We ❤️ family pizza night! Follow our tips for a healthier pizza and have fun getting the whole family involved. Making pizza at home means you can make everyone happy with gluten-free, dairy-free and low-carb options. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy rolling out their own dough and decorating their pizza. Offer a variety of healthy toppings and have a contest for the most creative pizza or try your hand at recreating a healthier version of your favorite restaurant pizza.
See below for a basic pizza recipe and a simple no-cook pizza sauce to get you started. Have fun!
Pizza crust has come a long way. Store-bought crusts are widely available and can be found in the refrigerated, bakery or freezer section of most grocery stores. Options are plentiful and can accommodate many allergies and dietary restrictions. Choices range from ready-made whole wheat and gluten-free dough to low-carb vegetable-based crusts. When choosing a crust, take a close look at the sodium content. Dough can be a sneaky source of added salt. Opt for thin crust and choose whole wheat or whole grain over plain white dough.
Home made dough is easier than you think! It is quick to make, economical and freezes well for future use. When you make it yourself, you control the ingredients. Craving pizza but don’t have a crust at the ready? Try turning a portobello mushroom cap or whole wheat pita into an untraditional crust.
|Whole grain or whole wheat dough, fresh or frozen
|Whole wheat pita
|Portobello mushroom caps
Change up your pizza by trying a new sauce or, by skipping it altogether! For a quick, pantry-friendly tomato sauce, try the Simple No-Cook Pizza Sauce found below. If you prefer a cooked sauce, consider adding extra vegetables, either shredded or finely minced while it simmers. Instead of a traditional tomato sauce, sprinkle the crust with fresh garlic, diced tomatoes or roasted tomatoes, or spread with roasted garlic before adding toppings. If using store-bought, look for options that are low in sodium and sugar. Whatever sauce you choose make sure it isn’t too watery and spread it on in a thin layer to avoid a soggy pie.
|Pesto, basil, spinach or kale
|BBQ sauce, reduced sugar
|Duxelles (finely minced mushrooms sautéed with onion or shallots and garlic)
|Simple no-cook tomato sauce
|Minced raw garlic
Choose part-skim or reduced-fat cheeses whenever possible and don’t overdo it! Mozzarella, especially fresh, has slightly lower fat and sodium than other options. Even minimal amounts of cheeses like parmesan, provolone, Swiss and goat can add lots of flavor. Tip: Give grating your own cheese a try. Often blocks of cheese are less expensive and melt better than bags of shredded. Alternatively, tear cheese into small chunks.
|Dairy-free and/or vegan cheeses
Rely on vegetables, spices and herbs, both fresh and dried to add flavor. Adding vegetables to pizza is a great way to get your picky eater to try something new or to use up leftovers. Cut vegetables in small pieces so they will cook at the same time as your pizza or top with pre-cooked vegetables. After the pizza is cooked, a drizzle of vinegar, a sprinkle of green onions or a shower of lemony arugula can really take your pie to the next level.
If adding a protein to your pizza, use sparingly and choose leaner options like diced chicken or Canadian bacon. Consider substituting turkey pepperoni or chicken sausage for higher fat versions.
|Sautéed greens – spinach, kale or Swiss chard
|Roasted winter squash
|Onion – red, white or green
|Raw or roasted tomatoes
|Roasted red pepper
|Artichokes, canned in water or defrosted from frozen
|Shaved Brussels sprouts
|Chicken breast, cooked
|Chicken or turkey sausage, cooked and sliced
|Crushed red pepper
|Garlic, fresh or roasted
|Reduced sodium sliced black olives
Simple No-Cook Pizza Sauce
This fresh tasting sauce is as easy as it gets. Delicious plain or seasoned and customized with fresh garlic, herbs and spices. Do not worry if the garlic tastes sharp in your pureed sauce. It will mellow when it cooks on your pizza.
|1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes
|1 clove of garlic, optional
|Italian herbs or spices, optional
- Drain liquid from canned tomatoes. Squeeze or puncture the tomatoes to allow the liquid inside of them to drain out as well.
- Puree fully drained tomatoes and 1 optional clove of garlic until smooth with a stick blender, food processor or blender. If desired, season to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Heart Shaped Pizza
|1 1lb whole wheat dough ball, store-bought
- Place baking rack in the bottom half of the oven and preheat oven to 500°. Prepare a baking sheet by covering with parchment paper or lightly greasing with nonstick spray.
- Cut dough ball into 4 pieces. Sprinkle countertop with flour and roll each piece into a 10-11 inch oval shape. If you are having difficulty rolling the dough, allow it to warm up to room temperature and let it rest, covered, between rolls.
- Place the oval shaped dough, two at a time, onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape the dough into a heart. Allow to rest a few minutes before continuing to make sure it does not spring back to its oblong form.
- Top the dough with desired sauce, cheese and toppings. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown and dough is cooked. Cut and serve.