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What Is a Pizza Pie? Is It the Same As a Pizza?

By Robert Parsons April 18th, 2023

Pizza is an old dish we still enjoy regularly. The dish has gone by quite a few names and experienced endless variations over the years. And one of the ways pizza has evolved over time was with its name.

You may have heard more than a few people call a pizza a “pizza pie”, so there’s no surprise if you’re wondering what a pizza pie is.

Is this the same as a pizza? Are there unique qualities to this dish that make it different from pizza?

Well, the answer can get complicated. But don’t worry – we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll talk about what a pizza pie is and whether or not it’s different from a classic pizza. On top of that, we’ll answer a few other common questions you might have about pizza to keep you as informed as possible.

Read on to learn more.

What Is a Pizza Pie?

what is a pizza pie

While it might sound like a fusion of classic Italian and American dishes, a pizza pie isn’t anything that special. In fact, when most people say pizza pie, they’re simply referring to pizza. So, a pizza pie is a piece of flatbread with tomato sauce and other toppings that has been baked at a high temperature.

Pizza pie is another term for pizza. It was probably coined to help Americans understand what the dish was when it was first introduced. This is a widely accepted term for pizza, especially in the United States, so there’s no need to correct someone if you hear them call a pizza a pizza pie.

What Is a Pie?

Before we get into the details of whether or not pizza is a pie, we first need to understand what a pie is.

A pie is a baked dish with a top and pastry base. Typically, pies are filled with fruits, vegetables, or meats and can be served for just about any meal. If you’re looking for pies to try out, endless flavours and variations are available, all of which taste great and fill you up!

Pie has a rich history and remains a favourite dish for people worldwide. But even if it’s been around for so long, there are still debates around the definition of pie up to this day. This is why there’s some confusion around what does or doesn’t qualify as a pie.

For example, people have been arguing about whether or not pizza qualifies as a pie for decades at this point. And up until now, we still don’t have a definite conclusion to the debate because both sides present some good points.

To further wrap our heads around this, we’ll look at whether pizza is a pie in the next section.

Is Pizza a Pie?

Okay, since people also call it pizza pie, that probably means pizza qualifies as a pie.

The answer is a bit more complicated. And to be honest, it doesn’t have a definite conclusion.

Many people claim that pizza is a pie, while just as many argue that it isn’t. The first reason people claim that pizza isn’t a pie is that pizza has a closed-top while pies are supposed to have open tops. On top of that, pizza is made from a dough, not a traditional pie crust, so there’s a definite argument against pizza being a pie.

But if you follow the American definition, pizza qualifies as pie. In America, pie is usually classified as a pastry with various toppings that are baked altogether. And technically, pizza fits this definition, so you can argue that pizza is a pie.

So, there’s no definitive way to tell if pizza is or isn’t a pie. Whenever you ask people their opinions on this, you’ll likely split the room. So, if you believe pizza is a pie, there’s no harm in saying it is!

And if you don’t believe it classifies as a pie, your opinion is just as valid.

At the end of the day, pizza will always be the same, regardless of whether or not you classify it as a pie. So, if you’re having difficulty concluding, it might be best to enjoy the pizza as is!

Why Do People Call It a Pizza Pie?

There’s a lot of debate around who was the first to call it a pizza pie. However, many people agree with the story that the name comes from Gennaro Lombardi, one of the first people to introduce pizza to New York in the early 1900s.

You have to remember that no one knew what a pizza was at the time. So, most people who saw or tasted the pizza had yet to learn how to describe this dish. The New York Tribune described the dish as a pomiodore, translating to tomato pie.

In the article, the author called pizza an Italian pie, which plays a big role in why we still call the dish pizza pie today. 

When Lombardi launched his restaurant, pizza took the country by storm. Soon after, new pizzerias were opening up all over America, from New York to Boston and New Jersey. And since then, people have been calling the dish a pizza pie.

As more and more people grew familiar with and accustomed to pizza, there was less of a need to describe it to first-time tasters. So, after some time, we eventually shedded the pie part of the name and just started calling it pizza.

Where Does the Name “Pizza” Come From?

There’s already a lot of debate around where the term pizza pie came from, which is only a hundred years old. So, you can imagine just how many different stories and claims around where the name pizza comes from.

In fact, some people argue that the dish wasn’t even called pizza until it reached America in the 1900s.

Like most old words, we might never find out where the name pizza originally comes from. Some reports trace the term back to 997AD in Italy, while others trace the name back to Roman times.

But regardless of where the name comes from, there’s no denying that pizza is a universal dish. You can find pizzerias worldwide, with each culture having a twist on the dish. So, no matter what you call it, you can rest assured people worldwide will enjoy pizza for a long time coming!


Is Calzone a Pie?

Most people will argue that calzone is not a pie. While they might seem similar, the dough used for the crust is very different and preparing a calzone is very different from a traditional pie.

What Do Italians Call a Pizza Pie?

Italians typically call pizza “pizza”. However, some Italians use the terms Crosata and Torta to distinguish between sweet and savoury pies.

Where Did Pizza Pie Originate?

Pizza originates in Italy, where the dish was first made. However, the term pizza pie was only used in America in the 1900s, when Italian immigrants attempted to introduce the dish to a new audience.


Pizza is one of the most popular dishes in the world, which is why there are so many origin stories and variations on its name. So, while some people call it pizza and some call it pizza pie, you can rest assured that these names describe the same dish!