How many calories are there in a medium Cheese Pizza?

A medium cheese pizza can contain a wide range of calories depending on the type of crust, cheese, and toppings used. On average, a medium (12-inch) cheese pizza contains around 700-1200 calories. The number of calories in a medium cheese pizza depends on several factors:

Type of Crust

The type of crust impacts the calorie content significantly. Thin crust pizzas tend to be lower in calories than thicker, doughier crusts:

  • Thin crust: 700-900 calories
  • Hand-tossed crust: 850-1100 calories
  • Deep dish crust: 1000-1200 calories
  • Stuffed crust: 1000-1200 calories

Thinner crusts require less dough, lowering the calorie count. Thick, dense crusts can add 200-300 more calories per medium pizza.

Type of Cheese

Using regular mozzarella cheese versus a premium cheese blend can alter the calories too:

  • Regular mozzarella: 700-900 calories
  • Premium cheese blend: 850-1100 calories

Premium cheese blends often contain higher-fat cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, Monterey Jack, and others—boosting the total fat and calorie content.

Number of Cheese Toppings

Adding extra cheese drastically increases the calorie count:

  • Light cheese: 700-900 calories
  • Regular cheese: 850-1100 calories
  • Extra cheese: 1000-1200+ calories

Ordering extra cheese can tack on over 300 additional calories from the high amounts of fat in cheese.

Other Toppings

Toppings like meat, vegetables, and sauce can also alter the calorie content:

  • No toppings: 700-900 calories
  • Vegetable toppings: 750-1050 calories
  • Meat toppings: 800-1150 calories

In general, meat toppings like pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and ham will add 50-150 calories. Veggie toppings add fewer calories, around 25-100 calories depending on the ingredients.

Portion Size

The portion or slice size affects calories too. Here’s how many calories are in different slice sizes of a medium cheese pizza:

Slice Size Calories
1/8th of 12″ pizza 150-225
1/6th of 12″ pizza 200-300
1/4th of 12″ pizza 300-400

As you increase the portion size, the calories go up. Consuming multiple slices leads to a higher calorie intake.

Cooking Method

A pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven may contain slightly fewer calories than one cooked in a conventional gas/electric oven, due to less added fat or oil in the cooking process.

  • Wood-fired oven: 700-1000 calories
  • Gas/electric oven: 800-1100 calories

However, the differences are usually quite small.

Nutritional Content

Here is the full nutritional breakdown for an average medium (12″) cheese pizza:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 850
Fat 35g
Carbs 100g
Protein 30g

As you can see, a significant portion of the calories comes from fat due to the high-fat cheese. Carbs make up a large portion as well, from the dough.

Ways to Reduce Calories in Pizza

Here are some tips for lowering the calorie count if you want to enjoy pizza more frequently without overindulging:

  • Opt for thin crust instead of deep dish or stuffed crust.
  • Choose a lighter cheese blend instead of full-fat varieties.
  • Load up on veggie toppings instead of fatty meats.
  • Order light cheese or just half the normal amount.
  • Eat just 1-2 slices instead of half a pizza.
  • Avoid dipping crust in fatty sauces and dressings.
  • Select a smaller pizza size like 10 inches instead of 12.

You can easily shave off 200-300 calories per slice just by tweaking the toppings and portion size.

Health Impact of Pizza

While pizza tastes great, it is high in calories, fat, refined carbs, and sodium, so it’s considered more of an occasional treat in a healthy diet. Frequent pizza consumption is linked to:

  • Weight gain – the high number of calories can quickly lead to overeating and obesity if consumed too often.
  • High cholesterol and blood pressure – from high saturated fat intake.
  • Increased disease risk – obesity and high cholesterol raise your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

To keep health risks low, limit pizza to 1-2 times per month and focus on veggie toppings and healthier crust options when you do indulge. Pair it with a salad to increase nutrients.

Tips for Choosing Healthier Pizza Options

If you want to enjoy pizza as part of a balanced diet, here are some tips:

  • Look for vegetarian or “garden” pizzas piled with veggies.
  • Choose pizzas with lighter, thinner crusts.
  • Opt for a small or medium pizza instead of large.
  • Load up on veggie toppings instead of meats.
  • Avoid deep dish, pan, or Sicilian-style pizzas.
  • Split a pizza with a friend or take half home.
  • Pair pizza with a fresh green salad for added nutrients.
  • Avoid stuffed crust, cheese-filled crusts, or cream-based sauces.
  • Order light cheese or just half the regular amount.

Being mindful of portions and toppings can let you incorporate pizza into your diet while still maintaining a calorie deficit if you’re trying to lose weight.


A medium 12-inch cheese pizza contains 700-1200 calories on average. However, the precise calorie count varies widely based on the crust style, type of cheese, portion size, toppings, and cooking method. To reduce calories, opt for thin crusts, lighter cheese, and maximum veggie toppings. Limit your portions to 1-2 slices. While pizza tastes delicious, frequent consumption can lead to weight gain and negative health effects due to its high calorie, fat, and sodium content. Enjoy pizza in moderation along with a balanced diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, fruits, and whole grains.

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