Like most breathing humans I love pizza, I once cried over a delicious pizza in Florence embarrassingly enough. When I make pizza at home I try to branch out: Goat Cheese, Sriracha and Prosciutto is a favorite, but normally end up at square Cheese as there’s something nirvana like about a good cheese pie.

With that in mind I, along with my homemade dough and three friends, wanted to see how some alternative pizza’s stacked up against the tried and true beauty of a simple cheese pizza. For the sake of our waistline, I decided to make and rate five mini ‘alternative’ pizzas.

1. Pesto Pizza 

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces period end, and having experienced the joy of Pesto Pizza in Santa Barbara before I thought it deserved to be added to the list.


Photo by Liz Kaplan

Verdict: 9/10, this was an all around winner- the sauce perfectly cooked into the dough and the light cheese complemented the sauce without overpowering it. Next time adding a few pine nuts or proscuitto would surely make this a double digit pie.

2. Meat Sauce Based Pizza

Meat is never a go to topping for me, but I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if you put the meat under the cheese instead of over.


Photo by Liz Kaplan

Verdict: 5/10, it was a novel idea, and would have been considerably better if the sauce had been homemade but being lazy students we opted for store bought.

3. Breakfast/Brunch Pizza

Normally for breakfast I lean towards something lighter and fruit based, but the prospect of a breakfast pizza seemed perfect to Saturday morning me: a girl in desperate need of Advil, water and grease.


Photo by Liz Kaplan

Special cooking instructions: Cook for the normal amount of time then broil your pizza for around 30-45 seconds to get the egg perfectly cooked.

Verdict: 7/10, this would be perfect for a hungover morning, if you could bring yourself to get out of bed. Adding more toppings, mainly vegetables, and another egg would have made this pizza absolute perfection.

4. Mac and Cheese Pizza

This is every college students dream, and nutritionists worse nightmare. Unsprinsingly this delicacy has made an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and begged to be added to this list.


Photo by Liz Kaplan

Special Cooking Instructions: Cook the pizza dough a little, around 5 mintues, before you add the mac and cheese so the pasta doesn’t become hardened.

Verdict: 6/10, this was something we all agreed we could see ourselves craving at some point, but not eating that much of. That being said we highly recommend adding a sauce, either a cheese sauce or white garlic sauce, as a base.

5. Dessert Pizza

What’s the perfect way to end a meal of pizza? The answer is simple: Nutella pizza. I was first introduced to the concept while grabbing a late night mid McLennan dinner at Pizza Navona, and knew it had to be tried.


Photo by Liz Kaplan

Special cooking instructions: Cook the dough for about 10 minutes without the toppings then add the toppings of your choice.

Verdict: 9/10. We decided to stick with a simple Nutella banana pizza, and in the end regretted not adding more fruit.

Final Verdict  


Photo courtesy of Cordelia Cho

This adventure ended with four full and happy girls, as you can tell by the fact three of these pies achieved the accolade of being rated a 9. Do they measure up to a classic cheese pizza though? Sadly no, but with some simple modifications they could easily give everyone’s favorite a run for it’s money.

Homemade Pizza Dough

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:25 minutes
  • Total Time:1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 1.5 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Photo by Liz Kaplan
  • Step 1

    Dissolve the yeast and water together. Let sit until creamy, around 7-10 minutes

    Photo by Liz Kaplan
  • Step 2

    Combine the dry ingredients while the yeast and water are doing their thing.

    Photo by Liz Kaplan
  • Step 3

    Mix the olive oil with dry ingredients.

    Photo by Liz Kaplan
  • Step 4

    Once the oil and dry ingredients are combined add the water and yeast until it becomes a stiff dough.

    Photo by Liz Kaplan
  • Step 5

    Preheat oven to 350 degress

  • Step 6

    Cover your dough while it rises, about 30 minutes.

  • Step 7

    After your dough has risen, oil a pizza pan, kneed dough into a circle, dress with desired toppings and bake for around 25-30 minutes depending on how crunchy you like yours.