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How Many Calories are in Pizza?

pizza istock

Who doesn’t love pizza? I bet it hits the top ten list for many of you! It’s a quick, delicious and inexpensive meal. And so many varieties – thin crust, thick crust, deep dish, whole wheat, topped with veggies, meat or extra cheese. But is it a healthy option and can you fit it into your eating plan if you are watching your weight and carbs?  I believe that all foods fit and pizza certainly can fit into a healthy diet. But I often get asked about the carbs and calories in pizza by many of my clients. I tend to be skeptical about the nutritional content  posted online so decided to do a little investigative work. Read on to get my findings!

How Many Calories are in Pizza? | Martha McKittrick Nutrition

Are the calories in pizza posted online accurate?

The calories in pizza will vary tremendously depending on the size, amount of cheese, dough and thin crust pizza and saladtoppings. Pizza slices sold in NYC pizzeria’s tend to be jumbo sized. So when I see the calories listed as 260 in my clients food logs on myfitnesspal or Loseit, I became quite skeptical. And googling how many calories are in pizza produce similar lowball results. 150 calories for a slice? I doubt it.  So I went into dietitian mode and whipped out my food scale. You know what comes next – the dissection! (pic is of me carbing up on a personal pizza at Cinema Cafe the day before the Gran Fondo, a 100 mile bike race).If yo

How to determine the calories in a slice of pizza

If you REALLY want to know, the best way to get a ballpark idea of the calories in pizza is to weigh the cheese and bread separately. You will need a food scale. In general:
– Mozzarella cheese has 80 calories per ounce. Most of the pizza I analyzed was not heavy on the cheese
– Bread has about 80 calories and 15 grams of carbs per ounce
– Fatty meat (pepperoni, sausage or fried chicken cutlet) contains 75 – 125 calories when added to a slice
– Sauce tends to be quite low in calories. Most of slices I analyzed contained minimal sauce

Watch my pizza dissection video

My dissection as seen in the video:
– Typical NYC slice (9 ½ inches) = 450 calories
– Thicker square Sicilian slice = 600 calories
* that video is a few years old … but I don’t have the energy to reshoot it … plus I doubt the pizza recipes have changed!

woman with pizza

Calories in a slice of pizza from a pizzeria

  • Famiglia sells your typical NYC slice with a thinner crust (but not technically “thin” crust. It is a 9 ½ inch slice) It is not very cheesy.
    – Calories printed on take-out menu: 340 calories
    – Calories printed on menu board in pizza shop: 207 calories
    ** My dissection yielded different info: 410 calories and 50 grams of carbs  (3.25 oz bread, 1.5 oz cheese, .25 oz tomato sauce). So you can see how I’m skeptical on the calories!
  • Famiglia in the airport. For some reason, these slices are much thicker. Maybe the passengers flying need more fuel?
    – Airport cheese pizza slice as listed on menu board: 430 calories
    – Cheese & spinach pizza slice on menu board: 550 calories
    – Cheese, chicken & broccoli slice on menu board: 620 calories
    **Unfortunately I did not have my food scale handy when I was at the airport, however I wouldn’t be surprised if the calories were a bit higher than listed as the slices were larger than the ones I dissected.

Calories in thin crust pizza

  • Pintailes. NOTE: this place has closed – however my dissection may help you for other places with very thin crust pizza. This is a very thin crust pizza. I decided to check it out because one of my clients told me she heard it was only 500 calories for the whole 12 inch pie. I didn’t find any calories listed online, but was highly skeptical. So I decided to order it in and dissect it. It really was paper thin with minimal sauce and cheese. Wouldn’t order it again as it wasn’t very good.  Here is my dissection:
    8 oz bread, 4 oz cheese, 1 oz sauce for total of about 1000 calories and 130 grams of carbs for the whole pie  – therefore 170 calories and 21 grams of carbs for a 6” inch slice (1/6th of the pie)
  • Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Englewood, NJ. I usually get the 16″ thin crust with cheese and arugula. It’s thin but not paper thin with not too much cheese calories in thin crust pizzaand a lot of arugula. My boyfriend and I went there last week. I brought my food scale from NYC and began the dissection. Luckily my boyfriend didn’t seem too embarrassed! Here is what I found:
    2.2 oz bread, .7 oz cheese. The arugula doesn’t count. This comes to 225 calories and 35 gm carbs for an 8″ slice from a 16″ pizza.
    3 pics of me on the right is me at Anthony’s. I had 3 slices in case you were curious! The pic on the top is the Anthony’s 16″
  • Pizza Park. This is one of my favorite pizza shops … also very convenient as it is on the way home! In addition to typical pies, they also make a whole wheat pizza with a moderately thin crust, minimal cheese and loaded with veggies. Here is my dissection of a slice of Vegetarian pizza slice : 7.25 oz total, but only 3.5 oz bread, .75 oz cheese, a little sauce and the rest was veggies. Calories per slice is approximately 400 calories, 55 gm carbs with at least 1 ½ servings of veggies. It is really filling and nutritious from the whole wheat crust and veggies.
  • Famous Original Rays Pizza. I did not get a chance to dissect it but found this online – Famous Rays of Greenwich Villag 8 1/2 oz slice 613 calories 75 grams fat  (carbs not listed)
  • Fresh Direct thin crust pizza. 1/4 of a 12″ inch pizza has 320 calories and 30 grams of carb. (see pic)

    Bottom line

    Pizza can make a great lunch or dinner. Order thin crust or whole when possible. Avoid adding fatty meats. Add vegetables to make it even more nutritious. I’d suggest to also order a salad on the side. Eat slow and savor it! Now that you know the carbs and calories in pizza, you can plan accordingly.

    What kind of pizza do you like?

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2 Comments

  1. Ciara Whitchurch on August 6, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    you are a SAINT. now i can fit pizza into my calorie intake for the day (luckily i have a liberal 2000 calories available but that being said, it can seem like a minuscule amount after a while)

    • Martha Mckittrick RD on August 8, 2019 at 9:45 am

      yes – pizza can fit into a healthy meal plan!

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