6 Dishes that *Think* They're Pizza

Is pizza in any other form still considered pizza? If it still has cheese and tomato sauce, then yes—at least according to these creative dishes inspired by the all-in-one-meal.

By: Patty Lee

Photo By: Paul Wagtouicz

Chicken Parm Pizza at Quality Italian, New York City

In an homage to her Italian-American heritage, Chef Angie Rito combines the best of two classic dishes to form this midtown steakhouse’s signature dish, Chicken Parm Pizza. In place of pizza dough, Rito uses a giant 14-inch disc of boneless breaded and fried chicken, topped with tomato sauce, cheese and fried basil leaves. On any given night, as many as 80 "pies" fly out of the kitchen to the dining room, where tables of hungry customers are tucking into the hybrid showstopper. It’s definitely more of a knife-and-fork affair than a fold-and-eat kind of pizza.

Pizza My Heart at Elbows Mac N Cheese, Los Angeles

Creative spins on mac and cheese abound at this L.A. canteen, where nearly two dozen varieties of the comfort food are available. In a best-of-both-worlds approach, there’s the cheekily named Pizza My Heart, a casserole that loads up the curly noodle with plenty of cheese and pepperoni. Elbows also offers a pizza topped with mac and cheese for those who want a reverse of the mash-up.

Pizza Fries at Luchini Pizzeria and Bar, Los Angeles

Loaded fries get the pizza treatment at this hip Hollywood eatery. Fusing two comfort foods into one, a plate of French fries is smothered in housemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and pepperoni, then baked 'til bubbling. Prosciutto is added at the end for an extra layer of meaty goodness.

Pizza Balls at The Meatball Shop, New York City

New York City’s meatball specialist rolls all there is to love about pizza into one fork-friendly orb. Ground pork serves as the base, with 'za fixings like pepperoni, provolone, basil and oregano added to the mix. It’s finished with a dash of cayenne to mimic the kick of crushed red pepper.

Pepperoni Pizza Burger at The Village Idiot, Lexington, Kentucky

The inspiration behind The Village Idiot’s pizza burger came from its sibling restaurant, which is — you guessed it — a pizzeria. Invented by a cook who splits his time between the two spots, the special — one of the pub’s rotating burgers of the week — improves upon the typical meat-and-bun combo by piling on pepperoni, provolone cheese, pickled peppers and, of course, fresh pizza sauce.

Pizza Doughnut at West End Bistro, New Haven, Connecticut

Not all doughnuts are made to be sweet. At Chef Jeffrey Lamberti’s Connecticut bistro, the breakfast staple gets a savory Italian makeover. He makes a loop with focaccia dough and stuffs it with a trio of cheeses before tossing the doughnut in the fryer. But that’s not all — the golden-brown ring is finished with Lamberti’s hours-simmered Sunday sauce, crispy Parmesan and meat "sprinkles," a mix of dried charcuterie crushed into a finishing garnish.

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