Several years back, I wrote an article called 5 Reasons to Choose Cheese-Less Pizza. I originally targeted that story toward dairy-free consumers, but soon realized most people love cheese-free pizza once they try it. Not convinced? I have some stories to share. Once you read them, you’ll be ready to hear about the Top 5 Pizza Chains for Cheese-Free Pizza.
Converting People to Cheese-Free Pizza, One Delicious Slice at a Time
My husband and I were trapped in a small airport when our flight was delayed for several hours. Since there really weren’t any amenities, the airline ordered in a pizza party for everyone on the flight. Famished, I snuck over and requested that they order just one pizza without cheese, and they politely said no problem. When the pizzas arrived, the passengers rushed in and formed a line that wound around the gate, but the flight attendant went out of her way to hand me the biggest pizza I had ever seen! She kindly said to take it for ourselves, assuming that no one else would want to eat it …
Back at our chairs my husband and I sat staring in awe at this massive pizza. We barely put a dent in, so we offered slices to other nearby passengers. They hesitated at first, but then noticed the huge pizza line-up and decided to try our cheese-free pizza. Every single one of them exclaimed how amazing it was! One man was currently working toward significant weight loss, and was excited to realize that he didn’t need the added cheese to enjoy pizza – In fact he liked it better without! Curious ears overheard, and within seconds the entire jumbo pizza was devoured, down to the last olive slice.
If you don’t believe me, just read the following stories. These people unexpectedly fell in love with cheese-free pizza, too.
An allergy-safe pizza that the whole family loves!
I finally mustered up the courage to have the kids try take-out pizza a couple of weeks ago. Talk about anxiety! Certain places we just don’t take our son into (ice cream parlors and pizzerias chief among them). I called Homeslice Pizza, my favorite neighborhood pizza joint, and informed them of my son’s food allergies [dairy and nuts]and asked if they could make a pizza that was safe for him and they said yes!
When I arrived home, the kids were so excited to peer in the box and admire their sausage, mushroom and black olive pizza pie. The verdict? We all loved it! In fact, for those of us who can and love to eat cheese, we preferred this dairy-free pizza. The spices and flavors of all of the ingredients were amazing. ~ South Austin Mom
Cheese-free pizza just isn’t right … or is it?
When my wife first suggested that we order a cheeseless pizza from our favorite take-out pizza place (Cosmos Caffe in Scituate, MA), I almost gasped! Cheese-free pizza? Hey, I’m a purist. I practically grew up on pizza (it shows). A cheeseless pizza just isn’t right. However… as always… my wife won the argument.
And how thrilled I am that she did! Not only does my dairy-allergic son love chees-free hamburger pizza, but my oldest son actually prefers this over “regular” pizza as well! Now, every time we order pizza, one is always a large cheeseless… and no one feels like they’re being treated differently. ~ Paul, the Founder of AllergyEats
Taking an “anti-cheese” stand for myself
I don’t have any internal issues with cheese, nor any allergies. I simply don’t like the taste of cheese. For years, I’ve been the only person I knew that ordered pizza with no cheese. Even during my stint as an employee at a popular nationwide pizza franchise, I never had anyone else order a pizza without cheese. On those occasions when I do actually order a pizza, I get mine with sausage, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms… and of course, no cheese. Otherwise, I’m forced to just eat the scraps of pizza crust from my kids, that they are always so willing to hand over…mmmmm. ~ Steeve
The 5 Best Pizza Chains for Cheese-Free Pizza
A lot of chains are now offering dairy-free cheese alternative, but these are the restaurants that we think nail it for cheese-free pizza. Feel free to comment on your favorite!
Pizza Hut – Chain locations can vary, but we’ve ordered from Pizza Huts across the country, and they always deliver with heaps of toppings. We never feel gipped. And somehow, they always get our order right. At other chains, we’ve had employees decide we must have mistakenly ordered our pizza without cheese, but Pizza Hut always trusts us. They also offer several dairy-free pizza crust and sauce options (including Udi’s gluten-free crust).
MOD Pizza – Off all the “build your own” pizza places, we’ve found MOD to be the most attentive to allergic and special diet guests. Their staff is typically well trained and they have a plethora of sauce and topping options. They usually need a little extra coaxing with the toppings – they use a very light hand at first. But the toppings are technically unlimited, so I just repeat “more please” a few times. Their dairy-free crusts include original and gluten-free options.
California Pizza Kitchen – For eat-in dining, we love their more adventurous pizza menu. It usually includes an array of flavorful options that can hold their own without cheese, like Thai Chicken, The Works, and Wild Mushroom. At last check, both their original hand-tossed crust and thin crust were dairy-free, but not the gluten-free crust.
Papa Murphy’s – This take-and-bake shop has a great selection of dairy-free pizza crusts, sauces, and toppings. Some shops are more generous with the toppings than others, so be sure to specify that you need a good layer of toppings since there is no cheese.
Toppers Pizza – They have four dairy-free pizza crusts to choose from, including gluten-free, and offer a great selection of toppings. Plus, they are the first major pizza chain in the U.S. to offer dairy-free, nut-free pesto and vegan ranch sauces as tomato sauce alternatives.
Canadian Favorite: Pizza Pizza – Technically speaking, Panago Pizza is the most dairy-free friendly pizza chain in Canada, with their impressive vegan menu. But if we’re talking cheese-free pizza, Pizza Pizza wins. They have the biggest selection of dairy-free crusts, sauces and drizzles, and toppings of just about any build-your-own pizza chain in North America.
What to Order?
Realistically, you can order your favorite pizza toppings, just without the cheese. We always ask for extra toppings, and have never been charged extra. But if you want some fresh inspiration, see our 20 Cheese-less Pizza Topping Combination Ideas.
Tips for Safely Ordering Dairy-Free Pizzas
Pizza parlors typically have dairy-free cheese flying everywhere. If you are concerned about potential cross-contamination, speak with the staff about their allergy protocols. Some things they can do to help keep you safe include:
- Flag your order for allergens
- Change their gloves
- Use a designated prep area or a clean pan for preparing the pizza
- Open new bags of toppings
- Bake on a separate stone or pan
- Slice with a clean, unused pizza cutter
Blaze Pizza makes a great wood fired pizza with no cheese (though they have vegan cheez for those that want it too).
Blaze is a great one!
Amy’s makes a fabulous cheeseless pizza with a balsamic glaze as sauce! It’s Roasted Vegetable no cheese. Hands down my fave store bought pizza!
I live in western New York and one of our major grocery stores (Wegmans) has options for dairy free cheese and veggie crusts. I haven’t tried the veggie crust yet, but the dairy free pizza is amazing. We also have a pizza place called “Create-A-Pizza.” They have a wood-fired oven and the calzones fly out of the door. They use a dairy free oil blend for the tops and have multiple types of dairy free cheeses.
That’s wonderful! I’ll check out that create-a-pizza too!
We make our own pizzas. I found all the large chains had cross contamination on the tools, counters etc.
I learned the hard way.
Yes, potential cross-contamination is a concern in any commercial kitchen. Some locations do have formal allergen protocols on request.
Is there no dairy in the crust ?
Not typically, but you can use any of the crust recipes in Go Dairy Free, too!
I’ve been ordering my veggie pizzas without cheese for 3 years now. We love them. Sometimes the place we typically order them from in our small town will forget & put cheese on it as that’s just a typical part of making it. So they’ve had to remake them but it’s not a problem. I love a veggie pizza with no cheese, awesome!
A few years ago, my aunt ordered a vegetarian pizza from Pizza Hut, sans the cheese. And you know what, I was very impressed! I said I would try it again, and might have to consider doing so in the future. Maybe not vegetarian, but cheeseless.
I don’t mind dairy products, in fact I love milk (it tastes so good) and I don’t diet because to be fair I need to put on weight. However I do not like cheese. It is disgusting. I often ask my local pizzeria (UK Fried Chicken) to make one without cheese. They add loads of pepperoni instead and it is awesome. I just wish the supermarkets did frozen cheeseless pizza.
What an awesome inspiring story! We are going to an italian restaurant tomorrow, and since I’m cutting diary, I think I’m going to be bold and order my first cheese-free pizza! I hope this takes off, dairy is not the super food people make it out to be. It’s designed to fatten up calves, not meant for human consumption. Not even to mention all the hormones pumped into milk! I’ve lost allot of weight since going dairy free and I feel amazing.
Thanks for chiming in Michelle, it is great to hear about your success! I hope you enjoy the pizza! I always ask them to add extra toppings in place of the cheese – the more flavorful topping, the better 🙂