Whether you’re bulking or just looking to incorporate more protein into your diet, you might wonder how well pizza would serve you. This favorite meal doesn’t have the best reputation among health nuts, but it can be a surprisingly decent source of protein because of its range of ingredients. Eating slices in moderation may help you achieve your nutrition goals while allowing you to indulge in a delicious treat. In this guide, we take a closer look at how much protein is in pizza and suggest the ideal toppings for those searching for more of this nutrient.
How Much Protein Is in Pizza?
The average slice of pizza contains around 12 grams of protein. Considering that the average serving for an adult is three slices, you can get around 36 grams of protein from eating pizza. If you’re feeding the kiddos, know that they’ll be getting around 24 grams of protein from the average child’s serving of two slices.
Of course, the amount of protein in pizza depends on what kind it is, as certain toppings contain more of the nutrient than others. Additionally, how much protein you actually digest from eating pizza depends on your habits. Absorb more by implementing these good habits:
- Chewing your food thoroughly.
- Eating regularly throughout the day.
- Exercising regularly.
- Waiting an adequate amount of time after eating to exercise.
- Consuming probiotics.
- Limiting stress.
- Reducing alcohol consumption.
- Spreading out your protein consumption throughout the day.
Increase Protein in Pizza With These Toppings
If you’re looking to increase the amount of protein in your pizza, consider ordering it with these meaty toppings:
Pepperoni is a classic pizza topping because of its spicy, meaty flavor’s ability to perfectly complement the sweet tomato sauce and fatty cheese. It’s a safe bet when ordering for a large group and allows you to get in some extra protein. Each slice of pepperoni contains around 0.4 grams of protein, which is impressive considering how thin they are and how many you can find on a pizza.
Sausage is another popular topping that creates the ultimate savory experience. Whether you’re a fan of bigger slices that optimize flavor or crumbles that prioritize coverage and texture, you’re sure to get a decent amount of protein. The average sausage link contains 8.1 grams of protein.
If you’re looking for a savory topping but want to reduce your fat intake, consider ham. One slice of deli ham contains an average of 3.9 grams of protein, while about 5.1 grams are present in honey ham. Those feeling a little controversial can increase their protein intake by getting a Hawaiian-style pizza, as one slice of pineapple offers an additional 0.6 grams of protein.
Seeing as its salty, smoky flavor pairs well with so many other toppings, bacon is a pizza topping that’s here to stay. One slice provides an average of 3.9 grams of protein to help you meet your nutrition goals. Feel free to order a bacon pizza with toppings ranging from pineapple, black olives, and mushrooms to sauteed onions and fresh tomatoes.
If you’re looking to go full Italian, you can’t go wrong with ordering meatballs on your pizza. This topping with 4 grams or protein per meatball pairs well with fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and spaghetti-inspired sauce. You can also experiment with red pepper flakes, sliced bell peppers, onions, and ricotta cheese.
Other Protein-Packed Pizza Toppings
Meats are a clear-cut way to get more protein, but plenty of veggies are ideal toppings for this purpose. Here are other protein-packed pizza toppings to consider ordering:
Spinach is Popeye’s veggie of choice for reason, and it should be yours as well if you want to get more protein. Weighing in at 5.3 grams of protein per one cup, spinach adds much-needed freshness to many pizzas. Other benefits include its ability to reduce blood sugar levels and promote bone health.
Another green to consider adding to your pizza order is broccoli. This vegetable has 0.2 grams of protein per floret and creates a nice, crunchy texture when you cook it. It also contains essential nutrients like zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium.
The average mushroom contains 0.3 grams of protein. Aside from their nutritional benefits, mushrooms are often a go-to pizza topping because of their unique texture and savory flavor. It can serve as a good meat substitute for vegetarians or anyone else who isn’t a fan of traditional pepperoni, sausage, or ham.
Protein in Pizza Cheese
Cheese is often the star of the show when it comes to pizza toppings, but how much protein does it have? It depends on what kind of cheese you get. As one of the most common types, mozzarella is a soft, white cheese that comes from Italian buffalo or cow’s milk. In addition to being lower in calories and sodium than many other kinds of cheese, the full-fat variety contains 6 grams of protein per ounce.
Another popular pizza cheese is parmesan, a hard, aged cheese with a gritty texture and nutty flavor. One ounce has plenty of calcium and phosphorus in addition to 10 grams of protein. You’ll also be glad to hear that ricotta is a protein-packed cheese with 9 grams, making it ideal for those who want a pizza with a creamier texture.
Protein in Pizza Sauces and Bread
Pizza marinara sauce contains an average of 3.6 grams of protein, though sauces ranging from pesto and Buffalo sauce to Alfredo and white garlic sauce have different nutritional contents. The protein content in crust also varies depending on whether it’s a thin crust, deep dish, or somewhere in between. Pizza doughs with coconut flour, almond flour, or cauliflower offer extra protein.
We hope this guide helps you appreciate the power of pizza in a new light. If you’re looking to sneak in a little protein while enjoying a delicious dish, be sure to order from Pequod’s Pizza today. Dine in with us or take advantage of takeout or delivery in Chicago and Morton Grove. In addition to pizza, consider other protein options from our menu ranging from wings and meatball sandwiches to chicken tenders.