What Cheese Goes on Pizza? Find the Top Cheeses for Pizza

By: the PROs

What Cheese Goes on Pizza? Find the Top Cheeses for Pizza

What Cheese Goes on Pizza? you asked.

What cheese goes on pizza? – a question as old as the tradition of pizza making itself, and we’re about to dive deep into the heart of this delicious debate.

From the beloved Mozzarella to surprising players like Blue Cheese, we’re taking a gastronomic tour through the incredible variety of cheeses that can make a pizza go from ordinary to unforgettable. Get ready to open your mind (and possibly your fridge) as we explore the world of cheese and its many delightful pizza possibilities.

Keep reading to uncover the secrets behind the perfect pizza cheese and learn how to elevate your own homemade creations.

So, let’s talk cheese, shall we?

Choosing which cheese to add to your pizza might be challenging, given the range of options available.

However, according to a global team of scientists, you must consider the cheese’s flexibility, free oil, moisture, water activity, and baking temperature for pizza.

Check out the list below of the top five kinds of cheese for pizza.

Top 5 Cheese for Pizza at a Glance:






What Cheese Goes on Pizza?

Here are the top cheeses for pizza.

What Cheese Goes on Pizza Infographic
What Cheese Goes on Pizza?


Most of us associate mozzarella with pizza, and it does. It’s ooey-gooey texture and neutral flavor make it an excellent choice for pizza toppings.

It pairs well with both spicy and mild flavors. However, if you want creamy cheese, try substituting goat cheese. You can also add more cheese to your pizza if you like the taste of ricotta.

The mozzarella was invented in Southern Italy during the first century A.D. Its earliest form was likely made from sheep’s milk.

Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese

This cheese was discovered accidentally when some curds accidentally fell into hot water. The San Lorenzo di Capua monastery monks are recorded as handing out bread with Mozza cheese.

However, many people today associate mozzarella with pizza toppings.

Mozzarella also works well on thin-crust pizzas because it melts quickly, giving the pizza a stringy texture. Make sure to choose high-quality mozzarella when making your pizza.

The cheese is more likely to enhance the overall flavor of the dish.

While fresh mozzarella is an excellent topping for pizza, you should first ensure it is completely dry before using it.

Too wet cheese will result in puddles of cheese water on your pizza, weakening the crust and muddling the sauce.

To prevent this, remove the cheese from its brine and dry it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Then, slice the mozzarella into small pieces before putting it on your pizza.

While mozzarella is the most popular cheese topping on pizza, there are also several different types of mozzarella.

For homemade pizza, it is essential to combine fresh and low-moisture mozzarella. This will help it melt well but not leave excess water in the cheese.

It will also taste good on American-style pizza. In summary, you should use fresh mozzarella whenever possible.


If you’re wondering whether Gouda cheese is a good pizza topping, it’s the former. This cheesy staple pairs well with many toppings, including vegetables, meats, and fruits.

In addition to toppings, gouda works well in salads and casseroles and can be sprinkled on pizza. Here are some reasons why it is a great pizza topping:

Gouda’s taste, texture, and aroma vary depending on its age. The cheese tends to have a more robust flavor as it contains less moisture when it’s older.

Gouda Cheese
Gouda Cheese

You can buy it in both straight and smoked forms. The former is more suited for pizza toppings; both types pair well with sweet and savory flavors. Smoked gouda is particularly popular on pizza.

Consider using Edam instead of Gouda cheese if you want a cheesy crust. These cheeses have similar flavor profiles, but Edam is softer and flows less when melted.

They also brown more evenly, but both are good for you. You can combine them, however, but you must choose one with the right texture and flavor to balance the pizza’s other toppings.

When choosing cheese for your pizza, there are many varieties. Avoid high-fat varieties, as they can be too high in saturated fats.

If you’re eating a pizza for a healthy lifestyle, choose low-fat or lower calories cheeses. The latter option is healthier for you. It’s also more convenient for busy people, as the cheeses are more affordable.


Whether gruyere is a topping or just part of the pizza is a matter of taste. Its mild, slightly sweet flavor is a natural choice for topping pizza.

And because gruyere melts so evenly on the pizza, it complements almost any topping, whether you’re using meats, vegetables, or eggs. It’s also a great complement to French onion soup.

Gruyere Cheese
Gruyere Cheese

Combined with the soft mozzarella, it provides the classic cheese-pull-ability and texture. For pumpkin pizza, double the amount of cheese.

In addition, spring onions are in season from late spring to early summer. It’s a great addition to pizzas when they’re baked or grilled.

Whether you use it as a topping or as part of the crust, gruyere is a versatile cheese that compliments almost any type of pizza.

Its mild flavor and saltiness go well with meats, poultry, or fish and complement other cheeses. It’s also great for pasta dishes, as well as pizza.

Similarly, a cow’s milk cheese provolone has a firm texture. A mozzarella/provolone blend is an excellent combination for a flavorful pizza.

Remember that a thin layer of oil is ideal for a pizza when choosing cheese. An excess of oil will drown the flavors and make the cheese mushy and unpalatable.

Also, make sure that your cheese is well melted. Melting it together helps the toppings to distribute evenly across the pizza and protects it from the cooking process.

Otherwise, lumpy cheese will ruin the texture of the pizza.


Try ricotta cheese if you want a great cheese to top your pizza. It adds a creaminess and structure to mozzarella, and it’s heat-resistant.

Ricotta is another delicious and versatile pizza topping made from cow, buffalo, or goat’s milk. The creamy cheese works well with the firm cheese.

Ricotta is also a popular choice for white sauce pizzas. Make sure you use fresh cheese to avoid the melted texture. Also, look for cheese that’s not overly salty, as pre-salty cheese is less flavorful than fresh cheese.

You can also get creative with ricotta cheese on pizza. You can also use it as a spaghetti cheese topping. You can even make a to-die-for ricotta white pizza with gourmet wild mushrooms.

Then drizzle it with truffle oil to finish it off. You’ll also want to use homemade pizza dough and garnish it with fresh green onions once it’s baked.

Ricotta cheese
Ricotta Cheese

To make a white pizza, don’t use traditional pizza sauce. The only ingredient is garlic and rosemary-infused olive oil.

Fresh rosemary is more robust, so use less than half a teaspoon.

Alternatively, chop up a tablespoon of dried rosemary and add it to the olive oil. Afterward, place the ricotta-topped pizza on a pizza stone.

Then, sprinkle with additional mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, or the mushroom mixture.

Once you’ve prepped the dough and rolled it out, it’s time to start topping it. To do this, start by chopping garlic and basil. Spread the mixture evenly over the dough.

Then, spread the ricotta mixture over the mozzarella.

Sprinkle the top of the pizza with sliced basil leaves.

Finally, add the Pecorino Romano cheese. Bake the pizza for about 15 minutes.

Once the crust has browned, slice it into eight pieces and enjoy!


If you have never had a slice of pizza with parmesan cheese on it, you are missing out. It is a delicious addition to any pizza!

The nutty flavor and saltiness of parmesan are perfect for a pizza!

You can add it to the pizza sauce or sprinkle it on before baking it. This cheese pairs well with practically any type of pizza. Shredded parmesan is delicious on thin-crust pizza.

parmesan cheese
Parmesan Cheese

If you enjoy the taste of parmesan on your pizza, you should know how to slice it properly. This hard cheese does not burn quickly and can be used to top a pizza.

Parmesan is not as soft as mozzarella so that you can mix it with other cheeses for a unique taste. Be sure to use only the desired amount of Parmesan, as the cheese should be fresh; otherwise, it will burn.

Top Cheeses for Pizza (Flavor & Texture)

Type of CheeseFlavorTexture
Brie & CamembertMild, Buttery, and CreamySoft & Smooth
MozzarellaSalty and DenseSemi-Soft
Cheddar, Gouda, & ColbyCreamy & SubtleSemi-Hard
ProvoloneSweet or Sharp (depending on the aging period)Semi-Hard
Blue CheeseSpicy and SaltySemi-Soft
FetaSalty, Tangy, LemonyCrumbly, Slightly creamy
Swiss CheeseSlightly Sweet & NuttyFirm
Monterey JackCreamy & ButterySemi-hard
ParmesanSharp & BitterHard or Firm

Cheese Moisture Level

Moisture level plays an essential role since cheese is categorized by its firmness.

Higher moisture content results in a softer cheese, while lower moisture content results in a firmer cheese.

Accordingly, the moisture will affect the outcome of the pizza. 

Moisture Level Content of Top Cheeses for Pizza

ClassificationPercent moistureCheese textureExamples
Low-Moisture13–34%Very hardParmesan, Romano
Medium-Moisture34–45%Hard/Semi-HardCheddar, Swiss, Gouda, Edam
High-Moisture45–55%SoftMozzarella, Blue, Brie
Very-High Moisture55–80%Very softCottage, Cream Cheese, Ricotta

A cheese with higher moisture will melt easier.

On the other hand, you can use harder cheeses or low-moisture cheeses for shredded toppings. 

The Last Slice

We hope you know what cheese goes on pizza and which are the top cheeses for pizza.

While mozzarella cheese is the most common type of cheese used on pizza, other types of cheese can be used to enhance the flavor of your pizza.

Just make sure that the cheese melts appropriately and maintains a good consistency. You can add other cheese to your pizza, like cheddar or provolone.

It is up to you to experiment and decide what you like best! And remember that if you want to use hard cheeses, be sure to add them after the pizza has been cooked.

Here’s Where the PROs at Homemade Pizza Pro Get the Best Cheese for Pizza

Best for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Fresh Mozzarella - Fior Di Latte

Fior Di Latte is an Italian-style cow's milk cheese made to order and delivered fresh as can be. With a name meaning "milk's flower," each ball-shaped cheese has an elastic texture and fresh, tangy taste thanks to the use of fresh cow's milk (as opposed to the buffalo's milk used in Mozzarella di Bufala). While fresh Mozzarella cheese can be enjoyed by itself, it works wonders spread over pizza or accompanied by salad.

Check it Out
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Gourmet Food Store

Gourmet Food Store is an epicure's paradise, an online store for those who love great food and great ingredients. They offer you the ultimate selection of international specialty foods such as caviar, cheese, foie gras and pate, gourmet chocolates, oils and vinegars, smoked salmon, specialty meats, teas, fresh truffles, and many other gastronomic delights. Explore the best and most elegant foods in the world at prices that will amaze you. Discover recipes, wine pairings, tips, and everything you need to know about gourmet food all in one place:

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