Your favourite pizza FAQs

Cheers to pizza

Your favourite pizza FAQs answered

Got a burning question about pizza on your mind? You’re in luck. As the go-to source for all things pizza, we’ve compiled 10 of the most Googled pizza queries. From settling the pineapple on pizza debate to recycling your pizza box – we've got it covered. Get ready for a slice of pizza wisdom.

10 of the most frequently asked questions about pizza

  1. Does pineapple belong on pizza?   
  2. Can you recycle pizza boxes?         
  3. What is a calzone pizza?
  4. Can you cook pizza on a BBQ?           
  5. Can I eat pepperoni pizza while pregnant?                 
  6. Why are pizzas round?
  7. Why are pizza boxes square?
  8. What does ‘pizza’ mean in Italian?   
  9. Can you put a cardboard pizza box in the oven or microwave?
  10. How do I stop pizza sticking to the tray?      

Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Ah, the age-old debate: Should pineapple be on pizza? At Papa John’s, we champion diverse tastes and absolute freedom when choosing your pizza toppings. So, we believe that pineapple does belong on pizza! And we’re not the only ones – there's a reason why our Hawaiian pizza, topped with delicious ham and juicy pineapple chunks, is a bestseller.

Have you tried our Hawaiian pizza?

Where was Hawaiian pizza invented?

Despite the name, Hawaiian pizza was invented in Canada. In 1962, Sam Panopoulos, a Greek immigrant running a restaurant in Ontario, added pizza to his menu after a trip to Naples. While he initially served his pizza with more traditional toppings, it wasn’t long before ham and pineapple-topped pizza began appearing on the menu. 

It’s thought he was inspired by Americanised Chinese inspired dishes which were popular at this time and often mixed sweet and savoury flavours. The creation also emerged shortly after Hawaii became an American state in 1959, so could have also been inspired by Tiki culture.

Can you recycle pizza boxes?

You might think all pizza boxes are recyclable since they’re made of cardboard. Not quite, we’re afraid. If there’s too much pizza grease on the box it causes recycling headaches so will sadly likely end up in in landfill. 

So, are pizza boxes recyclable? Yes, they are – but no greasy boxes allowed.

Sustainability is a cornerstone at Papa John’s. Our pizza boxes are intentionally crafted from recyclable materials. To properly recycle your pizza box, remove any remaining food and grease from the box before disposal. This simple step ensures that the box can be efficiently recycled, reducing environmental impact.

The Papadias is our twist on traditional Calzone

What is a calzone pizza?

A close cousin of pizza, a calzone is essentially a folded pizza. A pocket full of flavours tucked up in a tasty golden crust, it can contain all the usual toppings you’d find on a traditional pizza. 

Our take on traditional calzone is the papadias. Part calzone, part sandwich and part pizza, it’s packed with full-on flavour. Choose from a variety of fillings like Philly Cheesesteak, Italian Sausage & Pepperoni and Fajita Chicken.

Can you cook pizza on a BBQ?

If you’re tired of cooking burgers on the BBQ, you’ll be happy to hear the answer to this. Believe it or not, you can cook pizza on a BBQ! But before you get in the garden and fire up the grill, here are a few key tips to ensure your BBQ pizza experience is a success:

How to cook pizza on a BBQ

Whether you’ve made your own pizza, or you’re reheating some leftover Papa Johns takeaway pizza, cooking it on the BBQ will give it a crispy, smoky flavour.

Once you’ve heated up your BBQ, there are a couple of options for cooking your pizza. You can either place the pizza directly on the grill grates, or better yet, use a pizza stone (or heavy baking tray).

How long to cook it for will depend on how thick your crust is, and the size of your pizza. To gauge when it’s perfectly cooked, keep a watchful eye on it; the cooking time could range from 5 to 15 minutes. The goal is a golden crust and bubbly cheese, so trust your instincts and keep that spatula ready!

Can I eat pepperoni pizza while pregnant?

The NHS advise pregnant women should “be careful with cold cured meats, such as salami, pepperoni, chorizo and prosciutto (unless cooked thoroughly)”. This is because there is a small risk of getting toxoplasmosis if you eat raw or undercooked meat, which can potentially cause complications if you’re pregnant.

Food safety is paramount at Papa John’s. Our pepperoni is made from quality ingredients and always cooked thoroughly. However, we always recommend consulting your doctor regarding dietary choices during pregnancy.

Our bestselling Double Pepperoni

Why are pizzas round?

The round shape of pizzas is rooted in practically. It’s simply easier to make and cut round pizzas – from rolling the dough, to cutting slices evenly.

Beyond the practicalities, the round shape also symbolises togetherness and sharing. At Papa Johns, our hand-tossed pizzas continue this tradition, bringing people together through the love of pizza!

Papa Johns pizza boxes stacked high

Why are pizza boxes square?

We’ll bet you’re now wondering why pizza boxes are square if pizzas are round. Square pizza boxes might seem like an odd choice for a round pizza, but they’re simply designed for efficiency. The square shape allows for easier stacking, storage, and transportation, making them a practical choice.

What does ‘pizza’ mean in Italian?

Technically speaking, the definition of ‘pizza’ in Italian is a “thin focaccia made of flour mixed with water and yeast, seasoned in various ways and cooked in the oven”.

And as for how the term ‘pizza’ originated? Some believe the term ‘pizza’ came from the Italian word ‘pinza’, which has roots in the Latin term ‘pinsere’, meaning to pound or stamp. Another theory suggests it could be linked to the Greek word ‘pitta’ translating to cake or pie. You can read more about it in our History of Pizza blog.


Can you put a cardboard pizza box in the oven or microwave?

For safety, it’s crucial not to cook pizza in its cardboard box – whether in the oven or microwave.

If you’re cooking pizza in the oven, pop it on a baking tray; if you’re heating it up in the microwave, make sure it’s on a microwave-safe plate. 

For more tips on reheating leftover pizza, check out our guides:


How do I stop pizza sticking to the tray?

We’ve all faced the frustration of a stuck pizza! To avoid your pizza sticking to the baking tray when cooking it in the oven, lightly oil the baking tray or use parchment paper.

Of course, there is a third solution: Forget cooking your own pizza. Order a Papa Johns takeaway and keep your baking tray and oven sparkling clean!

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