Italian Pizza vs American Pizza – What Is the Difference?

Pizza makes everything possible. You may hear people saying that “money cannot buy happiness” – meaning that they never spent their money on pizza. It is impossible. There is no single person in the world that didn’t even try a pizza.

Pizza is the world’s greatest food. It’s not important if it’s vegetarian, pepperoni, margarita, capricciosa, pizza is special for everyone. 

Pizza – is a worldwide famous fast food. Children and teenagers are the ones who go insane about pizzas. Of course, adults are no exception. They adore the perfect combination of wine, pizza, and the loved one.

Pizza Origins

People have been eating pizza for centuries. It’s not something that showed up in the menus one of a sudden. But, do we know where it originates from?

In the 18th century, in Naples – pizza came into existence. Since then, is a remarkable sign of Italy which makes the country famous. The word “pizza” originates from the Latin word pinsa meaning “flatbread”.

Naples, the origins of pizza - The Proud Italian

Italian Pizza 

Italian pizzas are quite different from American pizzas. They are still in a war in which one tastes better. We will take a closer look at the two and decide which one is tastier.

Italian and American pizzas are different in their recipes, the crust, toppings, size, sauce, the way how they are serving them. Depending on the region, pizzas vary, which means that pizza in Rome is quite different than the one which you will eat in Naples.

There are lots of Italian style pizzas, like Neapolitan Pizza, Pizza Bianca, Sicilian, Pizza al Taglio, Pizza Fritta, Calzone.

Traditional Italian pizza, Italian pizza vs American pizza - The Proud Italian

Traditional Italian Pizza

The form of traditional Italian Pizza is like a whole pie. You can order pizza as a whole and share it with the rest of your family members. 

Real Italian pizza consists of homemade tomato sauce and a blend of savory, complimenting herbs.

You will also notice that the authentic Italian pizza doesn’t have the combination of toppings and sauce cooked together.

You may find some types of pizzas without sauce just with a drizzle of olive oil. This kind of pizza is famous as “Bianca Pizza”. On top of it, you put prosciutto, mozzarella, a variety of herbs such as basil, rosemary, arugula, and capers.

Classic Italian pizzas are thin, light and crispy. People usually cook authentic Italian pizza in a wood-fired oven.

Pizza Bianca, Italian pizza vs American pizza - The Proud Italian

American Pizza

Americans, inspired by Italians, made a completely different type of pizza. The appearance, aroma and, taste itself differs a lot.

Mostly on takeaway pizzas there tend to be much more tomato sauce and cheese. Also, Americans have a lot of pizzas loaded with a lot of meat. Burger Pizza, Pepperoni – or also known as salami for Americans.

What Is Different About New York Style Pizza?

If you have ever visited New York City, probably you have tried a slice of this type of pizza. There are a lot of pizza places, and pizza restaurants serving this iconic style of pizza. 

In the 1900s Italian immigrants brought into the US their astonishing kind of fast-food pizza. 

What makes New York Pizza so different is the large and wide slices. It is traditionally served with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. If you have pizza without additional toppings they call it “regular” or “plain” pizza.

You can sell pizzas as a whole pie or by slices usually cut into 8 pieces.

American pizza, different New York pizza styles - The Proud Italian

The traditional method of baking pizza was to use a coal-fired oven. Even though there are still places that still use this method. Nowadays, people mostly use regular gas ovens. 

New York Style pizza has more diverse ingredients than the traditional one. You can add sugar and olive oil to high gluten bread flour, water to create the dough.

Tomato sauce typically consists of olive oil, canned tomatoes, salt, sugar, oregano, garlic, basil,  and red paper. It is quite opposite than the Neapolitan sauce made of uncooked crushed tomatoes and salt.

New York Style pizza has additional toppings like vegetables, meats, or any other kind of cheese on the top of mozzarella.

The Crust

What makes the difference is the crust. Italian pizzas are usually known for their thin crusts. They consist of simple ingredients: dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and basil. On the thin crust, they put a thin layer of tomato sauce and cheese. Then you put it in the oven.

Apart from that, Americans like deep and stuffed crusts. It holds more ingredients which makes it denser.

Italian style pizza and the pizza oven - The Proud Italian

The Sauce 

The sauces used by these two nations are much more different than you can even imagine. 

Italians offer fresh and simple ingredients like olive oil, basil, oregano, pureed tomatoes, and garlic for the sauce that makes Italian pizza so unique.

Oppositely, the sauce used in the US is hard to make because you need fresh ingredients. They use canned tomatoes.

The Meat

Traditional Italian pizzas don’t have varieties of meat. You find only individual types of meat like ham or prosciutto. Whereas American pizzas have varieties of meat you can get on each pizza.

Different types of pizza, pepperoni pizza - The Proud Italian

The Toppings

Italian pizzas are never so stuffed with cheese or meat like the American pizzas. Italian pizzas contain plain and fresh ingredients that make them easy to digest. In America, even if you order plain pizza you will get one loaded with cheese.

Generally, mixing the toppings is part of American culture. You will never find a country that offers as much variety as Americans do. 

People eating pizza - The Proud Italian


With all the things above mentioned, you can see that Italian vs American “pizza war” is still on and it won’t come to an end. 

You have to try both of them and make an individual conclusion. In the end, you will admit that both have delicious flavors and you cannot be indifferent to any of them.

If you don’t have an idea what to cook today, just open the list of different types of pizzas that you have on the menu, and make an order.