5+ Best Cheeses for Delicious Pizza
There are so many different types of cheese out there, and, quite frankly, we adore them all. So, let’s talk about which ones are the best for your pizzas!
There are lots of things to consider when picking cheese for your pizza, which can be quite odd - a lot of the time you might simply opt for flavor, and then not consider anything else. We get that, but think about it: you need to question how well the cheese will melt, and how it will react to other toppings before you consider flavor. Without further ado, let’s discuss the best cheeses for pizza.
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How Do You Choose Cheese for Pizza?
Picking the best cheese for pizza can be a really tricky affair, simply because of all the factors that you need to consider. In fact, we’ve actually put together a little list to help you think about it all.
- Browning Capability: A good cheese on a pizza needs to be able to easily go through the Maillard reaction and turn golden-brown. A raw-looking cheese isn’t appetizing!
- Melting Ability: The better a cheese melts, the more efficiently it will be able to cover the surface of the pizza without leaving lumps, or becoming thin in any spots.
- Stretchiness: Showing good strands when you pull apart the pizza is a golden ticket to success!
- Fat Content: The fat content of the cheese is what determines how well it stretches and melts - so we need to aim for cheese with a 35-40% fat content.
- Moisture Content: The amount of liquid in cheese will greatly affect its browning ability, and as we said before - browned cheese is just more appetizing!
What Is The Best Cheese for Pizza?
Mozzarella is probably most people’s default when it comes to topping their pizza - it’s got a straightforward flavor and an ideal consistency. Generally speaking, it browns well, stretches incredibly, and has a beautiful flavor. It’s typically quite milky, with just a hint of tang.
There are lots of varieties available to experiment with, we’d recommend going for low-moisture, full-fat mozzarella. This cheese stretches very well and has a great amount of flavor too - it’s traditional, so you know it’s had a lot of love over the years.
Cheddar is quite a bold choice for a pizza. It’s known for having a powerful flavor and being at the forefront of most dishes that it’s in. Especially mature cheddar will have small, naturally formed, salt crystals within it that will give you an extra layer of texture, plus the taste will be very intense.
We would recommend trying this alongside a cheese that melts a little better. While cheddar does melt, it tends to burn very quickly thereafter. Mixing the cheddar with mozzarella gives you a good balance between flavor and texture.
Gorgonzola is perhaps one of the most underappreciated cheeses out there. It’s made with milk from cows from northern Italy, and the blue marbling tends to turn people off a little, especially for pizza. The truth is that it’s a wonderful addition! It’s very creamy and aromatic, with a nutty taste that becomes a little more intense as you chew. This cheese melts spectacularly, sure to cover even the largest pizzas with ease.
Now, we know that this is an odd choice. Honestly, we agree with you! Using solely Parmigiano-Reggiano on a pizza would be a recipe for disaster, the flavor is just too intense.
This cheese is very hard, with a rich, fragrant flavor. It tastes very nutty overall, as well as being fairly salty and buttery to finish. The thing that separates it from the pack, though, is that the cheese has a very concentrated flavor. We’d recommend grating just a small amount of this cheese onto the top of your pizza - this will finish the meal wonderfully, giving you just a hint of the strong flavors.
Provolone is surprisingly unheard of. It’s similar to mozzarella, at least when it is in its youth, but the flavor and texture develop as it ages. Generally speaking, it becomes crumblier and saltier over time, becoming a rich cheese that can be very well enjoyed on its own.
Whether young or old, the cheese has some quite mild notes that would not be amiss on pizza. Try chopping a blob of provolone up into roughly one-centimeter diameter cubes, and then sprinkle those cubes on the pizza. They will melt well, giving you a fantastic look and taste at the finish.
Goat cheese is a wonderful addition to pizza. It sounds like it wouldn’t work, as the extremely tangy flavors of the cheese could supersede the sharp tomato sauce, but, in truth, it all works together wonderfully. The creamy undertones of a good goat cheese come through when on pizza to wonderfully complement the rest of the ingredients.
The only downside is that goat cheese doesn’t really melt quite so well. It tends to get exceptionally hot, of course, but from that point, it becomes more of a spreadable solid than gooey, stringy heaven-like mozzarella. Of course, this might be exactly what you’re looking for. If so, make sure to try some out! If it isn’t, however, it’s worth bearing in mind to avoid.
Pecorino-Romano is an amazing cheese! It’s very similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano, though the cheese is aged for a slightly shorter amount of time, which means that the flavors are overall milkier and lighter, compared to the harsh notes of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
If you’ve tried and enjoyed Parmigiano-Reggiano on your pizzas, give Pecorino-Romano a try - it’s very similar, though with a smoother, gentler taste.
Gouda is a wonderful dutch cheese known to have a rich, buttery, and smokey flavor. The texture is always wonderfully smooth, though the best melting options are certainly younger goudas. They will have more moisture, so they will melt very easily.
We’d recommend trying out smoked gouda, if you do decide to opt for this cheese - it’s a very unique flavor, and can give you some wonderful taste sensations if you’re looking to experiment a little.
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