June 06, 2012

Let’s face it—pizza, by its very nature, is a crowd pleaser. Kids and adults alike will gladly chow down slice after slice, making it the perfect easy option for a gathering.

The only problem is that a lot of pizza places serve up fat- and calorie-laden slices with little to no fiber, making even the best hostess feel a little iffy about putting it out for guests. However, done right, pizza can be not only a healthy option, but a simple one too! I took to the kitchen this week to makeover this classic Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Pizza recipe, lowering the calories and fat while increasing the fiber with a whole grain crust!

Follow the three simple substitutions below and you’ll have yourself a healthy homemade pizza packed with fiber—not fat!

  • 1 (4-ounce) sweet Italian sausage link (For the Italian sausage link, I substituted 1 (4-ounce) Italian chicken sausage link, such as Al Fresco, for a leaner protein option)
  • 1 (14-ounce) prepared pizza crust (such as Boboli) (In place of the original plain pizza crust, I used a 100% whole wheat thin crust, also from Boboli, to increase the fiber and decrease the calories)
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (To further decrease the fat and calories in the recipe, I used 3 oz. shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese instead of the part-skim variety)

This recipe took only minutes to pull together and tasted great, too! Light but satisfying, the chicken sausage, thin crust and fat-free cheese helped to keep this pizza from weighing me down, and the fiber from the whole grain crust provided each slice with more staying power than the original ever would have. This pie is a definite must for your next party!

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