Often mislabelled as junk food, pizza is one of the most delicious and versatile meals. You can have a slice for lunch, a small healthy pizza for a hassle-free dinner, and even serve it as a quick breakfast or snack. Indeed, pizza is so versatile and beloved that the 9th of February was declared the National Pizza Day.
If you’re now craving a slice but don’t want to break your healthier 2021 New Year resolution, know that pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy.
On the contrary, almost all authentic Italian versions of pizza are healthy. And if you want to keep carbs out of your diet or are intolerant to gluten or lactose, there are many variants of gluten-free and lactose-free pizzas. All you have to do is check out our ideas below and celebrate National Pizza Day in style.
1. PIZZA MARGHERITA
Invented in Naples in honour of Italy’s first queen, pizza Margherita is a staple of Italian cuisine. It’s also one of the healthiest versions of the goodness. It consists of nothing but a fluffy crust, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. It could sound plain, but these flavours work magic when blended and transform into an incredibly delicious thing. For the best results, you should prepare the crust at home and mix the tomato sauce with chopped garlic and a dash of extra virgin olive oil in a pot before topping and baking the pizza. If you’re in a hurry, store-bought dough can do too.
2. ROCKET AND PROSCIUTTO PIZZA
Fresh like the Mediterranean breeze and super-healthy, this pizza is an excellent choice if you’re tired of the classic pepperoni but still want some kind of meat on your pie. Instead of tomato sauce, this pizza is made with cherry tomatoes chopped in halves. Scatter them on the dough, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and olive oil (you can also add some oregano if you like it), and bake. Once out of the oven, top with prosciutto crudo and abundant rocket to give it a fresh, peppery note.
3. COURGETTE PIZZA CRUST
Are you gluten-intolerant or want to steer clear of carbs? Replace the traditional pizza crust with a delicious courgette crust. It is very easy to make, and you can top it with anything you want, from the popular pepperoni to grilled vegetables with or without cheese if you want to enjoy a vegan or vegetarian, gluten-free pizza.
4. CRUSTLESS PEPPERONI PIZZA
Another gluten-free variant – though not as light as the courgette pizza crust – is this crustless pepperoni pizza made with a crunchy crust obtained from shredded mozzarella and parmesan. Melt the cheese in a skillet or pan and top with oregano, red pepper flakes, and pepperoni. If you don’t want any pepperoni on it, top it with lighter BBQ chicken chunks.
5. HEALTHY MEDITERRANEAN STYLE PIZZA
In-between Mediterranean flatbread and Italian pizza, a Mediterranean style pizza topped with goat’s cheese and veggies can become your family’s new favourite. The best thing about this pizza is that you can play with the flavours and add or leave out any ingredient. It is also very easy to make – it takes under 15 minutes with store-bought dough or crust. A nice choice for a quick dinner or vitamin-packed lunch.
6. BUFFALO CHICKEN CAULIFLOWER PIZZA
American style pizza and healthy don’t seem to fit, yet this pizza variant is surprisingly healthy and easy to make. You’ll need a few kitchen essentials to prepare the cauliflower crust, but the tangy Buffalo sauce, moist chicken chunks, and punchy blue cheese blend perfectly with the cauliflower’s sweetness and are totally worth the effort. Crispy and delicious, it is a yummy low-calorie choice that won’t spoil your diet whilst fully satisfying your taste buds.
7. PIZZA PEPPERONI BITES
Perfect for the picky eater or Keto diet, these pizza pepperoni bites combine all pizza pepperoni toppings minus the crust. The easiest way to make them is in a muffin tray. Simply add a couple of pepperoni slices into each muffin slot, top with halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, and bake until the cheese melts and the pepperoni gets slightly crusty. Perfect for satisfying your pizza cravings, this savoury treat is also a great choice for festive meals and parties.
8. LOW-CARB AUBERGINE PIZZA
These mini pizzas require around 15 minutes of your time and are ready to eat in around 40 minutes. Pick a couple of larger aubergines at your grocery store and slice them. Top each slice with marinara sauce and the topping of your choice, sprinkle with olive oil and bake for around 25 minutes. Pizza really can’t get healthier and easier to make than this.
9. SUNNY SIDE UP EGG PIZZA
A delicious breakfast pizza perfect for those who can’t stand tomato sauce. Top the dough with eggs, parmesan, mozzarella cheese, and anything else you want. For instance, you can add peppers for a vegetarian pizza or ham for a meaty treat. Bake for around 10 minutes in the preheat oven and serve hot with a dash of oregano flavoured olive oil.
10. FANCY FRUIT PIZZA
Since it’s Pizza Day, why not end your meal with a sweet fruit pizza? Replace the dough with a biscuit crust and top it with a dash of Greek yoghurt and light cream cheese , plus the fresh fruit of your choice. For a low-calorie and even healthier alternative, ditch the biscuit and arrange your fruit and cream atop a thin slice of watermelon. No matter your choice, this dessert pizza will surely bring sunshine even to the cloudiest day.
With so many healthy pizza ideas, celebrating National Pizza Day without compromising your diet or dietary requirements should be easy. Pizza aside, also check out these ideas of filling healthy recipes that can get you through the coldest days without adding too many calories to your plate.