Pizza Party! Easy (Sodium Free) Pizza Crust Recipe & A List of Low Sodium Pizza Toppings

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Pizza is a popular comfort food in our house: even our dog knows what “pizza party” means. Unfortunately, one of the vices of delivered, frozen, or semi-homemade pizza can be sodium: it’s in the processed crust, cheese (there are some low sodium options available), and (doesn’t have to be) in the tomato sauce.

We used to buy a semi-prepared crust, thinking that the sodium content wasn’t too high….and for some reason, we seemed to eat more of the home made pizzas (somewhere between half to a whole pizza per person).

…and then one day we looked at the nutrition facts panel, and did the math — it hit us like a ton of bricks: 3520 mg of sodium per pizza crust (= 440 mg per serving; and there are “8 servings” per bag – or one pizza).

WOW!  The semi-prepared dough’s sodium content was so high that it took my breath away for a minute (and that wasn’t even counting all the tasty morsels that we pile on top); it’s what prompted us to go the DIY method.
 

Pizza crust is actually pretty easy (and inexpensive) to make, there’s a handful of main ingredients; and our pizza crust recipe is “sodium free” (based on the ingredients we’ve sourced).  The nice part about it being sodium free is that sometimes, those “once in a while” toppings (or a little more cheese) might actually make it onto a small section of our pizza. For me, it’s all about finding a middle ground.

We make a whole wheat flour pizza crust (note: the whole wheat flour can be substituted), and we usually add herbs/spices to make it an herb pizza crust.  Below, we’ve listed a few of our favorite low sodium pizza combinations, as well as our list of low sodium pizza toppings — in case you happen to be looking for a little inspiration.  Happy Pizza Partying!

Some Low Sodium Pizza Combination Ideas

Vegetarian

Margherita: tomatoes, basil, mozzarella (low sodium)

Vegetarian: fresh artichoke, mushroom, roasted red pepper, roasted eggplant, mozzarella (low sodium), basil, tomato sauce

Curry: curry yoghurt sauce + green onions

Potato:  Very thinly sliced (roasted) potatoes, caramelized onions, rosemary,  tomato sauce

Non-Vegetarian
BBQ chicken: barbeque chicken, cilantro, red onion (+ a lower sodium bbq sauce drizzled on top),  mozzarella  (low sodium)

Dijon chicken:  roasted garlic, chicken tossed in Dijon mustard, mushrooms, red onions, mozzarella  (low sodium)

Curry chicken: curry yoghurt sauce, roasted chicken, red onion, pineapple, roasted garlic, cilantro

Garlic chicken: roasted garlic, roasted chicken, red onion, mushrooms, fresh basil, mozzarella  (low sodium), tomato sauce 

Our List of Low Sodium Pizza Toppings

- Arugula
- Basil and Low Sodium Basil Pesto
- Broccoli
- Chicken (precooked – barbequed, broiled, etc.)
- Cilantro
- Eggplant
- Garlic (roasted)
- Mint
- Mushrooms
- Mozzarella  (low sodium)
- Peppers: sweet/bell, jalapeño, pasilla chiles, pepper flakes, etc
- Pineapple
- Sage
- Shallots
- Spinach
- Rosemary
- Tomatoes and Low Sodium Tomato Sauce
- Onions: sweet Maui, red, yellow, white (caramelized)
- Zucchini

(Note: not all of these ingredients are dog friendly, just in case some pizza pieces happen to accidentally fall on the floor….)

Pizza Party! Easy (Sodium Free) Pizza Crust Recipe & A List of Low Sodium Pizza Toppings

Yield: 4 – 8 inch thin crusts

Pizza Party! Easy (Sodium Free) Pizza Crust Recipe & A List of Low Sodium Pizza Toppings

Ingredients

  • Tip:  Give it a zing and make it an herbal crust by adding extra flavor and rolling it into the dough: pesto (1 teaspoon per 8" pizza crust), a little Italian seasoning, or roasted garlic/caramelized onion
  •  
  • Ingredients for Core Pizza Dough
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast. (We use Bob's Red Mill because it's sodium free)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water (roughly 110 F/45 C)
  • 3  1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or white flour if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
  •  
  • Optional (but highly recommended):  Olive oil for brushing on the crust.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the warm water; let sit for approximately 10 - 15 minutes to proof.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the whole-wheat flour and the sodium-free baking powder together
  4. Once the yeast has proofed; add the flour mixture, one cup at a time - gently knead until the dough becomes a consistent texture (the dough should not be too sticky). If we've decided to add extra flavors/seasonings to the crust, we add them at this point and knead the seasonings into the dough
  5. For deep-dish pizza:  let the dough rise until it's roughly doubled in size (approx. 1 hour). Punch down the dough. Allow the dough to relax before rolling out (a minute or two).
  6. Tip:  An hour sounds like a long time, but in reality, if we start on the pizza crust first, there are other things we do in the meantime while the dough is proofing or rising (i.e., gathering or prepping all of the  toppings, finding our pizza screens, etc.).  The time goes by quickly, and the sequencing seems to work out just about right.  When we've been in a hurry or wanted to make thin crusted pizza, we've reduced the amount of time that we allowed the dough to rise (allowing it to bulk up a bit, it's turned out okay).
  7. Roll the dough out, and brush on the olive oil on the top and sides before layering on the sauce/toppings.
  8. Bake the pizza for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cheese/crust have turned golden brown and the crust has been fully cooked.
http://lowsodiumblog.com/2012/01/pizza-party-crust-recipe-toppings/

About Johanna

Johanna weaves together a love for global foods and wanderlust in Low Sodium Blog. Inspired by her foodie family, who met a number of serious health challenges and adapted to low sodium diets on a turn of a dime, Low Sodium Blog chronicles their (farm) source to table expeditions, culinary travel, low sodium recipes, healthy eating adventures, and more. She and her family live in Los Angeles, California, a great travel hub and culinary playground.

Keep in touch via Twitter or Facebook.

Comments

  1. My blood pressure has been creeping up so I’ve decided to attempt a low sodium diet. I haven’t paid much attention to sodium content before, so it’s been quite the wake up call to see just how easy it is to consume large amounts without ever using the salt shaker.

    Thanks for your blog. I look forward to reading more of it and putting some of it into practice.

  2. Alan – We’re so glad that you found us! :) Be sure to keep in touch! We’re all in this together, Johanna

  3. Thank you for the recipe ideas…. too have high blood pressure and have started on dash diet…I am amazed at the things that have sodium in them ……and just how much… My favorite salad dressing Hendricksons has 450/2 tablesppons! Who would have thought it????

  4. Betty – It’s our pleasure, we’re happy to help out. Salad dressings – sodium is kind of sneaky that way. The serving sizes can often do a good job of masking where the sodium hides… Good luck with your DASH diet and keep us posted!

  5. Hi,

    Just like Johanna, thank you for your recipes! My son was just diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome (kidney problems) and finding low sodium foods is like pulling teeth!!!!! When you go to restaurants they will give you calorie, protein, carbs and gluten, but not sodium!!! It’s very frustrating! So Thank you again for your help! :0)

  6. For thin crust pizza, do I let it rise for an hour (step 5 & 6)? I am a little confused. :)

  7. Hi Courtney – Sorry for the confusion. For thin crust pizza, I would most definitely still let the dough rise/proof.

    I like to think of the main textural difference as being something like eating an Indian flat-bread (roti) that’s been made without a leavening agent (and is therefore a bit more dense), versus biting into a thinner, more flaky pizza crust (made with yeast & proofed).

    I spent a week in Italy this past summer (eating & cooking around) – so I may have a pizza 2.0 post that I may write about at some point…

  8. Thanks for the Low Sodium recipes . Will defiantly put you in my bookmarks.

  9. What if u don’t have sodium free baking soda?

  10. Hi Jenna – It’s a good question.

    Please keep in mind that low-sodium diets (and a list of personally acceptable ingredients) differ greatly (for example, specific disease category, medication/interactions, personal allergies, etc – we wrote a blog post on how we made a personal list of low sodium ingredients here . Unfortunately, given the potential liability aspects (we’re not licensed dietitians), we’re unable to provide you with a list of potential ingredient substitutes (sorry!).

    My personal diet allows me to consume sodium-free baking soda, and I’ve found the ingredient to be quite useful (i.e., leavening process). Hope this helps.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am 38 and diagnosed with congestive heart failure; on me at all times for at least 3 months is a life vest because my enzymes ate high enough to give me a heart attack. At 30, I started eating red meat once a week and that greatly helped my good choleaterol( my bad stayed bad and they consider it a genetic problem, same as my current heart issue. Now I’m on a low sodium diet and my husband is following it with me, as is his boss! My age has scared people because this shouldn’t happen to someone so young. I cook all of our meals and bake a lot and I really use little salt…but now I’ve got to make sure to use little to none but still make tasty meals. Recipes like this helps — who doesn’t love pizza?!?! So thank you for it and the options!!!

  12. Artichokes are very high in sodium even fresh they have about 400 mg per serving. Fyi

  13. Hi there. I’m not sure where you’re sourcing your nutritional information? We rely on the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference values (which gets updated periodically); the current USDA nutrient database shows that one medium (raw) artichoke measures approx 120mg per 128g sized artichoke.
    http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2869?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=artichoke
    We normally wouldn’t go crazy and stack the pizza with a ton of artichokes – and we do use them as part of our personal pizza topping strategy.

    FYI – we’ve been out to tour the artichoke growers out in Castroville, CA (affectionately known as the “Artichoke center of the world”) to see firsthand how they’ve been grown/prepared. If you need additional tips on how to prepare fresh artichokes, the link to our adventure is here:
    http://lowsodiumblog.com/2011/05/artichokes-selecting-and-cooking-the-best-ones-and-garlic-aoili-inspired-dip/

    Good luck with making pizza and on your low sodium journey!

  14. Hi there. I made this two days ago and just had to make another one today. It was my first time making pizza dough from scratch and I must say I was a little intimated at first but second time around is a breeze. I actually made half vegetarian for me and the other half had the works for my husband and son. Both declared it the best pizza they’ve had! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Hi Gale, we’re glad to hear that you’ve become a low-sodium pizza aficionado! Happy holidays!

  16. Kari Miller says:

    Thank you so much for your blog ♡ my dad has congestive heart failure with a-fib and has been on this low sodium diet for 2yrs. (He’s only allowed 2000 mg a day) and now my uncle has had a stroke caused by high blood pressure and will also be on a very similar low sodium diet and I do all of the cooking. Thank you so much for the easy tips and tricks. Very much and appreciated…

  17. KatVonE says:

    My 7 year old has been begging for me to find a low sodium pizza that he can eat since being diagnosed with Menier’s disease (10 days ago). Thank you for this! You officially have a new follower!!!!!

  18. Quick question, I’m going to attempt the pizza and I’m assuming no pizza stone us necessary?!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bambi – we use a pizza stone because my husband owned one before we got married…you’ll have to let me know how it worked out. best regards, Johanna

  20. Do you have a recipe for low sodium alfredo sauce?

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