Which pizza pizza crust is gluten-free?

Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular, with more people looking to avoid gluten found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, following a strict gluten-free diet is essential. Thankfully, there are many delicious gluten-free options when it comes to one of America’s favorite foods – pizza! But with so many pizza places offering gluten-free crusts, how do you know which one is best?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers an autoimmune response in the body that damages the small intestine. This can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, headache and more. The only treatment for celiac disease is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. Going gluten-free allows the gut to heal and symptoms to improve.

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Options

There are several different gluten-free pizza crust options out there, including:

Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower crusts are a popular gluten-free pizza base. They are typically made using riced cauliflower, eggs, cheese, and seasoning. Some may also include rice flour or other ingredients as binders. Cauliflower adds nutrients while keeping the crust low in carbs.

Nut Flour Crust

Nut flours like almond flour, coconut flour or hazelnut flour can be used to create a high protein, gluten-free pizza crust. Eggs and cheese help hold the crust together. Nut flours provide fiber and nutrients.

Bean Flour Crust

Bean flours like chickpea, lentil or black bean can be used for a higher fiber and protein crust. Bean flours need to be combined with eggs, oil and leavening agents. They have an earthier flavor.

Rice Flour Crust

A blend of white rice flour and tapioca flour can form the basis of a gluten-free pizza crust. Rice flour adds softness while tapioca gives elasticity. Xanthan gum is typically added to help hold the crust together.

Pre-made Crust

There are many brands that produce packaged gluten-free pizza crusts, using ingredients like rice flour, potato starch, tapioca and pea protein. These pre-made crusts are convenient options.

Nutritional Value of Gluten-Free Crusts

When comparing gluten-free pizza crust options, you’ll want to consider the nutritional value of each. Here is how some of the most popular gluten-free crusts compare nutritionally:

Crust Type Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
Cauliflower 80 4g 5g 2g 7g
Almond Flour 150 10g 9g 3g 6g
Bean Flour 120 2g 20g 4g 7g
Rice Flour 110 1g 23g 0g 2g
Pre-made Crust 100 2g 15g 3g 4g

As you can see, cauliflower crust is the lowest in calories and carbs. Nut flour and bean flour crusts offer more protein and fiber. Rice flour crust is higher in carbs with less fiber and protein. Pre-made crusts fall somewhere in the middle.

Taste and Texture of Gluten-Free Crusts

In addition to nutrition, the taste and texture of the crust are important factors when choosing a gluten-free pizza base. Here is how the most common options compare:

Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower crust has a neutral flavor that takes on the flavors of other pizza toppings. The texture is soft and chewy but often more dense and fragile than traditional crusts. Add-ins like cheese and egg help mimic stretch and chew.

Nut Flour Crust

Nut flour crusts like almond flour have a distinct nutty sweetness. The exterior can get crisp while the interior remains dense and creamy. Nut flours lack gluten, so the crust holds together less.

Bean Flour Crust

Bean flour crusts have an earthy, grainy bean taste. Chickpea or lentil flavors come through. The texture can be heartier and more fibrous than other options. Beans provide binding power without gluten.

Rice Flour Crust

Rice flour crusts are neutral in flavor and mimic traditional pizza texture with a crispy exterior and chewy yet tender interior. The texture can be light. Rice flour becomes crispy when cooked.

Pre-made Crust

Pre-made gluten-free pizza crusts vary in flavors depending on ingredients used but tend to be more neutral. Texture is usually close to traditional crust with a crispy outside and soft interior.

Ease of Use and Availability

In addition to nutrition, taste and texture, the ease of use and availability of gluten-free crusts are also important factors:

Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower crust takes more preparation time. Raw cauliflower must be riced and cooked before using. Premade cauliflower crusts are sold at some grocery stores but can be pricey.

Nut Flour Crust

Nut flour crusts require weighing ingredients and good binding techniques. Nut flours may be found in the baking aisle or specialty section. Making your own gives more control.

Bean Flour Crust

Bean flour crusts involve combining multiple flours and ingredients. Bean flours offer versatility. Garbanzo bean flour is easy to find while others may require a health food store.

Rice Flour Crust

Rice flour crusts involve combining rice flour with tapioca starch and gums. Rice flour is widely available but other ingredients may require a specialty store. Easy to make at home.

Pre-made Crust

Premade gluten-free pizza crusts are convenient options found in the freezer section of grocery stores. They require no prep and are ready to top and bake. Limited options may be available.

Top Frozen Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts

When it comes to convenience, here are top recommended premade frozen gluten-free pizza crusts:

1. Calise & Sons Bakery Pizza Crust

Calise & Sons premade gluten-free pizza crust is one of the most popular and widely available options. The 10-inch crust bakes up thin and crispy with a tender interior.

2. Against the Grain Gourmet Pizza Crust

Against the Grain makes a delicious certified gluten-free pizza crust sold in the freezer section. The crust has an authentic style with crisp exterior and yeasty flavor.

3. Freschetta Naturally Rising Crust Pizza

Freschetta’s gluten-free pizza uses a premade cauliflower crust for a veggie-based option. The crust gets crisp while maintaining a soft, chewy texture inside.

4. Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Udi’s is one of the most well-known gluten-free brands. Their premade thin pizza crust cooks up crispy and can support lots of hearty toppings.

5. Amy’s Rice Crust Pizza

Amy’s makes a gluten-free rice crust pizza in fun varieties like Pesto, Roasted Vegetable and Margherita. The crispy crust has a classic pizza shop style.

Best Gluten-Free Pizza Chains

For those times when you want to leave the gluten-free pizza making to the professionals, here are top restaurant chains offering gluten-free crusts:

1. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has gluten-free pizza available with a thin, crispy crust. You can customize to any toppings. It’s cooked in a separate area and gluten-free kit is used.

2. Domino’s

Domino’s also has gluten-free pizza where you can create any combo. The thin crust has a crisp exterior and lighter chewy texture. It’s prepared using gluten-free procedures.

3. Papa John’s

At Papa John’s, you can order any pizza with their gluten-free crust. It’s prepared in a dedicated space and cooked on aluminum trays for safety.

4. Blaze Pizza

Build your own gluten-free pie exactly how you want it at Blaze Pizza. The thin pizza crust is stretched and topped individually for gluten-free customers.

5. California Pizza Kitchen

CPK offers both a 10-inch and personal 6-inch gluten-free crust. The crust is stuffed with a blend of four gluten-free flours and cheese for fluffy texture.

Tips for Baking Gluten-Free Pizza at Home

Want to make your own gluten-free pizza at home? Here are some helpful tips:

Choose a High-Quality Crust

Find a premade crust or make your own with flours that hold together when stretched. Gluten-free flours like almond and chickpea work well.

Use Extra Binders

Add xanthan gum, psyllium husk, flax eggs or unflavored gelatin to help hold the crust together and add stretch.

Bake at High Heat

Gluten-free dough requires a hot oven, around 425-450°F, to crisp up properly. Place crust directly on oven racks.

Use Quick-Cook Toppings

Load up crusts with veggies, pre-cooked meats, and quicker-melting cheeses so that toppings fully cook before the crust burns.

Finish on the Stovetop

For extra crispy crusts, finish baking pizzas on the stovetop over medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side to crisp the bottom.


While traditional pizza is off limits, there are still plenty of tasty gluten-free crust options out there. Cauliflower, nut flours, bean flours, rice flours and premade crusts can all make great gluten-free pizza bases. Evaluate nutritional value, taste, texture and convenience when choosing a crust. Bake crusts at high heat and use quick-cooking toppings for best results. With an array of gluten-free crusts and even pizza chains offering gluten-free menus, you can still enjoy this popular food. A gluten-free diet doesn’t have to mean the end of pizza night. With the right crust and kitchen tricks, you can still satisfy any pizza craving gluten-free.

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