Giving up junk food when following a low-carb diet (or any diet, for that matter), can be incredibly difficult.
For me, my junk food of choice was pizza. Growing up it was always my favorite, and still is. I was not ready to give up on it.
Luckily for me, it turns out it is possible to get your pizza fix without the carbs!
And, it isn’t some sad, bland substitute that tastes nothing like the real thing, but rather a delicious, rich, filling alternative.
(I feel like I am starting to sound like an infomercial!)
Pizza is such a popular food, that when I started researching how to make it low-carb and keto-friendly, I was inundated with recipes, articles, and tips.
There are so many different options just for the crusts, you could eat pizza every week and try a new recipe each time. (In fact, that actually sounds like a fun idea!)
The Components of the Perfect Keto Pizza
The crust is one of the most important elements of any pizza. Get it wrong, and the whole pizza is ruined. (That might sound dramatic, but I am serious about my pizza).
I have rounded up the most popular keto crust styles here – ones that are firm, crispy, and can be eaten without a knife and fork. It is no surprise that cheese is involved in some way in all of the crust options.
The most obvious replacement for the pizza crust would be one that mimics traditional pizza dough.
Enter, ‘Fathead dough’. AKA the ‘Holy Grail of Keto Pizza’.
Why fathead dough?
- Made with cheese (need I say more?)
The base for Fathead dough is made from cheese, cream cheese, egg, and almond flour. That’s it!
You may even find you prefer it to ‘traditional’ pizza crust.
Fathead dough is quite rich and filling, so if you use this as your crust you may find you can only manage a couple slices of pizza before you are full.
Using cauliflower as the pizza crust is a bit more involved than fathead dough, but it creates a worthwhile (and lighter) alternative.
Cauliflower pizza crust recipes have been around for a good few years and had a bit of a reputation for being too moist. But as the ketogenic diet has become more popular, food bloggers have been perfecting the recipe to result in a light, crispy pizza crust.
Don’t worry if you are not a fan of the taste of cauliflower – once it is cooked, there is no hint of cauliflower taste.
Yes – even chicken can be used as a base for a keto pizza crust. Simply combine ground chicken, egg, and grated parmesan. (The parmesan is what helps makes the crust crispy).
This version isn’t as greasy and heavy as Fathead dough, but if you are watching your macros, this will be higher in protein.
Cheese-based pizza crust can be made from different combinations of cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese, tweaked to your preferred texture and flavor. The only other required ingredient is an egg.
Most commercial pizza sauces are loaded with sugar (and other unhealthy additives), so when following a low-carb or keto diet it is often necessary to make your own sauce.
It is super simple to make your own pizza sauce – all it requires is tomato sauce and paste, some herbs (oregano, parsley, and basil are top choices), onion and garlic powder, and salt.
Simmer in a saucepan, and you’re good to go.
When it comes to pizza toppings, the best cheese is one that melts well and gets all stringy. Cheeses with a higher fat content are the best choices (with full-fat mozzarella being the most popular option).
This works out well because, on a low-carb or keto diet, you will want cheese options with the lowest carbs. Once again – full-fat mozzarella (along with Parmesan and Camembert), with around 7g fat per ounce, is one of your best options.
This is where you can let your imagination take over. Meats, cheeses, low-carb veggies – anything goes.
Keto-friendly meat options
- Shredded chicken
- Peperoni (a classic!)
- Ground beef
- Green onions
- Basil leaves
- Green bell peppers
- Barbecue sauce (make sure it has no sugar added)
- Hot sauce
- Low-carb Alfredo sauce
Keto Pizza Recipes
If you are not ready to make up your own keto pizza, there are many, many recipes out there by fantastic food bloggers who have done the hard work of perfecting the crust and toppings.
To get you started, I have put together a few delicious keto pizza recipes you can try tonight.
5 Minute Keto Pizza
Image credit goes to ruled.me
The 5 Minute Keto Pizza comes together so quickly because the crust is actually cooked in a pan!
Of course, this means you can’t go too big with your pizza size, but this is perfect for a quick afternoon meal when you are in a rush.
- Calories: 459
- Fats: 35g
- Proteins: 27g
- Net Carbs: 3.5g
View this recipe on ruled.me: 5 Minute Keto Pizza
Keto Meatlovers Pizza
Image credit goes to Ditch The Carbs
If you like your pizzas fully loaded, then try out the Keto Meatlovers Pizza.
This pizza uses Fathead dough as the base, but also provides an alternative using cocnut flour, to make the recipe nut-free.
- Calories: 203
- Fats: 16.8g
- Proteins: 11g
- Net Carbs: 2.4g
View this recipe on Ditch The Carbs: Keto Meatlovers Pizza
Image credit goes to Kettle and Fire
This Keto Pizza serves two – so you can share if you are feeling generous and if you’re not then you will have enough for breakfast the next day!
The base is a variant of Fathead dough, made with coconut flour, which makes this recipe nut-free.
Sometimes simple is best, and a pepperoni pizza with a crispy crust is a classic!
- Calories: 253
- Fats: 19.6g
- Proteins: 16.1g
- Net Carbs: 3.1g
View this recipe on Kettle and Fire: Keto Pizza
Gluten-free Keto Deep Dish Pizza
Image credit goes to Gnom Gnom
The deep base of the Gluten-free Keto Deep Dish Pizza has plenty of space to layer plenty of delicious low-carb veggies before topping it with cheese.
A hearty, all-in-one meal that is also very filling!
The crust for this pizza is actually dairy-free (great if you can’t stomach too much cheese and want to keep you ‘allowance’ for the toppings).
*Please note that nutrition facts below are estimated for the dough only, as nutrition values for toppings vary widely.
- Calories: 88
- Fats: 6g
- Proteins: 3g
- Net Carbs: 2g
View this recipe on Gnom Gnom: Gluten-free Keto Deep Dish Pizza
Grilled Chicken and Spinach Pizza
Image credit goes to How To… This and That
Pizzas generally have a tomato-based sauce on the crust, but theGrilled Chicken and Spinach Pizza shakes things up a bit by having a white sauce.
The base of the sauce is half & half (but you can also use heavy whipping cream).
I must say – I am little apprehensive, but I am certainly willing to give this white keto pizza a try.
- Calories: 687
- Fats: 54.2g
- Proteins: 43.2g
- Net Carbs: 7.4g
View this recipe on How To… This and That: Grilled Chicken and Spinach Pizza