Tinned spaghetti and pineapple: pizza topping from heaven or hell?


Pizza is a naturally flexible dish, allowing diners to get creative with the toppings they choose. From classic pepperoni to vegetables, fish and beyond, there are few limits in terms of the ingredients you can acceptably pop on a fresh pizza.

Having said that, New Zealand prime minister Bill English caused controversy recently when he revealed on social media that he enjoys making his family a pizza topped with two inarguably unusual ingredients: tinned spaghetti and pineapple!

Is this a crime against food, or a delicious and ingenious bit of pizza making that pushes the boundaries and deserves to become a global phenomenon?

Historical recipe

Interestingly, the addition of tinned spaghetti and pineapple chunks to the top of a pizza is not something that English came up with on his own; in fact, it is a recipe that was popularised back in the 1980s amongst people living in isolated areas of New Zealand.

Plenty of people took to Facebook and Twitter to criticise the apparent abomination that English had created; however, a similarly large number of Kiwis chose to support their PM by admitting that they too had experienced this type of pizza, with South Island residents especially familiar with it.2

Specific instructions

Outcry aside, the publicity achieved by this post was enough to convince plenty of curious pizza lovers to try out the recipe. Perhaps some even chose to use pizza ovens offered by companies such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/catering-equipment/heavy-cooking-equipment/pizza-ovens to provide extra authenticity.

The underlying ingredients for the pizza are common enough – a dough base topped with tomato sauce. To this English adds pineapple chunks along with the spaghetti and a handful of cooked bacon cut into small pieces to give it a meaty, salty kick.

The biggest tip to remember if attempting to copy this recipe is to drain the tomato sauce from the tinned spaghetti before adding it to the pizza. This is precisely what English does and it means that rather than creating a soggy, unpalatable mess, the pizza comes out crisp and with a familiar texture.

There is no doubt that this pizza topping is not for everyone, but those who already like ham and pineapple might consider giving it a go by adding spaghetti to the mix for their next meal.