Smart ways to make pizza more healthy

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These days, Dominos just

doesn’t

cut it. We created this epic list of all the healthiest pizza fixin’s, so you can build exactly what you—and your body—wants. We guarantee you’ll create something that’ll cut out unwanted calories and

top any pizza parlor in town!

And don’t stop before you get to the bottom: We’re hiding five super-special Greatist favorite pizza recipes down there. But first, some pizza-prepping tips:

  • Keep the oven HOT. Like, at least 450 degrees, hot — 500 is even better. That way you get the crispy crust without the soggy middle.
  • Don't overload on the toppings. That's a thin little base you got there—treat it well. Add only a thin layer of each goodie and keep heavy items to a minimum.
  • Bake or toast the crust before adding the good stuff. Nothing's worse than a soggy middle! Make sure it can support the toppings before loading them on.
  • Be careful with moist toppings and cheeses. If the tomatoes are juicy when they get layered on, they'll transfer that moisture to the crust. Keep these toppings to a minimum, and try to remove any excess liquid.
  • Try cooking it on the grill! This method adds a great smoky flavor and delicious grill marks.
  • Buy premade crust (if you want!). No need to go gourmet chef on us. In fact, many small pizza parlors will sell their handmade dough fresh for you to bake at home. Give it a try.

It All Starts With Crust

  • Whole-wheat flour. Forgo the traditional white-flour crust and make your own whole-wheat doughfor some extra protein and fiber and a yummy, nutty flavor.
  • Thin sandwich bread. Take your favorite deli flat and swap the cold-cults for your sauce and toppings of choice. (Just give the bread a little toast before topping to avoid any sogginess.)
  • Tortillas. Rice and beans aren't the only ingredients that can top a tortilla. Make your own whole-wheat tortilla for a perfect thin-crust alternative.
  • Pita bread. Pita pockets are the perfect size for a personal pizza, and the whole-wheat variety adds an extra nutritional kick. 
  • English muffins. With all the nooks and crannies, an English muffin pizza crust can do no wrong. They toast up perfectly in the oven and are great for making mini-pizzas for a light lunch. (Or as a late night snack!)
  • Matzo. Think of this as the ultimate thin-crust pizza. Super simple, super crispy, and super delicious.
  • Cauliflower. For a lighter option, forgo the extra carbs and turn cauliflower into a healthful, delicious pizza crust. Talk about sneaking in some veggies!
  • Zucchini. Similar to cauliflower, zucchini is easy to make into a lean, green, pizza crust machine.  
  • Summer squash. Enjoy yellow more than green? Than swap out zucchini for summer squash for another veggie-filled crust.
  • Portobello. These shrooms are a perfect bed for any pizza sauce and toppings, no carbs required.
  • Quinoa. This super-seed isn't only great on top of salads or in soups. Cook up your own quinoa crustfor a nutty, protein-packed alternative to classic pizza dough.
  • Leftover rice. Yep, another use for that leftover rice from dinner last night. Add just a little flax seed meal and Italian seasoning, and you've got an easy, inventive crust.

And Then There's the Sauce

  • Tomato. Clearly, the classic. Make your own pizza sauce to avoid store-bought versions that can be packed with sugar. We guarantee it'll taste loads better, too!
  • Sliced tomatoes. Go minimalist and slice up some tomatoes as your pizza sauce. Less fuss and just as much flavor.
  • Garlic coconut cream. For a healthified white pizza, try this roasted garlic coconut sauce—simply garlic cloves, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. This adds a touch of sweetness to a classically savory dish.
  • Salsa. Kick the tomato base up a notch and use salsa as the spread! This'll add a spicy kick to the pizza pie, and is a great start to the perfect Mexican pizza.
  • Pesto. Go green with a basil pesto sauce on top of the crust. Made with nuts and fresh basil, thissneaky sauce adds some healthy greens and omega-3's to bump up nutritional value.
  • Pumpkin. They're not just for carving! Pumpkin puree is a creative addition to traditional pizza sauce to add some sweetness and fun fall flavor.
  • Garlic paste. Going super simple? Make your own garlic paste (with only some quick chopping!) and spread evenly over the crust. Warning: Garlic breath will follow (but it's so worth it).
  • Mushroom tapenade. Think outside the box! Try whipping up a mushroom tapenade as the base to a perfect rich, savory pizza. A nice thin layer will leave plenty of room for other toppings and cheese.
  • Olive tapenade. Not a huge fan of mushrooms? Go classic with an olive tapenade for a similar, salty spread on any pizza crust. (This works especially well with Mediterranean-inspired toppings like fresh tomato, feta, and oregano.)
  • Hummus. For a Middle-Eastern flare on this favorite Italian dish, swap the sauce for creamy hummus. The chickpeas will add extra fiber and protein and satisfy any taste bud. Try topping this creative sauce with freshly shredded veggies!
  • Carrot puree. Stay with us here: Pureed carrots create a sweet sauce-like spread that's sure to impress anyone digging in.
  • Refried bean dip. Transform a can of beans into a tasty spread for any pizza crust. Go with traditional re-friend beans or mash up plain old black beans—the possibilities are endless. This is another great base for Mexican pizza.
  • Onion and garlic jam. This recipe caught our eye and we couldn't resist. This unique, sweet and savory jam could be the pizza "sauce" you've always been looking for! Plus, it's clearly super chic. We suggest topping with a few dollops of goat cheese and some fresh arugula.
  • White bean spread. Take this spin on traditional hummus for something super smooth and packed with antioxidants. Add some sliced tomatoes and Parmesan cheese for the perfect late-night snack.
  • BBQ sauce. To create your own barbeque-based pizza without the extra sugar, start with a homemade sauce. It'll add a spicy tang any pizza lover will enjoy.
  • Peanut sauce. To really switch things up, whip up a healthy peanut sauce. Try topping with some grilled chicken, cilantro, and bean sprouts for an Asian-inspired pizza dish.
  • Ricotta cheese with honey and cinnamon. This one goes great on sweet or savory pizza. Simply spread over the crust and top with whatever you like.
  • Dark chocolate spread (or Nutella). Okay, this one's purely for a decadent dessert pizza. But even healthy eaters need some sweets once in a while!

For the full list of 74 smart ways to make pizza more healthy — with topping choices of protein and veggies or even fruit — as well as better cheese choices, go to Greatist.com.