Your Favorite Canned Fish Is The Rich And Savory Pizza Topping You Need

Having the right toppings on a pizza can make it. From meat, veggies, cheese, and anything else your heart desires, the additional ingredients bring the flavor versatility that helps make this Italian dish such a timeless favorite. Fish, however, probably isn't your first topping of choice, but it's a surprisingly good one. Give it a chance and you'd be amazed by how well it instantly elevates the eating experience. The good thing is, you don't always have to use fresh fish either. Canned fish is just as good, especially for convenience, affordability, and extra-rich flavors.

Whether we're talking tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, or anchovies, you can expect canned fish to bring a distinctly briny taste to the pizza. The fish is soaked in a natural oil (usually a vegetable or olive oil) that offers a savory richness and umami hints, which you can use to further enhance the flavor profile. Depending on the specific type of fish and your preferences, there are also different sweet, tangy, and salty nuances to be brought to your pizza.

As far as textures are concerned, canned fish also brings variety to the party. They're generally quite tender and chewy. However, tuna and salmon can vary between delicate, flaky, and chunky. Meanwhile, sardines offer a slight crunch and anchovies tend to lean more toward the softer, melt-in-your-mouth side. Laid on the soft crust, smooth tomato sauce, crunchy veggies, and gooey cheese, canned fish add to the textural versatility that makes every bite an absolute delight.

Small fish, big potential

The canned fish is already cooked, so simply spread it on the pizza with the other toppings before baking. If the briny, savory taste alone isn't enough, you can briefly saute it with some condiments first to layer in extra undertones. Better yet, lightly coat it in the pizza's sauce — whether it's pesto, marinara, Alfredo, or anything else, for a more cohesive and intense overall taste.

Don't be quick to discard the fish oil from the can either. This multi-purpose ingredient can be brushed over the dough for a crispier crust, used to saute the vegetables, or added to a tomato-based sauce for richness. Or serve it on the side as a dip for crusts or a drizzling sauce to tie everything together in a briny, savory finishing note.

Since the canned fish is most often soaked in olive oil, olives would make a great accompanying topping. In fact, the combination of canned tuna, olives, mozzarella cheese, red onions, oregano, and tomato sauce on a pizza is a very popular one in Germany — also known as a thunfisch pizza. You can also pair canned fish with shrimp, squid, and scallops for a full-on seafood extravaganza. Other popular ingredients to accompany canned fish include capers, sun-dried tomatoes, citrus zest, and feta cheese. They even eat tuna on pizza in Italy, usually with sliced onions. Of course, feel free to experiment with anything else that you like. After all, that's what makes pizza so much fun.