High Protein Pizza Dough

I use pizza night as an excuse to use up whatever leftover bits of vegetables I may have in my refrigerator. Of course, I don’t really need an excuse to make pizza because obviously it’s the best food on the planet (!!!!!!). Not only is it delicious, it’s easy to throw together, inexpensive, and like I said, a great way to use up leftover vegetables. As many of you know, I like to eat mostly plant-based with a little meat (mostly fish) thrown in here and there. So one thing I am always thinking on is how to get a little more protein into my diet, even if I’m making a veggie pizza.

That was the motivating factor behind why I started playing around with creating a higher protein pizza dough recipe. So for anyone who usually coats a piece of beef jerky with sauce and cheese and calls that pizza, this may not be enough protein for you. But as I’m guessing that’s a really small group of people (right? I mean, I feel like I made that up) then we’re probably good here.

My goal was to create a soft and chewy pizza dough that didn’t taste totally different from “regular” pizza dough. You know, like you could totally trick your kids with this healthier version. Ha! It took some tweaking because a few test versions turned out too dry or too grainy. This is also a yeasted dough so you still want it to rise (happy home for yeast to do their work) so you get that fluffy bread texture.

The following recipe totally fits the bill and with right around 41 grams of protein, making each serving (there are 4) a little over 10 grams of protein each. And that’s just the crust! You can get a little more protein from mozzarella cheese or go dairy free and use vegan Parm made with nutritional yeast which packs a pretty great protein count too. The toppings are up to you, but even if you’re like me and just using up leftover veggies at least you’re gonna get a little more protein in than usual.

You can use this dough recipe to make one large pizza (that could easily feed 4 adults) or you can divide the dough in half after it has risen and freeze the second half to use later. The pizza you see pictured here is meant for 2 adults, being only half the dough (above you can see how I froze the second half).

Other than the protein from the flour (I love a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat here) most of the protein comes from pea protein, which is an ingredient I’ve gotten into lately so you’re likely to see a few more recipes with it on the blog soon. You can learn more about pea protein here and also see the brand I am currently using. You could probably use other protein powders, although I haven’t tried that. I am sort of into just plain pea protein for cooking / baking recipes though (as opposed to smoothie making which is what we use protein powder for most often at our house) because it’s just one ingredient and has a very ‘plain’ flavor. Happy pizza making! xo. Emma

P.S. For my fellow pizza lover’s out there-do you use pizza scissors? I got some recently and I am OBSESSED.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the ACS for Desktop actions.

High Protein Pizza Dough

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup pea protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Add 1 cup of warm water to a glass measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow to sit and active for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flours, pea protein, and salt. Pour the yeast water and olive oil into the bowl and mix until a soft dough ball forms. Knead the dough on a well floured surface for a couple minutes. Then place back in the bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

  3. Punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. You can choose to make one large pizza with the dough, or divide in two and freeze the second half for later use. Roll the dough out and place on a pizza pan sprinkled with corn meal (optional).
  4. Bake at 400°F for 4-5 minutes. Then top with sauce and other toppings. Bake until cheese looks bubbly or the edges of the crust begin to brown (another 8-10 minutes).

Recipe Notes

You can substitute a little more of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, making the rations 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup with similar results if you want more whole grains.

  • Will definitely try this. Sounds like our diets are the same (barely pesco) and or a protein is very exciting to me for some reason.

  • You might have made that up, but there is a protein pizza crust recipe floating around the internet that is all shredded chicken with a little binder. 0.0

    People are definitely more aware of the importance of protein in their diet these days and I so appreciate all the great vegetarian recipes you have created! I would like to consume less meat without compromising the protein and relying on carbs, and your recipes have been so helpful!

    • I haven’t seen the chicken pizza crust! Man, now I feel like I was making fun of someone but I swear I didn’t mean it that way. I’m still totally figuring out how to eat well for myself and I basically have ZERO judgement towards others. But a meat crust just isn’t something I would ever try… this is more my speed. 🙂

  • Making bread dough with extra protein is a great idea! The easiest way to do it (that I know) is starting the dough by pouring a tetra pak or tin of beans or chick peas in a blender (I usually drain them first) and turn them into something like unseasoned hummus. Then I add 5 dl water, salt, oil and yeast, and after that I add flour until the dough is like a regular bread dough and bake the bread as usual. Chick peas hide well in a dough — black beans and red beans will dye it a bit, of course. Nobody has been able to tell what the extra ingredient is, or even that there is an extra ingredient.
    This would probably work well for pizza dough, too!

    • Very cool. I will have to try that! I love chickpeas in just about anything so this sounds really yummy to me. I wonder if you could also just use the liquid drained from the chickpeas (I think sometimes it’s call aqua faba, or something like that) and if that would contain a good amount of protein or not?

  • Can you tell me about the pan you’re using? Looks like it has holes in it, so I’m guessing you get a crispier crust than I do using a regular baking sheet?

  • Hi Emma, would you mind telling me what kind of cheese you have used here? It looks yummy 🙂

  • I haven’t tried it yet. However, I am excited to try this out. With Diabetics in the family, I’m always looking for a good substitute. Have you tried it with a riced cauliflower base??

  • I’ve been making pizzas for a really long time now using my home oven, but I’ve read that specialist pizza ovens do the job so much better both in terms of taste and cooking time. Its tough to choose though, there’s so many models out there e.g. https://www.joyoushousehold.com/review/outdoor-pizza-oven/, making it very confusing. Do you use your kitchen oven or a special pizza oven? If its the latter, do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Hi, I just made this. One thing to note is the ratio of flours to water to ended up being about 4:1. i.e 4 cups flours to 1 cup water. So my ” well floured counter” ended being about 2-3 cups of additional flour in order to get the dough ball to form like a typical pizza dough. Anyways anxious to see how this bakes up compared to normal dough. Only real difference is the addition of the protein powder. If this works well, no real reason not to add some protein to pizza dough.