When a food inspires themed spin-offs like clothing, jewelry, phone cases, headphones and countless other pieces of paraphernalia, you just know there’s something magical about it. Pizza has been warming our hearts and our souls for more than a century with its magical combination of bread, cheese, meat and vegetables. Some might even say it’s the ultimate (and complete) comfort food. As a society, we may differ over toppings (let’s not get into the great pineapple on a pizza debate) but one thing we can all agree on is that pizza is great. To pay tribute to all things ‘zaa, I’ve rounded up some of the best pizza-inspired foods out there, because even when you’re not eating pizza, I know you want to be eating pizza.
Move over loaded fries, and make room for pizza fries. THESE are the new ultimate game-day calorie-busting comfort food.
http://buffalonews.com/2015/10/27/amherst-pizza-ale-puts-a-pizza-spin-on-fries/ Photo by: Buffalo News
If you’ve grown tired of cheeseburger sliders, these hot, cheesy melty pizza sliders are just the answer you’ve been looking for.
http://www.sugarandsoul.co/2016/06/easy-pizza-sliders-recipe.html Photo by: Sugar and Soul
Consider this a sort of taco, quesadilla, pizza mash-up. Basically the best parts of Mexican and Italian cuisine combined.
http://life-in-the-lofthouse.com/mexican-pizza/ Photo by: Life in the Lofthouse
Can you even believe this? This is a pot pie filled with pizza toppings like sausage, pepper, cheese and tomato sauce and then it’s topped with a lid of dough, tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni… so basically a pizza on top.
https://www.thrillist.com/recipe/nation/pizza-pot-pie-recipe-thrillist-recipes Photo by: Thrillist
These saucy little meatballs are filled with pizza flavors like pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, onion and cheese. Then they’re baked in a spicy pizza-sauce inspired tomato sauce and finished with even more cheese (of course).
http://freerecipenetwork.com/supreme-pizza-meatballs/ Photo by: Free Recipe Network
The Hawaiian pizza can sometimes get a bad rap (fruit on a pizza? You be the judge) but if you’re part of the population who lands on the pro-Hawaiian side of the fence, you’re going to go all sorts of crazy over this Hawaiian pizza pasta bake, and so will the kids.
http://www.thebusybaker.ca/2016/08/cheesy-one-pot-hawaiian-pizza-pasta.html Photo by: The Busy Baker
Regular nachos are only a few ingredients away from achieving pizza-like stardom. Add diced pepperoni, swap the salsa for pizza sauce and make sure to include supreme-like toppings like mushrooms, olives and peppers and you’ve just successfully pizza-fied your nachos!
http://www.simplecomfortfood.com/2012/10/11/pizza-nachos/ Photo by: Simple Comfort Food
Well clearly I’ve been doing grilled cheese wrong for years. This is going to be my new go-to.
http://www.askchefdennis.com/pepperoni-pizza-grilled-cheese/ Photo by: Ask Chef Dennis
It’s actually really easy to turn a hot dog into a pizza dog… sauce, cheese, pepperoni, done. Now you’re in pizza dog heaven.
http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/pizza-dogs/ Photo by: Taste and Tell Blog
Can’t get your kids to eat their vegetables? Maybe you should try disguising them like pizza as this recipe does, successfully I might add.
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a45682/pizza-stuffed-peppers-recipe/ Photo by: Delish
The only thing that might actually rival pizza itself, is a dippable, crispy fried version like this one.
http://menumusings.blogspot.ca/2014/07/happy-hour-pizza-rolls.html Photo by: Menu Musings
Pepperoni, cheese and pizza sauce in a quesadilla. Pizzadilla. I’m actually angry I didn’t think of this sooner.
http://twohealthykitchens.com/2016/05/26/5-minute-pepperoni-pizza-quesadilla/ Photo by: Two Healthy Kitchens
When those carb cravings strike and the answer isn’t pizza, it’s usually pasta. In this case you can have the best of both worlds with this cheesy skillet-baked pepperoni pizza pasta bake.
http://damndelicious.net/2014/08/16/one-pot-pizza-pasta-bake/ Photo by: Damn Delicious
If you’re a gluten-free or wheat-free eater, I can imagine that pizza is one of those foods that almost brings you to tears. Thankfully, there are quite a few viable alternatives out there, like these portobello pizzas that don’t make any compromises when it comes to toppings.
http://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/30-minute-portobello-pizzas/ Photo by: The Pioneer Woman
You’ve probably heard of monkey bread; that sticky-sweet bread you can pull apart and nosh on, but this is the ultimate savory version. Meet pizza pull-apart bread. Your favorite pizza flavors like pepperoni and cheese are baked into a soft, melty ring of hot, pizza flavored goodness.
http://hip2save.com/ Photo by: Hip 2 Save
Ohhh that’s right, I went there. No doubt you’ve seen this meme about pizza salad, and while I’m completely on board with that idea myself, I’m actually talking about real salad here. Real pizza salad that is. Lettuce leaves are tossed with pizza toppings like pepperoni, olives, cheese and tomatoes and then get dressed with an herb dressing, reminiscent of the seasonings in pizza sauce.
http://lilluna.com/pizza-salad/ Photo by: Lil’ Luna