A meat lover's pizza sweetened with caramelized onions to balance the bacon — and the salami and the sausage

If you’re gonna do it, do it right.

If you’re gonna do it, do it right

(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Look, we’re not turning our noses up at a regular ol’ meaty pizza, but what they can lack is something to break up all that fat and salt. Caramelized onions add their own richness to this pizza, but also a welcome touch of sweetness. It’s worth the extra step to cook those off (the meat too) while you’re letting your dough rest. Once all your toppings are good to go, this meat pizza can be assembled and baked off in under half an hour. Gather your meat lovers for a pie to bring a sweet tear to their eye.

Meat Lovers’ Pizza

By Josie Malevich

Made for carnivores, this three-meat pizza is balanced with sweet caramelized onions and roasted red peppers.

Use can use a store-bought pizza dough if desired.

*For the caramelized onions, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in skillet set over medium heat. Cook a thinly sliced large onion with a big pinch each of salt and pepper, for 5 to 8 minutes or until they start to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more or until they are golden brown.


Pizza Dough:

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • 1 pkg (8 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ½ to 2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour


  • ⅓ cup jarred strained and pureed tomatoes (passata)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp pepper, divided
  • ½ cup basil, torn, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, caramelized*
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 16 slices Italian-style salami
  • 2 Italian sausages, cooked and sliced, or removed from casing, crumbled and cooked
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
  • Pickled hot peppers, for serving (optional)


Pizza Dough:

Add the sugar to 1/2 cup of warm water and stir, then stir in the yeast. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes or until it gets foamy.  

Combine the remaining warm water, salt and oil in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and 2 ½ cups of flour. Stir together until a shaggy dough starts to form. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If dough is too sticky, add the remaining flour.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand a room temperature or in a warm place until it has doubled in volume, about 60 to 90 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate the dough and let it rise overnight (a slower rise like this results in better flavour).

Discard the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Cut the dough in half and roll each portion into 12-inch round, about ¼-inch thick. Place each onto lightly floured 12-inch pizza pans. Alternatively, to make one large party pizza, do not cut the dough in half; roll it out and fit the dough into 18 x 13-inch sheet pan. Let stand for 20 minutes.  


Preheat oven to 450F degrees.

Make the pizza sauce: Stir together the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of oil, garlic and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir in half the basil and garlic.

Spread pizza sauce evenly over each pizza shell, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Scatter the caramelized onions over top. Top with mozzarella. Scatter the salami, sausage, bacon and roasted red pepper over top. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season with remaining salt and pepper.

Bake the pizzas, one at a time, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining basil. Serve with pickled hot peppers if desired.

Servings: Makes two 12-inch pizzas or 8 servings


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