Ah pizza.  One of my all time favourite foods... ever!  So imagine my delight when I found out that today is National Pizza Day.  I think a weekend visit to Pizza Express for a Classic Padana is in order (with a side order of garlic dough balls of course).

My family have quite different opinions as to what makes for the best pizza toppings.  My son loves all the meat; ham, beef, pepperoni etc., whereas I love the sweetness of caramelised onions and balsamic vinegar paired with salty cheese and lots of vegetables.  My husband likes pretty much anything but particularly enjoys unusual toppings such as peking duck.

The beauty of making your own pizzas is that you can decide exactly what and how much you put on top.  Need to keep the calories down?  Go easy on the cheese, try a cauliflower base and load up on veggies. Want to increase the protein? Add more lean meat or tofu or try a chickpea or lentil base.  The possibilities are endless.

To give you a little inspiration on National Pizza Day, I've put together a collection of wonderful pizza recipes from some very talented food bloggers.  If these don't tempt your taste buds then I don't know what will!

Shrimp and Balsamic Arrabbiata Pizza

created by Shayla at DineLikeShay.com

I just love the combination of toppings that Shayla has used for this pizza.  She has used a ready-made cauliflower pizza base which aren't easy to find in the UK.  However, you could make your own (click here for a recipe) or simply use a different base of your choice. Sainsburys do a really good balsamic glaze which is delicious on salads too.

Click here to visit Shayla's site and get the recipe.

Broccoli & Caramelised Onion Hummus Pizza

created by Kat at KatalystHealth.com

Here's another gluten free pizza, and this one is vegan too.  The base is made with lentils (great for extra fibre and protein) and I love the idea of using hummus instead of a tomato sauce.  

Click here to visit Kat's site and get the recipe.

Charred Brussel Sprouts Pizza

created by Ryan at ChiselAndFork.com

Fancy a change from your usual pizza toppings?  Then give this recipe a try. I love the idea of combining slightly bitter brussel sprouts with sweet pomegranate seeds - genius!!

Click here to visit Ryan's site and get the recipe.

Sweet Potato Crust Recipe

created by Caitlin at FromMyBowl.com

I like to experiment with different pizza bases, especially as many people now avoid gluten. And I love sweet potato which makes this dough a real winner. You can find tapioca and brown rice flour in most large supermarkets or order online from Amazon.

Click here to visit Caitlin's site and get the recipe.

Beet Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese & Kale

Created by Sarah at LiveEatLearn.com

This pizza recipe really caught my eye when I spotted Sarah had used a beetroot pesto instead of a tomato base; what a fabulous idea.  Plus goat cheese is one of my favourite toppings.  If you're not a fan of kale try using baby kale as it has a much milder flavour or you could use spinach instead.

Click here to visit Sarah's site and get the recipe.

Cheesy BBQ Chicken Pizza Rolls

Created by Tricia at SavingDessert.com

This is such a fun and different way to make pizza!  Ready made pizza dough is available in most large supermarkets and I can think of all kinds of different filling/topping combinations that would work well.

Click here to visit Tricia's site and get the recipe.

Mediterranean Socca Pizza

created by me! 

Firstly, I really need to 'up' my food photography game!  Compared to all the gorgeous images above, mine looks very amateur!   However, I can assure you that the pizza tastes great.  Another gluten free option for a pizza base and also a good choice for if you want a little extra protein in your pizza.  Not only does socca make a great base for a pizza, it's also delicious 'naked' or with a dipping sauce.

Click here for the recipe.

Let me know in the comments; do you love pizza?  Do you have a favourite topping combo?

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