How To Layer a Pizza: Pick Your Crust to Get the Answer

You have finished your business and work, and now you want to enjoy a wonderful, delicious pizza. And of course, if you like to perform miracles in the kitchen and make your own homemade pizza, the question arises “how to layer pizza toppings?”.

Toppings for pizza can be very diverse. For them, you can take any available products, the main thing is that they are combined with each other thoroughly and cooked evenly.

And also, it is necessary to choose the right pizza sauce for lubricating the dough. And, of course, take into account the personal preferences of eaters.

You have many options on how to layer a pizza, you can put the pizza toppings first, then the sliced mozzarella and tomato sauce. Or vice versa, you can put the sauce layer first, and then the cheese and other desired toppings.

How To Layer a Pizza: Pick Your Crust to Get the Answer

What Order To Put the Filling on the Pizza?

What is better? It all depends on what kind of pizza you want to cook.

Pizza toppings vary vastly. The classic toppings consist of sausage, shredded cheese, tomatoes. If meat is used, then chicken or minced meat are suitable. To add flavor, use some toppings such as smoked sausage, green peas, olives, corn, pineapples, mushrooms, pickled cucumbers.

Pizzerias often use cheese toppings. Usually they take fresh mozzarella, it melts easily. It is cut into thin plates, laid out on top of the sauce. In addition, the mozzarella is cut into cubes, distributed evenly over the entire surface of the pizza dough. Parmesan goes on top, grated.

Meat toppings include smoked versions such as pepperoni.

All the toppings are cut into thin slices / cubes. Lay them out, evenly distribute over the entire surface of the pizza crust. Smear with tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.

Thick crust pizzas can endure heavier toppings such as meat and vegetables without breaking or tearing. For other flavors and interesting aroma, use herbs and garlic.

Thick crust pizzas with cheese on dough

Pizza Topping Order with Sauce as a First Layer

This method is used for most types of pizza, including thin crust pies. The sauce coats the raw dough until it no longer peeks out, preventing the dough from burning during baking. If the sauce is too thick and there is too much sauce, it will be difficult to spread it over the dough without overflowing.

The sauce adds flavor, aroma, and moisture to the pizza base. You can choose any pasta sauce or of the pizza sauces variety. Or you can make your own sauce with fresh ingredients. You will have complete control over everything related to taste and texture.

Then you can add cheese, then all the toppings that you have left and bake the pizza until golden brown.

Sauce at the bottom: Pros

This will prevent the risk of the pie burning.

Adds flavor and moisture to pizza dough.

You have full control over the texture and taste of pizza and its toppings, sauce and other toppings.

Hot Pizza Sauce at the bottom

Sauce at the bottom: Cons

It’s very messy. You have to be very careful when putting the pizza sauce on the dough. If you don’t want to make a mess, you can first mix the pizza sauce in a bowl and then transfer it to the pizza.

Too much sauce will make the dough moist and soggy.

If the pizza toppings are not cooked well, it may slip off the pizza.

If you haven’t decided which sauce to choose yet, check out our picks: Tomato Sauce vs Pizza Sauce Review and Pizza Sauce vs Pasta Sauce: What Is the Difference?

How to Layer a Pizza with Cheese as a First Topping

Some people prefer putting cheese directly onto pizza dough. Then they add sauce and other toppings. For perfect pizza crust that is crispy, avoid overloading pizza dough with too much sauce.

Thin crust pizza will not endure too many toppings.

And not all toppings are suitable for thin crust pizza, as raw ingredients will not have time to be cooked.

Thin crust pizza toppings

Cheese at the bottom: Pros

The crust thus remains crisp because there is no direct contact of the wet sauce with the dough.

Cheese is put in first because then it melts easily and has a nice texture.

Cheese at the bottom: Cons

Melted cheese can leak out of the dough and make it difficult for you to clean the oven.

Pizza Sauce

Do not put too much sauce on a dough to keep the crust crispy. Your go-to option will be tomato sauce.

Tomato sauce


  • crushed tomatoes—one can (they can be replaced with ripe fresh tomatoes);
  • garlic—4-5 cloves;
  • olive oil—4 tbsp. l. (feel free to replace it with the usual vegetable);
  • medium onion;
  • salt, black pepper, spices—to taste;
  • sugar—1 tbsp. l.

Pizza sauce is prepared as follows:

Crush tomatoes with a knife after peeling the skin off.

Onions and garlic are chopped in a blender (on a grater), and quickly fried in vegetable oil.

Tomatoes are added. The sauce simmers for a few minutes.

Then salt, pepper, and spices are added.

After cooling, the final product should be broken through in a blender until smooth.

Sauce at the bottom: Pros and Cons

Pizza Toppings

The sliced cheese must be laid in two layers: the first is rubbed on top of the tomato sauce, and the second is sprinkled after the filling. Thus, the cheese does not dry out during cooking. It is important to take into account:

Not all cheeses are suitable for pizza toppings. To get a delicious viscous layer inside, and a pleasant crust on top of the cheese, you need to select suitable varieties;

Roll the dough out directly on the baking sheet to prevent the toppings from overflowing.

There are literally hundreds of options when it comes to pizza toppings, but not all of them perform the same way as pizza toppings. For a delicious, perfect pie, it’s important to know how to layer a pizza in the correct order.

It is best to put the sauce in first. Whether you choose tomato sauce, pesto, or white sauce, make sure it’s evenly distributed throughout the base. Too much will make your pizza soggy and not crispy, but too dry.

The next layer is cheese. Again, make sure the cheese is evenly distributed. If you want an extra cheese pizza, you can use a mixture of cheeses, just remember that cheeses with strong flavors should be used in small quantities.

After cheese, you can add meat filling. The only limit is your imagination, you can take the classic pepperoni, ham, chicken, or you can experiment and put seafood. Then put in the vegetable toppings to add different flavors.

Bake pizza according to your recipe. For a crispy crust, bake the pizza at a high temperature, just make sure there is enough time for the raw meat toppings to cook and the cheese to melt without burning the dough. For a thicker crust, you can bake the pizza at low temperature but longer.

If you are a real pizza fan, you can purchase a special baking pizza stone. This inexpensive accessory will make Italian dish tastier and the pizza making process easier. Thanks to the use of a stone, the pizza will bake evenly, and the cheese will not harden.

Baking time. The less pizza stays in the oven, the better the result. The classic Italian recipe involves baking in a wood-fired oven with direct heat, the process takes a few minutes.

What Order To Put the Filling on the Pizza

Pizza Cheese

There are several factors to consider when choosing pizza cheese.

  1. Melting

For the first coating of toppings, look for young cheeses. They are able to stretch during the baking process.

Mozzarella is a classic in Italian pizza recipes. The cheese is quite elastic and easy to slice. It should be put on a pie in slices. Mozzarella has a neutral flavor that does not overpower the filling. For pizza, you can take a package of grated mozzarella or cheese in sticks. Avoid loading pizza with too much cheese.

Why do you think mozzarella is the most pizza cheese of all the cheeses? Here’s a BBC study of How you’ve been melting cheese WRONG your entire life:

  1. Flavor

In addition to a soft cheese that melts well, you should pick a cheese with a strong flavor that will balance the flavors of other toppings.

  1. Texture

Soft cheeses should be put in the first, and hard cheeses on top. This will create a creamy base and a crispy golden brown cheese on top.

How To Layer a Pizza to Make It Perfect

When it comes to the perfect pizza, there are many culinary schools and opinions on how to layer a pizza the right way. The most important thing is to start from the bottom and plan the toppings incrementally.

Here is our quick guide on the topic:

1. Sauce. Spread the pizza dough with your favorite filling, be it tomato paste, pasta sauce or pesto. Make sure the it is neither too thick nor watery. It should be of the perfect consistency to cover the whole dough and not soak it too much, but make it soft and tasty.

2. Now it’s the turn of the cheese. In homemade recipes, cheese becomes the final touch of the dish. Many people grate it and immediately send the pizza to the oven. This method is not suitable for making traditional Italian pizza.

If making pizza with shredded ​​cheese, spread it evenly over the crust.

Grate the cheese on top for the second layer on a coarse or medium grater.

Have you ever wondered how the size of the cheese fragments affects the taste? Here’s a short note explaining What is the Difference Between Grated and Shredded Cheese.

5. Meat – next up is meat! Minced meat is pre-fried without oil and with ground hot pepper.

Go for pepperoni or any other toppings that include meat.

4. Vegetables – add any cooked veggies next.

As an addition, sweet pepper rings, red onion, tomato rings, and garlic are applicable.

Alternatively, you can make a creamy sauce with horseradish.

Other ingredients for toppings could include some herbs for a nice flavor. Good pizza has to smell appetizingly.

Bake accordingly to the recipe you use. Your great pizza is ready to be served!

How To Layer Home Pizza

Thick crust pizzas with cheese on dough

A popular type of pie with cheese as the first layer is the Chicago-style pizza.

Chicago pizza

It’s a deep dish pizza with the thicker crust and the filling is placed on the dough not in the usual order for pizza, as we are used to: sauce + filling + cheese, but inverted. This is necessary in order to avoid burning the cheese during baking, because.

The dish is in the oven for quite a long time. Here, at first, a huge layer of cheese is laid, then a meat layer (classic—pepperoni) or vegetable, and finally a branded tomato sauce with herbs, oregano, and basil. Top the dish with a light sprinkle of grated Parmesan.

How To Layer a Pizza to Make It Perfect

Sicilian pizza

Italian immigrants brought along the perfect recipe for a pizza, which is popular today all over the world. Authentic Sicilian-style pizza is cooked in a deep pizza pan, it turns out so big and satisfying that it can fully feed a large family!

In appearance, the dish looks more like a pie, but according to the recipe, it is a real pizza. Traditional homemade Sicilian is made from homemade dough, cheese and toppings, it is very easy to prepare.


How do you properly layer a pizza?

There are two ways to layer a pizza. The first is:
mozzarella cheese,
The second is:
grated hard cheese.
In some recipes, lettuce leaves are laid out as the last layer after cooking or fresh herbs are sprinkled on top of the baked dish

What goes first, toppings or cheese on pizza?

It depends on what kind of pie you want to bake. With thin pizzas, you’ll want to avoid putting cheese in the first layer. Thick pies like Chicago or Sicilian pizzas can handle a lot more toppings, and you can add cheese as the first layer, as is often done with thick pizzas in a pan.

How do you assemble pizza toppings?

It is better to use no more than four ingredients for the filling, otherwise the flavors overpower each other’s taste.
The filling is laid in one layer.
Its thickness should not exceed one half an inch.
You do not need to occupy the entire pizza crust surface, there should also be free space for cheese.

Final Thoughts

There are really many options for making pizza with different toppings. Experimenting with making pizza, you can delight your family or friends with new tastes every time. But do not forget about the sense of proportion and compatibility of products, otherwise the result may be inedible.

We answered your questions on how to layer a pizza correctly. Feel free to use our tips and enjoy your perfect pizza!

Thick crust pizza toppings

Malena Miller

“If you love pizza as much as I do, then I think we can get along.”

I run this blog and I love making pizza. I have 150 pizza recipes. I want to share with you the secrets of cooking pizza

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