Upon returning from New York for Affiliate Summit East 2016 and a little post-show vacation at my sister's house in Long Island, I realized that I am still homesick — even after 22 years of being in Orlando.
I miss everything about New York – my friends, the culture, being able to walk everywhere, bodegas, late-night delivery, drinking wine while sitting on a rooftop bar in the summer, productive commuting, Yankee Stadium, The Garden, Jones Beach, the people, free events all over The City, the food — every little thing.
Orlando can only compete in one category — the weather (and only from December through March.)
Perhaps it's the strong feelings of nostalgia that has inspired this post, or I'm just hungry, but if I had to pick one food that I miss the most since going gluten-free, it would most definitely be pizza.
But not just any kind of pizza. It would be the New York kind, made with New York water in an old pizza oven that has cooked thousands of pizzas in it before mine. The kind of pizza that you fold in half and revel in the grease as it runs down your arm.
Yeah. That kind.
And, while I know that it is impossible to compare a pizza crust made from an Italian “OO” flour that was fermented an extra long time allowing the wonderful gluten to emerge, causing the dough to stretch and rise and get all charred in the oven; to any gluten-free pizza crust in the world, one thing is for sure….
Gluten-free pizza does not have to taste disgusting.
Trust me; I've eaten my share of disgusting gluten-free pizza.
What I don't get is how some people think that it's all about the toppings when it comes to pizza? WTH????
It's the crust people!
Crust IS the critical element that separates the crappy pizza from good. But finding a gluten-free crust that delivers isn't easy. Not many do. Especially the mass-produced frozen kind.
While your pizza taste buds may be different than mine, here's my roundup of some of my preferred gluten-free pizza recipes from celebrity chefs and home chefs, gluten-free pizza crust mixes, ready-to-use doughs and crusts, pizza chains that serve gluten-free pizza and frozen gluten-free pizza.
I've made notes about my favorites in each category. I've also denoted the frozen varieties that are single-handedly responsible for giving gluten-free pizza a bad name!
Gluten-Free Pizza Recipes from Celebrity Chefs and Food Magazines
1. FAVE! Gluten-Free Pizza with Homemade Tomato Sauce from Jamie Oliver (Love, love, love the crust and the authentic toppings. I also like to load it up with a ton of veggies on top.)
2. Emeril LaGasse's Gluten-Free Pizza
3. Gluten-Free Pineapple and Ham Pizza by Food Network
4. Gluten-Free Mushroom and Ricotta Pizza by Food Network
5. Gluten-Free Pizza by Epicurious.com
6. The Best Gluten-Free Pizza by CooksIllustrated.com
Frozen Gluten-Free Pizza
I should start off by stating that I'm not a big fan of frozen pizza overall. Most of them suck. That said, there's a time and a place for frozen gluten-free pizza (it's called desperation or college). So, I've rated them on a scale of 1-5, with five being the best.
Just know that even at a 5, I would rather have had the time to make homemade pizza because it's so much better.
7. FAVE! Sabatasso's Thin Crust Pizza / AKA Costco's Gluten-Free Pizza – Score: 5 (By far, the best gluten-free pizza. It's the closest to gluten-laden frozen pizza. I wish they sold it in other places besides Costco)
8. Joan's GF Great Bakes Gluten-Free Sicilian Pizza – Score: 5 (If Joan's was sold in the supermarket, I'd give her a 6. While I'm partial to “regular slice”, Joan's Sicilian is excellent. The crust is chewy, yet crunchy and the sauce and cheese are great.
9. Against The Grain Gourmet Gluten-Free Classic Flatbread Pizza – Score: 4.75 (Almost as good as Sabatasso's, but much easier to get your hands on.)
10. California Pizza Kitchen Gluten-Free Pizza – Score: 4.5 – (I tried their Margherita. Crispy crust and good amount of tomatoes. There's room for improvement on the sauce. I drizzled it with a bit of balsamic glaze, and it tasted better.)
11. Udi's Gluten-Free Pizza – Score: 4.5 (I tried the Margherita Pizza. Nice crisp to the crust and tasty sauce and cheese).
12. Schar Gluten-Free Cheese Pizza – Score: 4.5 (The crust was nice and crispy, and the sauce and cheese were tasty. There just wasn't enough cheese, so I had to add more on my own.)
13. Freschetta Gluten-Free Pizza – Score: 4 (I tried the Thin & Crispy, Four Cheese Medley. The crust was good, the sauce and cheese were good. The sodium was ridiculously high.)
14. Bold Organics Gluten Free Pizza – Score: 3 (I had the Veggie Lovers Pizza. The crust was great, and there were lots of veggies, but alas, the vegan cheese disappointed. It just doesn't melt right.)
15. Amy's Gluten-Free Pizza – Score: 3 (I tried the Rice Crust Cheese Pizza. The crust is decent, but there's no real taste to the pizza. It's missing the spices or something.)
16. Glutino Gluten-Free Frozen Pizza – Score: 2 (I tried the Duo-Cheese. It had a squishy crust and tasteless sauce/cheese)
17. Ian's Gluten-Free French Bread Pizza – Score: 2 (I tried the Cheesy. The cheese melted but tasted sort of fake. The French bread was a little too soft. It reminded me of the elementary-school-hot-lunch-kind of pizza.)
18. Daiya Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Pizza – Score: 1 (I tried the Margherita. It's too salty, and the cheese is just weird – it doesn't really melt because it's dairy-free. Maybe if I couldn't eat dairy, I'd be able to tolerate it.)
Gluten-Free Pizza Recipes from Home Cooks
19. FAVE! Gluten-Free Deep Dish Pizza – GlutenFreeonaShoestring.com (My kids go bonkers for this one, and I love it because it pretty much cooks by itself while I'm working.)
20. Gluten-Free Pizza Dough – GlutenFreeGal.com
21. The Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust + Sauce – MinimalistBaker.com
22. Gluten-Free Pizza Dough – BrokeAssGourmet.com
23. Gluten-Free Braided Stuffed Spinach and Pepperoni Pizza -GlutenFreeonaShoestring.com
24. Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza Crust – SimplyQuinoa.com
25. Gluten-Free Hawaiian Pizza -PetiteAllergyTreats.com
26. Gluten-Free Lentil Pizza Crust – ViedelaVegan.com
27. Gluten-Free Pizza No Dough – GirlRaisedintheSouth.com
28. The Best Gluten-Free Pizza – OfficiallyGlutenFree.com
29. Gluten-Free Chicago-Style Pizza – Joy of Kosher.com
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mixes and Ready-To-Use Dough and Crusts from Product Manufacturers
30. FAVE! Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Pizza Dough (A guilty pleasure. It's delicious, comes out great every time, but it's expensive.)
31. Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Mix
32. Pillsbury Gluten Free Thin Crust Pizza Dough
33. Domata Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix
34. Glutenfreeda Gluten-Free Flatbread/Pizza Crust
35. Mama Mary's 7″ Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts
36. Udi's Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
37. Schar Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
38. Everybody Eats Gluten-Free Pizza Shells
Pizza Chains that Serve Gluten-Free Pizza
Here's what I tell people who used to eat regular pizza from pizza chains… think about how the pizza tasted and then lower your expectations. That advice has been spot on so far.
Keep in mind that I don't consider Pizza Hut pizza, actually pizza. It's “Pizza Hut Pizza”, which is a totally different animal.
39. FAVE! California Pizza Kitchen (The best by far. The four pizzas available on their gluten-free menu are prepared using GIG's certified procedures. You can also have any of their pizzas made on a gluten-free crust for an additional $2.00, but it won't be GIG certified.)
due to our current kitchen space, only the pizzas listed above can be prepared using
GIG’s certified procedures. Please note that normal kitchen operations involve shared
cooking and prep)
40. Pizza Hut
41. Uno Pizzeria
42. Papa Murphy's
43. Mellow Mushroom
44. Hungry Howies
47. Papa Gino's
50. Godfather's Pizza
Have a favorite gluten-free pizza recipe I should try? Let me know!