How to make your own low sodium pizza
Salt is a major health issue for heart health which is why this low sodium pizza is something you want to have saved for those pizza nights. Now I’m not here to say you can’t eat pizza (trust me I love pizza). Instead I want to show you how you can make your own pizza with a lot less salt.
Did you know that the average bought pizza from the supermarkets can be 18g salt per 100g pizza. If you eat the whole pizza you could be having 3g salt in one meal. With the recommendation being to eat less than 6 g salt per day you can see why this is an issue.
The salt isn’t all in the base either, cheese and processed meat can be salty food too. Anchovies and olives, salami and mozzerella are all salty food. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, it is all about awareness. Opt for smaller portions of the salty foods.
Low sodium pizza crust
Low sodium pizza dough
- 1 Large mixing bowl
- Weighing scales
- Measuring jug
- Table knife
- Tea towel
- Rolling Pin
- Sauce pan
- Wooden spoon
- Baking Trays
- Pizza Cutter
For the dough
- 600 g flour I like to use strong brown bread flour, but strong white is more traditional!
- 375 ml water
- 60 ml olive oil
- 7 g dried yeast
- pinch of sugar
For the sauce
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- black pepper
- Making pizza dough is very easy, though you need to allow time for proving for the best results.
- Start by putting the dried yeast in the jug of water, and adding a very small pinch of sugar. This will activate the yeast and help the dough to rise. When the water has turned all cloudy it’s ready to go.
- Measure out the flour and make a well in the centre
- Pour the yeast, water, and oil into the well of flour.
- Use a knife to mix the ingredients together, moving from the outside to the centre
- Use your hands to bring the dough together and then knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic
- Place inside a large bowl (with space for the dough to double in size). Brush lightly with a little olive oil and over with film or a damp tea towel (this helps prevent the dough drying out whilst proving)
- Leave to prove for 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. The rate of rising depends on the yeast used and how warm the environment is – a nice warm spot will speed up the rising
- When suitably proven, dust a work surface and knead out the dough into a cylinder
- Cut into equal portions (we usually do 8 individual pizzas, but it could do 3 sharing pizzas nicely). Roll out into discs to fit your baking tray/pizza stone and you’re ready for toppings!
To make the sauce
- Simply simmer the chopped tomatoes with the garlic and herbs for 10 minutes until it thickens to the consistency of pizza sauce.
Tips on making your own low sodium pizza
One of the great things about making your own pizzas is that you can have whatever you want on them! This also means you can make them healthy and low-salt too. For our pizzas we usually top them with the following (with a little variance for personal tastes).
- Tomato pizza sauces – made from scratch, simply simmer a tin or two of chopped tomatoes and add some herbs and garlic for flavour (we usually add dried Italian herbs).
- Cheese – this is one of the higher salt-content ingredients so go easy on it! Mozzarella is our go to as it has a lower salt content than many other options, and also gives that wonderful stringy texture when melted.
- Chicken will be less salty than any cured meats such as salami. You can use the leftovers from a roast for example. I like to freeze small portions ready for this kind of meal.
- Vegetables – there are so many options. Choose your favourites. Some ideas: red onions, bell peppers, peas, sweetcorn (defrosted from frozen), spinach leaves, mushrooms, slilced courgette, pre-roasted butternut squash.
- Spicy extras – instead of jalapenos go for fresh chilli sliced up to help keep the salt content lower on your pizza.
Heat your oven to 250°C and cook your pizza for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden.
Buying the pizza with lowest sodium
I’d totally recommend making your own pizza at home when you can, but sometimes life gets too busy. Whilst shop bought pizza can be high in salt due to the dough and the toppings there are some tips you can use to help reduce this.
- Check the traffic light and food label. Look for the lowest salt per 100g.
- Choose a cheese and tomato pizza then add your own toppings at home. This helps you to add plenty of vegetables and not too much of the saltier meat.
- Buy the plain pizza bas, then you can reduce the salt content of the meal by making your own pizza sauce and by not adding too many salty toppings.
More tips on a lower salt diet
Reducing the salt content of your diet is one thing you can do to help your blood pressure and your heart health.
Other foods you may not realise can contain a lot of salt include many ultra processed foods. Think about savoury snacks, processed meat (bacon, ham, salami), some sauces, slice shop bought bread, crackers, some breakfast cereals, stir fry packs, stock cubes, soy sauce, ketchup, pickles, tinned soups and ready meals. It is always worth checking the label and comparing the salt content of the foods you eat more often.
Cooking more meals from scratch and making your own sauces will help reduce the salt content of your diet. Such as this low sodium pizza recipe above!
For more you can grab a copy of my book: the DASH diet which is packed with the science around eating a lower salt diet, practical advice (including shopping lists) and over 40 recipes to help you too.