When it comes to pizza, Hawaiian pizza is perhaps the food that divides people the most.
It is not that bad, in my opinion, as long as you have the best Hawaiian pizza toppings to use.
There are a lot of people that seem to not agree with pineapple chunks on pizza.
Some argue that authentic pizza should not have any fruity toppings (aside from tomatoes) in it to be considered authentic.
Other people argue that pineapple pizza is one of the best toppings that you can get if you want to have that slight tanginess and sweetness that go really well with thin slices of meat toppings.
Hawaiian pizza toppings are not unhealthy and if you remove or replace just a few, the pizza can even be good for a vegetarian diet since it is made mostly of vegetable toppings.
While it is controversial, you can say that it is part of the evolving world of different cuisines. We all have different palates and taste towards different foods so personally, it is authentic pizza.
Another thing is that Hawaiian pizza toppings are a combination of different toppings that everybody likes. Here, we will look at those toppings and see how different pizza chains do it.
A Little Bit Of History
Contrary to popular belief, Hawaiian pizza did not originate from Honolulu or other parts of Hawaii. In fact, it did not even originate in North America in case you were wondering.
Hawaiian pizza was first introduced in Canada in 1962 by a Greek immigrant named Sam Panopoulos.
This is a very crucial year since only 3 years before this, Hawaii became an official American state.
That meant that people from the North American continent are still new and interested in Tiki culture.
The introduction of pineapple to pizza is one of those cultural changes they observed.
Italy takes cuisine, especially pizza seriously.
You can observe that in Naples where the authentic Neapolitan pizza originated from so adding more toppings is not the best option.
The local pizza from Naples received a traditional specialty guaranteed status by the EU, which protects the original pizza recipe meaning it is the most authentic type of pizza you can get.
This is why other people believe that adding pineapple on pizza breaks the traditional recipe which is to not put fruit, aside from tomatoes, in the pizza but others have learned to love it.
The Best Hawaiian Pizza Toppings
This is where we will be looking at the best toppings that you can put on your Hawaiian pizza. These are the most popular toppings and the reasons why they are on this simple list.
Starting off with the most controversial topping on pizza, pineapple is actually a great choice when it comes to pizza toppings. Hawaiian pizza proves this with the combination of flavors.
Pineapple introduces that unique sweetness to pizza, which at first, was not really that compatible to some. What I mean by that is some people argue savory and sweet are not good.
Considering the tropical background and name of the pizza, pineapple gives it that juiciness that you would really try to look for while you are basking in the sun on an island with the sea breeze.
Pineapple gives pizza its amazing sweetness that is like nectar for humans. It is the perfect counter for the rather salty and savory recipe in order to neutralize the flavors in your palates.
Aside from the flavor and that slightly sticky texture, pineapple is one of the best pizza toppings because of the health benefits that you get from it like vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
These nutrients and the packed antioxidants within the pineapple bits help your body counter inflammatory problems, aid digestion because of the fibers, and boost your immune system.
Pineapple is also a good source of healthy nutrients in case you want a vegetarian pizza. While it does not conform to the traditional way of making pizza, pineapple gives flavors you cannot find in other toppings.
2. Sliced Ham
Ham is one of the best pizza topping combinations that you can pair with sweet pineapples. It has a unique taste and texture that perfectly complements the flavors and texture of pineapples.
Ham also goes well with other pizza toppings like black olives, green peppers, and even mushrooms. It is tasty, chewy, and full of nutrients that will help your body become healthier.
It does not matter what type of pizza you want, whether you like thin-crust pizza or you want a thicker crust, ham always goes great with the crust that is relatively bland and boring.
The flavors and oil from the ham can even seep through the crust to give it flavor. Ham makes the pizza less boring so even with kids, there will be no crust edges left on their plates.
It is the savory ham that combines really well with the sweetness of the pineapples making it great for kids to enjoy during pizza nights. Your biggest challenge is not to overcook the ham.
Usually, people treat ham as a thicker cut of meat and cook it in olive oil first before putting it on the pizza. I suggest you put it raw on the pizza so it does not overcook when it is baked.
There are also a lot of times where I have leftover ham slices and all I do is put them in plastic wrap and a tight container before putting them in the fridge. Do not leave them in a warm place.
Not everyone uses Cilantro but you can easily find this on Hawaiian pizza. Cilantro seems like the Basil replacement on the pizza and it does give a different flavour to the pizza.
I personally like adding this to my pizza when I make Hawaiian pizza as it not just adds the colour variant but also packs in flavour with every bite of the pizza.
Like Pineapple, cilantro can be a hit or a miss when it comes to your taste palette and if you do not like it much then you can give it a skip and use maybe classic pepperoni which goes well with pineapple on pizza.
Usually, smoked bacon is used in some easy Hawaiian pizza recipes to add a little bit of crunch to the pizza. It is somewhat like a garnish that goes along with red pepper flakes and such.
Canadian bacon is the most popular type of bacon used in pineapple pizzas. This is because Canadian bacon has a similar flavor to the ham that is usually used in pizzas, only it is leaner.
Bacon is maybe one of the reasons why Hawaiian pizza became a big hit in New York since it is somewhat familiar to the people living there. It somehow grounds the flavors of the pizza.
Combined with ham, the meat toppings are loved by a lot of people so sometimes, the pineapple pizza topping is not that big of a deal when it comes to putting it on the pizza.
I recommend cooking the bacon first in a small saucepan and slicing them into small square pieces. Do not worry as the oil from the bacon can be countered by the tangy pineapple flavor.
Domino’s uses smoked bacon and it is the first pizza place where I discovered that smoked bacon and pineapples really go well together so it is my personal favorite Hawaiian pizza.
5. Bell Pepper
While green and red bell peppers are common in pizza toppings, they are not that popular with Hawaiian pizzas. I added it to the list since it is optional and some people prefer it on their pizza.
For the anti-pineapple family members, you can put some bell peppers on one half of the pizza while you fill the other half with your pineapple toppings to accommodate both sides of the family.
I prefer using red bell peppers because they are the sweetest out of all the bell peppers. Yes, the color of bell peppers is not only for aesthetic purposes but also for adding different flavors.
The green bell pepper is usually the most bitter while the yellow and orange bell peppers are in the mild zone. The red bell pepper is the sweetest so it combines really well with the meat toppings.
These are nutritious pizza toppings that are really easy to prepare. Even if you make your own homemade pizza dough recipe, you will still have time to prepare your bell pepper toppings.
I recommend tossing them in hot olive oil to pre-cook for a little bit as they do not usually cook fast enough in the oven even with the help of a pizza stone, that is unless you want them crunchier.
Pizza Hut Hawaiian Pizza
Pizza Hut has a slightly unique Hawaiian pizza topping combination in it that uses BBQ sauce instead of the traditional red pizza sauce.
This makes it great for the meat toppings on the pizza.
BBQ sauce introduces that slightly sweet and savory flavor that is similar to the flavors of the toppings.
This is a really interesting and delicious type of pizza sauce that makes the pizza better.
The usual toppings you see on the Pizza Hut Hawaiian pizza are leftover ham, red onion, fresh pineapples, fresh cilantro, and fresh mozzarella cheese so they are nothing that is too uncommon.
Because of the addition of red onions, the Pizza Hut Hawaiian pizza is slightly sweeter than the other Hawaiian pizzas from other pizza places. This is why it appeals to most pizza lovers.
Even if you do not like pineapple on pizzas, Pizza Hut has found a way for you to love Hawaiian pizza by adding the sweeter and more familiar flavors that combine really well with the savory ones.
Domino’s Honolulu Hawaiian Pizza
Domino’s pizza also gives the Hawaiian pizza a little twist with their signature Honolulu Hawaiian pizza. Contrary to the traditional Hawaiian pizza, this pizza uses two types of cheese.
There are some of the more common toppings but instead of just mozzarella cheese on the Hawaiian pizza, the Domino’s Honolulu Hawaiian pizza also has some provolone cheese in it.
This means that the pizza is slightly different as provolone has a slightly higher sodium content than other types of cheese. It gives the mozzarella a savory taste by combining the saltiness.
The other toppings such as roasted red peppers, smoked bacon, ham, and pineapple counter this saltiness to make a savory flavor so the pizza is not too sweet and also not too salty.
The perfect balance between the flavors is what made me love this pizza.
Other pizza chains have similar flavors but nothing beats the one from Domino’s with the great combination of flavors.
Papa John’s Super Hawaiian Pizza
Papa John’s Super Hawaiian Pizza is perhaps the best Hawaiian pizza if you want an explosion of flavors in your mouth. It has unique toppings and some common pineapple pizza toppings.
One thing that is notable about Papa John’s Hawaiian pizza is that it uses three types of cheese instead of just one. The real cheese made from Mozzarella is truly great for the pizza.
Instead of regular bacon, Papa John’s uses julienne-cut Canadian bacon which gives the slight sweetness to the meat toppings while also bringing that savory taste and chewy texture.
The bacon used for the pizza toppings is also not as simple as fried or toasted bacon.
The pizza place uses hickory-smoked bacon so you really get a taste of the real smoky flavors in it.
Papa John’s also uses their signature pizza sauce on the Hawaiian pizza so if you love the other types of pizza from them, then you can still taste that familiar flavor on the Hawaiian pizza.
They also use the original fresh dough so the pizza base is not really that different from the other types of pizza from Papa John’s.
It is crispy and airy on the inside so the texture is perfect.
Little Caesar’s Hula Hawaiian Pizza
Little Caesar’s Hawaiian pizza is also one of my favorite not-so-popular pizzas from a pizza chain.
It is not their most popular pizza but I like how it is still made with high quality.
Even other people who have strong opinions about pizza on pineapples can be persuaded by this pizza.
The Little Caesar’s Hawaiian pizza is really simple so it appeals to authentic pizza lovers.
By keeping the pizza simple with only smoky ham and pineapples as toppings, this pizza is perfect for those people who do not like pizzas that are too complicated in terms of flavors.
The Little Caesars Hawaiian pizza is sold for the same price as the large pizzas with other toppings.
The last time I had this pizza, I remembered how charred the crust really was.
This means that it has been cooked at a really high temperature so the pineapples also have that burnt sugar on the outside which was really good.
The pizza bakes evenly so the chars were not that bothersome.
The crispy crust combines really well with the soft toppings and you know that it has been cooked in a really hot oven. That is what makes this pizza better than other pineapple pizzas.
Now that you know the best Hawaiian pizza toppings, you can now make your favorite pizza recipe by making your own homemade pizza crust first with a simple combination of dry ingredients and warm water.
Your yeast mixture should be active to give your pizza crust a crispy finish.
If you are making one for the first time, we can guide you with that as well.
Always allow your dough to rise at room temperature so it activates all the gluten in it.
Making pizzas at home is a great way to spend your time with your family.
You can use your leftover toppings and extra cheese to make Hawaiian pizza at home and bring your pizza nights to the next level!
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