It’s a question that comes up often in the keto community: Is gluten-free pizza keto? The answer is yes and no. It all depends on what type of crust it has. Let’s explore this topic more deeply.
We also go into detail about how you can make keto-friendly pizza at home, what ingredients are needed, and which ones are not allowed while still maintaining the benefits of being on a diet.
There is also a Keto-Friendly Pizza Buying Guide to help those who don’t know where to start looking for delicious options.
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Is Gluten-Free Pizza Keto? Why It Is AND Isn’t?
Yes, but not all is good. To achieve and remain in ketosis on keto, most individuals try to stay between 20 and 50 grams of carbohydrates.
Still, some gluten-free pizzas have more than 20gr of carbs in a single slice which means that you can’t eat them regularly if you want the benefits from your keto plan.
It depends on the number of toppings you use on your gluten-free pizza and whether they are low carb or keto-friendly.
If you use full-fat cheese, high-fat meat such as pepperoni, and don’t overdo it on the toppings, then the pizza will be keto.
Most low-carb diets advise staying away from gluten-free items because they are very processed and artificial. That is why anything with a label or ingredient list is generally not considered keto diet food.
However, gluten-free pizzas have little to none of those ingredients. The only issue is that most brands use regular wheat flour as a binding agent in their dough, containing gluten.
This is why you need to look for an alternative brand that uses almond or coconut flour instead of wheat-based flour.
But Why It Isn’t Keto In Some Cases?
When it comes to diet, you will find that the low-carb lifestyle is about substituting and removing certain foods from your daily routine while introducing others back into your life.
The truth is that pizza is not something you can completely eliminate, but you can make it a little bit easier to digest with low-carb alternatives.
Just because an item is labeled as gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s ok to consume on a keto diet.
Many gluten-free, low-carb items are full of sugar and carbohydrates. It is essential to read your labels carefully when purchasing pre-made sauces or other ingredients for pizza.
Pizza sauce is one example of purchasing a branded product better than trying to make your own at home.
For example, Rao’s Homemade marinara sauce is low in sugar and carbs and tastes delicious on a keto diet. You can use Rao’s as a base for your pizza or add your own toppings.
How Many Carbs In Gluten-Free Pizza?
It’s hard to know how many carbs there are in a homemade gluten-free pizza crust because it’s not standardized.
However, one store-bought gluten-free pizza I came across recently contains 16g net carbs per serving! If you think this is an anomaly, look at the nutrition label below from another famous brand.
This is the reason why so many of my readers find they get terrible symptoms on gluten-free pizza. It has a high carb content, often made from white rice or potato flour!
It can be tough to find a good one, and I tend to stick with organic brands as you have more chance of getting fewer carbs in them.
Just check the nutrition label, and you will soon see how much is in each serving – but I’ll list it below for convenience.
The vast majority are under 10g net carbs per serving, with some low as 2g net carbs per serving!
On the other hand, do not be fooled into thinking a keto pizza is a low carb if it is made with a cauliflower crust or base. Some of these are really high in carbs.
So check the ingredients, and if they contain any of the following, it is not keto-friendly! Rice flour, white wheat flour, Potato starch, Tapioca starch, Cornstarch.
You can also make your own low-carb base or use a Fathead dough recipe (it contains almond meal) which is very popular for making a pizza base. They are both straightforward to make and taste great.
Gluten-free crusts and bases for purchase
Pizza is considered a simple meal to make, and it is! However, the calorie and carbohydrate content of even ‘healthy’ pizza might be more than you bargained for.
The good news is that if you follow a few guidelines, you can keep your carbohydrates low enough to stay in ketosis while still enjoying the pizza slice you love.
If there is one thing to know about low carb or keto, it’s that your favorite ingredients will make all the difference in your success! When it comes to pizza, this is true as well.
There are four main ways to eat a low carb pizza:
- A crust is entirely gluten-free, keto-friendly.
- Combine a regular thin crust with either cheese or meat toppings.
- Top a low-carb/keto-friendly pizza base with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and bake until crispy.
- The only way to eat your favorite pizza is by using the proper crust. If you are not in ketosis or just starting, the best option is to use a thin crust and top it with low-carb toppings.
Of all of the options above, you will find that using a regular gluten-free pizza base is your easiest solution if you have no other replacement solutions readily available at home.
Simply order a cheese pizza and ask them to omit the traditional crust. You can also request a thin crust pizza with meat toppings.
You will find several options for purchasing gluten-free, keto-friendly pizza bases online (see next section). The choice is yours!
Keto-Friendly Pizza Buying Guides.
The easiest way to tell if gluten-free is keto-friendly is by checking the ingredients list on the nutrition label for added carbs like rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. It might also say gluten-free oats flour is used.
These are not keto-friendly and should be avoided at all costs!
If you are looking to buy a ready-made gluten-free crust online, there are many choices out there. You can find great ready-made low-carb bases for pizza that are gluten-free here.
You can also buy great low-carb crusts if you live in the USA at Netrition and Gluten-Free on Main. The crusts are either refrigerated or frozen, so make sure you check the ingredients to ensure there is no added sugar.
If you are looking for a low-carb, gluten-free pizza base mix, then again, there are many choices available online at Amazon, All Natural Low Carb Grocery and Nutrition.
Make sure any ingredients used are also low in carbohydrates and ideally with no added sugars. You will find some crusts can have more carbs than others depending on the ingredients used.
Gluten-Free Pizza Yields
The good news is that even though pizza crust is usually made with high gluten content, it can still be a keto-friendly food if you make it yourself from low-carb flour such as almond or coconut.
One 1/4 cup serving contains between 1.5 – 2g net carbohydrates, depending on the ingredients you use.
Ingredients for 1/4 cup of low carb pizza crust:
1 scoop (30g) of Carbquik OR 1/4 cup (30g) of almond flour (if using this, then add a teaspoon of baking powder to make it rise more).
You will need to make your own low-carb pizza base, a food processor or mixing bowl and fork, some cheese for topping, and seasonings of choice.
Remember, it is better to eat homemade than buy the ready-made versions containing high carbohydrates and added sugars.
A great guide from Dietdoctor.org shows you how to prepare your own homemade Pizza dough.
A Gluten-Free (Low Carb) Pizza should look like this for 1/4 of the pizza:
- Small = 4 slices of pepperoni and 7 olives
- Medium = 8 slices of pepperoni and 14 olives
- Large = 12 slices of pepperoni and 21 olives.
If you are using a store-bought gluten-free pizza base, then be sure to check the nutrition information for carbs and net carb content.
If you are making your own keto-friendly vegetable pizza toppings, it is important to keep an eye on how much sauce is used to add lots of extra calories or carbohydrates.
The recommended serving size is two tablespoons, but the calories will go up if you use a higher-carb tomato-based sauce. It is best to choose a keto-friendly low sugar or sugar-free pizza sauce instead.
Sugar-Free Tomato Sauce is easy to make yourself using passata and seasonings of your choice.
You can also buy low-carb and sugar-free tomato sauces online. This is the best one I’ve ever used.
Keto-Friendly Vegetable Pizza Toppings
The possibilities are endless when it comes to keto-friendly veggie pizza toppings, so here is a quick list and some ideas on how to make the most out of your toppings. Remember that for each serving, you will need around 2 tbsp of sauce.
With the following keto-friendly vegetable pizza toppings, you will only need 2 tbsp of low carb tomato-based sauce per serving:
- Keto Chicken Pizza (use 3 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Meatball Pizza (use 6 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza (use 4 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Pepperoni & Olive Pizza (use 2 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Spinach & Feta pizza (use 1/4 cup of feta cheese and 3 tbsp of tomato-based sauce)
The best way to make any pizza keto-friendly is to simply use the vegetables you love in place of a low-carb crust.
If you love your pizzas, then using a vegetable base is just as simple to make as the crust version and can be even tastier if you choose great keto pizza toppings such as:
- Keto Chicken & Broccoli Pizza (use 3 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Keto Spicy Chicken Pizza (use 3 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Keto Pepperoni & Mushroom Pizza (use 4 tablespoons of tomato-based sauce)
- Spinach & Feta Veggie Pizza( use 2 slices per person and 1/4 cup of feta cheese, plus 3 tbsp of tomato-based sauce).
You can even make your own 5 minutes keto pizza sauce at home and experiment with your favorite low-carb pizza toppings.
The best sauces are typically made with fresh ingredients, but you can buy ready-made ones online or at health food stores if you don’t have time to make your own sauce.
What is the deal with added sugars in gluten-free food products?
Here’s a very informative article on the issue of added sugars in gluten-free food products by Dr. Axe:
Unfortunately, there are a few low-carb and GLUTEN FREE products that contain sugar and hidden carbs.
Some of these products include:
These are extremely high in calories (and therefore not keto-friendly) when eaten as directed with no keto-friendly toppings.
These are great for keto if eaten with the correct low-carb topping combinations and a balanced lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise!
Keto-friendly pizzas from popular restaurants
Some of the best-frozen pizza companies make good quality low-carb pizzas that will fit in well on a ketogenic diet:
– California Pizza Kitchen (they have 6 different types that are low carb)
There is not much information available on the nutritional facts of the gluten-free pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, but they appear to have a higher carb content than other frozen pizzas.
– Leggo’s Gluten-Free Pizzas (they have 4 low-carb pizza varieties). You can view the nutritional facts of these pizzas here.
– Smart on the Outside (they have 3 low-carb pizza varieties). You can view the nutrition facts for their pizzas here.
We would love to help you save time and money while you shop online for keto foods! This is when we will do all the hard work for you.
How to make a keto-friendly pizza at home?
The best way to make a keto-friendly pizza at home is by using a carb subtraction crust.
These are found in shops all over (you can check the one I usually use here), and they typically only have 1 net carb per serving.
These are great because you don’t have to cut the crust off the dough or keep tabs on how much toppings you add for carbs—making it very easy!
If you want to be more creative, then use an alternative gluten-free brand of dough such as:
- Newman’s Own (6 net carbs) (9 inches)
- Healthy living wheat dough (5 net carbs/2 per slice).
You also can avoid any sugar-free syrup used as a sweetener in this case so that you don’t go over your daily net carb intake.
We hope this post has been helpful to you and that it will help in your pursuit of keto-friendly pizzas. Is Gluten-Free Pizza Keto Friendly? Yes, but not all.
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts! If you have any questions, we would love to hear.