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Is pizza dough high in carbs?

Pizza is a beloved food for many people. The delicious combination of dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings makes it a popular choice for meals, parties, and casual gatherings. However, with carbs and calories in focus for those monitoring their health and diet, some may wonder – is pizza dough high in carbs?

The short answer

Yes, pizza dough is high in carbohydrates. A thin crust pizza can have around 30-60 grams of carbs per slice, while a thick crust or deep dish pizza may have 70-90 grams of carbs per slice. This accounts for a significant portion of the daily recommended carb intake for most adults.

Looking at the nutrition facts of pizza dough

A typical pizza dough recipe calls for ingredients like flour, water, yeast, salt, and oil. The main source of carbs comes from the flour. Here are some estimates for the carb counts in plain pizza dough:

  • 1 ounce of pizza dough: around 15 grams of carbs
  • 6 ounces of pizza dough: around 70-80 grams of carbs
  • The same amount of dough when baked: around 60-70 grams of carbs

This gives you an idea of how carbs add up when you consider the full weight of dough used to make a 12-16 inch pizza crust. Specific nutrition stats also depend on the type of flour used.

Nutrition of common pizza dough flours

Flour Type Carbs per 1/4 cup
All-purpose 30 grams
Whole wheat 24 grams
00 flour 22 grams

As you can see, even 1/4 cup measurements of different flours provide around 20-30 grams of total carbs. When extrapolated to the amount used to make a full pizza crust, the numbers add up quickly.

How pizza dough compares to other carb and calorie sources

Understanding how pizza dough fits into the context of other foods can also give a perspective on its carb and calorie impact:

  • A thin crust pizza slice may have 30-60 grams of carbs, while a regular slice of bread has 15-20 grams of carbs
  • A thick crust pizza slice could have 70-90 grams of carbs, comparable to the amount in a large baked potato
  • The calories in one slice of a 14-inch pepperoni pizza can range from 200-450 calories, depending on thickness. This is similar to the calorie amounts in a medium order of french fries or a candy bar.

Pizza dough is not exceptionally higher or lower than other breads and carbohydrate-heavy foods. But since pizza is often eaten in large servings, the carb and calorie counts accumulate quickly.

Tips for lowering carbs and calories in pizza

There are ways to enjoy pizza while reducing the carb and calorie load of the dough:

Choose thin crust

Opting for a thin pizza crust can save you dozens of grams of carbs compared to thicker crusts. Neapolitan, New York-style, and flatbread crusts are some of the lowest carb options.

Adjust portion sizes

Stick to a single slice of pizza rather than multiple slices. Or consider ordering a personal pizza instead of a large pie.

Reduce extra toppings

Loading up on high-calorie meats, cheeses, and sauces adds even more calories beyond the crust itself. Stick to veggie toppings and lighter sauces.

Use vegetable substitutions

Some people make pizza crust alternatives using vegetables like cauliflower. While not exactly the same, it does lower the carb content significantly.

How carbs in pizza dough affect health and weight

Pizza dough is mostly made from refined flour that lacks fiber. Refined carbs can spike blood sugar quickly. Some impacts of high carb intake from pizza include:

  • High glycemic response – The surge in blood sugar can leave you feeling tired and hungry again soon after eating.
  • Increased calorie intake – It’s easy to consume more calories than needed, especially with large restaurant pizza portions.
  • Weight gain – Frequent high-carb meals may result in fat storage and weight gain over time.
  • Nutritional deficits – People may fill up on pizza at the expense of eating healthier foods with more nutrients.

However, pizza crust doesn’t have to be off limits for those watching their diet. Focus on reasonable portion sizes, increasing veggie toppings, and balancing it out with healthier meals.

Making pizza dough lower in carbs

For people monitoring carb intake, making some adjustments to pizza dough can lower the numbers:

Use a low-carb flour substitute

Try swapping all or part of the regular flour for a low-carb flour like almond flour, coconut flour, or flaxmeal. This directly reduces the carbohydrate content of the dough.

Increase fat and protein

Adding extra virgin olive oil or protein sources like Greek yogurt or egg whites bumps up the fat and protein amounts. This helps offset some of the carb impact.

Adjust cooking method

Baking pizza dough causes carbs to increase slightly compared to raw amounts. Consider lightly cooking the dough first, then adding toppings and broiling to reduce this effect.

Use portion control

No matter what dough recipe you use, keep portion sizes modest. Aim for personal pizzas or single slices rather than large pies whenever possible.

Should you avoid pizza dough altogether on a low-carb diet?

Pizza dough is high in carbohydrates by nature. However, smart strategies like the ones mentioned above can allow you to still enjoy it in moderation on a low-carb or keto diet.

Portion control becomes especially important. Most low-carb eating plans permit small amounts of carbs from nutrient-dense foods. A single slice of veggie pizza made with a modified dough recipe can likely squeeze into a daily carb target in a balanced way.


Pizza dough is high in carbs since flour is its main ingredient. But the exact carb amount can vary based on the thickness of the crust, size of the pizza, and ingredients used. A thin crust slice may have 30-60 grams of carbs, while a thick crust can have 70-90 grams per slice.

There are ways to reduce the carb impact by choosing thin crust options, loading up on vegetable toppings, and using low-carb substitutes in the dough. Well-planned pizza can be incorporated into an overall healthy diet, even with carb monitoring.