If you love pizza in all it's bready and cheesy glory, but still find yourself hungry for something more substantial, then chances are you'll be a fan of meat lover's pizza. Most pizzerias offer some kind of extra meaty option on their menus for true carnivores who are looking for more than simple slices of pepperoni.
The meat toppings can vary, but often include cooked and crumbled Italian sausage or ground beef, bacon, pepperoni, and sometimes sliced ham. Pepperoni might be the most common American pizza topping, sold as little packages of small round disks. But pepperoni is actually a variety of salami that is made from beef and cured pork along with seasonings such as chili pepper and paprika. The red color comes from the paprika and the characteristic touch of heat is from the chili pepper.
The sausage most commonly used on pizza is an Italian pork sausage seasoned with fennel. It can be mild or spicy from the inclusion of red pepper flakes. Either works well for this recipe.
When building a meat lover's pizza, the cooked ground sausage and crumbled bacon are typically layered under half the cheese. Since those meats are already cooked before being added, keeping them under the cheese prevents overcooking and drying out.
- 1 (10- to 12-ounce) ball pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded, part-skim, or whole milk)
- 1 cup sausage (cooked and crumbled)
- 24 pepperoni slices
- 4 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 500 F.
On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to about a 12-inch round. You can also stretch it using your hands. It does not need to be a perfect circle.
Move the dough to the baking sheet and spread the pizza sauce evenly across the top of the dough. Spread 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle the crumbled cooked sausage and crumbled cooked bacon over the cheese, then top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Finally, layer on the slices of pepperoni and top with the grated Parmesan cheese.
Reduce the oven temperature to 475 F and bake for approximately 13 to 14 minutes. The dough should be cooked through and the cheese fully melted.
Serve hot with crushed red pepper flakes on the side for anyone who would like a little spice.
- Substitute cooked ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken for the sausage.
- Add the crumbled cooked bacon to the top of the pizza after it is cooked if you want it to be extra crispy.