While learning to cook might seem challenging at first, there are so many benefits to cooking at home that it’s well worth the effort.
From saving on groceries to expanding your family’s exposure to different cuisines to eating healthier meals, cooking your own meals just makes sense!
One of my personal favorite things about cooking is that it gives me a chance to create healthier versions of some of my family’s favorite foods. And that includes the ever-popular pizza!
Pizza is always a family favorite, but takeout pizzas are high in fat and calories, and frozen pizzas aren’t much better (with a flavor that’s often mediocre at best).
That’s why making your own healthy pizza is such a great alternative!
Start with the right crust, add a healthy sauce, and then load up plenty of good-for-you ingredients like grilled chicken, arugula, spinach, goat or feta cheese, garlic, bell peppers, radishes, sun-dried tomatoes, squash, pineapple, and fresh mushrooms.
Once you’ve seen how delicious a healthy, made-at-home pizza can be, you may never want to order takeout pizza again.
Start With The Crust
When it comes to making a healthy pizza, the crust is a great place to start. If you want to add more whole grain to your diet, consider using whole wheat flour or adding ground flax to the dough.
Similarly, if you’re trying to reduce carbohydrates or you follow a gluten-free diet, a cauliflower crust pizza like this Gluten-Free Chicken Veggie Ranch pizza may be the perfect choice.
Looking for an easy dough recipe that’s healthier than the standard white flour pizza dough? This whole wheat thin-crust pizza dough recipe is a great base for your healthy pizza creation:
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup white flour
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3/4 teaspoon quick-rise yeast
- 1 1/4 cups ice water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- Combine flours, honey and yeast in food processor and pulse until combined.
- With processor running, add ice water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Add oil and salt to dough and process until dough looks smooth and sticky, about one minute.
- Transfer dough to lightly oiled counter and knead until smooth.
- Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and store in refrigerator for at least two hours and up to two days.
- To serve, preheat oven to 450 degrees, divide dough into two balls and roll each out as thinly as possible.
- Place dough on parchment-lined baking sheet, top as desired, and bake for 10-15 minutes, until dough is golden brown and cheese is bubbling.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 620mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Making Pizza That’s Healthy and Delicious
Depending on your dietary goals, there may be different health concerns that you have about traditional pizza.
Some people avoid it because of the high fat and carbohydrates in most pizzas. Others worthy about high levels of sodium and sugar.
If you want to up the nutritional value of a traditional “junk food,” you’ll want to start by hand-picking healthy and fresh ingredients.
To boost the nutritional value of your pizza, adding plenty of vegetables is a must. Spinach, kale, and roasted seaweed are a great place to start.
Vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and fresh tomatoes are also great healthy choices. If you want to give the pizza some extra punch, don’t overlook herbs and spices like thyme, garlic, or crushed chili flakes!
As for cheese, keep in mind that despite its popularity, you don’t have to add it at all. If cheese is a must for you, though, use a smaller amount to minimize fat and calories.
And don’t forget that other healthier cheese options like skim milk goat cheese or ricotta can be used instead of the mozzarella!
A veggie pizza that is light on cheese is definitely one of the healthiest options when it comes to pizza. If you want more protein, make sure to choose leaner meats like grilled chicken rather than fatty, heavily processed meats like pepperoni and ham.
Baking Your Pizza
Once you’ve decided on the perfect ingredients for your pizza, it’s time to get cooking! Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out as thinly as possible, place it on the baking sheet, then add your sauce. Homemade is healthiest! Finally, add toppings of your choice. Just remember, the more veggies, the better when it comes to making a healthy homemade pizza.
Finally, bake your homemade pizza in the oven for 10-15 minutes or so. You want the crust to be light brown and any cheese to be bubbly.
Top your finished pizza with a little balsamic glaze or fresh arugula for an extra gourmet touch, then slice and serve!
And if you don’t have time to make dough from scratch, a whole-grain flatbread or even a flour tortilla makes a great healthy alternative to traditional pizza crust.
Looking for more healthy pizza recipes? Check out HelloFresh! Their website provides dozens of different pizza recipes for people who are health conscious. Meat lovers, vegetarians, and vegans can all find flavor combinations they’ll love.
The best part is that if you’re new to cooking, HelloFresh provides both the ingredients you’ll need and step-by-step instructions to help you create delicious and healthy meals.
Simply follow the instructions and use the pre-measured ingredients to start building your very own healthy pizza pie!
Pizza can be both tasty and healthy when you choose the right dough and ingredients. It can be high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
There are also literally hundreds of different flavors available, so experiment with various ingredients and find the combinations that you like best.
Looking for some popular combinations to try? A spinach and ricotta pizza is a great healthy, protein-packed choice. Chicken sausage with fennel and zucchini is delicious as well.
To reduce your sodium intake, consider making your own pizza sauce, or eliminating the sauce altogether. Instead, brush the crust with a bit of garlic-infused olive oil, and top your pizza with caramelized onions to boost the flavor.
The most important thing to remember is that moderation is key. When you’re eating an overall balanced diet, and also making your own healthy homemade pizza, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few slices now and again.
And remember, if you have any concerns about your diet or exercise regime, speaking to your doctor, personal trainer, and/or nutritionist should be a must.
With a little effort and the right ingredients, healthy homemade pizza will become a family favorite you can feel good about making and serving!