Ketchup on Pizza: Acceptable or Unacceptable?

Pizza is a popular food that has been enjoyed for generations and is now popular all over the world, having originated in Italy.

Ketchup on Pizza

While tomato sauce, cheese, and a variety of meats and veggies are the standard pizza toppings, there is a contentious question that has been up for discussion for years: may ketchup be used on pizza?

While some could contend that ketchup on pizza is sacrilegious, others might assert that it gives the dish a distinctive flavor. In actuality, there is no right or wrong response.

In the end, taste and preference are what matter. To ensure the finest possible experience, there are a few things to bear in mind if you’re thinking about putting ketchup on your pizza.

First of all, ketchup should only be used in moderation. Ketchup has a more acidic and sweet flavor than pizza sauce, thus using too much of it can obliterate the other toppings and lower the pizza’s overall quality.

It’s also advised to combine the ketchup with additional ingredients like olive oil, oregano, black pepper, and vinegar to make a substitute for pizza sauce that goes well with the other toppings.

Ketchup on pizza can be a tasty and original addition to your pizza night if the components are combined in the appropriate proportions.

History of Pizza and Ketchup

Pizza has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. These cultures all had their own versions of flatbreads topped with various ingredients, including cheese, herbs, and meats.

Pizza with ketchup

However, it wasn’t until the late 18th century in Naples, Italy, that pizza, as we know it today, began to take shape.

The Margherita pizza, with its simple tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil toppings, was created in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889 and quickly became a favorite among Neapolitans.

Ketchup, on the other hand, has a more complex history. While we often associate ketchup with tomatoes, it was originally a fermented fish sauce from Southeast Asia.

The word “ketchup” comes from the Hokkien Chinese word “kê-tsiap,” which means “fish sauce.”

The first tomato-based ketchup recipe was created in the early 19th century in America by a scientist named James Mease. It quickly gained popularity and became a staple condiment in households across the country.

While ketchup and pizza may seem like an unlikely combination, it’s not uncommon to see people adding ketchup to their pizza in certain parts of the world. In fact, in some countries such as Brazil and Russia, ketchup is a common pizza topping.

While the origins of pizza and ketchup may be vastly different, their popularity and widespread use have made them both beloved staples in the world of food.

Pizza Toppings and Sauce

At its core, pizza is a simple dish that can be dressed up in many ways. The toppings and sauce you choose can make or break your pizza experience. In this section, we’ll cover the basics of pizza sauce and toppings, as well as some unique options you may not have considered.

Margherita Pizza with Ketchup

Pizza Sauce

The sauce is the foundation of any pizza. Traditional pizza sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, but there are many variations to suit different tastes.

If you’re looking for something different, consider trying pesto, barbecue sauce, or even fermented fish sauce.

For those who prefer a milder sauce, ricotta cheese can be used as a base. This is a great option for sweet pizzas or vegetarian pizzas that don’t require a tomato-based sauce.

Ketchup as a Pizza Topping

Ketchup on pizza may seem like an unusual choice, but it can add a unique flavor to your pie. If you’re interested in trying this out, here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to the temperature specified by your pizza dough recipe or package directions.
  2. While the oven is preheating, take some time to prepare your toppings. If you’re using fresh toppings, like tomatoes or onions, slice them thinly.
  3. Spread a thin layer of ketchup over your pizza crust, leaving a little space around the edges for the crust to puff up.
  4. Add your toppings and cheese as desired, and bake your pizza for the recommended time.

Of course, not everyone will be a fan of ketchup on pizza, and that’s okay. There are plenty of other toppings to choose from, like olives, mushrooms, peppers, and more.

When it comes to pizza, the possibilities are endless. Whether you prefer classic tomato sauce or something a little more adventurous, there’s a pizza topping and sauce combination out there for everyone.

Ketchup on Pizza: A Controversial Topic

When it comes to adding ketchup on pizza, opinions are divided. Some people swear by it, while others consider it a culinary sin. The debate has been raging for years, with no clear consensus in sight.

Pizza with Ketchup

On Reddit, one of the most popular online discussion forums, the topic of ketchup on pizza has generated numerous threads with passionate arguments on both sides.

Some users claim that ketchup adds a unique flavor to pizza that can’t be replicated with any other condiment, while others argue that it ruins the taste of the pizza and is disrespectful to the Italian culinary tradition.

One of the main reasons why ketchup on pizza is such a controversial topic is that it goes against the traditional way of making pizza. In Italy, where pizza originated, adding ketchup to pizza is generally frowned upon and considered a culinary faux pas.

However, in other parts of the world, such as the United States and Canada, ketchup on pizza is more common and even considered a staple by some. Another factor that contributes to the controversy around ketchup on pizza is personal taste.

Just like some people prefer their pizza with extra cheese or spicy toppings, others may prefer to add ketchup to their pizza. It’s ultimately a matter of personal preference and there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy pizza.

Ketchup on pizza is a controversial topic that has sparked heated debates among pizza lovers around the world. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that it’s a divisive issue that will continue to be discussed for years to come.

Why Some People Enjoy Ketchup on Pizza

Some people might find it surprising that others enjoy ketchup on their pizza. However, there are several reasons why adding ketchup to pizza can be a delicious experience.

Pizza with Ketchup

Firstly, taste buds play a significant role in why some people enjoy ketchup on pizza. Everyone’s taste buds are different, and some may prefer a sweeter flavor on their pizza.

Ketchup has a sweet and tangy taste that can complement the savory flavor of pizza toppings such as cheese, pepperoni, and sausage.

Secondly, it is all about the experience. Some people may have grown up eating ketchup on their pizza and have developed a fondness for it. It can also be an exciting way to switch up the usual pizza toppings and add some variety to your meal.

Lastly, the quality of ketchup can make all the difference. Using high-quality ketchup with natural ingredients can enhance the flavor of the pizza rather than overpower it.

It is essential to find a balance between the ketchup and other toppings to ensure that the pizza tastes delicious.

While some people may not prefer ketchup on their pizza, it can be a tasty addition for those who enjoy it. Taste buds, experience, and quality all play a role in why some people enjoy ketchup on pizza.

How to Make Ketchup Pizza Sauce

If you’re looking for a quick and easy pizza sauce recipe, ketchup can be a great option. Here’s how we make our ketchup pizza sauce:

Homemade Tomato Sauce


  • Ketchup
  • Olive oil
  • Dried basil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar (optional)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, add 1/2 cup of ketchup.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bowl and mix well.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of black pepper to the bowl. Mix well.
  4. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your preference. If you like a tangy sauce, add a splash of vinegar. If you like a sweeter sauce, add a pinch of sugar.
  5. Use the sauce immediately or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

This ketchup pizza sauce is a great option if you’re short on time or don’t have all the ingredients for a traditional pizza sauce. It’s also a fun way to switch up the flavor of your pizza. Give it a try and see what you think!

Alternatives to Ketchup on Pizza

When it comes to pizza sauce, ketchup is not the only option. In fact, there are plenty of other sauces that can be used as a substitute for ketchup on pizza. In this section, we will explore some of the most popular alternatives to ketchup on pizza.

Pizza with Ketchup

Traditional Pizza Sauce

The most obvious choice for pizza sauce is, of course, traditional pizza sauce. This sauce is made from a blend of tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, and is the perfect complement to any pizza.

Traditional pizza sauce is readily available at most grocery stores, but you can also make your own at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Pesto Sauce

If you’re looking for a sauce that’s a little more unique, pesto sauce is a great option. Made from a blend of basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil, pesto sauce has a rich, savory flavor that pairs perfectly with pizza. You can use store-bought pesto sauce, or make your own at home with fresh ingredients.

Barbecue Sauce

For those who love a little sweetness with their pizza, barbecue sauce is a great option. This sauce is typically made from a blend of tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices, and has a sweet, tangy flavor that works well with a variety of toppings.

Barbecue sauce is a great choice for pizzas with chicken, bacon, or other savory meats.

Fermented Fish Sauce

While it may sound a little strange, fermented fish sauce is actually a popular pizza sauce in some parts of the world.

This sauce is made from fermented fish, salt, and water, and has a salty, umami flavor that pairs well with pizza. If you’re feeling adventurous, give the fermented fish sauce a try on your next pizza.

While ketchup may be a popular pizza sauce substitute, there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Whether you prefer traditional pizza sauce, pesto sauce, barbecue sauce, or fermented fish sauce, there’s a pizza sauce out there for everyone.

So, the next time you’re making pizza at home, don’t be afraid to experiment with different sauces and toppings to find your perfect combination.


After researching and analyzing various sources, we have come to the conclusion that ketchup on pizza is a controversial topic with differing opinions.

While it may not be a common practice in many parts of the world, it is still enjoyed by some individuals.

It is important to note that ketchup is not a traditional pizza topping and may not complement the flavors of the pizza in the same way as other sauces. However, if you enjoy the taste of ketchup on your pizza, there is no harm in trying it out.

It is also worth mentioning that in Italy, ketchup on pizza is generally not accepted and may even be considered disrespectful to traditional Italian cuisine. Therefore, if you are traveling to Italy, it is best to stick to the traditional pizza toppings.

In the end, whether or not to put ketchup on your pizza is a matter of personal preference. Some may enjoy the added sweetness and tanginess it brings, while others may find it unappetizing.

As with any food, it is important to respect others’ opinions and choices and enjoy your pizza in a way that brings you the most satisfaction.


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