Did you know Hawaiian Pizza is a Canadian thing? Yep... it's right up there with Butter Tarts and Nanaimo Bars!
Apparently Sam Panopoulos, who emigrated to Canada from Greece in his 20s, was experimenting with his brothers in the early 1960s in one of his pizza shops in Chatham, Ontario and decided to combine salty ham and sweet pineapple as a pizza topping.
Sam died in in 2017 at the age of 83, but his pizza legacy lives on!
Hawaiian pizza is my go to order for delivery. I am not crazy about pepperoni at the best of times and I like the sweet and salty combination of the ham and pineapple.
Did I mention Hawaiian pizza goes well with white wine? Especially my house Chardonnay!
I know sometimes it has to be a salty pepperoni, prosciutto, or bacon and savoury olives that cries out for a Primitivo or Chianti and I can go with that sometimes too!
Chef's Tips for Hawaiian Pizza
- For the pizza base I used this super simple Food Processor Pizza Dough recipe. The dough recipe makes three 12" bases. Note that the Hawaiian pizza toppings are for one 12" base.
- You can use commercial pizza sauce to make it quick and easy. I sometimes use Passata if I am making a few pizzas. I add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder (not salt) and let it rest for a few hours to meld the flavours. You could ad oregano or basil or Italian spice blend if you want a more savoury sauce.
- Cheese - Pizza mozzarella is softer and melts better than regular mozzarella but you can use either one.
- If using canned pineapple pieces be sure to drain the juice off or you will have soggy pizza! I actually used fresh pineapple inthe one in the picture because I had one on hand but canned is fine.
- You can get creative with the ham. I used Artisanal ham because I find the smoked hams a bit strong. I have had it with spiced ham as well.
- Other toppings- I like to play up the sweet vs. salty with green olive slices. Mushrooms are nice. Green pepper can also make an nice savoury contrast. Rep pepper is nice and sweet as well. Sweet onion is another good choice. The point is ham and pineapple are the anchors and you can add whatever other toppings you lean toward. I often sprinkle the final pizza out of the oven with a few drops of hot sauce.
Wine Pairing for Hawaiian Pizza
The taste profile of the pizza is overall sweet and salty. I prefer a white wine with Hawaiian Pizza. Your favourite would work okay here! If you have a white that has tropical fruit as a descriptor that will suggest some aromatics that would complement the pineapple
- 1 12" Food Processor Pizza Dough 1 12" base
- ¼ cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
- ½ cup ham cubes fine ¼" cubes or small pieces from thin sliced ham
- ½ cup pineapple chunks drained if canned
- 2 slices bacon cut finely and precooked 1 minute in microwave
- ¼ cup pimento olive slices rough chopped
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh mushroom
- Optional: substitute sweet onion, red pepper, green pepper if desired
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees and heat the pizza pan you will be using.
- Place your pizza base on a piece of parchment paper larger than your base.
- Spread sauce thinly over base leaving ¼" of outer base bare. Sprinkle cheese evenly over sauce. Distribute other ingredients evenly over the cheese.
- Use the parchment paper to slide the dressed pizza onto the hot pizza pan.
- Bake 8-10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes for golden crust and melted cheese. Remove from oven and cut with a pizza wheel.
- If baking more than one pizza at a time, start with racks in upper and lower third of the oven. Switch pans halfway through the bake time, top to bottom and back to front.