Is Pizza Keto-Friendly? (2024)

For some people, life without pizza isn’t life worth living. So if you’re embarking on a low-carb or keto diet, we won’t be surprised if you are wondering whether you’ll still be able to enjoy pizza.

The short answer is: yes. The longer answer is: yes, but you’ll have to make some changes.

That’s because a slice of regular crust pizza contains 30 grams of carbs, which is virtually all the carbs you can eat in a single day.

Other than the crust, pizza is pretty keto-friendly. Here’s a quick look at the most common ingredients of pizza outside the carb-loaded crust (scroll down for a comprehensive keto-friendly pizza topping list):

  • Cheese: A great source of fat and protein. The most common cheese is mozzarella but you can also use cheddar, Parmesan, and ricotta.
  • Meat: The meat toppings are generally all keto (watch out for meatballs filled with breadcrumbs). Pepperoni, Italian sausage, and Canadian bacon are all popular low-carb options.
  • Vegetables: Full of vitamins and minerals, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a vegetable topping that’s not keto-friendly. Consider green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes, to name a few.
  • Pizza sauce: You’ll need to watch out for hidden sugar in the pizza sauce, but if you make your own at home, or buy a jarred brand that has no added sugar, it’s not that hard to find a keto-friendly sauce.

In other words, the crust is the biggest challenge when it comes to finding a keto-friendly pizza.

Carbs in Pizza

The amount of carbs in pizza varies by crust type. Here are the calories and carbs for the different types of pizza below.

TypeCalories (per 1 oz)Carbohydrates
Regular crust27233g
Thin crust20920g
Cauliflower crust843g
Chicken crust90.5g

Types of Pizza Crusts

As we mentioned above, the crust is a keto diet killer.

Regular crust, thin crust, deep dish, and even cheese-stuffed crust… all of these traditional options are off-limits on keto.

Fortunately, as more and more consumers seek out lower-carb options, food manufacturers and restaurants have introduced low-carb crusts made with cauliflower, almond flour, coconut flour, or even chicken. Yes, a crust literally made from chicken.

Let’s take a look at the different types of crusts and which ones are most keto-friendly.

Regular Crust

A traditional pizza crust is typically made of yeast and white flour. Although this type of pizza crust is tasty, it is one of the worst choices for a person on the keto diet.

This type of pizza crust can have up to 33g of carbs without any added sauce or cheese.

If you’re limiting your carbs to 20-50 grams per day, one slice of this type of crust will likely kick you out of ketosis.

Thin Crust

Thin crust pizza generally has fewer carbs than a traditional crust.

A typical thin crust pizza has around 20g of carbs per slice. If you’re on the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) type of keto, then you may be able to enjoy a slice of thin crust pizza on occasion. However, since it’s made with white flour, it’s not recommended.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower is awesome for its low-carb versatility. Many keto dieters use cauliflower as a substitute for rice and mashed potatoes. It can also be used in bread, pancakes, and -- you guessed it -- pizza crusts.

By combining ground-up cauliflower with grated cheeses and other ingredients, you can form a crust-like consistency with little to no carbs. A slice of cauliflower crust only has around 3g of carbs, which is almost nothing compared to many other types of pizza crusts. It’s about as close to carb free as you can get and probably the most popular option among low-carb and keto dieters.

Chicken Pizza Crust

Let’s say you want pizza crust with the lowest amount of carbs possible.Perhaps you even want ZERO carbs.

 You might be thinking, is that even possible?

Yes - the solution is to make your crust out of chicken. Here’s how you do it:

Combine 1 pound of ground chicken, shredded chicken, or canned chicken (well drained) with 2 eggs, and ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese. You may need to add more Parmesan if the crust is too wet. Feel free to add a little salt and pepper to season the crust if you desire. Spread it out on a large pan or pizza stone to form a thin crust. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400-degree oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before adding toppings and baking again until the cheese is melted.

If you don’t feel like making an actual crust, consider using zucchini or portobello mushrooms as your “crust” instead.

Zucchini Pizza

To make a zucchini pizza, slice a large zucchini in half length-wise, scoop out the center, and add in your sauce, cheese, and toppings. Then bake until the zucchini “crust” is tender and the cheese is melted. So easy and so good!

Portobello Mushroom Pizza

Similar to the zucchini boat pizza, the portobello mushroom cap serves as the pizza crust. Simply top it with sauce, cheese, and your desired toppings, and bake it in the oven. They’re small and fun to eat, on top of being keto and delicious. Consider making them for your next potluck!

  • Get the recipe: Portobello Pizzas

Now, let’s take a look at pizza sauce. It can be a source of hidden carbs if you’re not careful.

Carbs in Pizza Sauce

Sauce is non-negotiable when it comes to pizza, but be sure to pick one that contains fewer carbs. Pizza sauce generally contains more carbohydrates compared to normal pasta sauce due to its higher sugar content so it’s important to check the nutrition label.

Another option is to make your own pizza sauce so you don’t have to worry about hidden carbs.

A typical pizza sauce includes: crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, basil, and oregano. If you want to sweeten it, try adding in a little bit of erythritol.

Low-Carb Pizza Toppings

The possibilities are endless when it comes to pizza toppings. We offered a quick list at the top, but here’s a more comprehensive list of keto-friendly pizza toppings you can enjoy.

Cheese Options

  • Mozzarella (use whole vs part-skim whenever possible)
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Parmesan
  • Ricotta
  • Cheddar
  • Provolone
  • Gouda
  • Goat cheese
  • Gorgonzola
  • Asiago
  • Feta

Meat Options

  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Italian sausage
  • Ground beef
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Bacon
  • Meatballs (if they don’t contain breadcrumbs)
  • Chicken
  • Steak

Vegetable Options

  • Onions
  • Olives
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Eggplant
  • Jalapenos

Fruit Options

Pineapple is a popular topping on pizza, especially for Hawaiian and BBQ pizzas, but it is not recommended on a low-carb diet due to the high sugar content.

Should You Eat Pizza on Keto?

Eating pizza on the keto diet requires a little extra effort in order to minimize the carb count. Fortunately, there are many tasty options that can replace carb-heavy pizza crusts, allowing you to enjoy pizza while still staying in ketosis. How do you get your pizza fix on keto?

Is Pizza Keto-Friendly? (2024)


Is Pizza Keto-Friendly? ›

Understanding the Keto Diet: Can Pizza Be Keto? A keto diet aims to help you reduce your carbs and sugar intake while increasing proteins and fats in your diet. So, if you are on a weight-loss journey but still need to enjoy your pizza, you can enjoy a healthy low-carb pizza to help you attain your weight-loss goals.

What happens if I eat pizza on keto? ›

Understanding the Keto Diet: Can Pizza Be Keto? A keto diet aims to help you reduce your carbs and sugar intake while increasing proteins and fats in your diet. So, if you are on a weight-loss journey but still need to enjoy your pizza, you can enjoy a healthy low-carb pizza to help you attain your weight-loss goals.

What kind of pizza can you eat on keto? ›

Regular pizza bases are usually a no-no for those following a ketogenic or moderate low-carb diet. By swapping out a regular, carb-laden base for a Lo-Dough base, you can cut the carbs by more than 90%, reduce calories and simultaneously supplement your diet with the fibre it needs! A win-win!

Will pizza kick me out of ketosis? ›

Especially if your goal is weight loss, having a piece of pizza, a bowl of pasta, or cake, is absolutely something that can be added into your routine once in a while. Introducing carbs can kick you out of ketosis but eating more carbs on a given meal or given day will not ruin any weight loss goals you have.

Is pizza high in carbs? ›

Crust accounts for most of the carbs in pizza. A medium (12-inch) thin-crust pizza without any cheese and toppings has 17 grams of carbs per slice. A regular-crust pizza averages 30 grams of carbs per slice. Tip: Thin-crust pizza has 5-10 fewer grams of carbs per slice than regular-crust or pan pizza.

Can I cheat with pizza on keto? ›

For keto dieters, a cheat day can mean indulging in actual pasta, pizza, and other high-carb meals. While many dieters think of cheat day as a well-deserved reward, nutritionists say there are downsides to it.

Can I just eat the cheese off pizza for keto? ›

Folks who love cheese and pizza together will be relieved to know that there are many cheese types that go well with a keto diet. Here are some of the cheeses you can add to your pizza without feeling guilty: Mozzarella cheese (shredded or fresh) Pepper jack cheese.

Can I have one slice of pizza on a low-carb diet? ›

Actually, yes. The carbs per slice figure decreases by 5-10 carbs (per slice) if you opt for thin crust – still higher than many low-carb dieters are comfortable with.

Which pizza crust has the least carbs? ›

Shredded Chicken Pizza Crust. This pizza crust alternative is known as a “no-carb” pizza crust. True, containing only 1 gram of net carbs, this crust is the lowest carb pizza crust you can make.

How long does it take to get into ketosis? ›

Getting into ketosis takes about two to four days, on average, because that's how long it takes for glycogen reserves to be depleted after someone starts eating a keto diet with under 50 grams of carbs per day. Fasting, limiting carbs, and MCT oil supplements can speed up the ketosis timeline. EH Project.

Will one day off keto ruin it? ›

Can you have cheat days on a keto diet? If your primary goal of following a keto diet is to lose weight, the occasional cheat day or cheat meal is not going to completely wreck your progress even if it disrupts ketosis. Ketosis has potential health benefits, one of which is calorie control.

Can you skip a day on keto? ›

You should avoid cheat meals and days on the keto diet. Consuming too many carbs can kick your body out of ketosis — and it takes several days to 1 week to get back into it. In the meantime, your weight loss may be disrupted.

What happens if I eat a slice of pizza on keto? ›

For some people, life without pizza isn't life worth living. So if you're embarking on a low-carb or keto diet, we won't be surprised if you are wondering whether you'll still be able to enjoy pizza. The short answer is: yes.

Can I eat 100 carbs a day and lose weight? ›

As far as how many carbohydrates to eat, Pratt says 100 to 150 grams of carbohydrates is safe for most people who are trying to lose weight. It may be better for some people to eat carbs consistently throughout the day. “You can also break it up evenly with 40 to 50 grams of carbs per meal,” she says.

Is pizza once a week ok? ›

While it's okay to eat a piece of frozen, fast-food or pizzeria-style pizza occasionally, it's best to limit consumption to no more than a few times per month. However, for true pizza lovers who want to enjoy this food more frequently, there are ways to make this cheesy dish a whole lot healthier.

How long does it take to get back into ketosis after eating pizza? ›

Consuming too many carbs can kick your body out of ketosis — and it takes several days to 1 week to get back into it. In the meantime, your weight loss may be disrupted.

Is keto pizza good for weight loss? ›

Is keto pizza good for weight loss? While the keto pizza crust is lower in carbs than a traditional crust, it is still high in calories and fat. Like any kind of pizza, you can enjoy it in moderation. If you'd like a low calorie option, try a cloud bread pizza.

Will one piece of bread ruin ketosis? ›

A piece of bread might be 20 grams of carbohydrate, so sure, you could have some bread. But not that much. If you are on low-carb or keto, within the realms of being sensible and eating whole unprocessed foods, you might have 50-100 grams of carbs to play with, and you can choose where you want to get that from.

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