The Lighter Side of Pizza, 10 Recipes to Try at Home

The Lighter Side of Pizza, 10 Recipes to Try at Home
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I firmly believe that pizza is one of the most universally loved foods. I could easily eat a slice every single day, without getting sick of it and that is a very real possibility when you live in a pizza capitol like New York. But my healthy conscience knows better so instead of indulging my cravings with a greasy pie, I’m always on the lookout for healthy, but equally delicious, alternatives.

The one thing I’ve found when it comes to lightening up is that there’s no better way to cut calories than to make it yourself. Cooking at home puts you in complete control of every ingredient from beginning to end. It may sound like a lot of work to whip up homemade pizza, but you’ll be happy you did when you have to put on your bikini this summer. Click through for 10 of my favorite at-home pizza recipes.

* Note: You can get refrigerated pizza dough at your local pizzeria or supermarket, like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

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Shrimp, Spinach and Basil Pizza
(291 calories, 7.1 g fat per slice; yields 8 slices)

1 (16-ounce) Italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (such as Boboli)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
1 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 cups chopped spinach
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated sharp provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place crust on a baking sheet; set aside.

Combine cornstarch, milk, and garlic in a small saucepan, stirring well with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pepper. Spread sauce over crust.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat; sauté shrimp 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Drain. Spoon shrimp mixture over sauce. Sprinkle with oregano and basil. Top with cheeses. Bake at 425° for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Fontina, Caramelized-Onion and Pancetta Pizza
(238 calories, 7.3 g fat for 2 slices; yields 2 nine inch pizzas)

Pizza Dough
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 ounces pancetta (Italian-style bacon) or Canadian bacon, chopped
8 cups sliced onion (about 3 large)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded fontina cheese, divided
Thyme sprigs (optional)
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Prepare the Pizza Dough according to directions.

While dough is rising the second time, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pancetta, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onions, thyme, salt, and white pepper; cook 25 minutes or until onions are browned, stirring frequently.

Preheat oven to 475°.

Brush each prepared pizza crust with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; top each with half of onion mixture. Sprinkle half of cheese over each pizza. Bake at 475° for 9 minutes or until crusts are crisp. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges. Garnish with thyme sprigs and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.

Thai Chicken Pizza
(355 calories, 9 g fat ; yields 6 servings)

20 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Place oven rack in the lowest position; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Roll out or stretch dough on a lightly floured surface into a rough 16-inch oval. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake on the bottom rack until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic in a small bowl until well combined.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add bell pepper, scallions and 1 tablespoon of the peanut sauce to the chicken; toss to combine.

Remove the crust from the oven; spread evenly with the remaining peanut sauce. Top with the chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Return the pizza to the oven and bake on the bottom rack until the crust is crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 11 to 13 minutes.

Grilled Pizza with Pesto, Tomatoes and Feta
(430 calories, 18 g fat for 1/4 of pizza; yields 4 servings)


1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
1/2 cup prepared pesto
4 ripe plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn

Heat grill to medium-high.

Meanwhile, place dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch round crust, about 1/4 inch thick. Place crusts on a floured baking sheet. Carry crusts and toppings out to the grill.

Lay crusts on grill (they won’t stay perfectly round). Cover grill and cook until crusts are lightly puffed and undersides are lightly browned, about 3 minutes.

Using tongs, flip crusts. Immediately spread pesto over crusts. Top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with feta and pepper. Cover grill and cook until the undersides are lightly browned, about 3 minutes more. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

Eggplant Parmasean Pizza
(337 calories, 8 g fat per slice; yields 5 servings)

3/4 cup marinara sauce
Refrigerated pizza dough
2 1/2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 plum tomatoes, sliced
3/4 pound eggplant, sliced and broiled
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves

Spread 3/4 cup marinara sauce on prepared dough, and sprinkle with 2 1/2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup).

Dollop 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese over pizza, and top with 3 sliced fresh plum tomatoes and 3/4 pound broiled sliced eggplant.

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese, and bake at 450° for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown.

Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves, cut into 5 slices, and serve.

Spicy Margherita Pizza
(266 calories, 7 g fat per slice; yields 5 servings)

3/4 cup arrabbiata sauce
Refrigerated pizza dough
1/2 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Spread arrabbiata sauce on prepared dough.

Sprinkle on smoked mozzarella cheese and part-skim mozzarella.

Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Top with fresh basil. Cut into 5 slices; serve.

Duck Pizza with Hoisin and Scallions
(139 calories, 4.4 g fat; yields 8 servings)

1 duck (or chicken) breast, fat trimmed
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound whole-wheat pizza dough
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Heat oven to 400°F.

Sprinkle duck with five-spice powder, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook duck until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Transfer skillet to oven; bake duck until outside is cooked but inside is rare, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 4 to 5 minutes. Thinly slice on the diagonal into 8 pieces, then cut each in half. Set aside.

Form dough into 8 even balls, then flatten to form 3-inch disks and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Spread hoisin sauce on crusts with a pastry brush. Top with spinach, cheese, bell pepper and duck.

Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Soppressata Pizza
(405 calories, 13.4 g fat per individual pizza; yields 8 mini pizzas)

3/4 cup grated lowfat Romano
3/4 cup grated lowfat fontina
2 cups bottled roasted red peppers
1 cup lowfat ricotta
40 ultrathin slices soppressata (or other Italian salami), about 4 oz
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Grilled Pizza Crust

In a bowl, mix Romano and fontina. Make pizza crust. While second side of each crust is grilling, spread 1/8 cheese mixture over cooked side of each crust.

Top with 1/8 peppers. Dollop 1/8 cup ricotta over each crust. Arrange 5 slices soppressata on each pizza. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 tsp parsley.

Rotate 3 to 4 minutes until bottom is evenly golden brown.

Simple BBQ Chicken Pizza
(244 calories, 6.5 g fat per slice; yields 8 servings)

Boboli Original Italian Pizza Crust, 12 inch (without the sauce)
4 tbsp Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe BBQ Sauce
3-7 ounces cooked chicken breast.
1/2 cup chopped or sliced onions, any color
2 ounces sweet roasted red peppers, chopped
1 cup Kraft Italian Five Cheese

Preheat oven to 450F.

Heat Boboli for 6 minutes and remove.

Add sauce, chicken, sweet peppers. Sprinkle with Cheese.

Put back in oven 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and pizza heated through.

Guilt-Free Mediterranean Pizza
(205 calories, 7.4 g fat; yields 8 servings)

1 Whole Wheat pizza dough
2 Turkey sausage links, casings removed
1/4 cup fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, rinsed and drained and sliced thin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup fresh baby spinach
Italian seasoning (about 1-2 tsp)

Using a small saucepan, heat olive oil with minced garlic on a low heat for just about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor.

Cook turkey sausage, cutting into small pieces. Set aside. Prepare pizza dough, as directed.Brush oil onto the pizza dough.

Add cooked turkey sausage, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Moisten spinach and place on top of the pizza. Add a small drizzle of olive oil.

Bake at 425F between 15-20 minutes; check your oven.

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