Pizza: Fast Food or Fine Dining? We Examine the Evidence

  • By: Mike
  • Date: December 29, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Pizza is a classic comfort food for people of all ages. The crispy crust, the gooey cheese, the rich tomato sauce, and the additional toppings all contribute to the amazingness of pizza. But is this comfort food a fast food, or is it a classier, healthier form of food?

The truth is, it depends on the pizza and how it is made. Pizza is a fast food, but it can also be a sit-down, slow-cooked, artisanal food. Fast-food pizzas are different from artisanal pizzas. The crust, sauce, cheese, and toppings used in fast food pizzas are generally cheaper and lower in quality than those used in artisanal pizzas. 

Many people have strong opinions about whether or not pizza is a fast food. In this article, we’ll discuss the types of fast-food pizza and analyze the differences between fast food and healthy, artisanal pizzas.  

What Is Fast Food Pizza?

The definition of fast food is any food that can be cooked or prepared within a few minutes. These types of foods are often unhealthy and contain too many calories. Fast food can include many different types of food, including:

  • Burgers
  • Chinese Food
  • Sandwiches
  • Fried Chicken
  • Mexican Food
  • Fried Fish
  • Hot Dogs
  • French Fries
  • Breakfast Sandwiches
  • Chicken Nuggets

Some pizzas also fall into the category of quick-service foods. Some restaurants sell pizza by the slice. Other places advertise that their pizzas are ready in ten minutes or less. Both of these types of restaurants definitely qualify as fast food. 

Fast food pizza typically uses lower quality, less expensive ingredients than sit-down pizza restaurants. Their sauces may be mass-produced and canned, then shipped to their franchises. The cheeses and other ingredients may have added fats and salts to give them more flavor.

Fast Food Pizza Ingredients

Many fast-food pizza restaurants either brush a sauce on the crust to add flavor or put containers of dipping sauce into the pizza box. The crusts of cheap, quickly-cooked pizzas are often flavorless. The dipping sauce provides flavor to make it easier to eat the crust.

Fast food pizzas sacrifice quality for a lower price and a quicker meal. Many toppings loaded on fast food pizzas are filled with preservatives, high in fat, and full of sodium. The additives from the toppings, crust, and sauce enhance the flavor and mask the inferior ingredients used to make it. 

Pizzas that are baked quickly also miss out on the flavors acquired from slow cooking the dough and toppings together. Despite that, hundreds of millions of people eat fast food pizza to fill a craving for greasy, cheesy, fried bread.

What Is The Best Fast Food Pizza?

The restaurants with the best fast-food pizza have several qualities in common. Their pizzas have a good ratio of cheese and sauce, the crust is a good texture and thickness, and the quality is consistent. If the pizza quality is inconsistent, they do not keep their customers.

Many people base part of their opinion about the best fast food pizza on how quickly the pizza is ready or delivered. The way a pizza is packaged also contributes to the overall impression left by the company. No one likes to see the cheese stuck to the box lid and not on the pizza.

One popular YouTuber took the time to compare several of the major fast-food pizza chains. Check out his video by clicking on this link. He uses his deep-dive taste-testing skills to rank the national chain fast-food pizza restaurants located in his area in order of quality and taste.

Can Pizza Be Healthy?

Pizza can be healthy. Healthy pizzas are made with quality ingredients. The pizza crust contains only whole ingredients of flour, water, yeast, and a pinch of salt. A healthy pizza dough does not have any added fillers or flavors. 

The tomato sauce on a healthy pizza does not contain an excessive amount of sugar. The best pizza sauces are made with fresh ingredients, not canned or frozen. Fresh vegetables and herbs used in a pizza sauce are key to making a pizza healthy. 

Handfuls of melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese piled on top of a pizza is an excessive amount of fat. Instead, small rounds of mozzarella cheese and lightly grated parmesan sprinkled over the top of a pizza provide the cheese flavor without all of the calories.

Many artisanal pizzas also use healthy toppings. Ingredients such as arugula, roasted peppers, red onions, grilled chicken, sliced tomatoes, herbs, and small amounts of processed meat can add flavor without adding too many calories.

Healthy pizzas take longer to make than fast-food pizzas. Because a fast-food pizza chef fills hundreds or thousands of orders each day, they spend as little time as possible assembling the pizza before baking it in the oven. 

A healthier pizza is made from scratch. It takes time to roll out the dough for a healthy pizza crust made from only a few ingredients. However, the flavor of a crust freshly made from healthy ingredients is better than any fast-food pizza crust.

Is Frozen Pizza Fast Food?

Frozen pizza is fast food. It is probably the least healthy of all the fast food pizzas because they have additional preservatives that keep it stable for a long time. Frozen pizzas also use refined carbohydrates, excessive sodium, and added sugars. These added ingredients add calories to the pizza

When it comes to fast food, frozen pizza is the fastest. These pizzas bake in less than ten minutes. A microwave can bake some in less than five minutes. While frozen pizzas are the ultimate and unhealthy fast food pizza, they can still be quite delicious.


Pizza can be a fast food. Fast food pizzas are typically high in fat and sodium, which help to add flavor and mask the taste of the low-quality ingredients. They often contain preservatives that increase their shelf life and are high in calories.

Despite all the unhealthy aspects of fast food pizzas, they are delicious, and it is all right to consume them occasionally.


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