Finding the Healthiest Delivery Pizzas
I hope I’m not the only one that occasionally will cheat on a diet to indulge in a little bit of pizza delivered to my doorstep. An impromptu party or dinner craving doesn’t need to give you an achy belly and fill you with guilt.
I’ve looked at the biggest pizza chains across the country to get an idea of what two slices of thin crust pizza will set you back, calorie-wise. Part of my research involves taste, not just calories, so I referenced The Daily Meal’s “America’s Best 25 Pizza Chains” taste ratings.
Thin crust pizzas almost always have less calories than a standard hand-tossed crust. And we all know that a deep dish or Chicago-style pizza will have the most calories of all. So to compared the pizzas, I used thin crust where possible. One serving of pizza, as I describe here, consists of 2 slices of a medium (12″) thin-crust cheese pizza.
CPK’s Tricky Menu
One of the most popular pizza chains in the country (and number one on The Daily Meal’s list) is California Pizza Kitchen. I have a problem with their menu because it seems like it would be healthy, given the abundance of thin-crusted pizzas and salad options. But the calories in a “personal-sized” pizzas starts at 1100 calories. So even if you have a half of the the lowest calorie pizza, you’re looking at 500+ calories. Most of the half salads are also over 500 calories. So watch out! I did find a cool blog called Eating Rules that has a two-part series specifically on what to order at CPK. I would recommend the half roasted veggie salad or the half Chinese chicken salad. And get your dressing on the side for dipping.
Lowest Calorie Thin-Crust Pizza – Hungry Howie’s
Hungry Howie’s has a special cracker-like thin crust that helps them achieve some of the lowest calories in the industry for two slices of medium pizza. They have a video which shows some information about their low carb crust, so you can see here what it looks like. The nutritionals for two slices of a medium thin-crust cheese pizza are: 222 calories, 19g carbs, 10g fat, 1g fiber, 14g protein.
Top Thin-Crust Pizza – Domino’s
With two slices of medium thin-crust pizza setting you back only 330 calories, and a rating of #2 in the top 25 pizza chains for flavor, Domino’s may be your best option. Domino’s lets you really customize your order, so if you’d like “light” cheese you can also cut things back that way. Other more waistline-friendly topping combos to order are Hawaiian or Veggie, as they describe on their lighter options page. The nutritionals for two slices of a medium thin-crust cheese pizza are: 330 calories, 30g carbs, 18g fat, 3g fiber, 14g protein.
Top Take-Home Pizza – Papa Murphy’s
Papa Murphy’s doesn’t offer delivery like most of the competitors do, but they do have a huge variety of pizzas, and rank as #10 out of the top 25 pizza places according to DailyMeal. They also don’t make medium pizzas in the thin-crust size but here I’ve compared to two slices of “Family size” thin crust pizza (1/3 of a 16″ pizza). The nutritionals for two slices are: 324 calories, 30g carbs, 14g fat, 0g fiber, 16g protein. Other lower-calorie pizza options include Veggie, Hawaiian, and Chicken Mediterranean.
Kids’ Pizza Places
I would describe both Cici’s and Chuck E. Cheese as kid’s pizza places. Luckily for you, both venues have pretty low calorie counts to their standard cheese pizza. While Cici’s pizza may be lower calorie due to the small size of the slices, I’ve compared both medium pizzas. Cici’s doesn’t indicate how many slices there are in a pizza. Chuck E. Cheese is allergen-friendly, as they have gluten-free options and non-pizza options as well.
- Cici’s (2 slices 12″ buffet pizza): 304 calories, 40g carbs, 8g fat, 2g fiber, 12g protein
- Chuck E. Cheese: 302 calories, 42g carbs, 8g fat, 2g fiber, 14g protein
NOTE: Papa John’s, Sbarro, Little Caesar’s, Mellow Mushroom, Godfather’s, Chuck E. Cheese and Cici’s don’t seem to offer thin crust pizza, or if they do, they don’t publish the nutritional info.
Here is the raw data for all the nutritional info I was able to find for basic cheese thin-crust pizza. So you can make your own tradeoffs!
|Type||Size||Fraction of Pizza||slices||cals||carbs||fat||protein|
|Hungry Howies||Thin Crust||Med 12″||1/4||2||222||19||10||14|
|Chuck e Cheese||Regular||Med||2||302||42||8||14|
|cici’s pizza||Regular||Small 12″||2||304||40||8||12|
|Marco’s Pizza||Thin Crust||Med 12″||1/4||2||320||28||16||16|
|Papa Murphy’s||Thin Crust||Family Size 16″||1/6||2||324||30||14||16|
|Dominos||Thin Crust||Med 12″||1/4||2||330||30||18||14|
|Pizza Hut||Thin Crust||Med 12″||1/4||2||380||44||16||8|
|Round Table||Skinny Crust||Med||1/4||2||380||38||18||18|
|Papa John’s||Regular||Med 12″||1/4||2||420||52||16||16|
|zpizza||Thin Crust||Large 14″||1/6||2||420||49||15||25|