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

Note: This post may contain affiliate links to products or services. You may be redirected to our partner’s sites when you press the link.  We may receive a commission at no additional cost if you buy any of their products or services. For more info, see our Advertiser Disclosure.

What Cheese Goes on Pizza?

Are you wondering what cheese goes on pizza?

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:

Mozzarella

Gouda

Gruyere

Ricotta

Parmesan

What Cheese Goes on Pizza?

Here are the top cheeses for pizza.

HPP Video Promo
HPP Video Promo
What Cheese Goes on Pizza Infographic
What Cheese Goes on Pizza?

Mozzarella

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

It pairs well with both spicy and mild flavors. However, if you are looking for 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. Monks at the San Lorenzo di Capua monastery 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.

A cheese that is too wet 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.

Gouda

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, and 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 out the other toppings on the pizza.

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.

Gruyere

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.

When choosing cheese, remember that a thin layer of oil is ideal for a pizza. 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.

Ricotta

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

Ricotta, made from cow, buffalo, or goat’s milk, is another delicious and versatile pizza topping. 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!

Parmesan

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 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
MuensterMildSemi-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
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you!
Our Top Cheese Vendor
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:

Try their fresh truffles you won't regret it!
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you!

Additional Resources on Cheese

Enjoy!

Not a PRO? Not a Problem!

Take a pizza class to bring your pizza skills to the next level,

so you can be a PRO!

use salsa as pizza sauce

Can You Use Salsa as Pizza Sauce? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

the PROs

Using Salsa as a Pizza Sauce Are you wondering if you can use salsa as a pizza sauce? Read on …

Pizza toppings under cheese or over

Pizza Toppings Under Cheese or Over? [Why the Order Matters]

the PROs

Pizza Toppings Under Cheese or Over? Are you wondering if you should layer pizza toppings under cheese or over? This …

What cheese goes on pizza

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

the PROs

What Cheese Goes on Pizza? Are you wondering what cheese goes on pizza? Choosing which cheese to add to your …

Check Out Our Pizza T-Shirts

Check Out Our Preferred Vendors

Newsletter

Subscribe to our Recipe of the Week newsletter and receive our partners’ latest recipes, tips, and discount offers.

Keep in Touch!

[email protected]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.