Pizza is no health food. It’s typically white flour plus cheese, ample sodium, maybe processed meat, and few vegetables. But if you’re hunting for a better pie, try these. As for veggies, a crust can only hold so many before it gets soggy. Side salad, anyone?

Healthier frozen pizzas

Box of Sweet Earth's Peperoni Lover's frozen pizza
Lindsay Moyer - CSPI.

Sweet Earth breaks the frozen-pizza mold, for so many reasons:

  1. The hearty crust includes whole wheat flour (though it still has more refined flour than whole).
  2. All the company’s pizzas are vegetarian. So the Pepperoni Lover’s is studded with plant-based wheat-and-chickpea “pepperoni,” not red meat. It might not fool a meat eater, but it adds a savory kick nonetheless.
  3. Sodium isn’t sky high. None of Sweet Earth’s pizzas top 400 milligrams per serving (a third of the pie). Sweet!

Cheeseless pizzas

Box of Amy's Roasted Vegetable No Cheese fozen pizza
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

Dropping dairy? Many pizzas that fit the bill use dairy-free cheeses that are mostly nutrient-poor starches plus coconut oil.

One option: Lose the cheese. Amy’s Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza loads its slightly sweet balsamic sauce with roasted onions, shiitakes, bell peppers, and marinated artichokes. Mmm.

Or start with a blank canvas. (Try one of the ready-to-bake crusts below.) After baking, add Whole Foods Market Vegan Tomato Pesto or Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale, Cashew & Basil Pesto and roasted or sautéed veggies.

Thin-crust pizzas

box of CPK Roasted Garlic Chicken Crispy Thin Crust Pizza
Lindsay Moyer - CSPI.

Slice for slice, thin-crust pizzas usually have a little less flour. (Too bad it’s almost always white.)

A decent bet: California Pizza Kitchen Roasted Garlic Chicken Crispy Thin Crust Pizza.

It’s got chicken instead of pepperoni or sausage, the saturated fat (4½ grams in a third of the pie) is lower than most, the crust is nice and crispy, and the creamy garlic sauce is yummy. Vegetarian? Try CPK’s Mindful Chik’n BBQ Recipe Crispy Thin Crust Pizza.

Another thinner winner: DiGiorno Pizzeria! Thin Hand-Tossed Margherita Pizza.

Ready-to-bake pizza crusts

packaged Whole Foods 365 whole wheat pizza crust
Marlena Koch - CSPI.

365 Whole Foods Market Organic Thin & Crispy Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts may not be 100 percent whole grain, but they’ve got more whole wheat than refined flour.

Brooklyn Bred Neapolitan Thin Pizza Crust gets points for its crispiness and small size (200 calories each), which makes personal pizzas a snap. Alas, it’s white flour.

Like your thin crust ultra-crispy? Brush or spray it with oil before you add sauce, don’t overload it with toppings, and bake it directly on the oven rack.

Really cauliflower pizza crust

package of Outer Aisle Italian Cauliflower Pizza Crusts
Lindsay Moyer - CSPI.

Most “cauliflower” crusts add low-fiber starches or rice flour. Think of them as a gluten-free substitute for a white-flour crust. For more cauliflower and fewer carbs, try Outer Aisle Italian Cauliflower Pizza Crusts & Wraps.

A reliable pizza sauce

jar of Rao's Pizza sauce
Lindsay Moyer - CSPI.

Rao’s Pizza Sauce doesn’t just taste like it’s been simmering on your stovetop all day. It does so with only 170 milligrams of sodium per quarter cup—less than the 200 to 300 mg in many other brands. Pizza crusts, cheeses, and toppings all tack on why not shave some off where you can?

HCK soups book cover


The Healthy Cook's Kitchen: Soup

The supermarket is full of canned soups. But, as far as your health...and your taste buds...are concerned, none can hold a candle to this collection of Healthy Cook Kate Sherwood’s favorite soup recipes. Not only are they lick-the-bowl delicious; they’re packed with vegetables, beans, and lentils. And Kate shows you tricks—Creamy Vegetable Soup without cream, Chicken Tortilla Soup using a store-bought rotisserie chicken—that will help you up your soup game.

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