Best Healthy Pizza

It’s loaded with veggies and sprinkled with Parmesan, with a tangy bold red sauce and a thin crust. Yes, this is the BEST healthy pizza you’ll find. People often ask us, what’s your favorite thing to cook? And if you know us, you won’t be surprised by the answer. PIZZA. After our honeymoon in Italy, Alex and I have spent the last ten years honing the absolute best way to make homemade artisan pizza. In fact, we’ve gotten a little nerdy about it. We’ve figured out how to make the best crust, sauce, and a to-die-for margherita pizza. We can do taco pizza and classic cheese pizza. But what about if you want something…a little lighter? We were posed with a challenge: Can you make a healthy pizza recipe? Oh, can we ever. Here’s everything about how to do it. What makes a healthy pizza? So you want to make a healthy pizza? First, let’s talk about what makes an unhealthy pizza. One slice of Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza is 300 calories. That pizza is loaded with gooey cheese, meat, and has a carb-loaded crust. So: want a healthy, fresh homemade alternative? Here are the features of this pizza that […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

It’s loaded with veggies and sprinkled with Parmesan, with a tangy bold red sauce and a thin crust. Yes, this is the BEST healthy pizza you’ll find.

Best Healthy Pizza

People often ask us, what’s your favorite thing to cook? And if you know us, you won’t be surprised by the answer. PIZZA. After our honeymoon in Italy, Alex and I have spent the last ten years honing the absolute best way to make homemade artisan pizza. In fact, we’ve gotten a little nerdy about it. We’ve figured out how to make the best crust, sauce, and a to-die-for margherita pizza. We can do taco pizza and classic cheese pizza. But what about if you want something…a little lighter? We were posed with a challenge: Can you make a healthy pizza recipe? Oh, can we ever. Here’s everything about how to do it.

Healthy Pizza

What makes a healthy pizza?

So you want to make a healthy pizza? First, let’s talk about what makes an unhealthy pizza. One slice of Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza is 300 calories. That pizza is loaded with gooey cheese, meat, and has a carb-loaded crust. So: want a healthy, fresh homemade alternative? Here are the features of this pizza that makes it healthy:

  • Homemade thin crust: This pizza uses our easy thin crust pizza dough. It’s made with simple ingredients (flour, olive oil, water) and because it’s thin, it has significantly less calories than a fluffy crust.
  • Super flavorful pizza sauce: Red sauce brings big flavor without big calories. This one is our easy pizza sauce, a fan-favorite recipe that takes only 5 minutes and tastes like Italy. (Really.)
  • Limited cheese. This healthy pizza has only 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. It’s just enough to bring in a savory flavor, but there’s so much flavor in the veggies and sauce you don’t need to load on cheese. (For a vegan pizza, head to Our Best Vegan Pizza.)
  • Lots of veggies. Healthy isn’t just about calories: it’s about vitamins and nutrients. This pizza is topped with peppers that are loaded with vitamin C, and leafy green nutrient-dense arugula.

How many calories? One slice of this healthy pizza recipe is 96 calories. Only 96 calories! That’s about 1/3 the calories of a delivery pizza. Even better, it’s got the added vitamins and nutrients of fresh, colorful veggies. Dinnertime win!

Veggie Pizza Recipe

Tips for making the best healthy pizza

How to make this best healthy pizza recipe? We’ve got a few tips for the best ever pizza that’s fresh and healthy.

  • Use a pizza stone. This is our number 1 tip for homemade pizza recipes: use a pizza stone! It’s what makes the crust perfectly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Pizza stones are inexpensive and last for years; here’s the pizza stone we recommend.
  • Pizza peels are handy. To get the pizza onto that hot stone, a pizza peel is helpful! It’s a paddle that throws the dough onto that blazing hot surface. Our favorites are this aluminum pizza peel or super pizza peel.
  • Accessorize with salad & fruit. To keep this healthy pizza part of a healthy meal: accessorize it with salad and fruit! Our Favorite Chopped Salad, Best Kale Salad, or Wedge Salad would go well here. Or just go with veggies and Healthy Ranch. A great “dessert” would be green apple slices and our chocolate hummus.

Video: How to make pizza dough

The most technique-driven part of making pizza is making homemade dough. Because learning to make something like dough requires actually showing you, we’ve made a video to show the dough-making process. Here are a few tips about the dough to remember when making it: then watch the video above to see it in action:

  • Make the dough 1 hour before serving OR make in advance. Making the dough takes only 15 minutes of hands on time. Then it rests for 45 minutes to proof before it’s ready to stretch. If you don’t have 1 hour before serving, you can make it up to 3 days in advance and refrigerate.
  • Thin crust pizza dough is easy to shape: roll it! This pizza dough is easier to shape than our Pizza Dough Master Recipe because you roll it out with a rolling pin! This crust is easy to make: see the video above.
  • Use Tipo 00 flour if you can find it. Our favorite flour for making pizza dough is what the Italians use: it’s called Tipo 00 and it makes the crust light and fluffy. You can find at it some grocery stores or online here.
Loaded veggie healthy pizza recipe

This recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, go to our Best Vegan Pizza.

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Best Healthy Pizza Recipe

Best Healthy Pizza Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices

Description

It’s loaded with veggies and sprinkled with Parmesan, with a tangy bold red sauce and a thin crust. Yes, this is the BEST healthy pizza you’ll find.


Ingredients

  • 1 ball Easy Thin Crust Dough
  • 1/2 cup Easy Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Easy Thin Crust Pizza Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Make the pizza sauce: Make the Easy Pizza Sauce.
  4. Prepare the toppings: Thinly slice the peppers. Thinly slice the red onion. Thinly slice the garlic. In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Saute the vegetables, stirring often, for about 7 to 10 minutes, until browned and very soft. Stir in the oregano and remove from the heat.
  5. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  6. Spread the pizza sauce over the dough using the back of a spoon to create a thin layer. Sprinkle with the vegetables, drained capers, and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
  8. While the pizza is baking, mix the baby arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. When the pizza is done, top with the arugula. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

  • Category: Pizza
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Healthy Pizza, Healthy Pizza Recipe, Veggie Pizza Recipe, Veggie Pizza

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Everything Basil Pizza

This epic basil pizza is all about BASIL. It’s got a thick layer of peppery basil pesto, and topped with loads of fresh basil leaves! Are you basil obsessed? There’s nothing better than the peppery fresh flavor of this bright green herb, right? Here we’ve harnessed everything that’s incredible about basil and made it into our new favorite pizza topping. That’s right: Everything Basil Pizza! (Get it? Sounds a lot like…this?) Garlicky, thick homemade basil pesto is slathered onto our perfect pizza dough, and it’s topped with gooey mozzarella and a huge handful of fresh basil leaves. Here’s how to make the brightest green, tastiest basil pizza you’ll ever make. Related: 12 Best Basil Recipes How to make basil pesto So, the first step in making basil pizza is making basil pesto! If it’s not the season for basil, you can also use purchased basil pesto and store-bought fresh basil leaves, of course. But if you’ve got a big bushy plant of basil, pesto is the place to use it. We have several different pesto recipes. Our favorite is our Best Basil Pesto, our classic recipe that calls for 2 cups of basil leaves. You can get away with making […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

This epic basil pizza is all about BASIL. It’s got a thick layer of peppery basil pesto, and topped with loads of fresh basil leaves!

Basil Pizza

Are you basil obsessed? There’s nothing better than the peppery fresh flavor of this bright green herb, right? Here we’ve harnessed everything that’s incredible about basil and made it into our new favorite pizza topping. That’s right: Everything Basil Pizza! (Get it? Sounds a lot like…this?) Garlicky, thick homemade basil pesto is slathered onto our perfect pizza dough, and it’s topped with gooey mozzarella and a huge handful of fresh basil leaves. Here’s how to make the brightest green, tastiest basil pizza you’ll ever make.

Related: 12 Best Basil Recipes

Basil pesto

How to make basil pesto

So, the first step in making basil pizza is making basil pesto! If it’s not the season for basil, you can also use purchased basil pesto and store-bought fresh basil leaves, of course. But if you’ve got a big bushy plant of basil, pesto is the place to use it.

We have several different pesto recipes. Our favorite is our Best Basil Pesto, our classic recipe that calls for 2 cups of basil leaves. You can get away with making a half recipe if you only have 1 cup of leaves: especially if you have a small blender or immersion blender since the quantities will be smaller! Other variations on our basil pesto use different types of nuts: we have our Basil Cashew and Basil Walnut Pesto variations. And we also have a Vegan Pesto, though we’d assume if you’re making a pizza you’ll be okay with eating cheese.

No matter which variation you make, it’s seriously easy to make pesto! Here are the main steps:

  • Place the nuts, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor and blend until finely chopped.
  • Add fresh basil leaves, lemon juice and salt. Start the food processor and add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add a bit more olive oil to bring to the desired consistency, if necessary.
Everything basil pizza

How to make pizza dough

The other main step in this basil pizza is making pizza dough! To shortcut the time required, you can also use store-bought dough (obviously!). But for the very best basil pizza, our homemade pizza dough is a must. It’s the perfect texture: fluffy and chewy on the inside, and crispy on the outside. Here are a few things to keep in mind with pizza dough:

  • Pick your dough recipe. Our favorite is our Easy Pizza Dough, which has the absolute perfect texture. Another great option is our Thin Crust Pizza Dough, which is easy to roll out and results in a thinner, crispier crust.
  • The dough requires a 45 minute rise, so plan ahead. Kneading the dough takes only 8 minutes: most of the time required for making pizza dough is letting it rise. This recipe requires a 45 minute rise time, so start making it about 1 hour before you’d like to eat your pizza.
  • Stretching the dough takes a bit of practice. Pizza dough requires a little bit of finesse is shaping the dough. The key here is to pat the dough into a circle, then drape it on your knuckles to stretch it. If the dough ever becomes transparent, stop immediately so that it doesn’t tear. If at any time the dough resists stretching, set it down and let it rest for a minute. Once you pick it up again, the gluten will have relaxed and it will be possible to stretch. See the video in the pizza dough recipe for more!

Pizza making tools

You’ll also need a few tools to bake your perfect pizza dough:

  • Pizza stone: A pizza stone is what makes Italian pizza crust crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found.
  • Pizza peel: What’s a pizza peel? It’s a paddle used to slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. We recommend this Standard pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel.
Basil pizza

How to make basil pizza

Once you’ve got your basil pesto and pizza dough, this basil pizza is a breeze! Simply spread a layer of pesto onto the crust, and mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on the top. We added a sprinkle of dried basil for good measure, but it’s not necessary for flavor.

In order to keep the basil leaves bright green, place them on the pizza after baking it. If you place the basil leaves on the pizza while baking, they’ll turn black. You can see in the photos above that some of the basil is already getting a little black in spots, just because of the heat of the pizza!

Basil pizza

How to grow basil

Here are a few tips on how to grow basil at home, and how to store it! Growing your own basil is much cheaper and easier than buying it from the store. 

  • Plant it either in a raised bed garden or in pots on a sunny ledge. We recommend buying a start plant at your local farmers market or garden store. Then plant it in a pot with plenty of drainage (or your garden) — and make sure to prune it regularly by removing branches back to the first set of 2 leaves. For more on how to grow basil, see our posts How to Grow Basil and How to Harvest Basil.
  • Store cut basil in a mason jar with water. Find a large jar and add a bit of water in the bottom: then place the basil stems in cut side down and cover with a lid. Store in the refrigerator and it will last for 4 to 5 days, instead of just hours on the counter! For more, see How to Store Fresh Basil.
Basil pizza

This basil pizza recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Basil Pizza

Everything Basil Pizza


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices

Description

This epic basil pizza is all about BASIL. It’s got a thick layer of peppery basil pesto, and topped with loads of fresh basil leaves!


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough or Thin Crust Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Prepare the toppings: Make the Best Basil Pesto (or Cashew PestoWalnut Pesto, or Vegan Pesto). Thinly slice the fresh basil (or keep it whole if you like).
  4. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see this video for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  5. Spoon the pesto onto the dough and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Then top with the mozzarella cheese in an even layer, then the Parmesan cheese. Add a pinch of dried basil and if you like, a sprinkle of kosher salt. (Most pesto is salty enough, but it depends on your pesto and cheese.)
  6. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
  7. Top with the basil leaves. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Basil pizza

Looking for more pizza recipes?

Outside of this basil pizza recipe, here are some of our favorite pizza recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Truffle Pizza

Are you a truffle lover? This truffle pizza features savory mushrooms and gooey cheese, finished off with a truffle oil that infuses the entire pie. If I see truffle anything on a menu, I immediately order it. It’s become a bit of a joke between Alex and me, because I’m so predictable. Of course Sonja’s ordering the truffle fries. Or the truffle pizza. Or the truffle risotto. Hey, no shame over here! Truffle is my favorite flavor in the world. I can’t help it! It’s earthy, it’s intoxicating, and it makes anything taste nuanced and intriguing. Also it reminds me of our travels to Italy, so of course that gives me all the feels. This truffle pizza is all about channeling that love: savory mushrooms, gooey cheese, and finished off with a truffle oil that infuses the entire pie. First, let’s talk truffles! So, what are truffles and why are they so great? And no, they’re not little balls of chocolate (that’s a whole different type of truffle). Truffles are mushrooms — technically speaking, fungi! They grow underground on the roots of trees. Truffles have been called the “diamond of the kitchen” and are highly prized in many cuisines. Truffles […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

Are you a truffle lover? This truffle pizza features savory mushrooms and gooey cheese, finished off with a truffle oil that infuses the entire pie.

Truffle pizza

If I see truffle anything on a menu, I immediately order it. It’s become a bit of a joke between Alex and me, because I’m so predictable. Of course Sonja’s ordering the truffle fries. Or the truffle pizza. Or the truffle risotto. Hey, no shame over here! Truffle is my favorite flavor in the world. I can’t help it! It’s earthy, it’s intoxicating, and it makes anything taste nuanced and intriguing. Also it reminds me of our travels to Italy, so of course that gives me all the feels. This truffle pizza is all about channeling that love: savory mushrooms, gooey cheese, and finished off with a truffle oil that infuses the entire pie.

Truffle pizza

First, let’s talk truffles!

So, what are truffles and why are they so great? And no, they’re not little balls of chocolate (that’s a whole different type of truffle). Truffles are mushrooms — technically speaking, fungi! They grow underground on the roots of trees. Truffles have been called the “diamond of the kitchen” and are highly prized in many cuisines.

Truffles are also very expensive and hard to find, because they’re hard to farm and difficult to harvest. Hunters actually take specially trained dogs and pigs out to hunt for truffles: they find their scent underground. (Pretty cool, really!) Because truffles are so hard to find, truffle oil is a great way to enjoy the flavor of truffles. It packages the flavor of truffles right into an oil!

Truffle oil

What type of truffle oil to buy?

Unfortunately, many truffle oils on the market are synthetic, using lab-made compounds that mimic flavors found in real truffles. This is why you’ll hear chefs sometimes turn their noses up at truffle oil. However, there are now some versions of all natural truffle oil on the market. This type of truffle oil is made with pieces of actual truffles and is not synthetic. We’d recommend using all natural truffle oil for this pizza.

What’s the best truffle oil to buy for this truffle pizza? Our favorite brand to use is Urbani’s white truffle oil (we’re not affiliated). It’s made in Italy, all natural and with real truffle pieces inside: not synthetic at all! We’ve been cooking with it and it has a fantastic, subtle truffle aroma.

For More: Truffle Oil: Where to Buy and How to Use It

Truffle pizza

How to make truffle pizza

Once you know all about truffle oil (see above if you scrolled past!), you can get on with the pizza business of this truffle pizza. This pizza is a white pizza, meaning that you don’t have to bother with pizza sauce. Though our easy pizza sauce is pretty darn amazing if you need one! You’ll simply brush the dough with olive oil, then place the cheese on top.

On this truffle pizza, we wanted to go heavy on the mushrooms to complement the truffle flavor. You’ll slice up baby bella mushrooms and saute them with a bit of garlic and fresh chives as the topping for the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

The most difficult part about making a truffle pizza is making and shaping homemade pizza dough! To make it easier, feel free to use store-bought dough. But if you’d like to make your own…we have the best recipe on the internet.

Truffle pizza

Pizza dough recipes

For making the pizza dough for this truffle pizza, we have two pizza dough recipes we recommend:

  • Best Pizza Dough This is our standard pizza dough that we’ve used for years! We make it using stand mixer, but you can also knead it by hand.
  • Easy Thin Crust is similar but makes a thinner dough that you roll out — it would also work well here!

Now if you’re making homemade pizza dough, you’ll need the following tools…

Pizza making tools

It’s helpful to have a few pizza making tools handy when you’re making homemade pizza! These two tools have been indispensable in our homemade pizza making game:

  • Pizza stone: A pizza stone is what makes Italian pizza crust crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Here’s the best pizza stone we’ve found. And if you’re wondering, a bit more on pizza stone care.
  • Pizza peel: What’s a pizza peel? It’s a paddle used to slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. We recommend this Standard pizza peel or this Conveyor pizza peel.

This truffle pizza recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print
Truffle pizza

Truffle Pizza


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices

Description

Are you a truffle lover? This truffle pizza features savory mushrooms and gooey cheese, finished off with a truffle oil that infuses the entire pie.


Ingredients

  • 1 ball Best Pizza Dough (or Food Processor Dough or Thin Crust Dough)
  • 6 baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 handful chives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
  • Truffle oil, for drizzling
  • Chunky sea salt (optional), for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough or Thin Crust Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Prepare the toppings: Slice the mushrooms. Mince the garlic. Chop the chives; set aside a handful of chopped chives for the garnish.
  4. In a saute pan or skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, chives, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown.
  5. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see this video for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  6. Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto the crust. Then top with the mozzarella cheese in an even layer, then the Parmesan cheese and the cooked mushrooms.
  7. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven).
  8. Top with the truffle oil to taste*, then top with the reserved chopped chives and a bit of kosher salt or chunky sea salt, crushed with your fingers as you add it. Slice into pieces and serve immediately.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Truffle pizza

Looking for more pizza recipes?

Outside of this truffle pizza recipe, here are some of our favorite pizza recipes:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes