Low-Carb Ways to Satisfy a Pizza Craving

Pizza-fied Chicken
Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com

Everyone loves pizza, but those carby calories from the crust can really weigh you down. These low-carb crust alternatives will save you hundreds of calories. (Don't forget to check out the low-calorie pizza toppings listed down below.)


A Portabello mushroom cap is the ultimate low-calorie pizza bottom — it's like a mini personal pie. And the concave shape is perfect for loading up with toppings. Each 3-oz. mushroom cap has around 20 calories and 3.5g carbs, plus 1g fiber.

How-To Basics: Place the mushroom cap, rounded side down, on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake the mushroom cap for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Blot away excess moisture. Top it off, and bake until tender, 8-10 minutes. 

Pizza-Fied Chicken

With a thinly pounded chicken breast as the crust, this is a great swap for a standard slice of pizza. It’s got the surface area of a slice (so you can pile it high with toppings) but a protein-packed bottom. And with the skillet-only prep, there's no need to even turn on the oven. The chicken itself has around 150 calories and not a carb in sight.

How-To Basics: Pound a 5-oz. chicken cutlet to 1/2-inch thickness, and season with spices. In a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Top away, and then cover and cook until cheese has melted.

Pizza Egg Mug

Here's a high-protein breakfast alternative to cold leftover pizza. Whip up some egg whites or egg substitute in the microwave with your favorite pizza spices and good-for-you ingredients. A 3/4-cup serving of the whites/substitute alone has around 95 calories and 2.5g carbs.

Bell Pepper Pizzas

If you love Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, then you’ve got to try this veggie alternative. Stuff green bell pepper halves with pizza goodness and you’ve got a great swap for that carb-loaded pizza. Each medium pepper has about 25 calories and 5.5g carbs, plus 2g fiber. 

How-To Basics: Cut green bell peppers in half lengthwise (remove seeds and stems). In a baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray, bake at 375 degrees until slightly soft, 16-18 minutes. Blot away excess moisture. Fill 'em up, and bake until tender, to 8-10 minutes.

Thin-Crust Wonton Pizzas

Love crispy pizza? Wonton wrappers bake up into crunchy crusts of perfection. These mini pizzas are great as party appetizers. Find the small square sheets in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, near the tofu. Each wrapper has around 20 calories and 4g carbs.

How-To Basics: Bake wonton wrappers at 375 degrees until lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Top 'em off, and bake until hot, 2-4 minutes.

Zucchini Pizza Boats

Forget pizza boats made on French bread — stuff some zucchini with pizza flavors, and it’ll take you right back to pizza Fridays in the school cafeteria. A medium zucchini has a slim 35 calories or so, 7g carbs, and 2g fiber.

How-To Basics: Pierce zucchini with a fork; microwave for 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once cool, scoop out inside flesh. Top it off, and microwave for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
Pizza Toppings

  • Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup = 80 calories)
  • Light string cheese  (1 stick = 60 calories)
  • Reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping  (1 tbsp. = 30 calories)
  • Canned crushed tomatoes  (1/4 cup = 20 calories)
  • Pizza sauce  (1/4 cup = 35 calories)
  • Turkey pepperoni  (15 pieces = 70 calories)
  • Onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, and more fresh veggies  (1/4 cup = 20 calories or less)
  • Garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes (virtually calorie-free!)

By Lisa Lillien
Lisa Lillien is a New York Times bestselling author and the creator of Hungry Girl, where she shares healthy recipes and realistic tips and tricks.