Hawaiian pizza is not Hawaiian…but it is tasty. It’s topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham and bacon, plus pineapple. We also add onions. Here’s the recipe and how/why this pizza came to be associated with Hawaii.
Ready to eat! Recipe at the bottom of this post.
Putting pineapples on pizza doesn’t make it Hawaiian…
“Hawaiian Pizza” Is Not Hawaiian
Three key facts before we get to the history and recipe:
- Hawaiian pizza is not Hawaiian.
- Hawaiian pizza has nothing to do with Hawaii.
- We do not eat Hawaiian pizza in Hawaii.
The only restaurants in Hawaii where you can find Hawaiian pizza are at tourists traps. Well! Then where did Hawaiian Pizza come from?
Ingredients for Hawaiian Pizza
Hawaiian Pizza Origins
Hawaiian pizza is from Canada (!!) Who would have guessed?
It was invented in 1962 by a Greek guy who owned a pizzeria in Ontario, Canada. He liked how Chinese dishes mixed sweet and savory flavors, and thought to try the same on a pizza. Hence the pineapples.
But how did it get the “Hawaiian” name? It was because the brand of pineapples he used were from Hawaii!
That’s how this pizza got it’s name. The name stuck.
What Is Hawaiian Pizza?
It’s a pizza topped with tomato sauce, ham, bacon, onions, mozzarella, and pineapples.
When made right, Hawaiian pizza is pretty tasty. We just wish it went by a different name…Pineapple Pizza, perhaps? Here’s how to make it.
Right before it goes in the oven.
Hawaiian Pizza Method
First things first, gather your ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 10 ounces pizza dough – you can make or buy pre-made pizza dough. We usually keep pre-made pizza dough in the freezer.
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce – canned/bottled or you can make you own. Sauce recipe is in the following section.
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup ham (or Canadian bacon), diced – learn more about the difference between Canadian bacon and ham in the section below.
- 1/3 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled – feel free to use more/less, just depends how bacon-y you want it.
- 1/2 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
- 1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced – you can skip this but I love onions and feel that it makes a big difference.
Now we start cooking. This recipe is actually more about assembling than cooking ahaha.
Preheat your oven to 500F.
Bring your dough to room temperature. Then roll out the dough. I usually make pizza for my husband and myself, and we like to bake it in a cast iron pan (cast iron makes for a really nice pizza crust). A 10″ or 12″ pan works for two. Grease the pan lightly and press out the dough right in the pan (the fewer dishes to clean, the better). Drizzle some olive oil on top if you’d like.
Par-bake the dough for 7 minutes.
What is par-baking? It’s when you bake the dough halfway (before putting any toppings). Par-baking is important! This ensures the crust doesn’t get soggy and weighed down from the tomato sauce. This way you’ll have a crisp and airy crust.
Remove the par-baked pizza from the oven. Spoon on the tomato sauce. I put the sauce all the way to the very edge of the pizza. It’s bonus pizza “real estate.”
Then put the cheese, ham, bacon, onions, and pineapple. Put as much/little of everything as you way. There’s no right way to do pizza…it’s just about personal preference.
Return the pizza to the oven. Bake for another 8-10 minutes. You want the top all golden. Remove the pizza onto a cutting board. Slice and enjoy! Don’t forget the chili flakes ^_^
Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce (recipe below)
You can use any bottled pizza sauce. Or you can make your own tomato sauce at home (which is super easy). Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce recipe is a classic – the sauce works beautifully for this pizza. Any leftover sauce you have can be used for pasta!
Open a 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes*, and pour it into a pot. Add 5 tablespoons of butter and half an onion (just peel and cut the onion in half). Let it cook over low heat for 45 minutes (do not cover the pot). Stir every now and then. Most of the tomatoes will break down on their own, but you can use a wooden spoon to help break up any big pieces that are left.
Remove the onion. Salt to taste. Let the sauce cool. It’s ready to be used for the pizza!
*We use whole peeled tomatoes a lot. The same type of tomatoes also appear in this recipe for One Pot Lamb Stew and Local Beef Stew. For whole peeled tomatoes, I usually buy Bianco DiNapoli or San Marzano. The 365 brand is not as delicious as the other two but it’s way more affordable. Any of these three will work ^_^
Canadian Bacon (Or Ham)
Are you familiar with Canadian Bacon? Canadian Bacon is similar to ham (but not bacon, go figure) in both looks and taste, and I’m crazy about it. Here’s the difference between the three:
- Canadian Bacon is made from pork loin.
- Ham is made from the pork back legs.
- Bacon is made from pork belly.
You can use ham or Canadian Bacon (my personal preference) for this recipe.
Hawaiian Pizza Recipe
See below ^_^
- Preheat oven to 500F. Bring the pizza dough to room temperature, and shape the dough using your hands. (I like to bake pizza in cast iron pans, so I just press the dough out directly in the pan). Par-bake the dough for 7 minutes.
- Remove the par-baked pizza from the oven and top with the pizza sauce, followed by mozzarella, Canadian bacon, crumbled bacon, pineapple, and onions.
- Return the pizza to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly. Remove the pizza onto a cutting board. Slice and top with chili flakes. Enjoy!