Anchovies on pizza
Food Guides

What Goes Good With Anchovies On Pizza: 11 Best Toppings

Anchovies and pizza are two of our favorite things, but there will always be that one person who thinks anchovies on pizza is an abomination. What’s more though is that if we let them, they will endlessly try to convince us that it’s true. That is why Saved By The Max started this blog, to provide a haven for anchovies lovers so they can learn how to deal with their pepperoni-loving relatives and friends.

Definition of Anchovy Pizza

Definition of Anchovy Pizza

Anchovy pizza is a popular dish consisting of a pizza with anchovies. The dish is known to have originated in the Italian city of Naples and is often served with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Anchovy pizza is prepared using an anchovy-based sauce. The anchovies are typically marinated in vinegar and spices, and the sauce can be made using fresh or canned anchovies. Garlic, tomato paste, lemon juice, capers, wine, and olive oil may also be used as ingredients in the sauce. Anchovy pizza may be topped with basil and mozzarella before baking to produce what is known as “pizza Napoletana”.

Anchovy pizza may be served on a variety of crusts, including puff pastry and flatbread crusts, among others. In some regions of the United States, anchovy pizza may refer to a variety of pizza that is topped with anchovies laid out in a star-shaped pattern rather than being incorporated into the sauce.

The anchovy pizza has developed a great deal of popularity over the years, with many chefs and home cooks experimenting with new variations of the dish. One such variation involves using a single anchovy filet on top of each slice of pizza.

However, some people prefer to simply use plain cheese and tomatoes. If you do not care for these toppings, you can still find an authentic Italian anchovy pizza at your local pizzeria or restaurant.

The Main Ingredients You Need For Anchovy Pizza Are




Cheese Mozzarella

Olive oil

Pizza dough

Salt and pepper.

The 11 Toppings That Go Well With Anchovies

Calabrian Chiles

There are chile flakes, then there are Calabrian chile flakes. These deep-red flakes hail from the Calabria region in Italy. They’re intensely spicy and slightly sweet, and they’re often used as a condiment for meat or fish dishes. Sprinkling a few on top of your anchovy pizza will give it an extra kick.

Calabrian Chiles


Garlic isn’t just a tasty way to make sure nobody wants to kiss you after dinner; it’s also a perfect accompaniment to anchovies. Try adding roasted garlic cloves on top of your anchovy pizza for a milder flavor than raw garlic would provide, or mix chopped garlic with some olive oil and spread it over the dough before adding your other toppings. Either way, you’ll get the garlicky goodness that works so well with anchovies.



Pizza sauce is almost always tomato-based, but if you want extra tomato flavor, add some fresh cherry or grape tomatoes on top of your pie before baking it. You can even slice them in half and spread them out across the pizza so each slice gets.



Capers may seem like an odd choice for those who haven’t tried them on pizza before, but the briny little spheres from the Mediterranean complement salty anchovy fillets perfectly. Because capers have a strong taste of their own, stick to one or two other toppings in addition to one another. Pair them with arugula, tomatoes, or olives for a functional and gorgeous pie.



The spice and fattiness of sausage go well with briny anchovy fillets, especially if the sausage is cooked before being added to the pizza (otherwise it can take a long time to cook through). Other proteins like bacon or chicken also work great with this combo — just make sure that whatever protein you choose doesn’t overwhelm the anchovies.


Ricotta cheese

Ricotta is a smooth and sweet cheese that can take an anchovy-topped pizza to new heights. The mild, milky flavor of this cheese pairs well with the salty taste of anchovies.

Ricotta cheese

Roasted red peppers

If you’re looking for a colorful, tasty topping that will complement your anchovies nicely, then roasted red peppers are an excellent option. These veggies have a slightly sweet flavor and a bit of crunch — they’re perfect for adding some texture to your pie.

Roasted red peppers


Anchovies and chicken go together like peanut butter and jelly — or shall we say, peanut butter and banana? Chicken adds protein and substance to your pie without being too heavy or overpowering, making it an excellent accompaniment for anchovies.



Anchovies and pineapple are a winning combination. The sweetness and acidity of the pineapple cut through the salty, briny flavor of the anchovies. The two ingredients also play off one another’s textures, making for a pizza that’s as fun to eat as it is tasty.



Olives grow on trees in the same regions where anchovies are caught at sea, so it’s no surprise that these two ingredients complement each other nicely when added to pizza crust.



These woodsy fungi have a meaty texture and earthy flavor that pairs well with briny fish-like anchovies. You can use any type of mushroom for your pizza topping, but cremini and shiitake mushrooms work especially well with anchovies.


2 Delicious Anchovy Pizza Recipes

Lemon Anchovy Pizza

Lemon Anchovy Pizza

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Step 2. Beat egg and olive oil together in a separate bowl; pour into well in flour mixture. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.

Step 3. Press dough into the bottom and up sides of a greased 9-inch pizza pan.

Step 4. Bake the pizza until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes; remove crust from pan to cool on a wire rack while preparing toppings.

Step 5. Mix garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, capers, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well combined; spread over crust to edge of pan using the back of a spoon or butter knife. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese over the anchovy mixture; place tomato slices on top of the cheese.

Step 6. Bake pizza in the preheated oven until crust is crisp at the edges and cheese is bubbly and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Anchovy, Olive & Caper Pizza

Anchovy, Olive & Caper Pizza

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Preheat the oven by setting an empty pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven at least 30 minutes before using.

Step 2. Dust your work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch out one pizza dough ball into a 10-inch round disc. Dust a pizza peel (or rimless baking sheet) lightly with cornmeal, then transfer the dough to it. Let rest for 5 minutes before adding toppings.

Step 3. Top the dough with tomato sauce, anchovies, olives, and capers. Sprinkle on the mozzarella, grated Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Place the pizza on a preheated baking stone and cook until it is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Important Facts to Know About Anchovy Fillets

Anchovy fillets are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to protection against heart disease. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent blood clots from forming inside arteries, which reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol levels, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. One serving of anchovies provides just over one-third of the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Anchovy fillets also contain niacin or vitamin B3.

Anchovy fillets do not contain many calories — only 15 per 1-ounce serving. As such, they are a low-calorie alternative to traditional pizza toppings such as pepperoni or sausage.

Anchovy fillets are available to buy at most grocery stores. They are sold either preserved in oil or salt-packed. Anchovy fillets can be used to make Italian dishes such as spaghetti puttanesca and Caesar salad dressing.

How To Curing Process & Reheat Your Leftovers

If you do not want to eat your leftover anchovy pizza right now, store it as soon as possible. This will ensure that its taste will stay fresh and delicious until your next meal.

First of all, grab a food storage container or a zip-lock bag. Then put your leftover anchovy pizza inside the container or zip-lock bag, close it, and put it in the refrigerator. It is recommended to store your leftover pizza in the fridge within two hours after cooking it or eating it.

When you keep your pizza in the fridge, make sure that your fridge is set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. This temperature is safe for storing perishable foods like anchovy pizza. Also, keep your anchovy pizza away from raw meats because they can contaminate your food.

You should also keep in mind that refrigerated food should be consumed within four days from the day you cooked it or bought it from a restaurant.

To reheat your leftovers, you can use either your oven or the stovetop. But before you start, make sure you check that it’s still fresh and hasn’t gone bad.

If you’re using the oven, place your slices on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350°F until warm and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes. You can also place them directly on the oven rack if you want them to get extra crispy.

Have You Ever Wondered When to Put An Anchovy on a Pizza?

The best time to put an anchovy on your pizza is after you take it out of the oven and let it cool down a bit before you eat it. I also recommend that you do not put more than one anchovy on your pizza because this will make the pizza too salty. If you want to try something new, then add some capers or olives instead of more anchovies because they will give your pizza more flavor without making it too salty.

If you want anchovy flavor without being too obvious about using anchovies, then the best time to add them is right at the beginning of cooking. They will cook down into a paste and become much less potent. The reason why I like adding anchovies early while preheating is that they’ll turn into a paste and spread onto the pizza dough easier than if you try to spread them as little fishies all over the dough before cooking the pizza. Plus it makes for easier cleanup!


Do Anchovies On Pizza Have Bones Or Is It All A Myth?

Do anchovies on pizza have bones or is it all a myth? Rest assured, my friends — there are no bones in these tasty little fishies. Whole anchovies have been gutted and cleaned and then salted before being packed in oil or salt. Filleted anchovies have had their bones removed completely before being salted and packed in oil or salt.


Does Anchovy Pizza Last Longer Than Other Types of Pizza?

A study conducted by the Anchovy Pizza Association of America, or APAA, reveals that slices of anchovy pizza last longer than other types of pizza. The study found that the pizza lasted for up to six months after being refrigerated.

The anchovies on the pizza seem to act as a preservative. Study designer, Dr. Pepperoni, says that the anchovies provide a protective barrier against harmful bacteria and fungi. According to Dr. Pepperoni, this is why the pizza lasts much longer than other types of pizza.

Suggestions for Using Substitutions In Anchovy Pizza

Anchovies are one of those toppings that people either love or hate. There is no in-between.

Some people don’t like anchovies because the taste is too strong, but you can still enjoy the saltiness and umami flavor of anchovies by substituting them for something else on your pizza.

Here are a few of my favorite suggestions:



Roasted Garlic

Sun-dried Tomatoes


How To Know Which Anchovies Are Best For Your Recipe

If you need a strong hit of anchovy flavor, then the flat files are the way to go. They are also much easier to chop up for a Caesar dressing. If you want to stir anchovies into your pasta sauce, meat sauce, or chili, then a salt-packed anchovy fillet is the best option.

Is Putting Anchovies On Pizza Before Or After It Is Cooked More Delicious?

The two methods will produce two distinct flavors.

Anchovies can be placed on the uncooked dough as a topping — they will cook as the pizza bakes — or used as an additional topping after the pizza has come out of the oven. When you add anchovies before cooking, their flavor is spread throughout the tomato sauce and other ingredients on the pizza. This makes for a more subtle effect — it’s not easy to pinpoint where exactly those savory notes are coming from.

However, putting them on after the pizza comes out of the oven is also a delicious option. If you take this path, you have to make sure to use good-quality anchovies (like the Bela Sardinia brand) and to let them marinate in oil for several hours before using them. If you don’t soak them in oil first, they’ll be too salty and fishy.

Taste the Truth About Anchovies on Pizza

There are a lot of food opinions out there, but few spark as much debate as the question of anchovies on pizza. In the world of pizza toppings, anchovies are certainly divisive.

Anchovies are salty. They are not very salty at all – but because of their salty reputation, many people think they’re too salty to even try.

Anchovies stink up your house. Nope! But if you keep opening your jar of anchovies to take a whiff, they might start to smell…so just stop it!

Anchovies on pizza can taste delicious if they’re balanced with other flavors and cooked properly. If you’re thinking about trying this controversial pizza topping or wondering whether your love for it is justified, here’s what you need to know about ordering anchovies on your next pizza.

Is It Ok To Use Canned Anchovies On Pizza?

I’m not one for following rules when it comes to cooking — you should feel free to experiment and find something that works for you. You can read the information below to decide what kind of Anchovy you should use.

  1. It’s not necessary to use canned anchovies on pizza if you don’t want to. You can find anchovies in jars or resealable packages, and they’re often less salty and have a fresher flavor than the ones in cans. They cost more, though, so if you’re feeding a crowd on a tight budget, the cans are fine.
  2. Yes, you can use canned anchovies on pizza, and they’re pretty delicious too. You won’t be able to find fresh anchovies in most parts of the country, which makes canned anchovies a good option if you want to try them out on a pizza.

Canned whole baby anchovies can be found in most Italian markets and some regular grocery stores. They are usually pickled in oil, salt, and vinegar. They are also available packed in salt, but it’s much easier to find them packed in oil.

They are not as salty as tuna or sardines, but they are still pretty salty. This means that you will want to rinse them off under cold water before adding them to your pizza. I like to pat my rinsed anchovies dry with paper towels so that they don’t add any extra moisture to my pizza dough.


Why would anyone want to add fish to their pizza? There is a reason for the longstanding debate about whether anchovies belong on pizza – it’s delicious! I’m going to guess that more people like them than don’t, but there is a lot of controversy surrounding this crustacean topping. I love anchovies, which is why this blog is so close to my heart. I have tried single-serving anchovy pizza creations and they’re great…but there’s nothing better than homemade anchovy pizza!


Joseph Monley

Joseph Monley is a person who loves to learn about cuisines from all over the world. She graduated from Columbia University and has been to many countries in Europe, Southeast Asia to experience different cultures.

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