Friday night is pizza night in our house! Instead of ordering greasy takeout, I whip up my own healthier (and tastier) version with five simple ingredients.
Makes: 12 slices
Pizza dough (1 1/2 pounds)
28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
4 large garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Equipment: Pizza stone, pizza pan or jelly roll pan
I definitely rely on pre-baked pizza crusts from time to time but they’re usually loaded with sodium. For this recipe, fresh dough makes all the difference. Pick up some from your local grocer or pizzeria or make you own (it’s easier than you think). This Tyler Florence recipe is my favorite.
Canned tomatoes are a great choice when fresh ones aren’t in season. The canned version also contains higher amounts of the antioxidant lycopene. Pick the brand with the lowest amount of sodium (my go-to brand has a very reasonable 20 milligrams per serving).
Fresh garlic enhances the flavor of tomatoes without overpowering the whole pizza. Add more or less according to your taste. For a sweet and nutty flavor, try roasting the garlic first.
A small amount of light and creamy fresh mozzarella gives this recipe just enough gooey cheese – as well as protein and calcium.
Like garlic, basil adds flavor but virtually no calories. Learn more about the health benefits and why basil made our list of the Top 5 Herbs for Healthy Cooking.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a pizza stone, if using, in the oven to heat up. Roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface. Gently press into a large circle or rectangle approximately ¼-inch thick.
To prepare the sauce*, hand-crush tomatoes in to a medium bowl. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper; stir and set aside. Top dough with a thin layer of sauce, cheese and half of the basil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly. Top with remaining basil.
*Note: this recipes makes enough sauce for two pizzas — freeze half for your next pizza night.
Nutrition info per serving (2 slices):
Total Fat: 11 grams
Saturated Fat: 4.5 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 52 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Sodium: 590 milligrams
Cholesterol: 20 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »