There’s no denying the popularity of pizza, they are delicious and the ultimate comfort food for the many. Additionally, there’s no denying that they are not the healthiest of meals, and all those toppings of cheese, sauces and loaded crust is a recipe for a coronary disaster! Furthermore, if you’re on a healthy eating plan or weight loss programme, you more than likely have to sacrifice the beloved pizza. Fear not though, for by the end of this article you’ll have uncovered tips on how to make a healthy homemade pizza that rivals your favourite takeaway pizza, only with less of the saturated fat, salt and calories. Who knows, we may even divulge tips to increase your protein content and your serving of fruit and vegetables!

As a bonus, we reveal the jaw-dropping amount of calories in a garlic pizza dip. Have a guess as to how many calories are in a 100g serving of garlic dip.

How to make a healthy homemade pizza -  Pizza topped with rocket, tomatoes, cheese

Base

Avoid stuffed pizza crusts: All that extra cheese and meats added to a pizza crust can add considerable calories to your pizza slice, in fact it increases by as much as twofold! Avoid stuffed pizza crusts at all costs.

Swap thick crust for thin crust: It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that a thinner pizza base contains less calories, fat and carbohydrates compared to their thick crust counterparts. A simple swap, but highly effective at the same time. This thrifty exchange could salvage as much as 70 calories per slice of pizza.

Use alternative bases: There are endless choices of non-traditional pizza bases to choose from. Below are a list of some that you can try, all of which will significantly slash calories and fat associated with pizza bases.

  • Tortilla wrap
  • Round pitta bread
  • Cauliflower base
  • Portobello mushroom caps
  • Zucchini slices
  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - pizza on wooden table, cauliflower crust

Sauce

Pizza dips have been one of the latest additions to a takeaway meal. At the start of the article, you were asked to guess how many calories are in a garlic dip. Recently, the much-loved dip came under fire for the astonishing amount of calories that a large garlic dip contains.


In a 100g dip, you will find an astonishing 675 calories! Yes, the equivalent to a whole pizza, 2 healthy dinners and more than 2 McDonald’s burgers! So, step away from the dip.


There should be an abundance of flavour in a pizza without needing a dip. Below are some healthy sauces you can add to your pizza.

Passata:

This sauce provides 21 calories, 0.2g fat and 3g sugar per 100ml, and is the premier choice when compared with other pizza sauces available. Why not add some basil or your favourite herbs for an extra kick of flavour?

Pizza sauce:

A trend that I have noticed is that some of the pizza sauces contain substantially less sugar and calories when compared with tomato puree. These sauces were fresh and flavoured with garlic and herbs, which probably quantifies why they could eradicate most of the sugar. Such sauces offer 27 calories, 0.7g fat and 2.5g sugar per 100ml, a superior alternative to tomato puree.

Tomato puree:

In the grand scheme of things, tomato puree isn’t the worst of sauces available to flavour a pizza. It contains 85 calories, 0.5g fat and 14g sugar per 100ml. Yes, the sugar is rather high when you consider it should be no greater than 5g per 100g to be considered a healthy amount of sugar (remember the +353 rule?). So you could opt for better sauces, such as the ones mentioned above.

Make your own sauce:

Nothing quite compares to a homemade sauce from a nutritional standpoint. From having control of the sugar and salt, to picking your favourite herbs and spices to add some zest to your pizza, you can really spice up your pizza and not be confined to the basic set of pizza sauces available in supermarkets.

If you want to reform your pizza or feel the need for a change, you can switch things up by opting for one of the below sauces instead of a tomato-based sauce.

  • Greek yoghurt flavoured sauce
  • Pesto
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • BBQ sauce
  • Romesco sauce
  • Curry sauce

Tip: Opt for low fat, low sugar, low salt sauce variations to minimise the presence of hidden ingredients in sauces.

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - Tomato sauce in white jar

Toppings

Cheese:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, take ease with the cheese! If you’re thinking about replicating the double cheese pizzas, then be prepared to deal with the consequences. Double cheese pizzas incorporate anywhere from 150g – 300g extra cheese, so bear this in mind when you read the nutritional values of cheese provided below.

The type of cheese you select can end up reducing the fat content by as much as 50%. Mozzarella cheese is one of the cheese lowest in fat and calories and provides 236 calories, 18g fat and 0.6g sugar per 100g. Opting for the reduced fat mozzarella cheese reduces those values to 164 calories, 9g fat and 0.7g sugar per 100g.

Other cheeses you could opt for include feta cheese, ricotta cheese and reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Alternatively, you could omit the cheese altogether and just top your pizza with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Tip: Shredded cheese, e.g. shredded mozzarella, is a simple serving trick that helps reduce portion sizes while still getting cheese distributed throughout the pizza.

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - Mozarella pizza on fork with pizza background

Fruit:

If asked what fruits can be added to a pizza, you probably would have been stumped to conjure up a list. That’s probably because many of us don’t know that peppers are considered a fruit and not a vegetable. The only one that typically comes to mind for many people is the pineapple. The contentious question that always sparks rivalry is whether pineapple belongs on a pizza, so consider this your forewarning that it is included on the list below.

  • Apple: Thinly slice your apples and add them to the pizza before popping it in the oven. They tend to compliment strong cheeses well.
  • Fig: Goes well with goats cheese.
  • Jackfruit: An excellent substitute if you’re vegan or want to imitate the appearance of pulled meat.
  • Jalapenos: Be warned, they are hot. So add sparingly, or if you can’t handle the heat, don’t add them at all.
  • Olives: Add a handful of thinly sliced black or green olives.
  • Peach: Diced or thinly sliced, it’s up to you.
  • Peppers: Red peppers are the most popular due to providing a strong, sweet flavour, but don’t forget to add green and yellow too.
  • Pineapple: Choose from round slices or diced pineapple. Did somebody say Hawaiian pizza?


How to make a healthy homemade pizza - red, yellow and orange peppers

Meat:

Most meat pizza toppings are often highly processed, and unfortunately pepperoni, salami, and sausage are but a few offenders. When choosing meats, opt for ones with no visible traces of fat or skin. The healthier options include meats that you cooked yourself as opposed to packaged meats which are often high in salt and preservatives.

The preferred cooking methods include roasting or grilling the meat, if it needs to be par-cooked before being added to the pizza. Boiling is also a healthy cooking method, but it does introduce moisture, which may contribute to a soggy pizza.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Turkey

Tip: Swap bacon rashers and sausages for turkey rashers and sausages as these are generally a leaner meat that is lower in fat and higher in protein.

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - Pizza with beef, tomatoes, jalapenos, pepper toppings

Plant-based:

For those of you who celebrate meatless Monday or don’t eat meat or seafood, here are some suggestions which you can use as alternative toppings:

  • Broccolini
  • Chickpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Quorn
  • Tempeh

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - Vegan pizza, chickpea, avocado pizza

Seafood:

Meat is synonymous with pizza toppings, however, there’s no reason you can’t opt for a fishy pizza instead. Such ingredients are often a healthier alternative to meat, especially when you compare them to processed meats, such as sausage and pepperoni.

  • Anchovys
  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Lobster
  • Prawns
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Squid
  • Tuna

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - Seafood pizza, fish pizza cut into slices

 

Seasonings:

  • Basil,
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chilli flakes
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • Italian seasoning

Tip: Opt for fresh diced herbs over dried herbs for a milder flavour.

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - section of pizza with chicken, basil and mushrooms

Vegetables:

Vegetables are one of the healthiest ingredients that can be added to a pizza along with being the lowest in calories, fat, sugar and salt. So with that in mind, load up on your 5 a day to add bulk, nutrients, texture and flavour to your pizza.

  • Garlic: Finely chopped or minced, 1 clove is plenty
  • Mushrooms: Fresh, sliced baby mushrooms are a nutritious addition, 75g is loads
  • Onions: Sliced or diced, spring onions, red onions or white onions, you choose
  • Rocket: Also known as arugula. Sprinkle small arugula leaves throughout the pizza for extra texture, colour and nutrients
  • Spinach: An alternative to rocket leaves, adding spinach also makes you feel slightly healthier
  • Tomato: Large, thinly sliced tomatoes and small cherry tomatoes are a popular topping to compliment the tomato sauce

Tip: Some ingredients have a high water content, e.g. peppers, fruit. Ensure any excess water is removed and they are patted dry before topping your pizza with them. Nobody wants a soggy pizza!

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - sliced tomatoes in bowl

Summary

  • Choose a thin crust over a thick crust to save on calories, fat and carbohydrates consumed
  • Healthy pizza bases include tortilla wraps, pitta bread and cauliflower bases
  • Processed meats should be minimised if not eliminated, e.g. pepperoni, sausage
  • Healthier meat alternatives include turkey, chicken and beef
  • Cheese toppings provide significant calories and saturated fat
  • Fruit and vegetables are some of the healthiest toppings that can be added to a pizza

Have you a pizza lover in your life and want to get them a gift? Or perhaps you enjoy novelty gifts yourself! Well treat yourself or someone you know to an Axe Shaped Wheel Cutter Pizza Cleaver Knife. Make cutting pizza the highlight of the night!

If you’re having a pizza night, chances are that you are indulging in some of your favourite drinks too. Whether they are alcoholic or non-alcoholic, they’re bound to contain calories, sugar and/or fat. Now that you’ve made a healthy homemade pizza, why sabotage your efforts by guzzling on a calorific, sugary drink? Ditch the sugar dips, the extortionate calories, fat and even the horrible hangovers with these tasty best low calorie beverages – cut 100+ calories per drink. We may even shock you with the calories in your favourite beverages!

Congratulations, you are now equipped to build yourself a healthier pizza that you can enjoy with all the taste and less of the guilt. Of course, feeling guilty about eating food and labelling foods as bad and good is a dangerous path towards a poor relationship with food. Nevertheless, I hope these tips and swaps can aid you to incorporating healthier foods and pizza toppings into your lifestyle without feeling the need to sacrifice them entirely.

Have you omitted pizza in the past in an effort to follow a healthier lifestyle or as part of a weight loss programme? Do you think pineapple belongs on a pizza? Or even fruit for that matter? What unconventional pizza toppings or sauces do you use? As always, please contribute your opinions and thoughts below.

How to make a healthy homemade pizza - pizza topped with rocket

Sources

Geer, D., 2016. 5 Recipes That Prove Fruit Belongs On Pizza | Pizza Today. [online] Pizza Today. Available at: https://www.pizzatoday.com/news/pizza-headlines/5-recipes-prove-fruit-belongs-pizza/#  [Accessed 3 July 2020].

Links, Z., 2019. The 7 Most Popular Seasonings, Sprinkles, And Herbs You Need To Try On Your Pizza – Slice Pizza Blog. [online] The Sauce by Slice. Available at: https://blog.slicelife.com/the-7-most-popular-seasonings-sprinkles-and-herbs-you-need-to-try-on-your-pizza/ [Accessed 3 July 2020].

Pizza Planet. 2018. 10 Nutritious Topping Choices For A Healthy Pizza. [online] Available at: https://www.pizzaplanet.com/10-nutritious-toppings-healthy-pizza/  [Accessed 3 July 2020].

Ross, M., 2015. 7 Pizzas For People Who Hate Crust. [online] Bustle. Available at: https://www.bustle.com/articles/101950-7-healthy-pizza-crust-alternatives-that-are-surprisingly-delicious  [Accessed 3 July 2020].

Good Food. 2020. Seafood Pizza. [online] Available at: https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/seafood-pizza-20130806-2rbz1  [Accessed 3 July 2020].

Categories: Blogs

14 Comments

  • Ferra · 07/07/2020 at 5:28 PM

    Sharon,

    This is a great post pack with great tips in making our healthy pizza at home. 🙂 I love it!

    I appreciate you share the healthy ingredients for the sauces, toppings, and crust because my husband is trying to lose some weight now and he loves pizza so much.
    The thing is we have different preferences when it comes to toppings. I love vegetables especially mushrooms and then seafood. He fonds of meat. So, we’ll need to make pizza that is half my favorite and half his favorite. Do you think it’s a good idea or not? Should we make a separate pizza? I ask because maybe it will affect the cooking time and such.

    Cheers,
    Ferra

      Sharon · 07/07/2020 at 5:51 PM

      Hi Ferra,

      Thank you so much, I’m delighted! What I’ve done in the past is made pizza with half and half just to have some variety, that obviously works for you and your husband. So you can load up your half with mushrooms and his with his favourite toppings. It might not work with mixing foods that have cross-contamination issues though, but vegetables should be no real issue.

      Hopefully you learned a few valuable tips from the article anyway!

      Best wishes,
      Sharon

    Habib · 08/07/2020 at 5:12 PM

    What mouth watering recipes! Plus they are healthy and can be made at home, so, its 10 out of 10. I loved reading this post and admiring the beautiful mouth watering Pizza/topping images, which made me hungry now lol. I shall try these recipes. I’m sure they will be very tasty.

    Nice looking website by the way.

      Sharon · 08/07/2020 at 5:43 PM

      Hi Habib,

      I’m glad to hear it. I’m guessing pizza will be on the cards for you soon so! I know I’ve been craving pizza since I wrote the article hehe. I’d love to hear your feedback if you do try some of the tips.

      Sharon

    Tatjana · 10/07/2020 at 8:50 PM

    Wow, I really enjoyed reading this article. So many lovely recipes, so many options and easy to prepare. Thank you so much. Now I just need to decide which one to try first 🙂

      Sharon · 12/07/2020 at 1:45 PM

      Hi Tatjana,

      Welcome to the site and thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you found some inspiration from the post!

      If there’s anything I can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out!

      Best wishes,
      Sharon

    Jade · 11/07/2020 at 5:40 PM

    Hi Sharon,

    This is a super helpful article! Pizza is my go-to easy meal, and I definitely eat waay too much of it. Even though making my own pizza would take away from the easiness, it’ll be worth it, and even when I do eat pre-made pizzas, I can utilize some of your tips. I’m from Wisconsin, where we dip pizza in ranch, and I never really thought about just how much worse the ranch undoubtedly makes the pizza for me. You’ve given me a lot to consider and a lot to incorporate into my diet! Thanks!

      Sharon · 12/07/2020 at 1:46 PM

      Hi Jade,

      You are too kind! Exactly, making pizza can be as difficult or easy as you want it to be. I can’t blame you for dipping pizza in ranch, it is delicious. It is scary when you find out!

      Hope you enjoy the tips!
      Sharon

    Alyse · 12/07/2020 at 7:43 PM

    I love pizza and all of your tips here sound so yummy. My favorite is pineapple pizza. Thanks for sharing.

      Sharon · 13/07/2020 at 7:54 PM

      Hi there,

      Wow, thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

      Yes, that’s one of my favourites too.

      Hopefully you’ll use a few suggestions from the article anyway!

      Best wishes,
      Sharon

    Trevor · 13/07/2020 at 10:47 AM

    Fabulous post Sharon, you really know your subject and you have made me hungry.

    Never knew one could do so much with a pizza but will be trying out some of your ideas and advice

    Thanks
    Trevor

      Sharon · 13/07/2020 at 7:56 PM

      Cheers Trevor,

      If reading it made you hungry, you can guess the cravings I was getting writing it and finding pictures! Glad it’s of use to you.

      Sharon

    Minaher · 15/07/2020 at 11:23 AM

    Hi Sharon, I might have said already-I loooove cooking and looooove eating. However, my husband is a type 2 diabetic, so I really have to be careful of my choices for food that’s put onto the table. Your article is such a help in this, as we, as many I suppose, loooove pizza. I have known about some of these, but by far not all of the swaps you suggest. Hummus as a sauce, for example-I’ve never thought of that. When I want to avoid dough, I make pizza with cauliflower base. Now, I think the next I’ll try with zucchini slices, as you suggest. Mmmm, I can already feel how delicious it will be. Thanks for so good swap ideas.

      Sharon · 15/07/2020 at 6:22 PM

      Hi there,

      You may have mentioned it a few times… Interesting to hear that you use the cauliflower base, I haven’t tried it yet as there’s a bit of effort making it for the first time.

      I’d love to hear how you get on with the zucchini slices and any other ones you try out.

      Thanks for the comment and feedback.

      Sharon

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