There are few foods that inspire such love and devotion as the gooey cheese and crispy crust of a good slice of pizza. Unfortunately, those who need to avoid gluten can find it tricky getting a crust that has the taste and texture of one made with gluten. However, with the growing number of people who are avoiding gluten there has been an explosion of pizza places that offer gluten free pizza as well as an abundance of recipes that you can make at home from various mixes, flour alternatives and even vegetables.
Major Chains that Offer Gluten Free Pizza
Many pizza restaurant chains are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon and offer some kind of gluten free pizza option at all or, at least, some of their locations. These include:
- Pizza Hut – 2,700 Pizza Hut locations offer gluten-free pizza made with Udi’s Certified Gluten-Free crust. This includes gluten-free pizza toppings that are prepared according to standards set by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).
- Domino’s – Domino’s offers a crust that is free of wheat, rye and barley and a gluten content of less than 20ppm. It is currently only available in a small size.
- California Pizza Kitchen – You can get an CPK pizza prepared on a gluten free crust and the chain also offers four of their specialty pizzas with gluten-free ingredients created under the strict standards of GIG.
- Chuck E. Cheese’s – The chain best known for children’s birthday parties and a gian mouse offers a gluten-free individual pizza and a gluten-free chocolate fudge cupcake. There are certified free of gluten and are served to guests in a sealed package for added safety.
- Hungry Howie’s Pizza – Hungry Howie’s Pizza has their own gluten-free crust made without wheat, barley or rye. It is only available in a small size.
Gluten Free Flours for Pizza Crust
If you don’t have a gluten free pizza restaurant near you or you just want to save money and have the satisfaction of making your own crust there are many options and flour types to experiment with. Here’s a quick guide to gluten free pizza crust flours:
- Rice Flour—Rice flour is one of the most versatile flour alternatives to wheat flour. It has a mild taste and texture that makes it come pretty close to the real thing. It is also fairly inexpensive compared to many other gluten-free flour alternatives.
- Potato Flour—Potato starch makes a thicker, denser crust due to the starch factor. It is also not prohibitively expensive but is more than rice flour. It can and should be combined with other flours to get a better consistency.
- Tapioca Starch/Flour— Tapioca starch is easy to work with and reasonably priced as well as being easy to digest. The only real downfall is that is no real nutritional value like fiber or protein.
- Almond Flour— You can buy this already made or grind your own unsalted almonds. It really is that easy. There are three main issues with almond flour. First, it is expensive and can be 3 and 4 times more than than other flours on this list. Secondly, it contains nuts (obviously) which poses an allergy risk for many people. Thirdly, almond flour is high in calories and fat. While it can be good for someone who is on a low carb diet, the added fat and calories for most of us simply aren’t going to be a good idea.
- Coconut Flour—Coconut flour is mostly good for a thin crust and can get quite crunchy. Coconut can be super finicky though and requires a lot of moisture in the form of egg, oil, cheese or other ingredients. Even with oil, it can still be quite dry and crumbly.
- Vegetable Crust: Both Zucchini and cauliflower can be ground in a food processor and mixed with cheese, coconut flour or other ingredients to make a gluten free pizza crust. This is also low in carbs and, depending on which recipe you use, can be low in calories. The main drawback here is that this can really only be a thin crust. The crust will serve as a sort of edible plate for your other ingredients but will never have the lift and rise of other flour-based recipes.
As you can see, even if you have to go without gluten you don’t have to go without pizza! There are plenty of restaurants that are now aware and catering to gluten intolerance and even more ways you can make your own gluten free pizza home.