Five of the least healthy pizzas

From Domino's to Pizza Hut, we reveal the fast food chain pizzas you're better off avoiding this summer.

Any way you slice it

Summer's here, the weather's good and the days are long. What better way to enjoy yourself than to order a few pizzas, kick back and relax with friends and family in your backyard or down at the beach? 

Pizza is the fast food of choice for Australians, according to CHOICE's latest Consumer Pulse survey. And no wonder, when it lends itself so perfectly to no-fuss, no-cutlery-or-crockery dining in the great outdoors.

But some pizzas are so high in kilojoules – and so loaded with fat and salt – you might want to think twice before you order, and perhaps choose a healthier option. Your body will thank you later.

In this article:

Five of the worst 

We looked at the kilojoule content of pizzas on the menus of Australia's favourite pizza chains – focusing on each chain's 'large' pizzas for a fair comparison – and identified the most kilojoule-laden offerings from each. We also point out some lighter alternatives. *The kilojoules in brackets are for a 'large' 8-slice pizza. 

1. Pizza Capers: Bourbon Chicken & Bacon (8960kJ*)  

Bourbon Chicken & Bacon from Pizza Capers
Bourbon Chicken & Bacon
(image source: Pizza Capers)

Some of you could easily wolf down a 12-inch pizza on your own. But with this meaty feast, you might want to reconsider. At 1120kJ a slice, it's not for the faint-hearted, and it has more kilojoules than any other large pizza we looked at.  

Even if you stop at just two slices, you've eaten a quarter of the 8700 kilojoules the average Australian adult consumes in a day; all eight slices, and you've eaten more than a whole day's worth, with barely a vegetable passing your lips.  

Pizza Capers' The Flying Pig, also weighing in at more than 1000kJ a slice, is not much better. 

A lighter alternative on Pizza Capers' menu: BBQ Chicken & Mushroom (4770kJ, 46% fewer kilojoules). 

2. Pizza Hut: Pulled Pork Meatlovers (8371kJ*)  

Pulled Pork Meatlovers from Pizza Hut
Pulled Pork Meatlovers
(image source: Pizza Hut)

As the name suggests, this pizza is definitely one for the carnivores, boasting not one but six types of meat (pulled pork, bacon, ham, pepperoni, sausage and beef) in the topping. At 1046kJ a slice, you'll hit just shy of a quarter of the average adult daily kilojoule eating two slices of this 11-inch pizza. 

Pizza Hut's Loaded Pepperoni, also more than 1000kJ a slice, isn't much better. Both feature in the top five most kilojoule-laden pizzas across all five chains. 

And not only do processed meat toppings bump up the saturated fat and kilojoule content of a food, they're a big contributor of sodium, which can also weigh heavy on your heart. 

A lighter alternative on Pizza Hut's menu: Ham Lovers (6099kJ, 27% fewer kilojoules). 

3. Crust: Peri-Peri (7868kJ*) 

Crust Peri-Peri
(image source: Crust)

Its description of marinated chicken breast fillets, shallots, roasted capsicum, caramelised onions and bocconcini on a tomato base, topped with Peri-Peri sauce and mozzarella sounds fairly innocuous – it even contains veggies. But the Peri-Peri has more kilojoules than any other Crust large pizza – at 984kJ a slice, it's in the top five most kilojoule-laden pizzas across the chains. 

To be fair to Crust, its large pizzas are 13 inches, so are more generous in size than the large pizzas from the other chains. So it's no surprise that six of the 10 most calorific large pizzas are all from Crust. 

If you're counting kilojoules, only order its range of 15-inch x 9-inch 'Upper Crust' pizzas if you're planning on sharing. 

A lighter alternative on Crust's menu: Pepperoni (6026kJ, 23% fewer kilojoules). 

4. Domino's: Double Bacon Cheeseburger (6672kJ*)

Dominos Double Bacon Cheeseburger
Double Bacon Cheeseburger
(image source: Domino's)

The name says it all, really. Just like its namesake in the burger world, this pizza consists primarily of minced beef, bacon and cheese. The bacon has also been 'maple cured' (adding sugary 'goodness') and the pizza is topped with mayonnaise. 

The Double Bacon Cheeseburger pizza contains 834kJ a slice, which is pretty impressive given its comparably diminutive size. Domino's says its pizza diameters vary depending on the type of base, so we ordered this pizza with a standard 'classic crust', and it measured 26cm (10 inches) across. This could explain why, on average, Domino's pizzas have fewer kilojoules than the other chains. 

A lighter alternative on the Domino's menu: Ham & Cheese (4456kJ, 33% fewer kilojoules). 

5. Eagle Boys: The Carnivore (6559kJ*)

Double Bacon Cheeseburger from Eagle Boys
The Carnivore
(image source: Eagle Boys)

It may not be in the same league as Pizza Capers' Bourbon Chicken & Bacon pizza, but of its standard 12-inch pizza range, The Carnivore is Eagle Boys most calorific offering. If you wolf down a whole one, you'll have chewed up 75% of your average daily intake in a single meal. 

Eagle Boys also has a range of 'Mega' pizzas, which at 15 inches in diameter are the largest on offer across the chains. Its Ultimate Mega Meatlovers, at 9717kJ, has more kilojoules than any other pizza we saw. The mega pizzas are cut into 16 slices for sharing, however, so on a per-slice basis have less kilojoules than many of the large pizzas. This helps – as long as you limit the number of slices you eat. 

A lighter alternative on Eagle Boys' menu: Ham & Cheese (3887kJ, 41% fewer kilojoules). 

Tired of fast food takeaways? Our gourmet meal delivery services review looks at your options.

Why should we care about kilojoules?

About 63% of Australian adults, and 25% of children, are overweight or obese. 

Unhealthy eating, particularly the overconsumption of discretionary foods – ones that are not necessary for a healthy diet and are too high in saturated fat and/or added sugars, added salt or alcohol and low in fibre – contributes to this problem. 

According to the last national nutrition survey, 35% of our kilojoules, on average, are coming from discretionary foods, which include biscuits, cakes, pastries, pies, processed meats, commercial burgers, fried foods, potato chips, crisps and pizza. Ideally, we should make healthier food choices and limit the amount of discretionary foods we eat. But when we do eat food like pizza, choosing lower-kilojoule options can make a difference. 

Kilojoule labelling on fast food menu boards is mandatory in NSW, ACT and SA (if there are 20 or more outlets in the state or 50 or more nationally), with Victoria to follow in 2018. Having this information available at point of sale allows you to make a more informed decision about what you buy. 

A word on sodium 

High intakes of sodium can increase blood pressure, which in turn can increase the risk of developing heart and kidney problems, so it's a good idea to limit the amount of foods we eat that contain added salt. Pizza is notoriously salty, with processed meat toppings being a big contributor. 

Each slice of a large Bourbon Chicken & Bacon pizza from Pizza Capers, for example, contains 711mg sodium. When you consider that 920mg of sodium a day is thought to be an adequate intake for an adult, just two slices of this pizza will give you way more than you need. Eat the whole pizza and you've even blown the recommended daily upper limit of 2300mg. 

How to choose a healthier pizza 

Fast food pizzas are generally high in kilojoules, fat and salt, and low in fibre and vegetables. But you can make healthier choices:

  • Crust/base type: Choose a thin-style base if it's an option, and avoid cheese-filled crusts.
  • Sizes and slices: If you have a tendency to eat the whole pizza, buy the small or medium version instead of the large. Alternatively, serve yourself up half the number of slices you normally would, and fill the rest of your plate with salad or veggies instead.
  • Toppings: For a lighter choice look for a pizza with more vegetables, and less cheese and processed meat (pepperoni, salami and bacon) as they pack on the fat and salt. Most chains allow you to customise your order – or even create your own pizza. You can customise your Crust pizza online to make it healthier by removing certain cheese or meat ingredients, for example, and switching to a wholemeal base or adding extra veggies (at a cost).
  • Kilojoules on the menu: Use the kilojoule information on websites and menu boards to compare pizzas and choose lower kilojoule options.

Pizza comparison table

We compared the kilojoule content of 149 fast food pizzas. We've listed them below in brand order. To order by another criteria, simply click on the column headings.

Chain Pizza name kJ per pizza* kJ per slice
Crust Peri-Peri 7868 984
Crust Crust Supreme 7850 981
Crust BBQ 7814 977
Crust Pesto Chicken Club 7786 973
Crust Mexican 7737 967
Crust Tandoori 7644 956
Crust Australian 7610 951
Crust Florentine Ricotta 7586 948
Crust Margherita 7563 945
Crust Harissa Hummus Chicken 7433 929
Crust Wagyu Shoga 7216 902
Crust Biltong Spiced Lamb 7119 890
Crust Szechuan Chilli Prawn 7057 882
Crust Meat Deluxe 6815 852
Crust Seafood 6810 851
Crust Garlic Prawn 6806 851
Crust Hawaiian 6726 841
Crust Vietnamese Chilli Chicken 6641 830
Crust Vegetarian Supreme 6541 818
Crust Capricciosa 6279 785
Crust Prosciutto 6259 782
Crust Mediterranean Lamb 6243 780
Crust Pancetta 6207 776
Crust c. 1889 Margherita 6109 764
Crust Quattro Salumi 6093 762
Crust Pepperoni 6026 753
Domino''s Double Bacon Cheeseburger 6672 834
Domino's BBQ Meatlovers 6088 761
Domino's Creamy Chicken Carbonara 5816 727
Domino's BBQ Chicken & Rasher Bacon 5672 709
Domino's Tandoori Chicken 5640 705
Domino's Pulled Beef & Bacon 5504 688
Domino's Bangers & Beef 5480 685
Domino's Peri Peri Chicken 5464 683
Domino's Supreme 5464 683
Domino's Prawn Bacon & Feta 5416 677
Domino's Chicken & Feta 5320 665
Domino's Pepperoni 5184 648
Domino's Simply Cheese 5120 640
Domino's Godfather 5072 634
Domino's Cheesy Garlic Pizza 5040 630
Domino's Beef & Onion 5040 630
Domino's Fire Breather 5032 629
Domino's The Deluxe 4896 612
Domino's Garlic Prawn 4888 611
Domino's Margherita 4776 597
Domino's Hot Chilli Beef 4760 595
Domino's Hawaiian 4744 593
Domino's Americano 4600 575
Domino's Ham & Cheese 4456 557
Domino's Vegorama 4360 545
Domino's Spicy Veg Trio 4184 523
Eagle Boys The Carnivore 6559 820
Eagle Boys Butcher's Block 6478 810
Eagle Boys The Works 6307 788
Eagle Boys The Outback 5973 747
Eagle Boys The Scorcher 5963 745
Eagle Boys Chicken Club 5640 705
Eagle Boys Reef & Beef 5552 694
Eagle Boys Pepperoni 5273 659
Eagle Boys Tandoori Chicken 5174 647
Eagle Boys BBQ Meatlovers 5149 644
Eagle Boys Garlic Prawn 5135 642
Eagle Boys Beef & Bacon Ranch 5114 639
Eagle Boys Pepperoni & Pineapple 5020 628
Eagle Boys Pepperoni, Ham & Onion 4891 611
Eagle Boys The Herbivore 4876 610
Eagle Boys BBQ Chicken & Bacon 4825 603
Eagle Boys Supreme 4768 596
Eagle Boys Hot & Spicy 4696 587
Eagle Boys Chicken, Spinach & Feta 4622 578
Eagle Boys Chilli Beef 4601 575
Eagle Boys BBQ Beef & Onion 4584 573
Eagle Boys Garlic Aioli & Cheese 4546 568
Eagle Boys The Aussie 4501 563
Eagle Boys Spicy Chicken 4459 557
Eagle Boys The Bumper 4443 555
Eagle Boys Chicken Hawaiian 4405 551
Eagle Boys Margherita 4346 543
Eagle Boys Veggie Delight 4090 511
Eagle Boys Hawaiian 4072 509
Eagle Boys Cheeslovers 4028 504
Eagle Boys Value Vegetarian 3935 492
Eagle Boys Classic Vegetarian 3919 490
Eagle Boys Ham & Cheese 3887 486
Pizza Capers Bourbon Chicken & Bacon 8960 1120
Pizza Capers The Flying Pig 8020 1003
Pizza Capers New Mexico 7550 944
Pizza Capers Tuscan Pesto Chicken & Bacon 7380 923
Pizza Capers Reef & Beef 7080 885
Pizza Capers Rustic Lamb 6940 868
Pizza Capers BBQ Bonanza 6720 840
Pizza Capers Piri Piri Chicken 6600 825
Pizza Capers Porknado 6310 789
Pizza Capers Smoke Cured Pepperoni 6180 773
Pizza Capers Exotic Potato & Bacon 6160 770
Pizza Capers Chicken & Avocado 6140 768
Pizza Capers Troppo 6040 755
Pizza Capers Smokin Salmon & Avo 6040 755
Pizza Capers Margherita 5840 730
Pizza Capers Seafood Barcelona 5800 725
Pizza Capers Euro 5600 700
Pizza Capers Arancini Moussaka 5580 698
Pizza Capers Alfunghi 5560 695
Pizza Capers Lamb-Baa-Gini 5500 688
Pizza Capers New Orleans 5490 686
Pizza Capers Supremo 5350 669
Pizza Capers Italian Connection 5040 630
Pizza Capers Vegetarian 4940 618
Pizza Capers Capricciosa 4890 611
Pizza Capers BBQ Chicken & Mushroom 4770 596
Pizza Capers The Prawn 4620 578
Pizza Hut Pulled Pork Meatlovers 8371 1046
Pizza Hut Loaded Pepperoni 8073 1009
Pizza Hut BBQ Cheeseburger 7342 918
Pizza Hut Mega Meatlovers 7144 893
Pizza Hut BBQ Meatlovers 7056 882
Pizza Hut Smokey Chicken & Bacon 7050 881
Pizza Hut Beef Deluxe 7045 881
Pizza Hut Ultimate Hot & Spicy 6884 861
Pizza Hut Super Supreme 6816 852
Pizza Hut BBQ Beef 6795 849
Pizza Hut Olive Lovers 6767 846
Pizza Hut Three Cheese 6740 843
Pizza Hut Hot & Spicy Beef 6716 840
Pizza Hut Cheese Lovers 6677 835
Pizza Hut Hot & Spicy Chicken 6676 835
Pizza Hut Smokey Prawn & Bacon 6647 831
Pizza Hut BBQ Chicken 6617 827
Pizza Hut Veggie Sensation 6596 825
Pizza Hut Pepperoni Lovers 6560 820
Pizza Hut Asian Pulled Pork 6492 812
Pizza Hut Chicken Supreme 6345 793
Pizza Hut Garlic Chicken 6328 791
Pizza Hut Chicken & Fetta 6262 783
Pizza Hut Hawaiian Chicken 6185 773
Pizza Hut Hawaiian 6145 768
Pizza Hut Veggie Supreme 6126 766
Pizza Hut Ham Lovers 6099 762
Pizza Hut Asian Chicken 6082 760
Pizza Hut Prawn & Fetta 6051 756
Pizza Hut Hot & Spicy Prawn 6040 755
Pizza Hut Asian Prawn 6028 754
Pizza Hut Hot & Spicy Veggie 6021 753
Pizza Hut Prawn Supreme 6018 752
Pizza Hut Mushroom Lovers 5900 738
Pizza Hut Garlic Prawn 5856 732
Pizza Hut Asian Veggie 5795 724
Pizza Hut Margherita 5436 680

Table notes

When you order pizza from these chains, the default option is 'large' – all with eight slices per pizza – so we've focused on this size for the purpose of this review. Some pizza chains also offer 'small' or 'medium' size or even larger pizzas, but the number of slices can vary. 

*kJ per pizza is what's published on the chains' websites for a large pizza with the following base/crust: Crust – 'Original dough', Domino's – 'Classic crust', Eagle Boys – not specified, Pizza Capers – 'Classico', Pizza Hut – 'Traditional dough'.