If there's one food on this planet I love, it's got to be pizza. However, it should generally be limited, if not forbidden, while on keto. With the rise of gluten-free pizzas, you must be wondering if they are keto-friendly, and here's what you need to know.
Just because a pizza is gluten-free doesn't mean it's ok to eat while on a keto diet. However, many keto-friendly pizzas are, in fact, gluten-free. Gluten-free is simply a term that refers to foods that exclude gluten, a protein present in wheat and wheat, rye, barley, and triticale.
In this article, I'll cover how many carbs are in your standard gluten free options, what gluten is, if you have to give up your beloved pie, a low carb recipe, and much more.
Can You Eat Gluten-Free Pizza On Keto?
You can eat gluten-free pizza dough on keto, but not just any gluten-free pizza. More specifically, the gluten-free pizza recipe must be extremely low in carbohydrates to be considered keto-friendly.
Just because an item is labeled as gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean that it's ok to consume on a keto diet. Sometimes gluten-free pizzas have just as many carbohydrates, if not more, than a traditional pizza.
While following a ketogenic diet, most individuals try to stay between 20 and 50 grams of carbohydrates to achieve and remain in ketosis. Still, some gluten free pizzas have more than 20 grams of carbohydrates in a single slice.
How Many Carbs Are In Gluten Free Pizza?
Since we can't standardize how many carbs are in a homemade gluten-free pizza crust, I've taken the liberty to showcase five of the more popular store brands.
As you'll soon see, just because it's gluten-free doesn't mean it's low carb or keto.
Against The Grain Gourmet Gluten-Free Pizza
Against The Grain Gourmet glute-free should not be consumed by those following a keto diet. Their 10-inch pepperoni gluten and grain-free pizza have 28 grams of carbs per serving and 112 grams of net carbs for the entire pizza.
Amy's Kitchen Gluten-Free Pizza
Amy's Kitchen gluten-free should not be consumed by those following a keto diet. A single serving of their cheese pizza has 32 grams of carbohydrates and 95 grams of carbohydrates for the entire pizza.
Daiya Gluten Free Dairy Free Pizza
Daiya gluten and dairy-free should not be consumed by those following a keto diet. A single serving of their thin crust pepperoni pizza has 57 grams of net carbohydrates and 183 grams of total carbohydrates for the entire pizza.
Freschetta Gluten-Free Pizza
Freschetta gluten-free should not be consumed by those following a keto diet. The pepperoni pizza has 35 grams of net carbs per serving and 144 grams of total carbohydrates for the entire pizza.
Caulipower should not be consumed by those following a keto diet. The cauliflower-based gluten-free pepperoni pizza has 43 grams of net carbohydrates per serving and 89 grams of total carbohydrates for the entire pizza.
As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid these in the ingredients list: tapioca starch, rice flour, cornflour, rice starch, arrowroot, and corn starch.
Things like cauliflower, almond flour, and even chicken will generally be the first on the list for a low-carb crust.
What Is Gluten-Free?
So if gluten-free doesn't necessarily mean keto-friendly, what exactly does it entail?
Gluten-free means that a particular food or beverage item does not contain gluten proteins. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye products such as bread, baked goods, pasta, and cereals. Therefore, someone who follows a gluten-free diet is looking to avoid these foods or substitute them with something like almond flour bread and brown rice pasta.
Individuals who have celiac disease must avoid gluten as it can be life-threatening. However, some individuals suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. About 6% of the U.S. population suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 1
Is Gluten-Free Keto Friendly?
When an item says gluten-free, it merely states that the food or beverage does not contain gluten proteins.
While following a ketogenic diet, your goal is to avoid or limit carbohydrates as much as possible. Therefore, it doesn't necessarily mean keto-friendly since gluten is a protein and not a carbohydrate.
However, this doesn't mean that EVERY gluten-free option is not keto-friendly. There are plenty of products that can be eaten while following a keto diet, but you must be mindful and look at the nutrition facts to ensure it is low-carb.
Most keto-friendly foods are gluten-free since food items containing gluten also tend to be high in carbohydrates, bread and pasta, for example.
When you find a loaf of bread or pasta that doesn't contain gluten, they tend to be made with alternative flours aside from wheat flour, such as coconut flour, almond flour, or rice flour.
Can You Eat Pizza On A Keto Diet?
Just because I listed a few famous pizzas that you shouldn't eat on keto doesn't mean there aren't any.
In fact, not only can you find many keto-friendly options at some big local chain restaurants now, but there are some frozen options and great keto recipes you can use to get that fix.
Maybe you're at a party, and they didn't purchase any keto-friendly items; you may be wondering if you can eat the toppings off the pizza. I have great news, most of the carbs are in the crust and a bit in the pizza sauce/ tomato sauce, so yes, you can keep it low carb by only eating the toppings.
Just don't do the opposite and eat the crust without everything else, that's a no-no. Cheese on keto is perfectly acceptable, and it's a great way to get some much-needed calcium on keto as well, even things like Velveeta are ok in moderation.
If you're interested in finding some keto pizza or making your own, I have some excellent news for you down below.
Where To Find Gluten-Free AND Keto Friendly Pizza
As I mentioned earlier, most keto-friendly pizzas are probably gluten-free. Not every gluten-free pizza will be keto-friendly.
Luckily, with the rise of the ketogenic diet and consumer demand, many chain restaurants are beginning to develop keto-friendly crusts for those on keto or low carb diets.
Keto-Friendly Chain Pizza Crust
Uno Pizzeria & Grill
Uno Pizzeria and Grill have two options for those looking to slash carbohydrates. First, they offer a thin crust made from cauliflower that ranges between 6 and 8 net grams of carbs per slice.
While it's not listed, some locations offer a crust made of sausage called the no-dough sausage pie. The sausage is pressed into the pizza pan instead of traditional dough, then topped as usual per your favorite toppings.
The do-it-yourself chain released its pizza crust, with the main ingredient being cauliflower rice. A single slice of Blaze's keto pizza crust will set you back 2 grams of net carbohydrates per piece or 12 grams of net carbs for the entire thing.
Papa Murphy's does it a little different. Instead of a keto crust, they offer their pizzas “crustless.” Essentially you can say it's like Jersey Mike's sub in a tub, but instead of no bread, it's no pizza crust.
Throw the pizza toppings in a tub, and you're good to go!
Donatos offers a 10-inch cauliflower crust for those following low carb or keto diets. A single slice of Donatos cauliflower pizza will set you back 5 grams of net carbohydrates. Just be careful not to eat the entire thing because that will end up setting you back 59 grams of carbohydrates.
Frozen Keto Friendly Pizza Crust
Quest Thin Crust
From the same company that brought you those delicious quest protein bars, Quest also has a low-carb pizza option. Half the pizza has 6 grams of net carbs. Meaning, for an entire pizza, it's only 12 grams of net carbohydrates.
Realgood offers a few low carb pizza crusts, but their lowest carb option is the chicken crust. An entire 7-inch Realgood pepperoni has only 8 grams of net carbs.
If you've never tried a chicken crust, don't knock it till you try it!
If you're like me, I'm a big fan of having control of what goes in AND on your pie; here are a couple of recipes to make at home.
How To Make Keto Friendly Pizza At Home
If you're looking for a pizza crust recipe, look no further. Keto dieters have been using many pizza bases, from almond flour to cauliflower to chicken, in their recipes.
While not required, a food processor and some parchment paper can come in handy for blending the ingredients in the following recipes.
This keto pizza crust recipe may be the most popular of the bunch. Cream cheese, almond flour, and mozzarella make the ingredients base of this keto pizza dough.
Photo and recipe courtesy of That's Low Carb?!
Almond Flour pizza crust
Similar to the above recipe, this pizza dough uses almond flour but doesn't have mozzarella cheese or cream cheese in the ingredients. It is almost like fathead dough, but some may prefer this almond flour-based crust instead.
Recipe courtesy of Mouthwatering Motivation
Crustless pizza base
Like Papa Murphy's idea, this homemade keto pizza recipe is an easy crustless version with limited ingredients. If you're feeling lazy or rushed (or don't want to purchase more ingredients), this is the perfect way to go.
No coconut flour, almond flour, no chicken, no herbs, and limited prep time required!
Photo and recipe courtesy of Kasey Trenum
Cauliflower pizza crust
The worst thing besides a bad tasting pizza is a soggy pizza crust. The dough source is similar to fathead dough, but Instead of almond flour, the ingredients call for cauliflower rice mixed with mozzarella cheese and cream cheese as the main ingredients.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Low Carb Maven
Chicken crust pizza
If you've never tried a meat crust recipe, you don't know what you're missing out on. The main ingredients in this crust are chicken breast, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.
For a higher protein and savory crust, a meat ingredients crust recipe is the way to go.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Feels Like Home Blog
Aside from whatever herbs and toppings you prefer, any of these recipes go well with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil to round them out.
When it comes to any frozen pizza, make sure you look at the nutrition facts to ensure it's low carb. Just because an item is listed as gluten-free doesn't necessarily make it ok to eat on a keto diet.
While some keto-friendly options are available, it's easy to make your keto pizza at home really well should you choose to do so.