There’s nothing like a pizza party to combine festivity, friendship and coziness. A pizza party works to brighten a chilly winter night as folks gather around warm, hot, and cheesy food. It’s a memorable backdrop to major events like football games and other sporting events and even great for a kid’s birthday party. A good party even draws neighbors and family closer together.

So how do you throw a stellar pizza party that’s? I’m so glad you asked!

1. A Taste for Everybody, and Everybody for a Taste

A fancy pizza party doesn’t necessarily require making a bunch of pizza from scratch! Feel free to grab some pizza from your favorite local delivery joint or (gasp) even some frozen pizza! You’ll just want to make sure you wind up with a few different kinds of bases to ensure you please the crowd. A good rule of thumb is one red, one white and one vegetarian. Of course, if you need more than three pizzas just double the rule.

Many people stick with tried-and-true pizza favorites, so a meat-zza fan likely enjoys red pizza with lots of meat toppings. Keep this in mind when you’re putting together your menu – but get creative! Pepperoni lovers may really enjoy spicy Capicola on their pizza as a swap that’s not too far from their comfort zone.

It isn’t just about flavors, either. In an era where people are increasingly concerned about health, many follow gluten-free diets and try to eat plenty of vegetables. Pizza’s association with cheese and crust can put it in a category where the health-conscious among us wouldn’t even think of it as a go-to food.

Because one to two percent of people have food allergies, potential pizza eaters are rightly concerned with what goes into their slice. The solution? Many pizza delivery places offer gluten-free crusts! Order one to be safe, or whip up a cauliflower crust.

2. Pair Beer and Pizza

There’s a reason so many pizza parlors have beer on tap. The kegs and taps did not mysteriously arrive in U.S. pizza parlors. Beer, you see, is carbonated. Its bubbles cut through oil and fat. Oil and fat are found in pizza, in both the dough and cheese. Beer and pizza go really well together as a result.

Bitter beers, like IPAs, have an effect similar to the acids in wine, cutting through fats, oils and salt.

Purchase several types of beer so your guests can pair their favorites. Beer is classified by body: light, medium or heavy. Order light for the vegetarian pizza lovers and medium or heavy for the meat-zza eaters. From there, the guests can have fun matching brews and slices.

3. A Toppings Bar Shines

You can really get festive by bringing a toppings bar to the party. Your red pizza, for example, might be a plain cheese pizza with basil, mozzarella and tomato sauce. But your toppings may make it a dazzling concoction with anchovies, eggplant and bacon. You can also make specialty pizzas. A red pizza with a drizzle of hot sauce and shredded chicken turns it into an instant buffalo chicken pizza. Likewise, adding arugula and prosciutto to a white pizza makes a specialty pie for any occasion.

Toppings really work if your pizza party contains couples or families who have very different pizza tastes. If they have to divide every pizza they’ve ever ordered between a half with anchovies and a half without, everybody can get plenty of what they most desire with a toppings bar. Just place your toppings in shining dishes where everyone can gather around buffet style, and go back for plenty of seconds.

There are so many vegetables to include in a toppings bar! Here’s some ideas:

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus
  • Eggplant
  • Figs
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Peppers or roasted peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Don’t forget toppings for your carnivorous friends:

  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Barbecue Chicken
  • Chorizo
  • Clams
  • Ham
  • Meatballs
  • Pepperoni
  • Prosciutto
  • Sausage
  • Shrimp

It wouldn’t be a pizza party without all the cheese:

  • Asiago
  • Cheddar
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Fontina
  • Feta

Herbs and sauces can also really make them fancy:

  • Basil
  • Chili peppers
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Honey
  • Fresh Oregano
  • Rosemary

Pizza is great, and pizza and a party are even better. Pizza, beer and a party are the very best combination of all. They create a festive time that’s both fun and low-pressure comfortable. Use these tips, and your guests will thank you for an evening well spent.

Author Bio

Jennifer Landis is a 27-year-old healthy living blogger who loves yoga, running, and dancing it out with her toddler! You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or by following her on Twitter: @jenniferelandis.