Before I was diagnosed I used to absolutely love pizza, it would be a regular takeout option and a cheap convenient meal when I was a student.
But then I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, at the time there were no gluten-free pizzas available on the UK market and you’d never dream of them being on restaurant menus.
I honestly thought I’d never been able to have pizza again.
Two years passed after my diagnosis before gluten free pizza bases became available in UK and 3 years until they were available to purchase at restaurants and takeaways.
I am really impressed with the range of supermarkets, restaurants and takeaways that offer pizza nowadays!
It has come on leaps and bounds since I was first diagnosed.
Today I am going to be sharing with you some of my past pizza experiences and discuss the pros and cons of each…
To date, I have tried gluten free pizza in 5 different varieties: Domino’s, DS Bonta D’ Italia, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut and Tesco’s own base.
This used to be my favourite pizza takeaway choice pre-diagnosis and it was the first gluten-free takeaway pizza I had.
I remember it so well as I was incredibly excited, just being able to have a pizza takeaway with all of my housemates was a great feeling.
For just once I felt normal and that I could be included with everyone else, as I am sure everyone will agree that having dietary restrictions can really prohibit you from eating socially.
Back at the time, I had not discovered my dairy intolerance or IBS so I had a Texas BBQ with the gluten free base, which is chicken, bacon, peppers and red onion with a BBQ sauce and mozzarella cheese.
I remember it being a strange texture and not like any pizza I’d had before but it was delicious and I was just so happy to be eating pizza.
But since I have gone back, I actually think that Pizza Hut is the better choice for a takeaway gluten-free pizza as I prefer the texture.
I found Domino’s too doughy in comparison, as it is quick thick and almost deep pan in texture.
The gluten-free bases at Dominos are a reasonable size unlike some other gluten-free bases, shame on you Tesco.
Domino’s are also very good and often include gluten-free pizza in their deals namely their buy one get one free available on a collection and buy one get one-half price available on delivery.
The local branch I use has amazing customer service and even delivered to me when I was in the hospital! Hospital food is awful and I fancied pizza, it happens to the best of us.
The delivery guy came up to my ward and everything!
Overall I would give Domino’s 4 out of 5 stars as they taste great, I just prefer thin and crispy bases even pre-diagnosis I never was a fan of the deep pan bases.
Unfortunately, the photo I took isn’t that great as it was an evening order and the lighting in the house wasn’t very good, but you can see there were a lot of toppings and overall I was impressed with the appearance.
The photo doesn’t really do the pizza justice.
Another good thing about Domino’s is that they are very consistent, as their pizzas nearly always look the same, so you can guarantee what you are going to get.
Please note for those of you that are dairy free as stated above the pizza pictured did have cheese on, as it was previous to my dairy intolerance diagnosis.
Schar Bonta D’Italia – formerly DS
This was the first frozen gluten-free pizza to enter supermarkets and I last ate one around one and a half years year ago.
So again this was before I was diagnosed dairy intolerant which is unfortunately why I can no longer eat it.
Before I went dairy free this pizza was one of my favourites, I used to always get it before a night out as a cheap and quick meal to eat.
The texture was fantastic it actually tasted like pizza, thin and crispy just how I like them!
I recently saw the company now Schar is producing a lactose and gluten free margarita pizza now which is available in Waitrose frozen section and Ocado online store.
As I can no longer eat this pizza I have no choice but to give it 3 out of 5 stars, if only they could make it dairy free.
I have visited Pizza Express two times and I am very impressed with their gluten and dairy free menu choices.
I visited Pizza Express first at Port Solent around a year ago and March earlier this year I had the pleasure of visiting the Falmouth Pizza Express.
Both not only had outstanding views but also served exceptional food.
In Falmouth the waiter was brilliant, I believe he had a food intolerance or allergy himself, so he was very aware of what I could and couldn’t eat and very attentive.
After much deliberation as there was so much choice, I went for the Polo Ad Astra which was chicken, sweet peppadew peppers, red onions, tomato, cajun spices and garlic oil without the cheese to be dairy free.
As you will spot a lot of those ingredients are high FODMAP but this is before I even knew what FODMAP was, as at the time I hadn’t been diagnosed with IBS.
The pizza despite the lack of cheese was delicious and probably up there with the best gluten free pizza’s I have tasted.
One thing that really stuck out to me was that I was presented with my own pizza cutter, which was such a relief as often this is where the cross contamination happens!
The restaurant was also accredited by Coeliac UK.
I can’t wait to go back, so for that reason, I have to give them 4 out of 5 stars the customer service and quality of food were just brilliant!
My only negative is that there wasn’t a lot of toppings and the pizza looked quite bare but it did make it up in the flavour which was incredible.
Despite the negatives, I would definitely recommend visiting Pizza Express.
If only they could open up a takeaway service, maybe something they should consider in the future at present they only offer a takeaway service if you collect.
Update January 2018 – Pizza Express are now available for home baking in Tesco’s freshGiardiniera (V)
Mozzarella, tomato sauce, aubergines, peppers, courgettes, feta and rocketizza/passta aisle. This now gives them a 5 out 5 I couldn’t fault their home bake pizza and so convenient for a quick meal.
I am really impressed with Pizza Hut, as a child, I used to love Pizza Hut’s all you can eat lunchtime buffets and I would regularly visit with my family or friends when we went into town.
Their gluten-free pizza doesn’t disappoint either it has a wonderful texture, fairly similar to the pizza I remembered pre-diagnosis and I think it is super & delicious!
I prefer this takeaway option to Domino’s and love it so much I am known personally by my local branch.
I always order the same thing gluten-free Texan BBQ without the cheese and sometimes if I am really lucky they add extras such as peppers or parsley as they feel sorry for me that I can’t eat the cheese but still have to pay the same price.
They always pile high the toppings, going that extra bit to satisfy their customers and the food really is delicious!
All three of my family who is gluten free would choose Pizza Hut over Domino’s, so no surprise I am giving them 5 out of 5! I don’t think they should change anything their gluten free pizza tastes good, has a great texture and are a good size.
The price is also reasonable and on par with other takeaways.
My only suggestion would be to look into sourcing dairy free cheese, which also opens them up to the vegan market, but I understand that may take time and not be feasible.
Tesco offers a gluten free base in their food cupboard section and they also offer a number of gluten free frozen pizzas.
Unfortunately, their frozen pizzas are not suitable for me as they contain cheese (dairy), but my mum has them regularly and highly rates them.
If dairy isn’t an issue it may be worth checking out the BBQ chicken one, which is my mums favourite.
The bases which are gluten and dairy free, however, I really like and at least once or twice a month I will treat myself to one and enjoy designing my own pizza.
They are thin and crispy with a quite soft texture, but I think they are very nice and really delicious when piled high with toppings.
One of my only criticism is that they are tiny, I mean stupidly small I have to eat two!
So they should seriously look into producing bigger ones.
The beauty about gluten free bases for me is that I can add my own low FODMAP toppings and violife dairy free cheese.
Pictured below are the Tesco gluten free bases, which I then topped to make one BBQ chicken and the other sweet chilli chicken.
I give Tesco’s 4 out of 5 stars as the pizzas are great, they just need to be bigger so please look
So my winner is Pizza Hut and Pizza Express. Thank you for offering delicious gluten and dairy free pizzas to takeaway and eat in your restaurants!!
Companies please note there is a huge gap in the market for gluten and dairy free pizzas and as food intolerances and allergies are becoming increasingly more common it is maybe something you should consider.
Equally providing your pizza bases don’t contain egg this would also open you up to the vegan market.
I’d love to know your views on which gluten free pizza is your favourite.
Do you agree with me that Pizza Hut and Pizza Express is the best or do you have a different favourite?