What Cheese Goes With Pepperoni: 10 Great Alternatives

Dec 29, 2021 | Pairing Guides

We’ve put together a list of cheeses that go well with pepperoni. We have options like mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, and more. Pepperoni is an absolute gem when it comes to pizza toppings. We commonly know it as a pizza topping from some of the best pizza joints in the United States. However, it didn’t start off that way in the beginning. Pepperoni was derived from the salami family and thanks to the Italian Americans, they created a lighter version for our pockets that tastes absolutely delicious with cheese, tomato sauce, and bread AKA pizza.

Pepperoni is the most favorite pizza topping by Americans and anyone who enjoys really good American pizza worldwide.

Pepperoni is Italian-American in origin and it is a form of cured meat that’s a mix of pork and beef. A classic-tasting pepperoni is usually the mix of salty, spicy, and tangy all in one. Pepperoni that is too salty isn’t pleasant to eat. Pepperoni that is too sour would make the entire experience sour in general. Too much heat from the pepperoni would mean that it won’t be perfect for all ages.

Why is it so crucial to find the best-tasting pepperoni? Because it’s simply the best and everyone deserves the best. Being that it’s America’s favorite pizza topping, it has to be great.

The magic of pepperoni doesn’t only lay on the flavor of the pepperoni but also on the add-ons it comes with like good tomato sauce and excellent cheese.

We’ve created a list of cheeses that would go perfectly well with pepperoni in your pizza and sandwiches.


1. Parmesan

Parmesan cheese is another American favorite thanks to the Italian Americans for creating so many awesome dishes with it. Parmesan cheese is salty, nutty, with some notes of caramel. It’s a great cheese to have on anything Italian. You could easily sprinkle some finely grated parmesan over a very hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven pepperoni pizza. Parmesan will always win everyone’s hearts so don’t be afraid to use more!

Bufala Mozzarella

2. Mozzarella

Mozzarella cheese is a no-brainer when it comes to pairing it with pepperoni. Pepperoni and mozzarella cheese we made to be together, in the United States of America, at least.

Mozzarella is a mild cheese that melts perfectly well and it’s only really the best choice for subtle cheese in pizza. The mild taste of mozzarella allows the flavor of the pepperoni to stand out well. We like mixing different kinds of mozzarella in our pepperoni pizza. The typical yellow mozzarella goes well with mozzarella fior di latte.


3. Cheddar

Cheddar is a mild cheese that tastes amazing in all things American. Its saltiness is just right and its flavor carries on in any dish without overpowering the other main flavors. If you’re making yourself a grilled cheese pepperoni sandwich, it’s best to mix cheddar with some mozzarella and parmesan for an excellent mix of flavors.


4. Brie

Brie is a refined creamy and buttery soft cheese that comes from France. It’s an amazing cheese to pair with anything pungent and sharp. Brie levels the intense flavors to create a palatable and enjoyable party in your mouth. Brie isn’t often added to pizzas but it’s great to eat alone. We suggest creating a simple spread of cold cuts with pepperoni and brie as part of the spread.

Aged Gouda

5. Aged Gouda

Gouda is a versatile cheese that everyone loves to love. It generally has a mild and buttery taste that could move over to sharp, nutty, and caramel-like, depending on the age of the cheese. We love pairing aged gouda with pepperoni in particular because they’re two decadent flavors combined. It’s also nice to pair this with a little bit of milder cheese like ricotta or cream cheese to balance out the flavors. You might think that it’s too overpowering but we urge you to try it because it’s pretty amazing together.


6. Havarti

Havarti is a really delicious Danish cheese that is buttery and slightly acidic in flavor. It’s a great cheese to add to sandwiches, most especially melt sandwiches because it melts so well. This kind of cheese could be added to pizzas to make 3-cheese, 4-cheese, 5-cheese pizzas. It’s basically light in flavor and it enhances the taste of pepperoni and other ingredients that come with the sandwich/pizza. Not only is this a good cheese to add to these dishes but it’s good to eat alone with pepperoni too.


7. Provolone

Provolone cheese comes in different forms but our personal favorite is provolone dolce. It’s milder provolone cheese because it’s young, It’s semi-firm, creamy and light on your tongue. It’s a typical cheese to use in sandwiches. If you’re making yourself a pepperoni melt sandwich, we suggest you mix provolone dolce with some mozzarella for an ace sandwich experience.

Pecorino Romano

8. Pecorino Romano

Pecorino Romano is a hard cheese that’s originally from Italy. It’s a close relative to Parmigiano Reggiano, the benchmark of amazing parmesan cheese. Pecorino Romano is made with sheep’s milk rather than cow’s milk. It has a little bit of earthiness to it with the same characteristics of saltiness and nuttiness. This is a good pairing with pepperoni, just like with parmesan. It’s a great addition to the spiced flavor of the pepperoni pizza.


9. Gruyere

Gruyere is a Swiss cheese that tastes salty and nutty with sometimes a note of caramel. It melts really well that’s why it goes super well on pizzas, most especially pepperoni pizza. We love the mix of gruyere, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan in a pizza because it makes for a delicious 3-cheese pizza combo. With pepperoni on top of that, you can’t ask for more!


10. Ricotta

Who would’ve known that ricotta would taste great with pepperoni? Naturally, milder flavored food pairs well with strong-tasting food. This is exactly why ricotta tastes so well with pepperoni. Sometimes, all we need is a great balance between sharp-tasting cold cults and rich cheeses. The addition of ricotta cheese over a sea of pepperoni over pizza calms down the flavor of the pepperoni. The mild flavor tones down the sharpness of the meat.


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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