How many carbs in a slice of pizza if I don t eat the crust?

Quick Answer

The number of carbs in a slice of pizza without the crust varies depending on the type of pizza and ingredients used. On average, one slice of a 14″ large cheese pizza without the crust contains around 15-20 grams of net carbs. Thin crust pizzas tend to be lower in carbs than thick, bready crusts. Adding lots of low-carb toppings like vegetables can further reduce the carbs per slice.

Counting Carbs in Pizza

Pizza can be a tasty food option when watching your carb intake, but the crust is where most of the carbs are found. A thin pizza crust contains around 15 grams of carbs per slice, while a thick crust has around 20-30 grams. By avoiding the crust, you can significantly cut the carbs.

The cheese, sauce, and toppings on pizza also contain carbs that add up. Here are some estimates for carb counts in pizza toppings:

Pizza Topping Grams of Carbs
Tomato sauce (1/4 cup) Around 5 grams
Cheese (1/4 cup shredded) Around 1 gram
Pepperoni (10 slices) Around 1 gram
Mushrooms (1/4 cup) Around 1 gram
Onions (1/4 cup) Around 2 grams
Green peppers (1/4 cup) Around 1 gram

As you can see, tomato sauce contains the most carbs out of standard pizza toppings. Choosing a pizza with less sauce or ordering a white sauce instead of red can further reduce the carb count per slice without the crust.

Factors That Affect Carb Count

There are a few important factors that determine the net carb count in pizza without the crust:

Type of Crust

Thin, flatbread crusts are lower in carbs than thick, bready crusts. A New York-style thin crust contains less carbs than a deep dish Chicago-style pizza crust, for example.

Here are some estimates for carb counts in different types of pizza crust:

– Thin crust: Around 15 grams of carbs per slice
– Hand-tossed: Around 20 grams of carbs per slice
– Pan/Deep dish: Around 25-30 grams of carbs per slice

Opting for a thinner crust will mean you’re cutting fewer carbs when you remove it.

Size of the Pizza

The larger the pizza, the more carbs are in each slice. A 14-inch large pizza cut into 8 slices contains fewer carbs per slice compared to a 10-inch personal pizza cut into 4 slices.

Even if you don’t eat the crust, bigger slices from a large pizza have more cheese, sauce, and toppings spread out over a wider area, resulting in more carbs per slice.

Ingredients and Toppings

Some pizza ingredients and toppings are higher in carbs than others. These include:

– Flour-based dough: Whole wheat crust has more carbs than white flour crust.
– Sauce: Tomato sauce has around 5 grams of carbs per 1/4 cup. White sauces are lower in carbs.
– Cheese: Go easy on high-carb cheeses like gouda or mozzarella.
– Toppings: Stick to low-carb vegetables like mushrooms, onions, spinach. Avoid higher carb toppings like sweet peppers, pineapple, or plant-based meats.

Choosing lower carb ingredients ensures that even without the crust, the slice still fits your diet.

Ordering Low Carb Pizza

When ordering pizza, there are some simple ways to cut carbs by avoiding the crust:

– Opt for thin crust – A thin crust has less dough and fewer carbs than thicker crusts.

– Ask for an extra-large pizza – Getting a larger size (like 16-inch vs 12-inch) means each slice will have a wider diameter and less crust relative to the amount of toppings.

– Load up on veggies – Get extra veggies as toppings and go light on sugary sauces, cheese, and processed meats.

– Choose white sauce – White sauces like alfredo tend to be lower in carbs than tomato-based red sauces.

– Avoid pre-made crusts – Many grocery store pizzas are made with flour-filled pizza crusts. Make your own crust at home instead.

– Only eat the toppings – Use a fork and knife to separate the cheese and toppings from the crust rather than picking up the whole slice.

Low Carb Pizza Crust Alternatives

To cut carbs further, you can replace the pizza crust completely with a low carb alternative:

Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower crust is a popular keto-friendly option. By pulsing cauliflower in a food processor and baking it into a “dough,” you can create a vegetable-based crust with just 5 grams of net carbs per serving.

Chicken Crust

Chicken crust gives you about 1 gram of carbs for two crusts. It’s made by flattening out chicken breasts and baking them before adding toppings.

Low Carb Tortillas

Using low carb tortillas as mini crusts is an easy pizza hack. Top them with sauce and toppings and bake or microwave until the cheese melts. Two 6″ tortillas have around 10 grams of net carbs total.

Cheese Crust

For the ultimate low carb pizza, a cheese crust contains zero carbs. Made by baking cheese into a crispy base, the fats in the cheese hold it together to form a sturdy crust.

Low Carb Pizza Topping Ideas

You can turn any pizza into a low carb meal by focusing on high-protein, low-carb toppings:


– Pepperoni
– Italian sausage
– Bacon
– Chicken
– Beef
– Pork
– Anchovies
– Shrimp


– Mushrooms
– Onions
– Tomatoes
– Spinach
– Broccoli
– Bell peppers
– Jalapenos
– Olives
– Artichoke hearts


– Mozzarella
– Parmesan
– Feta
– Goat cheese
– Ricotta
– Romano
– Gouda
– Asiago
– Havarti


– Tomato sauce or pizza sauce
– Olive oil
– Pesto
– Alfredo sauce

Adding extra veggies boosts nutrition while lowering the carb count. Pairing flavorful, fatty meats with low-moisture cheeses enhances the flavor without adding carbs.

Sample Low Carb Pizza Slices

Here are some examples of popular pizza slice orders with approximate carb counts without the crust:

Pizza Slice Carb Count Without Crust
Cheese 5 grams
Pepperoni 6 grams
Supreme (pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onion, bell peppers) 8 grams
Hawaiian (ham, pineapple) 10 grams
Veggie (mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, olives) 9 grams
Meat Lover’s (pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham) 7 grams

As shown, skipping the crust significantly reduces carbs, especially for cheese, meat, and veggie pizzas. Avoiding sweet fruits like pineapple keeps counts lower.

Making Low Carb Pizza at Home

One of the best ways to control carbs and ingredients is to make your own low carb pizza:

Follow a Low Carb Dough Recipe

Use alternatives like almond flour, coconut flour, or cauliflower instead of white flour to make the crust. This removes most of the carby dough volume.

Load up on Veggies

Pile on all the low carb vegetables you want! Mushrooms, peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli make great additions.

Use Protein-Rich Meats

Pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham, and chicken all add plenty of protein without the carbs.

Go Easy on the Cheese

While cheese adds great flavor, it’s relatively high in carbs for the serving size. Limit to 1/4 cup per slice.

Swap in Low Carb Sauces

Alfredo, pesto, olive oil, or a drizzle of tomato sauce work for lower carb pizzas.

Bake on Parchment Paper

Cooking directly on parchment paper makes it easy to slide the toppings off the bare crust after baking.

Making your own low carb pizza at home gives you full control over the ingredients. You can customize the toppings to fit your dietary needs.

Pre-Portioned Low Carb Frozen Pizza Options

Another shortcut is to purchase pre-made low carb frozen pizzas or ones with removable crusts:


Caulipower makes cauliflower-based frozen pizzas in cheese, margherita, veggie, and other flavors with just 4-5g net carbs per 1/3 pizza.

Real Good Pizza

Real Good Pizza Co. has frozen pizzas made with chicken crust starting at 1g net carb per 1/3 pizza. Flavors include supreme, pepperoni, and margherita.

Outer Aisle Gourmet

Outer Aisle Cauliflower Thin Crust offers cauliflower crust pizzas that separate from the crust after baking. Each 1/3 pizza has around 5g net carbs.

Cali’Flour Pizza Kitchen

Cali’Flour makes low carb frozen pizzas with cauliflower crusts. A 1/4 veggie pizza has 6g of net carbs.

Look for low carb frozen pizza options made with alternate crusts or divide up a larger pizza into servings after cooking so you can easily remove the crust.

Low Carb Pizza Chain Options

Many chain restaurants now offer low carb crusts or ways to skip the crust:

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza has a keto crust option made from flaxseed and eggs. A one-topping 11″ pizza has around 24g net carbs total.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut’s Hand-Tossed crust comes with removable crust ridges to reduce carbs. An 11″ pizza has around 18g net carbs without the ridges.


You can order Domino’s pizza with a thin crust and then remove it before eating to cut carbs. An 11″ thin crust has around 23g total carbs.

MOD Pizza

MOD Pizza offers cauliflower crust pizzas with just 11g net carbs for an 11″ pie. You can also order any pizza as a MOD bowl with just the toppings.


Chipotle’s “pizza bowl” lets you get all the flavors of pizza in a bowl without the crust. Estimate around 15g net carbs for cheese, sauce, and toppings.

Check to see if your favorite pizza chains have low carb offerings. Another option is to order a salad and add sliced-up pizza toppings on top.

Low Carb Pizza Condiment and Add-Ons

You can make your pizza even lower in carbs by adding certain condiments or swapping out ingredients:

Use oil and vinegar instead of dressings

Drizzle salads with oil and vinegar rather than sugary dressings like ranch or caesar.

Flavor with spices

Sprinkle on oregano, red pepper, garlic powder, or Italian seasoning to add flavor without carbs.

Add hot sauce or sriracha

Add some spice to pizza with hot sauces that contain minimal carbs per serving.

Sub zucchini noodles for pasta

For carb-free “pasta,” make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer or julienne slicer.

Use pesto instead of tomato sauce

Pesto has fewer carbs than tomato sauce. Or drizzle slices with olive oil and spices.

Look for low-carb sauces, dressings and seasonings to keep pizza toppings tasty without added carbs. Focus on adding flavor from fats, spices and herbs instead of sugary condiments.

Should I Eat Keto Pizza Crust? How Many Carbs?

There are some controversies around keto-friendly replacement crusts:

May trigger cravings

The taste and texture of low carb crusts can make you crave real bread or trigger overeating. It’s best to limit portions.

Effects vary

Just because a crust is low carb doesn’t mean it won’t spike blood sugar or knock you out of ketosis, due to individual responses.

Fiber carbs may be overcounted

With high fiber crusts like cauliflower, some of the total carbs aren’t absorbed so net carbs may be overestimated.

Can stall weight loss

Even though keto crusts are low carb, they are still processed and could slow down progress on the scale.

Experts suggest consuming low carb pizza crusts in moderation and testing to see how they affect your body. Track any cravings or weight changes. Under 20g of net carbs is a safe goal.


Removing the pizza crust significantly reduces the carbs, dropping a slice of cheese pizza down to around 5g net carbs. The fewer doughy carbs in the crust, the lower the carbs that remain when you skip it.

Opting for thin crust pizzas loaded up with low carb veggie toppings is the best bet for keeping carbs down without the crust. At home, using healthy fats and veggies to make the crust helps slash carbs even further.

While the occasional low carb pizza can fit into many diet plans, balance it out by loading your plate with green salads, healthy fats, and protein sources like chicken, fish, or plant-based alternatives if vegetarian. This ensures you get fiber, vitamins, and nutrients along with the slice of pizza.

Prioritizing fresh, whole foods for most meals and making smart swaps helps keep your diet on track even when enjoying the occasional low carb treat like pizza sans the crust!

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