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Our Blog: February 9, 2022

Healthy Pizza Options + a Whole Grain Pizza Dough Recipe

GettyImages-92684411By Nicole Spain, Registered Dietitian

Pizza is always a favorite at our house. Whether we are ordering out or making our own, my kids love it. One fun way to involve your children is to make mini individual pizzas. For a quick dinner (usually ready in 20 minutes or less) we love to use mini-naan bread as our crust.

Place these on top of a lined baking sheet (4-5 will usually fit on one pan).  At home you can really use any toppings you want and it’s a great way to use up odds and ends in the fridge. Place all the toppings in separate bowls and let your children create their own pizza. I found that if I finely chop the vegetables, my kids will put a lot on. Their favorites are red sauce, spinach, red peppers, and mozzarella cheese. 

You can also buy pre-made pizza crust usually in the fresh or frozen food aisles. Or if you want to try making your own traditional crust, try this Grow Fit inspired recipe.  (Just note that you will need to make the dough a day or two ahead of time.)   

The Tastiest Whole Grain Pizza Crust 
Yields – Two 12-14 inch crusts

½ C plus 2 tbsp warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees F)
1 ½ packets active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C white whole wheat flour
½ C semolina flour from 100% durum wheat
2 tsp kosher salt
½ C buttermilk
1 tbsp olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting



  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the water, yeast, and sugar.Process for 2 1-second pulses. Let stand for 3 to 4 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Add the flours, buttermilk, and oil. Process for 10 to 20 1-second pulses, until the dough forms a soft ball. Process another 20 seconds. Stop and feel the dough with your hands. It should be soft and tacky. If it is too dry, add another tablespoon of water and process another 40-60 seconds, until you have a soft, smooth and slightly tacky ball. Place dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 8 hours or up to 2 days.
  3. Just before baking, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
  4. Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a ball.Cover both lightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 25-30 minutes.
  5. While the dough is resting prepare your toppings.
  6. Place a large bread or pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 or 525 F. (The hotter the oven, the crispier the crust).
  7. Lightly coat an un-rimmed baking sheet with cornmeal. Lightly flour a work surface area.
  8. After the dough has rested, transfer it to the floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into 12-14 inch circle.
  9. Place the unbaked crust on the prepared pan and arrange it so it lays flat and doesn’t hang off the edge.
  10. Top your pizza (try one of the tasty combos below).
  11. Slide the topped pizza off the pan and onto the hot pizza stone. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the edges are browned.

Recipe altered from:



Try one of these tasty combos!

  • Broccoli, fresh tomato, and turkey bacon
  • Roasted butternut squash and spinach
  • Grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, and basil
  • Zucchini, eggplant, and chicken sausage
  • Pesto, fresh mozzarella, and grape tomatoes
  • Portabella mushrooms, red onion, Italian salami, and balsamic vinegar drizzle
  • Taco meat, salsa, and cheddar cheese
  • Turkey meatballs, spinach, and marinara sauce
  • Scrambled eggs, diced peppers, chicken sausage, and cheddar cheese

Of course, there are the nights when everyone is too tired to cook and you get dinner delivered from a local pizzeria. Try to pick pizza toppings that are heart healthy like lean proteins and fruits or vegetables.   If there is an option to order a whole grain crust give it a try! Here are some suggested toppings that many pizzerias have available. And don’t be afraid to try something new. I was recently introduced to a dill pickle pizza and couldn’t believe how delicious it was!   

Heart Healthy Toppings:

Traditional Red Sauce

Canadian Bacon

Banana Peppers
Artichoke Hearts
Green Peppers
Roasted Red Peppers