How Many Calories Are In Pizza?

Pizza annotated

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman  

Pizza is a favorite food for many of us. But what if you're trying to lose weight or improve your eating habits? Is pizza healthy? And how many calories are in a slice of pizza? A few simple tips can help you boost the nutrition in pizza to keep your healthy eating program on track.

Pizza Calories and Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for one slice (107g) of regular cheese pizza from a typical fast-food pizza chain.

  • Calories: 285
  • Fat: 10.4g
  • Sodium: 640mg
  • Carbohydrates: 35.7g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Sugars: 3.8g
  • Protein: 12.2g

Pizza calories and nutrition can vary substantially based on the toppings, the cooking method, the crust, and the size of the pizza slice. A very small slice (1/8th of the whole pizza or 80 grams) of cheese pizza is likely to provide only 200 calories. Other types of cheese pizza, depending on the serving size and where you find them, might have 235 calories a serving or more.

But a typical slice of cheese pizza from many popular pizza chains like Pizza Hut (1/5th of the pie or 105 grams) is more likely to provide 300 calories or more. A single 10-ounce slice of Costco cheese pizza provides over 700 calories.

The following table is a breakdown of the nutrition facts for different toppings and various styles of pizza, according to USDA data. Note that these numbers can also vary depending on where the pizza is made—whether it's served at a restaurant or fast-food establishment or pre-made, packaged, and sold at a grocery store.

Nutrition Facts for Pizza Toppings Per Slice
1 Slice Calories Fat Sodium Carbs Fiber Sugars Protein
Cheese 285 10.4g 640mg 35.7g 2.5g 3.8g 12.2g
Extra Cheese  312 6.9g 708mg 34.7g 2.1g 2.8g 15.3g
Pepperoni 313 13.2g 760mg 35.5g 2.6g 3.6g 13
Sausage 325 14.3g 734mg 35.5 2.7g 3.9g 13.3
Meat and Veggies 249 11.1g 601mg  25.9g 2.2g 3.8g 11.2g
Veggies 235 8.4g 519mg 29.8g 2.13g 3.5g 10g
White Pie 220 6.3g 441mg 31.5g 0.8g 3.2g 9.5g
Deep dish 313 11.6g 726mg 39.5g 2.8g 5g 12.7g
Thin crust 302 14g 742mg 31.2g 2.5g 3.6g 12.9g
Margherita 241 10.3g 634mg 26.9g 2.1g 2.8g 9.7g
Sicilian 229 8.6g 400mg 29.3g 2.9g 5.7g 10g

Pizza With the Highest Calories

Pizza that is loaded with meat will not only add calories, but will increase your intake of saturated fat. For this reason, a pizza loaded with processed meats is generally going to be some of the unhealthiest pizza you can eat. The style of pizza (thin or thick crust, deep dish, etc.) also makes a difference in the calorie count. Here's a look at how different toppings and preparation styles can increase your calories per slice.

  • Processed meat: A typical slice of sausage or pepperoni pizza contains between 250–300 calories.
  • Extra cheese: A slice of plain cheese pizza is one of the lowest-calorie options you can choose from, but when you double the cheese you ramp up your calorie intake to 312 or more per 100-gram serving.
  • Fast-food pizzas: A slice of cheese pizza from a fast-food chain is 285 calories.
  • Frozen pizzas: Frozen pizzas, while not fresh, are slightly lower in calories. A 100-gram serving of store-bought frozen pizza contains around 268 calories.
  • Deep dish: A slice of deep dish pizza from fast-food chains like Domino's contain 313 calories. But other deep dish pizzas can be much lower at 282 calories in a single serving.

For the sake of counting calories, assume that each type of meat that you add to your pizza adds about 40 calories per slice. Of course, that number can vary quite a bit. Your pizza chef might be heavy-handed and adds a lot of sausage or pepperoni, or maybe they go lighter on the toppings depending on their style. If exact nutrition information isn't readily available, it's a good estimate.

The calorie count of pizza can vary according to the toppings, style, and serving size. You can also choose to cut a few more calories by not eating the crust.

The Lowest Calorie Pizza Per Slice

Your lowest calorie pizza choice, aside from a plain cheese pizza, will almost always be a vegetarian cheese pizza. A slice from most veggie pizzas provides around 235–240 calories. Vegetables provide flavor with very few calories compared to meat toppings. 

Choosing veggie toppings like green peppers, tomatoes, and onions will also add diet-friendly fiber and antioxidants while cutting calories. You might even try spinach or broccoli. Eventually, you may find you prefer veggies like bell peppers and mushrooms on your pizza instead of heavier meat toppings.

Tips to Reduce the Calories in Pizza

So what's the easiest way to cut calories in a slice of pizza? Reducing the cheese by half will save calories, saturated fat, and sodium. You will probably be pleasantly surprised at how much cheese is still left on your pizza after cutting it by half. If you don't want to reduce the amount of cheese on your pizza, request part-skim cheese instead of whole-fat cheese, if possible.

For the lowest-calorie pizza choices, go cheese-free. Order no cheese on your pizza and then dust each slice lightly with grated Parmesan. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top to add extra zip if you need it. Other lower-calorie options include extra lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, and grilled or roasted chicken.

If you can't order a leaner meat, you can still cut calories from your pepperoni or sausage pizza. Use an absorbent paper towel or several paper napkins to soak up some of the grease from your slice. The amount of calories you save will be tricky to calculate and will vary based on how much grease you dab. But you might remove anywhere from 15–40 calories.

At home or in a restaurant, use these additional tips to enjoy lower-calorie, healthier pizza:

  • Order thin crust pizza to consume fewer carbs, calories, fat, and sodium.
  • Replace regular crust with a whole-wheat crust to get nearly 20% of your fiber needs for the day.
  • Swap the toppings. Instead of pepperoni or sausage, try Canadian bacon or chorizo—a spicy Mexican smoked sausage variety—which will save you a few calories per serving while still providing a smoky flavor.
  • Avoid dipping sauce like garlic butter or ranch to save hundreds of calories (especially if you double or triple dip your slices).
  • Skip the breadsticks. Indulging in just one large breadstick will add almost 200 calories to your meal.
  • White pizza can be higher in calories than traditional pizza because pesto, extra cheese, or olive oil is used in place of low-calorie tomato sauce. With just one vegetable topping, a typical slice of white pizza with a thick crust provides close to 300 calories. Order regular or thin crust to save on the calories.
  • Visit a locally owned pizzeria. A small restaurant may offer a greater variety of healthy toppings and options for customization than chain restaurants. Options might include grilled shrimp, green peas, asparagus spears, artichoke hearts, black beans, corn, spicy fajita chicken, lemon grilled chicken, or fresh minced garlic. 

How to Make Pizza at Home

Of course, the healthiest option for pizza is to make your own at home from scratch. To make a healthier pizza, ​use a non-stick pizza pan. A standard non-stick pan works well, too, but there are also brands like T-Fal that make perforated round copper pans just for pizza. The perforation helps air circulate so the crust heats evenly, and the surface reduces the need for oil and makes cleanup easier. You also cut up to 100 calories per slice if you skip the olive oil when you bake.

Load up on healthy toppings like colorful vegetables and lean meat. Get as creative as you like—you might swap marinara and mozzarella for a low-fat pesto and butternut squash option, or skip the wheat flour altogether and try a low-carb "meatza."

A Word From Verywell

Pizza of any kind can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet in moderation. But making healthier choices about toppings and watching portion sizes can help ensure that you can savor every bite of your pizza pie without consuming too many extra calories.

While many people have advocated for a "pizza diet" to lose weight, nutrition and health experts don't recommend it. As always, the best diet is one that is nutrient-dense and well-balanced and suits your individual lifestyle.

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16 Sources
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