If you check the frozen pizza aisle, you’ll see many newcomers to the gluten-free arena. Although gluten-free packaged foods have a bad reputation for lacking flavor, some food companies have stepped up to develop very tasty products. Here is a look at five frozen gluten-free pies.
Cheese or margherita pizza was tasted, depending on availability. Each pizza was rated on a scale from 1 to 5 (5 being highest) on flavor, texture, ingredients and nutrition. For frozen pizza, calories, carbs, fiber, fat and sodium are the nutrients that can make or break the nutrition quality.
Cost: $1.33 per ounce (sold as single 6-ounce serving)
Per serving (one 6-ounce pie): Calories 460; Fat 28 g (Saturated 3 g); Sodium 680 mg; Carbohydrate 46 g; Fiber 4 g
Healthy Eats Take: The rice crust is mighty tasty, with a nice crunch, but the pizza itself is a bit bland. The dairy-free cheese had a tough time melting, even at the high oven temperature recommended. The calories and fat are on the higher side of the bunch, but paired with a side green salad and calorie-free beverage (like water or unsweetened iced tea) this can be part of a healthy eating plan. Amy’s also has more fiber per serving than the other brands, though it’s tough to tell from where it comes from.
Cost: $1.08 per ounce (sold as single 6.17-ounce serving)
Per serving (one 6.17-ounce pie): Calories 410; Fat 19 g (Saturated 8 g); Sodium 660 mg; Carbohydrate 48 g; Fiber 3 g
Healthy Eats Take: With a bland flavor and mushy dough, this wasn’t a favorite. The calories, fat and sodium are reasonable for a meal, but the saturated fat is higher than some of the other brands.
Cost: 75 cents per ounce (sold as 10-ounce pie)
Per serving (5 ounces): Calories 330; Fat 16 g (Saturated 7 g); Sodium 330 mg; Carbohydrate 37 g ; Fiber 2 g
Healthy Eats Take: This tasty pizza is very flavorful, with lots of oregano in every bite. The dough is made of a combination of brown rice and potato starch, and is mighty tasty. The sodium is also much lower than the rest.
Cost: 61 cents per ounce (sold as 16.3-ounce pizza)
Per serving (5.43 ounces): Calories 370; Fat 15 g (Saturated 4 g); Sodium 650 mg; Carbohydrate 53 g; Fiber 3 g
Healthy Eats Take: This dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free pizza has a crunchy, flavorful crust, but the non-dairy cheese doesn’t melt well and has a bland flavor. The calories, fat and saturated fat are well-balanced for a meal (paired with a soup or salad), but the sodium and carbs are on the higher side — especially since the serving size is smaller than that of some of the other brands.
Cost: 50 cents per ounce (sold as a 24-ounce pizza)
Per serving (4.8 ounces): Calories 390; Fat 22 g (Saturated 7 g); Sodium 420 mg; Carbohydrate 30 g; Fiber 1 g
Healthy Eats Take: Although the serving size is the smallest of all the brands, the flavor is tremendous and is reminiscent of gluten-filled pizza. The crust is tapioca starch, milk, eggs and canola oil and has a crunchy mouthfeel. As this pizza is sold as a 24-ounce pie, it’s a cost-friendly way to feed a family — with or without gluten allergies.
Honorable Mention: Freschetta’s 4 Cheese Medley Pizza
One serving of this pizza (one-quarter of the pie) has 330 calories, 13 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and 680 milligrams of sodium. Although the sodium is on the high side, it’s one of the tastiest gluten-free pizzas around. The crust is made from a combo of rice flour, rice starch and tapioca starch and has a fabulous mouthfeel.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.