Pepperoni pizza is popular for those who are craving a hot and delicious pizza pie, but how nutritious is it? This article will reveal how many calories in a slice of pepperoni pizza you intake and the nutrients you’ll absorb when devouring a regular pepperoni pizza slice.
As someone who’s made and enjoyed hundreds (if not thousands) of pizzas, I’m familiar with this dish’s ingredients and variations. To discover the average pepperoni pizza calorie count, I decided to compare major pizza brands and sizes and common ingredients used to make pepperoni pizza.
After all, the calories in a slice (or entire pie) vary depending on the pizza’s size, ingredients, and brand. For example, a thin crust pizza slice of NY pepperoni pizza differs significantly from a hunk of saucy Chicago-style pepperoni pizza.
Additionally, frozen pizzas available from your local grocery store aren’t going to contain the same calories or ingredients as a fresh-made pie made at home. So, to determine how many calories you’re consuming per slice, you’ll need to consider these factors.
Without further ado, let’s discover how many calories there are in a slice of pepperoni pizza!
How Many Calories in a Slice of Pepperoni Pizza?
Determining the precise amount of pepperoni pizza slice calories can be challenging, but it’s not impossible! To find out how many calories you’re consuming each time you finish off a slice, you’ll need to consider:
- Slice size
- Pizza type
- Crust base
Let’s briefly review these factors to discover how they impact how many calories there are in a slice.
Not all pepperoni pizzas are the same size. The smallest tend to measure about 8 inches in diameter, while the largest can measure 24 inches or more.
As you might imagine, the size of a pizza affects the size of its slices.
While you could slice a large pizza into dozens of slices to create thinner pieces, most pizzas are cut into six to eight slices. Consequently, the larger the pizza, the heftier the slices.
And the larger the slices, the more calories you consume with each slice. One XL slice of pizza could be nearly as high in calories and carbs as an entire personal pizza!
So, if you’re looking to cut down on your caloric intake, you may want to opt for a personal-sized pizza or a small-sized pie. But, of course, the size of a pizza (and its slices) isn’t the only thing that influences calorie amount. The pizza type also plays a role.
There are several types of pizza, most of which are differentiated based on two key qualities:
- Crust thickness
- Crust shape
The number of calories in a pepperoni pizza varies depending on these qualities. For example, thin-crust pizzas will almost always contain fewer calories and carbohydrates than hand-tossed or pan pizzas.
Additionally, New-York-Style pizza, with its floppy triangular structure that folds for easy-to-eat bites, is typically slightly less calorie-rich than a deep-dish Chicago-style pizza that requires a knife and fork.
Crust shape can also impact how many calories there are in a slice of pizza. After all, traditional triangle slices often have more surface area than smaller square-cut slices. Consequently, enjoying your pizza as tiny squares or rectangles may help you intake fewer calories.
Traditional pizzas feature a glutinous, flour-based dough crust. While this type of crust develops into a crisp-yet-chewy base that holds the pizza’s sauce, cheese, and toppings, it’s a carb-rich ingredient that provides a ton of calories.
For that reason, many pizza restaurants and frozen pizza brands are branching out into other types of crusts. Two of the most popular alternatives include gluten-free dough and cauliflower dough.
Both of these options tend to contain fewer calories and carbs than standard pizza dough. However, this isn’t always the case, as pizza made with cauliflower or gluten-free dough can still be packed with fat and sodium if it’s loaded with cheese and meaty toppings!
Nutrition of Pepperoni Pizza Ingredients
One of the ways to determine how many calories are in a slice of pepperoni pizza is to analyze each ingredient used to create the pizza. Typically, these ingredients include:
- Other meat toppings
By calculating the calories of each of these elements, you can better determine the number of calories per pepperoni pizza slice.
Pizza Dough Nutrition and Calories
The first thing to consider is the type of dough you’re using. Thin crust pizzas utilize less dough than hand-tossed or deep dish pizzas, making them slightly lighter on calories.
For example, a pepperoni pan pizza might reach just under 400 calories per slice, while a thin crust pepperoni pizza generally contains about 210 calories per slice.
So, if you’re looking to reduce your caloric intake while chowing down on a pepperoni pizza pie, you might want to opt for a thinner crust. You might also want to select a pizza with cauliflower dough, as these pies often contain fewer carbs and calories than traditional flour-dough pizzas.
But you should also pay close attention to sauce amount, especially if you tend to gravitate toward cream-based sauces.
Pizza Sauce Nutrition and Calories
Pizza sauce is typically a tomato-based sauce, but crushed tomatoes aren’t the only ingredient used to create pizza sauce. Most of these marinara-like sauces also contain a hefty amount of olive oil, salt, and dried herbs.
Some of these elements (primarily olive oil) contain a decent amount of calories. Those hoping to reduce the calories they consume while eating pepperoni pizza may want to opt for light sauce pies to help reduce caloric intake.
This is especially crucial for those who enjoy alfredo or white sauces, as these tend to contain butter, milk, and other high-fat dairy products. For example, the average cup of marinara sauce might have 130 calories, but a cup of alfredo sauce (also called white sauce) contains an average of 530 calories!
Of course, a pepperoni pizza’s sauce isn’t the primary source of calories. Besides the dough, cheese is the ingredient most responsible for increased calorie consumption.
Mozzarella Cheese Nutrition and Calories
Every bite of a slice of pepperoni pizza should be cheesy, saucy, and rich with crisp pepperoni slices. But some pies are a little cheesier than others, a quality that typically results in higher calories and sodium.
The most common type of cheese used on pepperoni pizza is mozzarella, though some pizza purveyors use a blend of meltable cheese that includes cheddar, fontina, and provolone. Two of these (cheddar and fontina) are particularly high in fat, making them high-calorie options.
A hefty handful of cheddar cheese (100 grams) contains more than 33 grams of fat, whereas the same amount of mozzarella contains only 17 grams of fat. Fontina isn’t far behind cheddar, containing about 31 grams of fat per 100-gram serving.
So, if you’re determined to keep your caloric intake low while still enjoying a pepperoni pizza slice, you may want to request light cheese. It’s also best to skimp on the pepperoni, especially if you’re sensitive to sodium.
Pepperoni Nutrition and Calories
A pepperoni pizza wouldn’t be the same without a smattering of crisp pepperoni slices. But these thin circles of deliciousness contribute considerable fat and sodium.
That’s because pepperoni slices are often cured using salts and nitrates. These preservatives help ensure the pepperoni doesn’t spoil but also result in a saltier pepperoni pizza pie.
Generally, a frozen pepperoni pizza slice contains fewer pepperoni slices than a fresh pie ordered at a restaurant or delivered from a chain like Pizza Hut or Domino’s Pizza. As such, many frozen pepperoni pizzas are lower in sodium than fresh ones.
Still, there’s no denying that pepperoni is a salty, preservative-rich topping. A single piece of sliced pepperoni can contain about 35mg of sodium. For perspective, the daily recommended intake (RDI) of sodium is less than 2,300mg.
Though this works out to roughly 65 pepperoni slices, it’s crucial to remember that pizza sauce, dough, and cheese all contain salt. As such, ordering a pepperoni pizza covered in pepperoni slices can dramatically increase your sodium levels.
Pepperoni is also comparatively high in fat, containing about 1g of fat in each circle. As you might imagine, extra pepperoni can significantly increase the calories in your pizza.
Pepperoni Pizza Nutritional Facts
To get a more accurate idea of a pepperoni pizza’s nutrition, comparing pies from some of the most popular pizza restaurants and brands is an excellent idea.
Doing so can help you select the most wholesome pepperoni pizza the next time you’re thinking of ordering out or grabbing a frozen pie from your local grocery store. Fortunately, we’ve made things simple by creating a handy chart!
A quick note, though—Instead of calculating via serving size, we decided to list nutrition information via single slice. For most pizzas with a serving size of ¼ the whole pie, we instead calculated the slice based on a traditional six-slice cut.
|Brand and Name||Size||Calories (per slice)||Fat (per slice)||Carbs (per slice)||Protein (per slice)||Sodium (per slice)|
|California Pizza Kitchen - Signature Uncured Pepperoni||12 inches||165 kcals||8.5g||14.5g||7.5g||375mg|
|DiGiorno - Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza||12 inches||300 kcals||11g||37g||15g||750mg|
|Domino's Pizza - Hand Tossed Medium||12 inches||200 kcals||9g||22g||8g||410mg|
|Freschetta - Naturally Rising Crust Pepperoni Pizza||16 inches||330 kcals||13g||40g||14g||770mg|
|Hungry Howie's - Medium Pepperoni||12 inches||190 kcals||5.5g||25g||9g||290mg|
|Jack's - Original Thin Pepperoni||11.5 inches||170 kcals||7.5g||17.5g||8g||350mg|
|Little Caesars - Pepperoni Pizza||14 inches||287.5 kcals||12g||31g||13.6g||623.8mg|
|Marco's - Magnifico Pepperoni Original Crust||14 inches||340 kcals||16g||33g||15g||730mg|
|Papa John's - Medium Original Crust Pepperoni Pizza||12 inches||230 kcals||9g||26g||8g||570mg|
|Papa Murphy's - Large Pepperoni Pizza||14 inches||330 kcals||15.5g||33g||10g||839mg|
|Pizza Hut - Medium Hand-Tossed Pepperoni Pizza||12 inches||230 kcals||9g||25g||10g||610mg|
|Red Baron - Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza||12 inches||253 kcals||12g||26.7g||10g||533mg|
|Round Table Pizza - Original Crust Personal Pepperoni Pizza||6.5 inches||160 kcals||8g||16g||8g||390mg|
|Sbarro - New York Pepperoni Pizza||17 inches||552 kcals||22.5g||61g||24.7g||1459mg|
|Tombstone - Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza||15 inches||220 kcals||9.3g||25.3g||8g||413mg|
|Tony's - Pepperoni Pizza||12 inches||220 kcals||9.3g||25.3g||8g||413mg|
|Totino's - Rectangle Pepperoni Party Pizza||9 inches||117 kcals||6g||12.3g||3.3g||240mg|
What’s the Most Nutritious Type of Pepperoni Pizza?
Generally, the most nutritious pepperoni pizza features a cauliflower crust, uncured pepperoni slices, and a light sprinkling of mozzarella or dairy-free cheese.
But if you’re looking to enjoy the lowest-calorie store-bought or delivery pizza, and you want a classic crust, the best options (based on size) are:
- California Pizza Kitchen (frozen), and
- Hungry Howie’s (fresh)
These two types of pepperoni pizza are comparatively low in fat and sodium, making them slightly healthier than other name-brand pizzas. If you’re looking for the lowest-calorie pizza, either of these could be a winner.
Of course, you could always choose to make your own pizza at home, which allows you to portion out precise ingredients to create a personal pizza that meets your health needs and preferences.
What Are the Unhealthiest Pizza Slices?
By far, the least nutritious type of pepperoni pizza is Sbarro’s. Their massive 17-inch pizza is cut into gigantic New-York-Style slices that are dripping with grease!
While these slices are undeniably tasty, they’re also jam-packed with sodium, fat, and carbohydrates. So, unless you’re planning on sharing your pizza with a throng of friends or family members (or you’re incredibly hungry), it’s probably best to avoid this particular pepperoni pizza.
If you’re looking to enjoy a slice of pepperoni pizza from a locally-owned business, be sure to inquire about the ingredients they use and request a nutrition chart.
Though not all small businesses will have these tools on hand, you’ll be able to make smarter, better-informed dietary decisions when you know exactly what you’re eating.
Pepperoni Pizza Facts
Now that you’re caught up on pepperoni pizza calories and nutrition let’s discuss some tasty pepperoni pizza facts!
Pepperoni Pizza Didn’t Originate in Italy.
Contrary to popular belief, pizza, as we know it today, doesn’t come from Italy. Instead, it was likely the invention of the people in the Middle East during ancient times. As a cost-effective yet filling meal, they would cook flat bread in stone ovens and top it with olive oil and spices. The Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians were some of the first to make derivatives of pizza with herb toppings.
Pepperoni Pizza Differs Depending on Where You Go.
While the standard pepperoni pizza in the United States consists of dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni slices (in that order), pepperoni pizza takes on many guises depending on where you are!
For example, in Santiago, Chile, many pizza restaurants add cheese as the final topping, resulting in a meatier pie with softer pepperoni slices. The size of a pepperoni pizza is also partially determined by your location.
In Japan, portion sizes tend to be much smaller than those in the United States, so when you order a large pizza, you might be surprised that it’s the same size as a medium or small pizza in the States.
Totino’s Is One of the Oldest Frozen Pizza Brands.
The 1950s was a significant time of change in the United States, and one of the most noticeable changes in culture was the introduction of frozen, ready-made foods. Though frozen pizza wasn’t the most popular meal at this time, the 1950s was the first time that it was available to households across the country.
Totino’s was one of the first major brands to introduce frozen pizza to grocery stores. Within the span of only a decade, this brand became synonymous with frozen pizza and its delightful, home-baked goodness.
Pepperoni Pizza Has Its Own Holiday.
You know that a dish is popular when it has its own holiday, and every September 20 is National Pepperoni Pizza Day. Mark the date on your calendar so that you can celebrate with a slice of cheesy pepperoni pizza pie!
Pepperoni Is the Most Requested Topping.
Pepperoni pizza is just as popular as cheese pizza, and pepperoni is the most requested single topping in North America. While other toppings like bacon, sausage, and mushrooms are close runner-ups, nothing beats the salty and slightly-spicy taste of pepperoni pizza.
Sliced Pepperoni Is Full of Protein.
Though pepperoni has its drawbacks (like fat and sodium content), it’s also a protein-rich choice. A single circular slice of pepperoni contains about 0.5g of protein!
Protein is crucial to any diet, as it helps your body build muscle tissue, regulate hormones, and create new cells. Without protein, your body would struggle to keep up with day-to-day demands.
So, enjoying a slice of pepperoni pizza every now and again could be a great way to increase your body’s overall health!
The average pepperoni pizza slice has a total calorie count of 247, though the precise amount varies depending on slice size, ingredients, type, and brand. For more tasty information other than how many calories you intake in a slice of pepperoni pizza, check out these pizza guides now!