Can I Eat Just the Pizza Toppings on Keto?


Pizza Toppings on Keto

Maintaining a keto diet often means giving up some foods that used to be our favorite, but that might not have to include pizza. Obviously, the traditional high-carb crust isn’t compatible with a keto diet, but can you just eat the pizza toppings instead?

Many standard pizza toppings like mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes are all Keto-friendly. It’s important to be mindful of added sugars in the pizza sauce, but if it is homemade or you trust the brand, then you can also enjoy the sauce.

So how can you devour these delicious toppings, while still getting the full experience of a saucy, cheesy slice of pizza? We’re going to dig into some of the best keto-friendly pizza options out there and make sure that your diet doesn’t stand in the way of you and some ‘za.


What Makes Pizza Toppings “Keto-Friendly?”

Most pizza toppings, like many mentioned above, are primarily fat and protein, and offer very little in the way of carbs. Because pizza toppings contain mostly fat and protein and minimum carbs that's why it's considered keto-friendly.

While the diet isn’t standardized, many popular recommendations “suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein.” Below is a table based on an average 2,000 calorie daily diet, detailing what those percentages mean in grams.

Fats Proteins Carbohydrates
70% - 80% 10% - 20% 5% - 10%
165 grams 75 grams 40 grams

A keto diet requires careful attention to each meal and strict adherence to the numbers. There are plenty of online trackers and apps to help the avid dieter stay on track. The table below should help you get an idea for how various pizza toppings fit into the keto diet with their relative fat, protein, and carb quantities based on numbers from 

Topping Grams of Fat Grams of Protein Grams of Carbs
Pepperoni 12.2g 6.4g 0g
Italian Sausage 7.1g 13.5g1.8g
Bacon 3.5g 2.9g 0.1g
Green Peppers 0.2g 1g 5.5g
Onions 0.2g1.3g 9g

What Makes "Pizza" Incompatible with the Keto Diet?


As you can see from the table above, the meat toppings are far more keto-friendly, than the vegetable counterparts. It is definitely best to stick to the fatty meats, like pork and beef, when trying to maximize your intake.

The primary culprit keeping pizza off the plates of keto dieters is the standard pizza crust. Your average pizza crust is made with water, salt, white flour, and yeast. The white flour alone bumps the carb content way up and almost immediately out of the question.

The crust alone of a single slice of pizza could contain more than 30g of carbs, not including the cheese or toppings.

Thin crust pizza options may be lower in carbs than the standard alternative, but even a single slice of thin crust pizza could have around 20g of carbs per slice. The best bet when it comes to enjoying keto pizza, is to steer clear of any crust made like bread dough.

The other big thing to look out for is your pizza sauce. Pizza sauce generally is higher in carbs than standard pasta sauce due to some added sugars. To feel confident in your sauce, either make it yourself, avoiding adding sugar, or be sure to carefully check the label of a store-bought sauce.

What Are Some Keto-Friendly Pizza Crust Options?

A popular keto-substitute is cauliflower. Other popular pizza crust options involve using vegetables as your crust, such as zucchini or Portobello mushrooms.

Low-carb diets have soared in popularity in recent years, which has fortunately led many chefs and companies to pioneer tasty, low-carb alternatives to bread, crust, and doughs. While the safest bet is still to make your own at home so you are confident of the ingredients, you can find many keto-friendly alternatives in the grocery store these days.

A popular keto-substitute is cauliflower. Cauliflower is low in carbs and highly versatile. Clever chefs and bakers have figured out ways to use it as a substitute for rice, potatoes, bread, pancakes, and thankfully pizza crust! This recipe from Food Network is simple enough for any home chef and sure to keep that diet on track.

Other popular pizza crust alternatives involve using other vegetables as your crust, such as zucchini or portobello mushrooms. After topping off this adjusted pizza with sauce, cheese, and fatty toppings, you’ll fall in love with it in no time!


Will Eating a Regular Slice of Pizza Ruin My Keto Progress?

The short answer is no, but it is a bit more complicated than that. A single slice of pizza on the rare occasion shouldn’t completely ruin your keto progress, though it may take you out of ketosis, resulting in a tough few days while you get back in.

Ketosis is the state when “the body uses primarily fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.” This state is achieved by first forcing the body to burn off all the stored carbohydrates, then continuing to minimize the introduction of new carbs to the body. The entire diet is designed to keep your body in ketosis and maximize the burning of fat.

By eating a full carb slice of pizza, it is possible that you will push your body out of ketosis. Depending on just how far you push your body out of this state, it could take a few days of work to get back into. So be careful when considering that single slice for your cheat day.

Where Can I Get Keto Pizza?

Keto friendly pizza is offered by "Blaze Pizza". For Canadian folks "Pizza Pizza" is the choice . "Papa Murphy's" offer crust-free keto pizza. Depending on where you live it may be easier or more difficult to track down restaurants with keto friendly pizzas.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that it is “easy” to find keto pizza options everywhere, but with a little bit of work it can be done! Most notably, the nationwide pizza chain Blaze officially offers a low carb pizza crust that has just 6 net carbs. Find your nearest Blaze pizza to try it out!

Canadian readers or travelers can enjoy a slice of low-carb crust at the Canadian pizza chain Pizza Pizza. This Toronto based chain offers keto friendly crust options, with specialized menu items loaded up with toppings perfect for maintaining that high fat, low carb balance.

Papa Murphy’s offers their “crust-free” pizza. This keto friendly option is similar to a burrito bowl where the cheese, sauce, and toppings are loaded into a bowl to be eaten with a fork or spoon. While not exactly pizza, it may be more appealing than simply picking toppings off a pizza and tossing out the crust, and definitely less wasteful.

Depending on where you live it may be easier or more difficult to track down restaurants with keto friendly pizzas. Larger urban areas will likely offer some more options than smaller rural areas. Independent local pizzerias may have more to offer to Keto dieters than some of the big chains, so be sure to check out your local pizza shop and see what they have going on!

Going Keto Without Giving Up Pizza: Is it possible ?


Any major shift in diet should be run by a physician before committing to it to ensure your health. That being said, if you choose to try out the keto lifestyle, you can still enjoy all the delights that pizza brings, albeit with a few modifications.

It may be a bit more difficult to go out with friends and split some pizza than it used to be, but by paying careful attention you can still participate. Try to find restaurants that offer alternative crust options like cauliflower, zucchini, or at the very least a thin crust.

In the worst-case scenario, you can still enjoy the fatty meats and melty cheese from any pizza. Keep careful track of your daily intake and you should have no problem knocking back a handful of pepperonis or crumbled sausage, all covered in melty mozzarella cheese. The safest pizza of all though, is definitely one you make from scratch.