January 24, 2012

Low-Sodium Inspiration Pizza


For me, it comes from cravings. From menus. From other people’s dinners. From smells. From pictures in magazines. From trips elsewhere. From ingredients that are past their prime. From questions sent in by you.

From dreams I have about cooking. From prepared food at Whole Foods. From television cooking contests. From websites like this. And blogs like that. From childhood memories. From the determination to turn the word “no” into a “yes.” From the season and what’s in season.

And did I mention cravings? Yeah, those inspire me too.

And this past week, I needed a good slice of pizza pie.

Pizza is just one of those foods that grows old with you.

Starting at a young age, it’s clear that pizza is special. The T-ball team always gathers around a pie after game (win or lose). Thin crust appears at birthday parties. And the pleasures of deep dish join in during young adulthood.

Pizza marks maturation–as you grow from a simple cheese and black olive girl into a more refined lover of mushrooms, chorizo, and even pears for toppings.

Even on a low-sodium diet, pizza just needs to end up on your plate once in a while.

So while a few salty ingredients may stand in the way–prepared pizza sauce, traditional toppings, ready-to-bake crust–it is really easy to make a salt-free pie and make it your own. All you need is inspiration. And the recipe for a super fail-safe crust below.

(Salt-free white sauce recipe to come soon…in the meantime let your imagination top this dough. And thank you, Foodista.com, for making me the featured blog of the day!)

Chow on.



  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup semolina flour
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt-free garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¾ cups cold water
  • ¼ cup olive oil


You can make this recipe in a large bowl. But I like using my stand-up mixer with the dough hook for more manpower. Either way, begin the dough by stirring yeast and lukewarm water together in a bowl (or directly in your mixer). Add ¼ cup of the all-purpose flour and ¼ cup of semolina. Mix well with a whisk and let it sit until bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Combine the remaining flour, semolina, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano in another bowl. Add to the yeast mixture and add in the cold water and olive oil as well. Stir (or turn on that mixer) and combine all the ingredients until it forms a dough. It will take a few minutes to come together, so be patient! And as for the right, dough texture, it shouldn’t be dry but not too sticky either…somewhere right in between. Add a little extra flour if needed. Then, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm corner of your kitchen until doubled in size, about an hour.

At this point, you can refrigerate or freeze your dough for later use. But if you’re ready for some pizza pie…

Preheat the oven to 425dg F.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal disks (or 4 if you want smaller pizzas–just watch your baking time carefully as you’ll probably need to cook them for half the normal time). Let the doughy disks rest for 20 minutes and then use your hand or a rolling pin to stretch out the dough into 10” crusts. The dough is pretty elastic, so it will probably shrink back on itself. Just keep rolling.

When the size is right, put it on a pizza stone or baking tray on the middle rack and cook for 5 minutes. Take out the crust and put on your choice of sauce and toppings. Place the pie back in the oven until crust is golden brown, another 8 to 10 minutes.

Let it cool, slice, and serve.


Linda January 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

Exactly what I was planning for dinner! I make my own sauce (as well as crust) using no salt added tomato sauce, no salt added tomato paste, and herbs. My next goal is to make my own flour tortillas…

LiztheChef January 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Very inspiring – I make pizza for us almost every Friday night and struggle to keep it as loso as possible.

jessg23 January 26, 2012 at 7:57 am

Just you WAIT for the white sauce recipe!

Jen January 25, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Been on a low sodium diet for 2 years for Meniere’s. I miss pizza! I can’t wait to try this!

I have a challenge for you: I have a recipe that I have tried to make twice now! It’s No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread featured in the NYT. I completely leave out the salt. I can’t get it to work! Any suggestions for tweaking it?!


jessg23 January 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

I’m on it, Jen! Will do some low-sodium bread sleuthing next week. I have a couple dough related requests. So it seems I’ll have to pick up the measuring cups and let out my pants.

Megan January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

This recipe looks delicious. I love the idea of using semolina flour.
I try to live by a low-sodium lifestyle, just as an act of self-care; my body feels better when I do! Thank you for being such a great resource… you are an inspiration!

jessg23 January 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

Thank YOU for reading!

Kim January 27, 2012 at 6:54 am

I have discovered a great way to make tasty low-so tomato sauce. In late summer, I froze a boatload of fresh cherry tomatoes in ziplock bags. To make the sauce, I take the tomatoes out of the freezer and rinse them with boiling water so the skins peel right off. I melt some unsalted butter in a pan, throw in some garlic and then the tomatoes. The butter adds a nice creamy texture. I cook it down until the tomatoes disintegrate and add some Parmesan cheese at the end for more creaminess. The sauce is best eaten on the same day it is made. Yum!

Edna October 20, 2013 at 1:35 am

We love pizza with my kids and enjoy experimenting with new recipes . Yours is our next! 🙂
Thanks for sharing!

Marcia April 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

Hi Jessy,

Thus pizza crust sounds great! Any ideas fir low sodium cheese to use…other than Swiss? Can’t imagine Swiss on pizza!

Thanks do much,


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