Following a gluten-free diet is challenging at times, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop eating comfort foods. The secret to eating gluten-free is finding suitable zero-gluten alternatives for meals, including everyone’s favorite – pizza.
The pizza crust is traditionally made with wheat flour, which gives it that delicious spongy texture. Unfortunately, wheat flour contains gluten, which is the thing that makes pizza unsafe for people following a gluten-free diet. Having said that, you’re probably curious to find out what gluten-free pizza is.
A gluten-free pizza is a pizza made without any gluten-containing ingredients and is free of gluten. Besides wheat, other cereals, including barley, rye, Spelt, and triticale, also contain gluten. Gluten-free pizza is made using gluten-free flour and starches like rice flour and potato starch.
If you recently started following a gluten-free diet or are curious about where you can find delicious gluten-free pizza, we have you covered! Keep reading to learn exactly what gluten-free pizza is, and we’ll also share our favorite picks for gluten-free frozen pizzas.
What Is Gluten in Pizza?
The crust is the main ingredient of any pizza. Unfortunately, pizza crust is also the most common source of gluten in pizza.
Most bread, dough, and starch products are made using wheat, barley, or rye flour. Using gluten-containing flour to make pizza dough makes it unsafe for people following a gluten-free diet.
Gluten is one of the most important structure-building proteins that create the irresistible spongy texture and appealing quality of wheat-based products. Gluten’s unique viscoelastic properties make creating a gluten-free pizza dough with similar quality and elasticity challenging.
Most gluten-free pizza doughs lack elasticity and cohesiveness due to the absence of gluten. In recent years, various techniques and approaches have been invented and used to overcome the challenges of creating gluten-free pizza dough.
What Is Gluten-Free Pizza Made of?
One of the most important parts of any pizza is the crust. However, the crust is also the most common place you’ll find gluten in pizza.
Unlike traditional pizza, gluten-free pizza is made without wheat or other gluten-containing flour and is safe for gluten-free people. In most cases, wheat flour is swapped out for a combination of gluten-free flour and starches, such as rice flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch.
These gluten-free flours are combined with flavorings like salt and sugar and wet ingredients like oil. Some gluten-free pizza dough recipes also call for yeast to give the dough some rise.
Several different techniques can be used to make gluten-free pizza dough. A popular method to make the standard dough involves combining various gluten-free flours with oil and a rising agent, like yeast.
Adding additional ingredients like psyllium husk powder will give the dough the structure and elasticity you usually see in traditional pizza dough. Another option to make gluten-free pizza crust is to create a batter instead of a traditional dough.
Regular pizza dough is made with around 60% liquid. Gluten-free flours are highly absorbent, so this ratio will result in stiff pizza dough.
To make a tasty gluten-free crust, you’ll need a much higher moisture content of around 130%. The added moisture will give the dough a better texture but will make it harder to shape.
Spread the batter on an oiled parchment using your hand or a rubber spatula. Keep in mind that most gluten-free pizza crusts have to be baked before topping.
What Pizza Doesn’t Have Gluten?
There are many gluten-free frozen pizza options for people following a gluten-free diet. You can choose thin, thick, stuffed, or cheese-crust styles of pizza with toppings ranging from extra cheese to pepperoni to sausage and chicken.
Both large and small specialty manufacturers offer a variety of gluten-free frozen pizza crusts, and most larger grocery stores offer at least two options. Check out the best gluten-free pizzas you can find in the local grocery store:
1. Against the Grain Gourmet Gluten-Free Pizza
Against the Grain, Gourmet makes both 10- and 12-inch gluten-free frozen pizzas. Their pizzas are made with natural ingredients and come in several different flavors, including:
- Three Cheese Pizza
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Margherita Pizza
- Nut-Free Pesto Pizza
Besides these pre-made pizza options, this brand also offers a gluten-free pizza shell with three types of cheeses baked in the dough. Against the Grain, Gourmet pizzas are manufactured in a gluten-free facility and are regularly tested to ensure they contain less than five ppm of gluten.
2. Amy’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Frozen Pizzas
Amy’s Kitchen produces a variety of gluten-free pizzas. Although this company uses shared facilities, its products contain less than 20 ppm of gluten, meaning their products can be labeled gluten-free.
You can try Amy’s pizzas in one of the following flavors:
- Cheese Veggie Crust Pizza
- Gluten-Free Italiano 4 Cheese Pizza
- Spinach Veggie Crust Pizza
- Gluten-Free, Vegan Meatless Pepperoni Pizza
3. California Pizza Kitchen Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen makes both frozen and fresh pizzas in three types of crusts, gluten-free, cauliflower, and crispy thin crust. These are the different types of gluten-free frozen pizzas made by California Pizza Kitchen:
- Artisanal Style Cheese Pizza
- Margherita Recipe Pizza
- BBQ Recipe Chicken Pizza
- Uncured Pepperoni Mushroom & Sausage Pizza
Some California Pizza Kitchen crusts are made with cauliflower, while others are made with rice flour. Additional ingredients used to make these gluten-free pizza crusts include potato starch, tapioca starch, potato flour, and rice starch.
4. Daiya Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Frozen Pizza
Looking for gluten-free and dairy-free pizza – try Daiya. This company offers 100% plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free frozen pizzas, suitable for vegans and people with gluten-related disorders.
Daiya gluten-free pizzas are available in several delicious flavors, including:
- Meatless Pepperoni Style
- Meatless Meat Lover’s Style
- Cheeze Lover’s Style
- Fire-roasted Vegetable
Daiya has an Allergy Control Program, which it follows when producing plant-based products. This program involves segregating allergen-containing ingredients, cleaning the equipment regularly, and testing products to ensure they don’t contain common allergens.
5. Banza Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza
Banza’s pizzas contain less than 20 ppm of gluten, meaning they meet the gluten-free labeling standard set by the FDA. Their gluten-free pizzas are made from chickpeas and come in several yummy flavors, including:
- Margherita Pizza
- Plant-based Cheese Pizza
- Supreme Pizza
- Four Cheese Pizza
- Roasted Veggie Pizza
The company’s plant-based gluten-free cheese pizza doesn’t contain major allergens, while other pizza options contain dairy. This means that all of Banza’s gluten-free pizzas are vegetarian, while the plant-based cheese pizza is also vegan.
For everyone who wants to play with toppings, Banza also makes plain-crust pizza. Each chickpeas pizza crust measures nine inches in diameter and is made from chickpeas, tapioca, cocoa butter, olive oil, and water among other ingredients.
6. Caulipower Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza
As the company’s name suggests, Caulipower makes gluten-free pizza crusts with cauliflower. These stone-fired cauliflower pizzas are made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, are always gluten-free, and are ready in minutes.
Caulipower makes several different flavors of gluten-free pizzas, including:
- Margherita Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Three Cheese Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Cheese Lovers Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Veggie Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Buffalo-Style Chicken Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Italian Sausage & Vegetables Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- Pepperoni Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
- White Stone-fired Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Depending on which pizza flavor you choose, the crust may also contain brown rice flour, white rice flour, corn starch, tapioca starch, sunflower oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Preheat the oven and bake the pizza according to the manufacturer’s instructions to enjoy the crispy and tasty flavor of cauliflower pizza.
Does Gluten-Free Pizza Taste Different?
Most gluten-free pizzas taste very similar to traditional pizza. The sauce and toppings are the things that give pizza the bulk of its flavor and they are the same on gluten-free pizza and normal gluten-containing pizza.
When it comes to flavor, expect to notice a difference between a gluten-free pizza crust, and a normal pizza crust. Gluten-free flours taste differently than regular wheat flour, and no gluten-free pizza crust will taste exactly the same as traditional pizza crust.
Gluten-free pizza is any pizza made without gluten or any ingredients that contain gluten. Wheat barley, rye, Spelt, and triticale are some cereals that might be used to make pizza dough but contain gluten.
Pizza dough is traditionally made with wheat flour, which gives it that irresistibly chewy, thin, and crispy texture. Without wheat, or gluten to be exact, pizza dough might lack cohesiveness, elasticity, and structure.
Despite these differences, most gluten-free pizzas taste similar to normal pizzas and have a similar nutritional value. If you have a gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or other gluten-related disorder, there are many different gluten-free pizzas you can try. From thin and thick to the cauliflower-style gluten-free crust, you can still have a slice of your favorite pizza on pizza night.