Is pizza crust high in carbs?

Pizza is a beloved food for many people. The cheesy, saucy slices are a go-to order for takeout or delivery. But if you’re watching your carb intake, you may wonder just how many carbs are in a pizza crust. The answer depends on the type of crust and size of the slice.

The Basics of Pizza Crust

Pizza crust is typically made from wheat flour, water, yeast, and sometimes oil or sugar. This makes the crust high in carbohydrates, since flour contains starch that breaks down into sugar during the dough fermentation process. However, the exact carb count varies by the type and thickness of crust, as well as the size of the slice.

Common Pizza Crust Types

Here are some of the most popular pizza crust varieties and their typical carb counts:

  • Thin crust: 70-100 calories, 15-20g net carbs per slice
  • Hand-tossed: 110-140 calories, 20-30g net carbs per slice
  • Thick, pan, or deep dish: 150-200 calories, 30-45g net carbs per slice
  • Stuffed crust: 180-250 calories, 35-50g net carbs per slice
  • Cauliflower crust: 40-80 calories, 5-15g net carbs per slice
  • Gluten-free crust: 80-120 calories, 15-30g net carbs per slice

As you can see, traditional wheat-based crusts provide at least 15g of net carbs per average slice. Thicker and stuffed crusts have even more carbs.

How Pizza Serving Size Affects Carbs

In addition to crust type, the size of the pizza slice impacts the carb content. Larger slices mean more crust and thus more carbs. An average slice from a 14-inch pizza contains about 30-45g net carbs. Here’s how slice size influences carbs:

Slice Size Net Carbs
Small (1/8 of 12″ pizza) 15-25g
Medium (1/6 of 14″ pizza) 30-40g
Large (1/4 of 16″ pizza) 45-60g

As shown, the bigger slices from larger pizzas contain significantly more carbs. Those on a low-carb diet should stick to small or medium slices and avoid supersized slices.

How Cooking Method Impacts Carbs

Preparing pizza crust via different cooking methods also affects the net carb count:

Baked Pizza Crust

Baking the crust causes it to slightly dry out, decreasing its weight. This concentrates the carbs and results in a moderate net carb content per slice.

Grilled Pizza Crust

Grilling pizza over an open flame causes moisture loss, further concentrating the carbs. Grilled pizza crust has a higher carb density than baked crust.

Fried Pizza Crust

Frying adds fat and oil to the crust, increasing its weight. This lowers the concentration of carbs. Fried pizza crust is lower in carbs than grilled or baked crust.

Wood-Fired Pizza Crust

Wood-fired ovens bake pizza at very high temperatures. The extreme heat dehydrates the crust, raising its carb density. Wood-fired pizza crust is higher in carbs than standard baked crust.

Strategies to Reduce Pizza Crust Carbs

If you want to enjoy pizza but limit carb intake, here are some tips:

  • Choose thin crust instead of thick, stuffed, or pan crust
  • Get a small pizza with 8 slices instead of a large with 6-8
  • Eat just the toppings and leave behind a bit of the crust
  • Opt for cauliflower crust or a low-carb alternative
  • Make your own pizza with almond flour or protein-rich crust

With the right strategies, you can still enjoy pizza while controlling your carb and calorie intake!

Nutrition Facts for Popular Pizza Chains

Looking at nutrition information for major pizza chains can give insight into just how many carbs are in pizza crust:

Domino’s Pizza

  • Thin crust (14-inch): 300 calories, 36g carbs per slice
  • Hand-tossed (14-inch): 340 calories, 44g carbs per slice
  • Brooklyn style (14-inch): 370 calories, 49g carbs per slice

Pizza Hut

  • Thin ‘N Crispy (14-inch): 290 calories, 36g carbs per slice
  • Original Pan (14-inch): 250 calories, 32g carbs per slice
  • Stuffed Crust (14-inch): 340 calories, 43g carbs per slice

Papa John’s

  • Original crust (14-inch): 280 calories, 37g carbs per slice
  • Thin crust (14-inch): 230 calories, 30g carbs per slice
  • Pan crust (14-inch): 320 calories, 42g carbs per slice

As shown, even thin crust deliver over 30g net carbs per average slice. Stuffed, thick, and pan crusts contain 40-50g carbs per slice at most chains.

Is Pizza Crust Keto-Friendly?

The keto diet limits carbs to just 20-50g per day. Given this constraint, traditional pizza crust doesn’t fit a keto eating plan. Even thin crust has too many carbs to stay in ketosis.

However, some keto-friendly pizza options with very low net carbs include:

  • Cauliflower crust – 5-10g net carbs per slice
  • Chicken crust – 0g net carbs
  • Zucchini crust – 4g net carbs
  • Low-carb tortilla crust – 5-8g net carbs
  • Ground beef crust – 2g net carbs

While veggie, meat, and nut-based crusts slash carbs substantially, the taste and texture differs from regular pizza crust. Those following a strict keto diet will need to opt for very low-carb crusts.

Low-Carb Pizza Crust Alternatives

In addition to veggie crusts, there are various store-bought and homemade low-carb pizza crust options:

Cauliflower Crust

Pre-made cauliflower pizza crusts can be purchased at many grocers. These contain about 25g carbs per serving, with 5-10g being fiber making them a smart low-carb choice.

Protein Crust

High-protein, low-carb pizza crusts are sold at stores and online. They are typically made with flours like almond, coconut, pumpkin seed, and eggs.

Veggie Crust

For the lowest carb crust, you can make your own from sliced veggies. Zucchini, eggplant, or mushrooms can be used as the base.

Fathead Dough

This keto pizza dough recipe uses mozzarella, almond flour, and eggs. It bakes up thin and crispy for a veggie-topped crust.

Is Thin Crust Lower in Carbs?

Yes, thin crust is one of the lowest carb pizza base options. Here’s how it compares carb-wise to other common types of crust:

Crust Net Carbs per Slice
Thin crust 15-25g
Hand-tossed 20-35g
Pan/Deep dish 30-45g
Stuffed crust 35-50g
Cauliflower crust 5-10g

As shown, thin pizza crust contains the least amount of carbs, aside from cauliflower crust. Hand-tossed original crust also has slightly fewer carbs than thick, deep dish, or stuffed crust.

What About Pizza Toppings?

While crust makes up the bulk of a pizza’s carbs, the toppings can also impact the numbers:

  • Meats like pepperoni and sausage add fat and protein, but minimal carbs.
  • Veggies like onions, tomatoes, and peppers provide carbs from natural sugars, around 5-10g per serving.
  • Cheese makes the pizza tasty, with just 1-2g carbs per ounce.
  • Olives and herbs add flavor with no significant carbs or calories.

When piling on toppings, stick with meats and veggies low in starch and sugar. Focus the carbs in your slice on the crust rather than high-carb sauces and ingredients.


Traditional pizza crust made from wheat flour contains a substantial amount of carbs, typically 15-50g per thin slice. Thick, stuffed, and deep dish crust have the highest carb counts, while thin crust is lowest in carbs of the wheat bases. To minimize carbs, stick to thin slices with meats and non-starchy veggies.

Very low-carb pizza crust alternatives include cauliflower, chicken, zucchini, and other veggie crusts with under 10g net carbs per serving. These allow you to enjoy delicious pizza flavor while maintaining low-carb eating plans like keto.

Leave a Comment