Pizza is a perennial crowd-pleaser, but it isn’t exactly high on the list of healthy foods. Although a traditional pizza might be heavy on the cheese and low on nutrients, it doesn’t mean you have to give it up.
Making Pizza Healthy
Healthy pizza may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s entirely possible. There are several different ways to do it, from adding good-for-you toppings to changing the type of pizza base. Some of the options may be unconventional – like using pesto instead of tomato sauce – but they still taste great.
Here are some quick tips for making pizza healthy.
- Add extra vegetables: mushrooms, capsicum, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, or zucchini are all good options. Choose vegetables that are in season to maximise nutritional value.
- Choose lean meat like chicken or lamb, and stick with one meat per pizza.
- Reduce the amount of cheese you use.
- Swap a flour base for a cauliflower or portobello mushroom base.
- Make a side salad to go with the pizza to boost your family’s leafy green intake.
We’ve pulled together five healthy recipes that your family will love, so it’s time to put pizza back on the menu!
5 Healthy Pizza Recipes
These pizza recipes are great starting points for introducing healthy pizza to your family. The best part? They’re incredibly versatile and fun to experiment with. If there’s a topping that doesn’t fly with your family, leave it out or substitute for something else.
1. Pumpkin, Feta, and Pine Nuts
With toppings like roast pumpkin, this pizza is definitely thinking outside the box. It doesn’t look like a traditional cheesy pizza, and at first glance you might be sceptical. But the flavour combination is hard to beat: feta, pumpkin, pine nuts, and chilli flakes will have you reaching for a second piece.
Even the crust has a healthy twist, as it’s made with Greek yoghurt and self-raising flour. See the full recipe at The Annoyed Thyroid.
2. Pesto and Roast Vegetables
For this pizza, you get to choose your favourite type of crust and dress it up. The healthy swap here is using pesto instead of a standard tomato-based pizza sauce, which often includes sneaky servings of sugar and salt. Make your own pesto or choose a low-sodium premade option.
You also get to choose a mix of roasted veggies: we recommend zucchini, squash, and red onion, but the decision is yours. Spread the base with ½ cup pesto and top with chopped roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake in line with the instructions for the pizza base.
3. Spinach and Mushroom on Cauliflower Crust
Cauliflower crusts are a quick, easy way to cut the kilojoules and reduce the glycaemic index in your pizza without sacrificing flavour. Bonus points: you’re also concealing veggies in pizza form.
We get it – making a cauliflower crust sounds complicated. But with a blender and a microwave, you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before. Blend up a large head of cauliflower until finely chopped, then microwave for eight minutes until tender.
Once the cauliflower has cooled, mix it with 2 eggs, oregano, and ⅓ cup of parmesan, then flatten it out into 2 pizza rounds. Spray with oil and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C. For the full recipe see here.
Now you’re ready to top it – we recommend a thin covering of tomato sauce, sliced mushrooms, and baby spinach.
4. Healthy Greek Lamb Pizza by Kayla Itsines
Personal trainer and instagram star Kayla Itsines included this pizza recipe in her book, The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide, so you know it’s good for you. It’s a cross between pizza and gyros; two things you wouldn’t think a fitness superstar would recommend—but she does.
Instead of a normal pizza crust, you’ll use whole wheat pita bread topped with lean ground lamb, tomato puree, spinach, red onion, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese. Finish with a simple yoghurt sauce and enjoy! For the full recipe see here.
5. Simple Portobello Mushroom Pizzas
This is the pizza recipe for people who like their pizza delicious but light on the toppings. There aren’t many veggies on top, but that’s okay because the base is an actual mushroom. Our advice on this one? Don’t tell the kids it’s a mushroom—let them try it first!
Scoop out the gills of a portobello mushroom cup, then fill with mozzarella cheese, chopped tomatoes, and fresh torn basil. The recipe suggests another layer of cheese, but if you’re looking to lighten up, you can skip it.
This recipe also happens to be gluten-free, so it’s great for a variety of eaters. Ready to try it? Get the full recipe here.
Don’t be afraid to get the family involved when making these pizzas – they’re great for hands-on, group cooking. Not only is your family eating healthily, you’re giving your kids a foundation in how to get involved and make it themselves.
So the next time somebody says What’s for dinner? you know the answer: it’s pizza!