange hue, adding an appealing visual element to the pizza. It pairs exceptionally well with robust ingredients like barbecue chicken or bacon.

Whether used alone or mixed with other cheeses, cheddar offers a distinctive taste profile that makes it a popular choice for pizza enthusiasts seeking a departure from the traditional mozzarella.

7. Vegan Cheese

Vegan cheese offers a dairy-free alternative for those following a vegan diet or those with lactose intolerance.

Made from a variety of plant foods including nuts, soy, and root vegetables, vegan cheese can mimic many of the properties of traditional cheese. 

It comes in numerous styles and flavors, such as mozzarella and cheddar, making it useful for a wide range of pizzas.

Though the taste and texture may vary from traditional cheese, it allows more people to enjoy the savory deliciousness of a cheese-topped pizza without any dietary restrictions.

How To Pick The Finest Pizza-Quality Cheese?

Now you know the answer to the question of what cheese goes on pizza, then knowing how to choose the right type of cheese will add flavor to a great pizza.

There are 3 things you need to consider when choosing cheese:

1. Melt

The primary characteristic of a good pizza cheese is its melting ability. Cheese should melt evenly, creating a gooey, stringy texture without becoming runny or burning.

Mozzarella is famous for its excellent melting ability, but other cheeses like Provolone and Cheddar also melt well, enhancing the overall pizza experience.

2. Taste

The taste of the cheese is essential as it significantly influences the pizza’s final flavor profile. A balanced cheese should complement other pizza ingredients rather than overpower them.

Cheeses like Mozzarella, Provolone, and Gouda have a delicate, mild flavor, while Cheddar and Parmesan offer a stronger, sharper taste.

Consider the other ingredients on your pizza when selecting your cheese to create harmonious flavor pairings.

3. Color

Color plays a less crucial, but still noteworthy role in choosing a pizza cheese. A visually appealing pizza often has a golden-brown cheese topping.

Most cheese will brown nicely when baked, but some like Cheddar can provide a distinctive hue that may add to the pizza’s overall visual appeal.

Which Cheese Blends Well With Different Pizza Toppings?

The beauty of pizza is that it can be customized with endless topping possibilities, and the same goes for cheese.

While Mozzarella tends to be the go-to choice for most pizzas, here are some suggestions for pairing different cheeses with toppings:

1. Pepperoni Pizza: Provolone or Cheddar can add a bold flavor to this classic pizza.

2. Margherita Pizza: Mozzarella and Parmesan create a classic Italian blend that pairs perfectly with the simplicity of this pizza.

3. Hawaiian Pizza: The sweetness of pineapple pairs nicely with the tangy flavor of Provolone or Gouda.

4. Vegetarian Pizza: A mix of cheeses like Mozzarella, Feta, and Ricotta adds a variety of flavors to this cheese-heavy pizza.

5. Meat-Lovers Pizza: A combination of Cheddar, Provolone, and Mozzarella creates a robust flavor profile that can stand up to hearty meat toppings.

With these suggestions in mind, feel free to experiment with different cheese blends to find your perfect pizza. Don’t be afraid to mix and match for a truly unique and delicious pizza experience. 

Can Leftover Cheese Be Reused For Another Pizza?

Absolutely! Leftover cheese can indeed be reused for another pizza. It’s a practical and cost-effective way to minimize waste and make the most out of your cheese purchase.

Store your leftover cheese properly in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and flavor. Before reuse, make sure to check for any signs of spoilage such as mold or off-smell.

Grate the leftover cheese and sprinkle it evenly over your pizza along with other fresh ingredients. This will ensure your pizza will maintain the gooey and delicious texture that cheese brings. 

Remember, the key to a great pizza is balance, so don’t overload it with cheese.


In conclusion, the answer to what cheese goes on pizza is as varied as the people who enjoy this beloved dish.

Whether you’re a fan of the classic mozzarella, prefer a bold cheddar, or opt for vegan alternatives, there’s a cheese out there that suits your pizza preference.

Never hesitate to experiment with different blends and pairings to discover your perfect pizza flavor.

Leave a Comment