For most of us, pizza is most definitely not the first food that comes to mind when we think of the keto diet.
Any follower of the keto diet will tell you that with the high carbohydrate and fat content of pizzas, just a slice or two can be a serious setback to your diet. It's for this very reason that many people on keto diets often swear off eating pizza altogether.
But did you know that with vegetable crusts, pizza doesn’t necessarily have to be bad for your keto diet? In fact, by using a keto pizza sauce, you can continue to enjoy your pizza nights without any of the guilt. In this post, we take a look at whether pizza sauce in general is keto-friendly and review some of the best low carb pizza sauce ideas that you can try out for your next pie.
Is Pizza Sauce Keto Friendly?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is that it depends. After all, the keto diet is focused on reducing carbohydrate consumption, typically to the point where it makes up just 5–10% of your diet. Because of this, the amount of carbohydrates in your pizza sauce will determine whether it’s keto friendly.
Classic red marinara pizza sauces are typically high in carbohydrates and unsuitable for keto diets because they usually use canned tomatoes, which often contain added sugar to enhance their taste.
White pizza sauces also often contain whole milk, which are high in sugars in the form of lactose, making them unsuitable for individuals on a keto diet.
Best Low Carb Pizza Sauces
Nonetheless, while traditional red and white pizza sauces may not be keto-friendly, there are low carb alternatives that you can consider topping your pizzas with. Here are some of the best low carb pizza sauces you can try out:
1. Tomato Paste-Based Red Sauce
A great way to turn a red sauce keto-friendly is by replacing the canned tomatoes in your red sauce recipe with tomato paste and extra-virgin olive oil, such as in this recipe by Wholesome Yum. Tomato paste provides concentrated flavor without any of the added sugars that you would typically find in canned tomatoes.
By mixing olive oil with the tomato paste, you give it a more spreadable texture that you can easily top your pizzas with. You can also add the same spices and herbs that you would to your regular pizza sauce, enabling you to achieve the same flavor. If you find that your sauce is too thick, you can also add water to make it more easily spreadable.
If you do go for a store-bought red sauce: some tomato sauces have more carbs than others, so keep a close eye on ingredients.
2. Heavy Cream and Cheese-Based White Sauce
For a white sauce that is keto-friendly, you can find recipes that replace milk with heavy cream and cheese. Heavy cream and cheese are both keto-friendly as they contain low amounts of carbohydrates.
A common white-sauce recipe for a keto-friendly white pizza starts with melting cream cheese and combining it with heavy cream, parmesan and olive oil to make it more spreadable over a pizza. While such a white pizza sauce may be low in carbohydrates, it might still be high in calories.
So ensure that you don’t use too much sauce when making your pizza.
3. Cream Cheese or Mascarpone Frosting
For a fun, sweet take on a pizza, consider making a dessert pizza with a cream cheese or mascarpone frosting.
This recipe by Low Carb Spark contains just 4g of net carbs per serving, making it a great option for a dessert pizza sauce. Top your pizza with sugar-free chocolate or fresh fruits to achieve the best keto-friendly result.
Don’t Forget the Keto Pizza Crust
Of course, no pizza is complete without a crust and the best way to ensure that your pizza night remains keto friendly is by using a keto-friendly pizza crust.
Traditional pizza crusts made with flour typically contain large amounts of carbohydrates, making them unsuitable for individuals on a keto or low-carb diet. For a low-carb option, check out KBosh’s keto pizza crusts, which contain just 3g or less of net carbs per serving.
KBosh’s keto pizza crusts are made using nutrient-rich vegetables and are naturally gluten-free, offering you plenty of health benefits while still enabling you to enjoy your favorite pizzas. You can also choose from 9 different base ingredients, ranging from cauliflower to kale, so there’s something to suit your taste buds.
KBosh even offers a chocolate zucchini keto crust option that’s great for dessert pizzas.