Types Of Cheese For Pizza

Pizza is arguably one of the best types of food there is. There really is nothing better than the combination of the pizza base, tasty toppings, pizza sauce, and of course, the cheese.

While all of the pizza elements are great, the cheese helps to bring everything together.

While you can change the toppings on a pizza or the type of pizza sauce, if a pizza doesn’t include cheese or a cheese substitute, it just doesn’t taste right!

When it comes to the type of cheese to use on a pizza, it is important to get this correct. After all, the wrong type of cheese could have the potential to ruin the pizza.

In this article, we will be taking you through the best types of cheese to use on pizza. 

We have included some vegan-friendly options, and have also explained what makes a good cheese for pizza! 

Why Is Cheese Important On A Pizza?

Cheese is an important aspect of a pizza. Not only does cheese taste great, but it helps to bring all of the flavors together well.

It adds a softer texture to the pizza, and it also helps to prevent the pizza base and the toppings from burning, too. 

The majority of cheeses melt well and complement the overall taste of the pizza. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more satisfying than the cheese pull created when you take a slice of fresh pizza!

What Makes Good Cheese For Pizza?

The type of cheese you put on a pizza is important. While in theory, you can choose any type of cheese, some work far better than others.

The ideal cheese will have a perfect consistency. It will be soft but not soggy, and it will melt well. Having a cheese that melts is essential. 

In addition to this, you will want to choose a cheese that is not too oily. Too much oil can cause the pizza to be unpleasant to eat. While a small amount of oil is great for the flavor, too much can drown it. 

Ideally, the cheese you choose should melt well. You want a cheese that will combine together well when it has melted.

This helps to even out the toppings on the pizza and protects the pizza as it is cooking. If the cheese becomes lumpy when it is cooked, this is not ideal for the overall texture of the pizza. 

Types Of Cheese For Pizza

What Makes Good Cheese For Pizza

With all of this in mind, there are a handful of cheeses that are fantastic to consider placing on a pizza. We have included a wide variety of different cheeses below.

While the majority of them are great options to use to cover the base of the pizza, others work better in smaller topping portions on top of other cheeses.

Mozzarella

When it comes to the best cheese to use as a pizza topping, the award has to go to mozzarella. It really is the best option to consider.

Not only does it melt well, but it has the perfect consistency, and it isn’t too oily. It doesn’t become lumpy when heated up, and it doesn’t taste overpowering in any way. 

It is a soft cheese, and can be purchased fresh in balls, or grated. Using both is the perfect combination.

The majority of store-bought mozzarella is made with cow’s milk, but you can purchase buffalo mozzarella too. 

Mozzarella is the perfect option to consider if you are looking for the classic pizza taste. It is certainly our favorite option, and it works well with all types of pizza toppings and sauces too.

Being a fairly mild cheese, it is versatile and is the traditional option used.

Provolone

Provolone is slightly different from mozzarella in its consistency. Instead of being a soft cheese, provolone is semi-soft. It is an Italian cheese that was created near Vesuvius.

Even so, it melts well and is a great option to consider. What is great about this cheese is that it is smoked, which adds to its flavor.

If you are using a traditional pizza oven to cook your pizzas, this cheese is a fantastic topping to consider.

It is easy to grate, and when melted, it is not too oily. It doesn’t become lumpy when heated, which is important. 

The overall flavor of provolone is mild and creamy. It doesn’t have an overpowering taste, but some varieties can taste stronger than others.

The flavor is mellow and compliments the other pizza ingredients well.

Parmesan

Parmesan is a popular cheese used in Italian cooking. It is a hard cheese, which does make it slightly different from softer cheeses.

However, it works particularly well on pizza, especially if it is mixed in with other types of cheese. 

It may not be the perfect cheese to use on its own because you need to use a lot of it.

Typically, you would only include a dusting of Parmesan cheese when adding it to a meal. This is why it is better as a topping.

Its flavor is strong and has an umami taste. While it doesn’t melt all that well, it adds flavor to the pizza. It tastes great when mixed with cheeses such as cheddar and grated mozzarella.

When using Parmesan cheese on a pizza, care needs to be taken to ensure that it doesn’t overcook and burn. 

Cheddar

Cheddar is a type of cheese that many people will have readily available in their refrigerators.

While it is not the perfect consistency in comparison to mozzarella, it still cooks well and has great cheese pulling capabilities. 

There are many different types of cheddar to choose from, such as mild and mature.

The option you choose really does depend on your personal preferences, but the more mature cheddar does have a fairly strong taste.

Using a mixture of different cheddar strengths on a pizza is a great option to consider. 

It does melt well but can produce some oils and fats, which is worth keeping in mind. It doesn’t burn easily and is great when used alongside mozzarella.

Gorgonzola

Gorgonzola is a fantastic cheese for those who are not afraid to try something that has a stronger flavor. Being a type of blue cheese, it is certainly not for everyone.

But if you enjoy its strong, and aromatic flavor, you will love the taste it adds to pizza. 

Gorgonzola when paired with a more mellow cheese, such as mozzarella or mild cheddar, is fantastic. Given that it is a fairly strong cheese, you do not need to add a lot of it to the pizza.

It is a fairly soft cheese made from cow’s milk, and it can be spread easily, which is useful when using it as a pizza topping. It works particularly well with vegetables and onions as the pizza toppings.

Goat’s Cheese

Goat’s cheese is a type of cheese that not everyone enjoys. It does taste very different to cheese that is made with cow’s milk, and it has a distinctive and strong taste.

However, if you are someone that does enjoy the taste of goat’s cheese, it can add a lovely amount of flavor to your pizza.

When using goat’s cheese, it is better to add it as an extra topping, rather than using it as the only cheese on the pizza. This is because it can have the tendency to separate when heated.

Even so, it takes a lot to burn goat cheese, due to its high water content. 

This is why it is an option to consider if you are looking for an alternative to mozzarella that has a pungent taste.

Parmigiano Reggiano

If you are looking for a cheese that is unique and different, Parmigiano Reggiano, an Italian hard cheese, is worth using.

When thinking about the texture of this cheese, in many ways it is similar to Parmesan.

As it doesn’t melt in the same way as other softer cheeses, it is better to use it as a topping, rather than on its own.

Interestingly, Parmigiano Reggiano is aged for longer than Parmesan. It can be aged for up to 36 months in total. 

Its flavor is not overpowering, but it is unique and distinctive thanks to the aging process.

It has a nutty and intense flavor that works well on a pizza. It is not too salty, and Parmigiano Reggiano has a fairly crumbly texture.

Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano is a type of Italian hard cheese that is made in Tuscany.

It is different from the majority of the other types of cheese featured because it is not made using cow’s milk. Instead, it is created from sheep’s milk.

While sheep’s milk does have a great flavor, it is an acquired taste that not everyone will be familiar with. However, it is certainly worth trying.

It is fairly salty in its flavor but is not too overpowering. As it has a crumbly texture, it is best when added to pizza alongside other cheeses.

Havarti 

Havarti is a type of washed-curd cheese. Its flavor is not overpowering in any way, and it has a soft and creamy texture.

It doesn’t feature a rind, and it is made using cow’s milk. In many ways, it is similar to Gouda cheese and young cheddar. 

Being a semi-hard cheese, it is easy to work with and goes well with a pizza. There are hints of sweetness, which work well when balanced with savory pizza toppings.

Havarti is a Danish cheese and does have a fairly high fat content. 

While it is a cheese you may not have previously heard of, it is a popular type of cheese to feature on pizza in Europe.

The texture is great when it is melted, and it is not quick to burn, which is important for cheese when placed on a pizza. 

Blue Cheese

While we have already covered one type of blue cheese in this article, which was Gorgonzola, there are other types of blue cheese available too.

One of the most popular types of blue cheese includes Stilton.

Stilton, and blue cheese in general, is definitely an acquired taste, and many people are put off by eating “moldy cheese”.

However, its pungent and interesting flavor really can enhance the taste of a pizza. 

Some four-cheese pizzas will include blue cheese, and it is a tasty option to consider. Due to how strong blue cheese is, it is not a cheese you would want to solely include on a pizza.

However, small amounts added alongside a milder cheese can taste fantastic. The texture of blue cheese is good, and it works well with many types of pizza toppings too. 

Gouda

Gouda is a Dutch cheese that is semi-hard. It is a good option to consider, even though it is not the best at melting.

What is great about Gouda is that it has a great texture and a food amount of creaminess.

It is quite a tangy cheese, which is perfect for those looking for more flavor than a mild cheddar or mozzarella. It has a buttery taste, which works particularly well with garlic, and meat-based pizzas.

Gouda can be used on its own, or it can be grated and mixed in with other types of cheese. Smoked Gouda is perfect if you want to try something slightly different.

As this cheese does have a medium to high moisture content, it is not going to dry out too quickly when placed in the oven, which makes it useful for use on pizza.

Ricotta

Ricotta is a type of cheese you wouldn’t necessarily choose to place on a pizza, to begin with.

However, it is a great option to consider. When thinking of Italian cooking, ricotta is added to many types of white sauces, and it can be used to create the sauce for your pizza.

However, it can also be sprinkled onto the pizza itself. 

 
Ricotta is a soft, Italian cheese that is created using a mixture of goat’s milk, buffalo milk, and cow’s milk, depending on who has created it.

The texture is soft and smooth, but due to its high moisture content, you wouldn’t want to overload your pizza with it.

Instead, it is a great option to use as a topping alongside another main type of cheese.

As it doesn’t melt overly well, it is not the best option to use alone. The flavor is not overpowering and has sweet and nutty elements.

Gruyère

Gruyère is a glorious tasting cheese that many people may not have tried before.

If you haven’t, it is something we would highly recommend, and it is the perfect substitute for mozzarella, especially if you enjoy flavorful cheese.

This cheese is Swiss. While it is a hard cheese, when it is melted, it doesn’t seem as though it is.

It creates the most amazing cheese pulls and is soft and smooth when warm. Its melting ability is great, and it has a standard moisture content. 

This cheese can be used for so many different recipes, but it works particularly well on traditional pizza.

The taste is not overpowering in any way, being slightly earth and nutty with hints of sweetness. Given that it is made using cow’s milk, it is a popular cheese to consider.

Emmental

Emmental is a semi-hard Swiss cheese. It is well known for the natural holes that are featured within the round or block of cheese. It is a lovely cheese that has a good amount of creaminess.

The flavor is slightly nutty, and buttery, and often people describe it as being fruity. 

The smell can resemble fresh hay, which is quite pleasant. It is a useful cheese to add to pizza as it works well with the overall flavor.

It is very slow to brown or burn, which is needed, and it is a stretchy cheese, which makes it a good pizza topping. 

Emmental is commonly mixed with mozzarella and other types of cheeses when it is added to pizza.

Vegan Options 

If you are vegan or intolerant to cheese, not being able to eat pizza can be disappointing. While you can choose to exclude cheese completely, pizza just doesn’t taste the same without it.

However, just because you cannot eat cheese, this doesn’t mean you cannot use a cheese substitute.

In recent years, cheese substitutes have improved greatly. So much so that often you cannot even tell the difference between real cheese and cheese substitutes.

This is particularly true for the two types of vegan cheese we have chosen. They are both great options to consider because they have a great flavor, and melt well.

Violife Grated Mozzarella

Violife Grated Mozzarella is completely plant-based. However, if you did not know this, it is very hard to believe.

This mozzarella substitute is full of flavor and tastes very similar to mozzarella. It has a good amount of saltiness, and the texture is great. 

When looking for a suitable substitute, the texture is so important to consider. This cheese substitute melts well, and its flavor is not too overpowering.

Interestingly it is made using coconut oil, which does give it a slightly sweet taste. However, the flavor is not overpowering in any way. 

Miyoko’s Kitchen Fresh Vegan Mozzarella

Miyoko’s Kitchen Fresh Vegan Mozzarella is made with organic cashew milk.

It has a very similar texture and taste to mozzarella, and as a result, works well when used on pizza. It is a versatile option to use and tastes pleasant. 

Furthermore, it melts and brows just as regular mozzarella would, which is important for a cheese substitute.

The “cheese” pull that’s created is fantastic, and while it is made using cashew milk, it is not overly nutty in its flavor. 

Summary 

We hope you have found this article useful and interesting. As you can see, there are so many different options available when it comes to the best types of cheese for pizza.

While mozzarella will always be the preferred choice for the vast majority of people, it is useful to know that there are many other options to consider. 

We would recommend trying a few of these cheeses together on a pizza.

This helps to increase the overall taste, as some are bolder than others. Feel free to experiment and try out other types of cheeses.

While you want the cheese to melt well, and have a good consistency, other cheeses can be used if they are going to make up a smaller portion of the pizza as a topping.

For those that are vegan, the vegan cheeses mentioned above are fantastic options to consider. They taste similar to cheese and have a good melting consistency that is great for pizza.