For most people, making homemade pizza means heading to the grocery store to pick up dough, toppings, and, of course, the pizza blend of cheeses from the shredded cheese section. Only the most dedicated of cheese lovers know that finding the best cheese for pizza is a much more complicated equation. 

Of course, the best cheeses for pizza are ones that melt well when heated to give you that #cheesepull that you dream about. But you also have to take oil content, moisture, and elasticity into account. Finally, depending on your sauce and topping choices, the cheese you put on your pizza can make it or break it in terms of having a cohesive flavor profile.

As someone who has more than her fair share of experience in making (and eating) pizza, here are my recommendations for the best cheeses for every kind of pizza. 


pizza, mozzarella, crust, tomato, basil, dough, sauce, cheese
Amelia Hitchens

Mozzarella, specifically buffalo mozzarella, is the OG pizza topping. It was used in Naples, and it's used all over the world today. The reason mozzarella is so perfect for pizza is because it melts perfectly and has a rich taste that combines sweet and tart. To make authentic margherita pizza use buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and basil. Cook it at an extremely high temperature for a nice, crisp crust. 


mac n cheese, cheese, pie, crust, pizza, dough, pastry
Megan Japczyk

Cheddar is usually reserved for other foods like mac and cheese and BEC bagels, but it provides a sharp bite on pizza. The harder cheese has a lower moisture content, so it won't melt and will create that perfect cheese pull. Cheddar is perfect for pairing with bold toppings on specialty pizzas like bacon ranch, buffalo chicken, or cheeseburger. 


arugula, parmesan, salad, cheese
Beatrice Gonzalez

It's about time you branched out from the parmesan shaker and splurged on some authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano. A little known fact about Parmesan is that you should add it after baking. Finish pizza crusts with a brush of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan for maximum enjoyment all the way until the last bite. 


pizza, cheese, basil
Sasha Kran

Ricotta cheese has an extremely high moisture content and lends creaminess to any pizza it's added to. Ricotta cheese is a common ingredient in white pizzas that also feature roasted garlic, spinach, and chicken. Due to its natural sweetness, ricotta can also be paired with tart fruits for a sweet and savory pie. Try blackberries or strawberries for your first foray. 


Since being introduced to burrata cheese by my cousin's boyfriend, an official chef, I've been hooked. It's essentially mozzarella that's filled with a soft, creamy cheese similar to ricotta in texture. Burrata provides the perfect balance of creaminess and elasticity in one cheese.

Try tearing up a ball of burrata on top of a pesto pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and caramelized eggplant for a tasty Mediterranean treat. 

Goat Cheese

If you've ever had goat cheese on a hot dish, you'll know that it doesn't exactly melt, but it takes on a smooth and creamy texture. The tang of goat cheese is unlike any other, so try pairing it with equally bright flavors like caramelized onion and fig. 

#SpoonTip: Try topping any pizza with arugula for a fresh, peppery bite. 


Gouda is a rich cheese that, in my opinion, is best smoked.  It's commonly used in mac and cheese for melty cheese pulls, so of course it would also make a great pizza topping. If you're topping your pizza pie with smoked gouda, try adding smoked or barbecue meats to accentuate the flavor. 


Gruyere makes the perfect pizza topping because it doesn't blister easily in high heat, which is also why it's great for topping French onion soup. That means you can cook your pizza hot and fast for a crispy crust without getting bitter flavor from the cheese. Gruyere has a mildly sweet and earthy taste that means it pairs well with nearly any pizza topping. Try using thinly sliced potatoes, asparagus, and bacon for a French-inspired pie. 

Blue Cheese

Blue cheese can be extremely polarizing, but I wanted to include it nonetheless. Blue cheese can provide a strong flavor punch to pizzas that already have big flavor, like buffalo chicken with red onion. Or try remaking a wedge salad in pizza form if you're feeling especially adventurous and ready for a mashup. Layer salad dressing, tomatoes, bacon, and blue cheese on pizza crust and bake. Then, top with chopped iceberg lettuce for a fresh bite. 


Last, but certainly not least, is Brie. Although baked brie is an extremely popular appetizer, it hasn't been used to its fullest potential in the pizza world. I'm campaigning to change that. Brie has a texture and flavor unlike any other cheese. It can be used on savory pies with olives and prosciutto or on the sweeter end with thinly sliced apple or pear. 

Now that your brain is full to the brim of crazy ideas for your next homemade pizza night, invite a few friends over and get crazy. Try making the whole night cheese-themed, including grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese, because we all know cheese is the most important part.