A while back I had to test out a nutrition plan for one of the newspapers I write for. The article was on whether you really could eat more and lose weight – spoiler alert. you can!
Anyway, as part of that piece, I worked with an amazing dietician called Alicia Edge and her team at Compeat Nutrition. The plan gives you meals to choose from each day – and yes, you do eat a LOT. But there was one idea they gave me that has become a regular part of my weekly meals even though I’m no longer following the rest of the diet, and that was their super quick Pitta Bread Pizza Recipe (or Pita Bread Pizza recipe if you’re in the US).
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I now make this at least once a week – and have decided it’s actually nicer than all of the pizzas we get delivered (get the oven on in advance and you can also make it faster than Uber Eats can deliver too!).
It’s also considerably lower in calories than anything you can order from the takeaway.
Before we get to the recipe though, here’s a shocking bit of news.
Pizza is a Health Food
No honestly, there’s research studies and everything!
The reason is that pizza actually contains a few extremely healthy ingredients.
The first is that tomato sauce that you add to the top. This is a potent source of the antioxidant lycopene that has been linked to improved heart health. and according to researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, pizza topping is one of the main sources of lycopene in the American diet.
Next up, oregano. It’s what gives pizza it’s distinctly Italian taste and if you’re wanting to make a pizza with health benefits you should be using it too.
Oregano is packed with vitamin K (a nutrient linked to good bone and heart health), heaps of antioxidants – and also has some antibacterial activity.
It’s also been directly shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, and with inflammation contributing to most modern diseases, the more you can do to fight your levels the better. Even just a teaspoon of it provides benefits.
If you use a wholemeal pitta bread for your pizza base, the antioxidant levels go up even higher.
The Downsides of Pizza
Now, not everything in the pizza garden is super-healthy.
Let’s talk cheese. It’s a high-fat food – and saturated fat at that. This also means it contains plenty of calories.
And while there is some evidence (which I like to firmly believe) that the fats in dairy products are potentially less harmful than the saturated fats in some other foods, it’s a good idea to go easy on the cheese – especially if you’re using this recipe as part of your weight loss efforts.
The good news is because pitta pizza is very thin and crispy, you don’t actually need a lot of cheese on top for it still to taste good.
Now, let’s talk pepperoni, ham, bacon, chorizo and all those other processed meats that pizza is so often topped with.
We don’t like to damn foods here on NYNHB, but we do have to mention that a fair bit of recent evidence does seem to suggest that high levels of processed meats have negative effects on health and therefore you should cut back on them.
If you do use them, only add a small amount (again the small size of the pitta base actually makes that more likely) – or just keep your pizza veggie.
Why Pitta Bread Pizza is Awesome
Using pitta bread as a pizza base is genius for a number of different reasons.
For starters, it’s so much quicker to make than tackling pizza dough (and a darn sight less messy).
It also starts you off with a super low-calorie base. The 7cm ones I use are only 86 calories.
It also means your portion is controlled – no, thinking you’ll have two bits but then eating four because you can – and, because the surface area is limited, you can’t actually add too many toppings which again helps you cut back the calories you consume.
The base is super thin and crispy and it’s just delicious. The Boyfriend has also used tortilla wraps which makes things even crispier. You can also use flatbreads or Lebanese bread.
If you then add veggie toppings and just a small handful of cheese (I cheat even further and use ready grated low-fat Mozzarella to save even more time). The whole thing then only contains about 200 calories – I serve it with a huge tomato and cucumber salad with some oil and vinegar dressing and am full.
The Boyfriend, who has a bigger appetite, makes two pizzas.
So, now you’ve read WHY you should eat the pizza, here’s how to make the pizza – and trust me, it couldn’t be easier.
Also, as you can see from the picture of my end result…I am not a chef and I’m definitely not a food stylist – but I always say if I can make something taste good, anyone can!
15-Minute Pitta Bread Pizza Recipe
Ingredients per pizza
One 7-10 cm pitta bread – ideally wholemeal (extra antioxidants)
1 tbsp tomato paste
A handful of chopped vegetables – ie onion, mushroom, red pepper, sweetcorn, spinach – I usually use whatever is left in the fridge.
A sprinkle of dried oregano
A few jalapenos or chilli flakes if you like spice
12-25g low-fat mozzarella – grated (or cheat like me and use ready grated).
- Preheat the oven to 220c, fan-forced.
- Put the pitta base on a pizza crisper or other baking tray if you don’t have one.
- Cover the pitta with the tomato paste and sprinkle on the oregano.
- Add the other veggies toppings and jalapenos if using
- Sprinkle on the cheese.
- Place in the oven near the top for 10-12 minutes. Do check on it at about 8 minutes though. It cooks very fast in a hot oven.
So, there you have it – the perfect Pitta Bread Pizza recipe made in 15 minutes. Trust me, you’ll love it.
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.