Pizza is one of the most popular and delicious foods in the world, but it can also be high in calories, fat and sodium. If you are looking for a healthier way to enjoy pizza, you might be wondering: is MOD Pizza healthy?
MOD Pizza is a fast-casual pizza chain that lets you customize your own artisanal style pizza or salad with over 40 options for toppings and sauces. You can choose from different crusts, cheeses, proteins and veggies to create your healthy pizza or salad.
But how healthy is MOD pizza, and what are some tips to make it even healthier?
In this blog post, I’ll answer these questions and guide you to the healthiest choices and some of my favorite toppings.
What makes MOD Pizza healthy?
Since the MOD pizza is fully customizable, you can find healthy options at MOD pizza.
When you choose from multiple crusts and from fresh ingredients for toppings, it’s easy to build a balanced, nutritious meal that meets your dietary needs and also tastes delicious.
The MOD Pizza website has helpful nutrition information for each of their curated pizzas as well as nutrition facts for each ingredient. Be sure to check out the MOD Pizza allergen information if you have any specific food restrictions.
How to make your MOD pizza healthy
Choose a smaller size
MOD pizza offers three sizes for their original crust: mini (6 inches), mod (11 inches) and mega (11 inches thick crust).
A mini pizza has about 210 to 470 calories, depending on the toppings, while a mod pizza has about 490 to 980 calories and a mega pizza has about 980 to 1470 calories.
When trying to make a healthier choice, you could choose a smaller size and pair it with a small salad or split a mod or mega pizza (or save the other half for another meal) and add a small salad on the side.
Pick a healthy crust
The foundation of any pizza is its crust, and MOD Pizza offers a variety of options, including original, gluten-friendly, and cauliflower crusts. Here’s the lowdown on each:
MOD’s classic crust is flavorful and satisfying. It’s a great choice for a classic pizza experience. It has 16 grams of protein, 88 grams carbs and around 500 calories.
If you’re looking for a thick crust option or maybe you’re an athlete looking to boost carbs, opt for the mega dough which is essentially just double the original crust.
When you’re looking for a gluten free option, this gluten friendly crust might fit the bill. However, the Mod Pizza allergen website states:
“Since we prepare our food on one serving line, we cannot guarantee that any of our menu items are free of allergens or gluten and none of our crust options are recommended for those with a gluten sensitivity.”
This gluten free crust is made with rice flour, modified rice starch, potato starch, sugar, tapioca starch, potato flour and cultured brown rice. So it actually has double the carbohydrates of the original crust, with 156 grams.
If you’re opting for gluten free to reduce carbohydrates, this wouldn’t be your best choice.
Additionally, there are 17 grams of added sugar and only 6 grams of protein compared to the 16 grams of protein with the original crust.
If you’re looking for a different gluten free alternative, the cauliflower crust may be your go-to.
However, the cauliflower crust is not dairy free, vegetarian or vegan since its ingredients include mozzarella cheese, rice flour, tapioca starch, egg whites, rice starch, modified food starch, sugar and cultured brown rice.
The cauliflower crust is also not a low carb option because it contains about the same amount of carbs as the original crust with 87 grams. Additionally it has 14 grams of fat and 6 grams added sugar.
Unless you’re trying to avoid gluten, your healthiest crust option is the MOD.
|Crust||Calories||Fat (g)||Sodium (mg)||Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|Mega Dough (11-inch)||980||12||2620||176||32|
Choose a lighter sauce
MOD pizza has seven types of sauces: red, white, bbq, pesto, garlic rub, extra virgin olive and oil spicy Calabrian chili red sauce.
MOD Pizza offers various sauces to tantalize your taste buds, from red sauce to garlic rub. Be mindful of the nutrition facts information about sauces and the differences on the nutrition facts page and the ordering page.
A serving is 1 tablespoon, but MOD uses ladles to add sauce to your crust, so you may be getting 4+ tablespoons per pizza. Here’s a glimpse at the MOD sauces:
This classic tomato-based sauce made from fresh vine-ripened california tomatoes is flavorful and relatively low in calories. It’s a safe bet for a healthier pizza option.
It’s the lowest in calories, fat, and sodium, with only 5 calories, 0 grams of fat and 80 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon.
Spicy calabrian chili red sauce
Similar to the classic tomato sauce, it’s made with fresh vine-ripened california tomatoes and the added calabrian hot chilis bring some heat. It’s tasty, however, I don’t recommend this for anyone who might get heart burn or for athletes headed to a game.
Packed with flavor and lower in calories, the garlic rub is a great option for those who want to keep their pizza on the healthier side.
Healthy sauces in moderation
Pesto brings a burst of vibrant flavor garlicky flavor, but even though it is as source of healthier unsaturated fat from the canola oil, it can be calorie-dense due to its oil and cheese content. It’s also not dairy free. Opt for a drizzle rather than using it as a base.
Extra virgin olive oil
The extra virgin olive oil is a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, however, it is calorie dense and is not the best option for a base. Consider asking for less oil and pairing it with the garlic rub.
While delicious, BBQ sauce has added sugar and calories. Use it sparingly as a drizzle instead of using it as a base.
Choose leaner proteins
MOD pizza offers ten types of proteins: pepperoni, mild sausage, spicy chicken sausage, ground beef, grilled chicken, bacon, salami, anchovies, plant based sausage and Canadian bacon. You may find additional options since that can vary by location.
Healthiest protein toppings
Healthier lean protein toppings
The grilled chicken is the healthiest lean meat topping with 12 grams of protein. It’s also the lowest in fat, calories and sodium.
Canadian bacon is another healthy option for a protein topping. It has 9 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat per five slices.
Lean sausage options
If you’re looking for a healthy sausage alternative, opt for the spicy chicken sausage that has 11 grams of protein and only 5 grams of fat compared to 20 grams of fat for the regular sausage.
But both are higher in sodium, so depending on the other toppings you add you may want to choose a lower sodium protein.
Another good sausage option is the plant based sausage with 6 grams protein and 6 grams of fat per serving.
Anchovies may not be your first choice for a pizza topping. But they offer some surprisingly healthy nutrients. They are an excellent source of calcium, iron and zinc, as well as a rich source of omega 3 fat.
However, they are also high in sodium with about 320 milligrams per ounce.
Choose a healthier cheese
MOD pizza offers eight types of cheeses: mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, cheddar, feta, ricotta, gorgonzola and dairy-free, although certain locations might not offer every variety. The dairy based cheeses are good sources of calcium and essential minerals.
The mozzarella is high in calcium, lower in calories and fat, with about less than 90 calories and under 7 grams of fat per 1/4 cup. It also has 7 grams of protein making it one of the best choices for a cheese base.
Other healthy cheese options
The other cheeses, asiago, gorgonzola and feta are also good picks and can be used in smaller amounts since they have strong flavors and you don’t need as much. They’re calorie, fat and protein content are all about the same.
Dairy free cheese
The dairy-free cheese is made from coconut oil, tapioca starch, potato protein and chickpea protein. It’s the highest in carbs and lowest in protein of any of the cheese options.
Choose more veggies and good stuff toppings
MOD pizza has 30+ options of veggies and good stuff for salads and pizzas. With a rainbow of options, choose your favorites and try something new.
Options range from mushrooms, tomatoes, artichokes, black olives, pineapple, roasted corn, roasted red peppers, spinach, arugula, red onions, green onions, jalapenos, mama lil’s sweet hot peppers, roasted broccoli and roasted garlic.
Since you can choose as many veggies as you want for no extra charge, load up on them for their numerous health benefits.
Finish with a tasty drizzle
Finish off your pizza with a flavorful drizzle of one of MOD Pizzas many sauces including barbeque sauce, pesto, hot honey, balsamic or opt for a spicier sri-rancha sauce.
These drizzles can add a nice kick to top off your pizza without too many extra calories.
Healthiest pizzas on the MOD Pizza menu
To help you choose the healthiest pizza options at MOD pizza, we have created a table that shows the nutrient content of some of the classic pizzas and salads, as well as some custom pizzas and salads that we recommend.
We have highlighted the pizzas and salads that have high protein, average carbs, and not too much sodium or calories. We have also indicated the size, crust, sauce, cheese and toppings for each pizza and salad.
|Classic Pizza||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|Mad Dog||980||50 g||95 g||49 g|
|Tristan||890||34 g||94 g||40 g|
|Dillon James||830||42 g||102 g||40 g|
|Jasper||790||38 g||96 g||41 g|
|Dominic||700||34 g||98 g||27 g|
|Calexico||860||40 g||95 g||50 g|
|Lucy Sunshine||820||32 g||77 g||39 g|
|Maddy||710||24 g||94 g||32 g|
Is MOD Pizza salad healthy?
Yes, MOD salads are healthy depending on the toppings and dressing you add. The same toppings mentioned above can be used for a salad or a pizza. Plus you may want to add chickpeas for an extra protein boost.
Start your salad base with a dark leafy green to boost anti inflammatory benefits and pile on the veggies and lean proteins from there.
It’s also great to pair a salad with a smaller pizza for a balanced meal.
Build a healthy pizza and salad
Here are our tips for answering the question “is MOD Pizza healthy”
- Include a source of lean protein to promote fullness and muscle health.
- Incorporate a variety of veggies for added fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Use healthy fats sparingly for flavor without overloading on calories.
- Opt for the crust that aligns with your dietary goals.
- Choose a smaller pizza and add a healthy side salad
FAQs for is MOD Pizza healthy
Pizza is a delicious food that can be enjoyed in moderation, especially when you choose healthy and balanced options. MOD Pizza is a great place to get your pizza fix, because it lets you customize your own pizza with fresh and quality ingredients.
However, not all pizzas and salads are created equal. Some are healthier than others, depending on the size, crust, sauce, cheese, proteins and veggies you choose.
To make your MOD pizza healthy, follow our tips in the post and use the MOD Pizza nutrition facts website to guide your choices.
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Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 22 years of experience in public health and nutrition. As a performance registered dietitian nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.