30 unusual pizza toppings you may not believe are real


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Tired of pepperoni pizza? So is the rest of the world!

Pizza fans often have strong opinions about what’s best to put on a slice of ‘za (we’re looking at you, pineapple!). There are endless topping options — squid, cereal, emu and pomegranate molasses, just to name a few. 

If you’re craving some new or even unusual flavor combos for your next pizza night, look no further than this international toppings roundup. We’ve included links to recipes or places that use the toppings in question for those who are brave enough to try it out! 

Image Credit: Theaustralianhotel / Instagram.

1. Lamb shawarma


Shawarma may be Middle Eastern, but it’s actually the Netherlands that claims this as a favorite pizza topping. While they prefer lamb, chicken shawarma is also popular.

Image Credit: bellevue bistro / Flickr.

2. Full English breakfast


Who else but the Brits would put a full English breakfast on their pizza?

Image Credit: Craig Anderson / Flickr.

3. Squid and shrimp


It probably comes as little surprise that this topping pairing comes from Japan. However, it should be noted that we found a slew of other countries that put seafood on their pizza, including the U.S.

Image Credit: Максим Крысанов / iStock.

4. ‘Trivia Night’


The Australian Hotel in, well, Australia, has made headlines in the past for its bizarre concoctions, including this Trivia Night pizza. It has pepperoni, pretzels and cereal as its main toppings.

Image Credit: Theaustralianhotel / Instagram.

5. Emu & kangaroo


We look again to The Australian Hotel for this dish, although emu and kangaroo are far more common throughout Australia than cereal is!

Image Credit: Theaustralianhotel / Instagram.

6. Sardines


Mockba Pizza features sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, onions and herbs. Perhaps weirdest of all? It’s best served cold.

Image Credit: Khanhkat.mockba / Instagram.

7. Banana curry


Many Swedes kick off their pizza nights with banana and curry seasoning for an extra kick.

Image Credit: Robyn Lee / Flickr.

8. Sushi


Believe it or not, sushi is far more common as a pizza topping in Ontario than it is in most Asian countries!

Image Credit: Sergey Nazarov / iStock.

9. Green peas


While still unusual, green peas feel rather tame compared to squid! Or bananas, for that matter.

Image Credit: Wiktory / iStock.

10. Canned tuna


You’ve probably heard of fish on pizza, but how about just emptying a jar of tuna you’ve got laying around on it?

Image Credit: Максим Крысанов / iStock.

11. Coconut

Costa Rica

Coconut is another sweeter topping common on pizza in Costa Rica. If you’re not a fan of pineapple, though, this may not be for you, either.

Image Credit: Amnarj2006 / iStock.

12. Cookie dough and shrimp

South Korea

Dessert pizzas are nothing new, but what about South Korea’s Grand Prix? It has shrimp and sweet potatoes as toppings, cookie dough-stuffed crust and a side of blueberry sauce.

Image Credit: Robyn Lee / Flickr.

13. Berlusconi (Reindeer)


Where else but Scandinavia are you going to get reindeer meat on your pizza?

Image Credit: Hugovk / Flickr.

14. Paneer (Indian cottage cheese)


For those unfamiliar with paneer, it’s a mild Indian cheese. While cheese is pretty common on pizza, you’ll have to dig pretty hard to find a pizza joint in the U.S. that offers paneer!

Image Credit: Subodhsathe / iStock.

15. Horsemeat


Scandinavia is giving us another odd meat option, this time courtesy of Denmark. If you’re feeling adventurous, replace your pepperoni with horse meat.

Image Credit: Euscene / Flickr.

16. Pho


Love pho? Put it on your pizza! It may sound like a weird combination, but this may be for you, especially if your favorite dishes just so happen to be pho and pizza.

Image Credit: Hapapizzapdx / Instagram.

17. Elote and chicken


Elote, which is seasoned Mexican corn, and chicken is a favorite pizza topping in Mexico. This one just sounds delicious, especially if you already like chicken pizza.

Image Credit: Rodrigobark / iStock.

18. Kimchi


Kimchi is a common fermented vegetable dish found in North and South Korea. It’s typically made with napa cabbage and Korean radish and a variety of seasonings.

Image Credit: Lcc54613 / iStock.

19. Loaded baked potato


Where else but the U.S. would you find a loaded baked potato pizza?

Image Credit: Daxphillips2006 / Flickr.

20. Tarte flambée


Want something fancier than baked potatoes? Try bacon, onion and fresh cream to make this French favorite. 

Image Credit: Firn / iStock.

21. Chicken tikka


Chicken tikka is a common kabob in Pakistan, often served with flatbread, so why not put it on your pizza instead of a skewer? Pizza’s a flatbread, right?

Image Credit: Fudio / iStock.

22. Linguica


Linguica is a Portguuese smoked pork sausage, making it a great, spicier alternative to beef or pepperoni.

Image Credit: Yauhen_Zaluzhny / iStock.

23. Okra pods


Okra is a staple in many parts of Africa and is found in numerous dishes. People put vegetables on their pizza anyway, so why not okra?

Image Credit: Chris McDaniel / Flickr.

24. Chorizo and manchego


We say sí to this Spanish take on a classic sausage and cheese pizza!

Image Credit: Ozge Emir / iStock.

25. Sfiha


OK, so this is pretty much already a pizza. It’s a flatbread with lamb meat and various spices.

Image Credit: ALLEKO / iStock.

26. Kiwi


Step aside, pineapple. There’s a new fruit on Sweden’s pizzas!

Image Credit: Lekcej / iStock.

27. Ginger


Ginger on pizza? In China pizza often is a combo of pizza classics like tomato sauce and mozzarella, but could also include things like pea pods, water chestnuts, soy sauce and, yes, ginger.

Image Credit: Andryslukowski / istock.

28. Pomegranate molasses


We’d be remiss to point out that yes, this is quite similar to Sfih. But lahmajun is typically made with pomegranate molasses, minced meat, onions, garlic, tomatoes, red peppers and cinnamon, among other spices.

Image Credit: IgorDutina / iStock.

29. Ketchup


Zapiekanki pizza is made with ketchup, mushrooms and onions, although you can add other toppings as well.

Image Credit: Nortonrsx / iStock.

30. Cabbage and beets


Borscht pizza has cabbage, beets (although they’re not always cooked into the dough, as depicted here), carrots, celery, Borscht sauce, sour cream, dill and other veggies and spices.


This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.