What’s a pizza without delicious, stringy cheese? While you might think that any type of cheese will work well on pizza, this isn’t the case.
What should you look for in a pizza cheese?
How well it melts, how it tastes, and how it looks (think bubbly and stringy) are all important features to consider when choosing the right cheese for pizza.
If you want to make mouth-watering pizza at home, make sure you’re armed with one or a few delicious cheeses we’re about to feature. These are guaranteed to make your pizza juicier and tastier.
Why Choosing The Right Cheese For Pizza Matters
If you love cheese, you might want to add any type of cheese to your pizza, but this isn’t a wise decision. There are important things to look for in the cheese you want to add to your pizza for the best results.
Cheese that you put on pizza needs to have the following features:
It Should Melt Well
If the cheese you use on pizza doesn’t melt well or easily, your pizza could lack moisture and be a bit dry. You want a juicy pizza!
The best cheeses to choose for melting success are those that are rich in moisture, such as mozzarella and gruyère cheese.
While some cheeses can be tasty on pizza, such as haloumi, its lack of melting ability means you should rather use it as a garnish.
It Should Stretch
When you pull slices of pizza apart, or when you take a bite out of a slice, you want the cheese on the pizza to stretch. This is what makes it delicious!
Cheese that melts easily will also stretch, so that’s a good thing to remember when finding the perfect pizza cheese.
What About Taste?
It’s thought that mild cheese is best for use on pizza as a result of how you’ll have other toppings on it that you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the cheese.
That said, experimenting with bold-flavored cheese on pizza can be a good thing, especially if you have milder ingredients on your pizza, such as mushrooms or yellow peppers.
Then, the cheese can really shine.
Best Cheese For Pizza
This type of cheese is the best for pizza, hands down! It works so well as a pizza topping because it has an excellent creamy texture and a mild flavor that can complement other, more pungent, pizza toppings.
However, make sure you purchase low-moisture mozzarella cheese. This type has a stronger flavor, it melts easier, and it also has a longer shelf life.
If you love packing the cheese onto your pizza, mozzarella should definitely be one of the cheeses you use. As a bonus, it complements many other types of cheese.
This is a cheese that’s similar to mozzarella. It’s a semi-hard cheese that complements both mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano, but it can also be used on its own. It’s got a mild yet sweet flavor and a crumbly texture.
If you want a simple yet delicious pizza topping, combine provolone with tomato sauce and basil.
Note that if you want the provolone to be sweet and creamy, choose provolone that’s aged for a short period of time.
You might shave some parmesan over your favorite salads, but don’t forget about it when you’re making delicious pizza.
Although this cheese doesn’t melt as well as some others, which means you should team it up with other cheese, it does provide a sharp burst of flavor.
Parmesan gives your pizza a lovely boost of salt and savory taste, which you really can’t go wrong with!
Pro tip: Grate parmesan on your pizza when it comes out of the oven.
While you might think gorgonzola is a bit too strong for pizza, its taste becomes more subtle when cooked in the oven. This unique marbled blue cheese adds depth of flavor to pizza, but it’s best used with creamy cheeses such as mozzarella.
One of the things that make gorgonzola so good for use on pizza is that it melts very well.
It’s good to crumble the gorgonzola onto the top of the pizza before cooking it so you’ll get lovely puddles of it. Delicious!
While you might not immediately think of ricotta when making pizza, it’s a delicious addition to your toppings because it’s fresh and creamy.
If you love to experiment with sweet and savory toppings, ricotta should be your go-to cheese because it works well with both.
It doesn’t melt well, though, so you should add it as a pizza topping after your pizza has cooked in the oven.
Gouda is good on pizza! This type of cheese makes our list of the best pizza cheese toppings as a result of how well it melts and bubbles.
If you’re a fan of brown, bubbly bits on your pizza that enhance its overall taste, then you should definitely use gouda.
This Dutch cheese is semi-hard and has a smooth texture as well as a rich, slightly nutty flavor. This flavor works well with thin-crust pizzas.
Pro tip: When using gouda, try to balance out its flavor with savory ingredients.
This hard Swiss cheese has a sweet, earthy flavor. This is because of how it gets cured in brine.
This quality gives it a great punch of taste that works well with other cheeses.
Like other high-moisture cheese that hasn’t aged for very long (brie and mozzarella come to mind), gruyère is a type of cheese that melts well.
While you might not immediately reach for cheddar when making pizza because it doesn’t melt as well as other cheese, it’s a great topping because it gives you lots of flavor and it adds oil to your pizza.
This makes the pizza juicy, but just make sure you don’t use too much of it otherwise your pizza might be too wet.
While cheddar works well with other types of cheese, make sure you choose an extra-mature or mature cheddar cheese to increase its flavor. This type of cheese is especially great for use when you’re adding strong-tasting ingredients to your pizza, such as biltong.
Although this type of cheese doesn’t melt as well as others, it does give you lovely puddles of creamy cheese on your pizza. Goat’s cheese is creamy with a rich, slightly tangy flavor that works particularly well with sweet ingredients.
If you’re adding vegetables to your pizza, such as pumpkin or potato, goat’s cheese will complement them very well.
Pro tip: When preparing your pizza, put small dollops of goat’s cheese all over the surface of the pizza so that you’ll get savory bites.
Extra Tips For Using Cheese On Pizza
Always make sure your cheese is cold before adding it to pizza. This will prevent the cheese from being overcooked or burned.
Avoid the temptation to use too much cheese. About four or five ounces of cheese is a good amount of cheese for a 13-inch crust, so use that as your guideline.
If you want to use hard cheese on your pizza, always add it as a topping after the pizza has cooked. This will ensure the cheese’s delicate flavor remains.
Should you put cheese first or last on the pizza?
Usually, when you prepare a pizza you should put your sauce on the dough first, then put the cheese, and then put the toppings on the cheese. This enables the cheese to bubble and become brown and then the toppings can become crispy as a result.
How can you prevent cheese from moving off your pizza when you slice it?
When your pizza has finished cooking in the oven, let it cool for a few minutes. This will prevent the pizza toppings from sliding around. It’s hard, but be patient before digging in!
Why is your mozzarella cheese not melting?
If your mozzarella is fresh and has been stored in brine or whey, this will prevent it from melting well because its moisture content will be too high.
Don’t put any cheese you currently have in the fridge on your pizza. Some cheeses work better on pizzas than others, such as those we’ve listed in this article.
We’ve also given you some important tips to remember the next time you whip up a tasty pizza at home so that it has professional restaurant quality and makes pizza nights at home so much more delicious.
Nicole Dowdy is an avid foodie and successful restaurateur. [He/she] has dedicated nearly all her life to learning popular recipes from across the globe as well as developing new ones. Using Food Migration, Nicole Dowdy shares the very best recipes for just about every home cook looking to try something new in the kitchen. Pro chefs can also learn a few tricks on the website.Looking to improve your kitchen? You will also find awesome and high-quality kitchen utensil recommendations as well as buying guides on this website.