Pizza: there is something about it that can make any diet cave. Everything from the gooey cheese to the tantalizing aroma makes this dinner an unhealthy favorite. But it's when a pizza is loaded with toppings that the calories really start to add up. With these four (easy) swaps and substitutes, you can save on calories without sacrificing taste — transforming your favorite pie into a diet delight.
Get Creative With Proteins
Sausage, pepperoni, and ground beef aren't the only ways to pack protein on pizza. Get creative with your choices. Eggs are a lower-calorie option filled with nutrients and found in delicious recipes like this asparagus ribbon pizza. For pizza on meatless Mondays, marinate tofu, layer smokey tempeh strips (Fakin' Bacon), or add your favorite beans for meat-free satisfaction. Also consider lean proteins like turkey and chicken.
Load Up on Seasonal Veggies
The next time you bake or order pizza, pile on the veggies! Go light on the cheese and fill up on seasonal favorites like squash, arugula, and tomatoes found on this eggplant arugula pizza. Marinating your veggies in a variety of spices will add additional flavor without additional calories, and even if your pizza already has some veggies, the more the merrier. For a quick meal, chop up some extra veggies and add them to your delivery or frozen pizza. Adding the extra fiber will keep you full, preventing you from reaching for an extra slice or splurging on leftovers as a midnight snack.
Keep reading for more pizza ideas!
Ditch the Cheese
Stretchy, gooey cheese is good, but it leads to grease and is loaded in cholesterol. Replacing the cheese alone could save you hundreds of calories and regret the next day. Losing the cheese won't feel like a sacrifice if you load up on low-calorie tomato sauce or explore new and unique pies like this roasted garlic beet pizza. If you can't bear to lose the cheese, then use it sparingly and opt for lower-calorie options like goat cheese.
Skip the Meat
Before you dismiss a meat-free pizza, think again! There are several ways you can get a similar taste and texture without the extra calories. Most meat options on traditional pizzas lack nutrition (think greasy pepperoni). Topping your pizza with capers adds only 20 calories but has a similar taste and texture to sausage. Using eggplant and mushrooms as toppings are low-calorie options that are also high in fiber and offer a similar texture to meat.