Is gluten free pizza from Pizza Hut good?

Gluten free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people choosing to avoid gluten for medical reasons or simply as a lifestyle choice. Pizza Hut, one of the largest pizza chains in the world, has responded to this trend by offering gluten free crust as an option for their pizzas. But is their gluten free pizza any good? Let’s take a look at what gluten free at Pizza Hut entails and whether it’s worth ordering.

What is gluten and why do some people need to avoid it?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For most people, consuming gluten is not a problem. But for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten can cause serious health issues like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting and fatigue.

It’s estimated that 1 in 100 people worldwide have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Many more are estimated to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The only treatment for celiac disease is adhering to a strict lifelong gluten free diet. Gluten free diets are also often adopted by those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity to alleviate their symptoms.

What does “gluten free” mean?

In the United States, for a food product to be labelled as “gluten free” it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This very low threshold means foods with the gluten free label should be safe for most people who need to avoid gluten. However, some extremely sensitive individuals may still react to trace amounts of gluten. There is also always a small risk of cross-contamination with gluten containing ingredients during food prep and manufacturing.

How Pizza Hut makes gluten free pizza

Pizza Hut uses gluten free pizza crusts made with a blend of rice flour, sorghum flour, corn starch, water, canola oil, sugar and yeast. This replaces the typical wheat flour crust. The pizza sauce, toppings and cheese used on the gluten free pizzas are the same as those used on the regular pizzas.

Pizza Hut stores take precautions to avoid cross-contamination when preparing gluten free pizzas. Employees change gloves, use separate cutting surfaces and wipe down equipment when transitioning between regular and gluten free pizzas. However, the pizzas are still cooked in the same ovens as non-gluten free pizzas so there is still some risk of trace gluten exposure.

Nutrition comparison of gluten free vs regular crust

From a nutritional standpoint, the gluten free crust is fairly comparable to Pizza Hut’s regular Hand-Tossed crust, but there are some differences:

Nutrition Facts Gluten Free Crust Hand-Tossed Crust
Calories 260 210
Carbs 41g 30g
Protein 4g 9g
Fat 10g 5g

The gluten free crust is higher in calories, carbs and fat compared to the regular crust, but lower in protein. It also contains fewer vitamins and minerals than the regular crust.

Taste and texture of Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza

When it comes to taste and texture, most customer reviews indicate Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza is decent but the crust lacks the flavor and texture of traditional pizza crust:

  • The crust has a higher fat and oil content which gives it a greasy mouthfeel.
  • The texture is fairly dense and doughy compared to a typical thin, crispy crust.
  • The crust has a mild flavor that some describe as bland.
  • It tends to be more fragile and prone to cracking and falling apart, especially with lots of toppings.

However, others say the crust has a pleasant, cornbread-like texture and appreciate having a fast, convenient option for gluten free pizza from a national chain. Overall satisfaction seems to depend on individual preferences and taste.

Are there any risks of cross-contamination?

While Pizza Hut strives to avoid cross-contamination with gluten, the risk is not zero given gluten containing crusts and pizzas are handled in the same kitchens:

  • Employees use shared ovens, cutters, tools and prep surfaces.
  • There could be airborne flour particles in the kitchen.
  • Staff may neglect proper protocol of changing gloves, cleaning equipment, etc.

Those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity should use caution and understand there is some degree of risk eating gluten free pizza from Pizza Hut. Certain locations may carry higher risk than others.

Quality and availability can vary by location

There are mixed reviews when it comes to consistency across Pizza Hut locations. Some customers report excellent gluten free pizza while others complain of poorly executed pies:

  • Smaller or busier stores may struggle with quality control.
  • Not all locations carry gluten free crusts regularly.
  • You often need to specify “gluten free” when ordering otherwise regular crust is assumed.

Your experience can vary greatly depending on the particular store and staff. It’s a good idea to call ahead to a location before assuming they offer gluten free crusts.

Other gluten free menu options at Pizza Hut

In addition to gluten free pizza crust, Pizza Hut offers these other gluten free menu options:

  • Salads with gluten free dressing
  • Sandwiches made with Udi’s gluten free bread
  • Chicken wings with gluten free sauce
  • Desserts like Hershey’s chocolate chip cookie

Those craving pizza can create a “gluten free” pie with an Udi’s crust as well. Options are still fairly limited but provide a bit more variety.

How the cost compares to regular pizza

Pizza Hut charges an additional $2-$3 for substituting the gluten free pizza crust compared to regular crusts. So expect to pay a couple dollars extra for the gluten free version. The upcharge is relatively small and worthwhile for many customers wanting pizza.

Here’s a pricing comparison on a 1-topping medium pizza:

  • Hand-tossed crust: $7.99
  • Gluten free crust: $10.99

It’s not the cheapest option but accessible for an occasional splurge. Larger “specialty” pizzas with lots of premium toppings can approach $20+ for a medium gluten free pie.

Does Pizza Hut offer any deals or discounts?

Pizza Hut runs regular promotions that can help offset the cost of gluten free crust:

  • Two medium pizzas for $5.99 each – Includes gluten free crust option
  • $7.99 large 1-topping pizza – Upgrade to gluten free for $2
  • BOGO free offers – Buy one pizza, get one free

Combining discounts with the occasional splurge on gluten free pizza can make the cost much more reasonable for many consumers.

Is Pizza Hut gluten free pizza healthy?

While gluten free, Pizza Hut’s pizzas are still relatively high in calories, fat, sodium and processed ingredients:

  • A medium cheese gluten free pizza has around 220 calories and 10g fat per slice.
  • The crust alone has 260 calories and 10g fat.
  • A pizza meal can easily supply over half your daily sodium intake.

Those looking for a truly healthy gluten free pizza are better off choosing restaurants with high quality ingredients or making homemade pizzas with fresh vegetables and lean meats. Pizza Hut’s gluten free pies are best enjoyed as an occasional indulgence.

Should you tip on takeout gluten free pizza?

Pizza Hut primarily offers takeout and delivery, so should you tip when getting gluten free pizza to-go? Tipping is optional but recommended if you can spare a couple dollars:

  • It’s a nice gesture for the effort it takes employees to handle specialty orders.
  • Staff rely heavily on tips as part of their compensation.
  • 15-20% tip for dine-in service. 10-15% reasonable on takeout.

Ultimately it’s your call on what you tip for takeout. But it promotes goodwill towards staff which can lead to better service on future gluten free orders.

Is Pizza Hut gluten free pizza worth it?

The verdict on whether Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza is “worth it” depends on your needs and preferences:

Worth it:

  • Convenient, widely available gluten free pizza option
  • Provides satisfaction of pizza craving
  • Kids enjoy pizza parties with classmates
  • Affordable deal compared to other gluten free pizzas

Not worth it:

  • Questionable taste and texture
  • High in calories, fat, sodium
  • Risk of cross-contamination
  • Not enough gluten free menu variety

Those with celiac disease or gluten intolerances may want to exercise caution and opt for more reputable gluten free brands. But for many consumers, Pizza Hut offers an accessible option for enjoying pizza with friends and family.

Tips for ordering gluten free pizza from Pizza Hut

Here are some tips to get satisfactory gluten free pizza from Pizza Hut:

  • Call ahead – Confirm location has gluten free crusts in stock
  • Mention allergy – Say it’s for a gluten allergy to prompt proper precautions
  • Avoid busy times – Less risk of cross-contamination when staff isn’t rushed
  • Limit toppings – Prevent a mushy mess with too many toppings
  • Pick up takeout – More control over your order

With reasonable expectations and precautions, Pizza Hut can be an workable option for gluten free pizza you can enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pizza Hut gluten free pizza healthy?

No, Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza is high in calories, sodium, fat and processed ingredients. It should be enjoyed as an occasional treat, not a regular part of a healthy gluten free diet.

What are the gluten free crust options at Pizza Hut?

Pizza Hut offers one gluten free pizza crust, made with a blend of rice flour, sorghum flour, corn starch and other ingredients. You can also do a pizza with Udi’s gluten free crust.

Can you order gluten free pizza online from Pizza Hut?

Yes, you can order gluten free pizzas for delivery or carryout online at or through the Pizza Hut app. Just select “gluten free crust” when customizing your pizza.

Is Pizza Hut gluten free pizza dairy free?

No, Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza contains dairy ingredients like cheese made from cow’s milk. Those needing dairy free AND gluten free pizza have very limited options at Pizza Hut.

Does Pizza Hut have gluten free pasta or wings?

Pizza Hut does not offer any gluten free pasta. The wings can be requested with gluten free sauce. But breaded items like Garlic Knots are not gluten free.

The Bottom Line

Pizza Hut makes a convenient, affordable gluten free pizza option for the millions of consumers wanting to indulge in pizza without the gluten. While not the most tasty or healthy choice, it satisfies a pizza craving for many gluten free eaters. Those with celiac disease or wheat allergies need to weigh the risks of cross-contamination. But for occasional, indulgent pizza nights, Pizza Hut fills a void in the gluten free market for better or worse.

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