Pinsa vs Pizza

Whether you’re craving a classic cheesy pie or something a little different, the debate between pinsa vs pizza is an interesting one. Both are flatbreads topped with delicious toppings, but there are some key differences between these Italian staples. 

In this blog post, we will explore the distinctions between pinsa and pizza – from ingredients to cooking methods to texture. Regardless of which camp you fall in, they both make for a satisfying and melt-in-your-mouth meal.

An Overview Of Pinsa and Pizza

Originating from Rome, pinsa is a type of Italian flatbread that is lighter, crispier, and less caloric than traditional pizza. The dough is a mix of soy, wheat, and rice flour, which is then left to rise for up to 72 hours.

This results in an incredibly light and digestible crust. The word ‘pinsa’ comes from the Latin ‘pinsere’, meaning ‘to stretch’, reflecting the way the dough is worked.

On the other hand, pizza, as we know it today, hails from Naples. It was originally a staple food for the poor, made simply with water, yeast, and flour. The idea of topping it with tomato came in the late 18th century, which eventually led to the creation of the iconic Margherita pizza.

Unlike pinsa, pizza dough is typically made with wheat flour and has a shorter fermentation period, leading to a denser crust.

Pinsa vs Pizza: Key Differences

For those who haven’t been able to differentiate pinsa vs pizza the first time, this article is for you. It’s quite easy to see the difference between these two favorite foods. Let’s explore now!

1. Ingredients

The first sector to consider is the ingredients. As previously noted, the dough composition forms the bedrock of the difference in ingredients between pinsa and pizza.

– Pinsa dough is a mix of soy, wheat, and rice flours, providing its distinct lightness and crispiness. Left to rise for approximately 48 to 72 hours, the dough undergoes a long fermentation process which contributes to its unique taste and texture.

– Pizza dough uses wheat flour exclusively, resulting in a denser, more bread-like crust. The fermentation period for pizza dough is significantly shorter, usually around 24 hours.

2. Toppings

Moving beyond the dough, it’s the toppings where the differences continue to shine. 

– Pinsa is lauded for its creative and varied toppings, which can include everything from traditional Italian cured meats or cheeses to more innovative options like smoked salmon or truffle oil.

– Pizza is often associated with its iconic toppings: tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and basil, paying homage to the colors of the Italian flag in the classic Margherita. Though pizza toppings have evolved to include a myriad of variations, these original ingredients remain the gold standard.

3. Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition, both pizza and pinsa have their merits and demerits.

– Pinsa slices, with 300 to 350 calories, feature a lighter dough and healthier toppings, making them a good choice for managing blood sugar. Be cautious with high-fat toppings like cheese or meats.

– Pizza slices, typically 400 to 500 calories, are calorie-dense due to the high carbohydrate content of wheat flour. Toppings influence fat content, but mozzarella provides calcium for bone health.

In a nutshell, pinsa can be a healthier option, but the final nutritional content largely depends on the toppings chosen. With both pinsa and pizza, opting for a balance of vegetables and lean proteins can make for a more nutritious meal.

4. Shape

The shape is another distinguishing factor between pinsa vs pizza.

– Pinsa typically flaunts a distinctive oval or rectangular shape, a departure from the traditional round shape associated with pizzas. This elongated shape further adds to the unique character of pinsa, making it easily distinguishable.

– Pizza is universally recognized for its classic round shape, often divided into equal triangular slices. This circular design, a legacy of its Neapolitan origins, is now synonymous with pizza worldwide.

5. Texture

Another key distinction lies in the texture of these 02 foodstuffs.

– Pinsa is celebrated for its peculiar texture – the outside is crunchy and crispy while the inside remains soft and airy, making for a delightful bite. The long fermentation and unique blend of flours contribute to this texture, keeping it light and digestible.

– Pizza offers a different textural experience. The crust is typically thicker and chewier, especially around the edges, while the center under the toppings tends to be softer. The result is a heartier, more substantial feel in each bite.

This difference in texture is a key factor in the ongoing pinsa vs pizza debate, with personal preferences often determining the winner.

6. Cooking Techniques

This is the last comparing factor we will discover about the differences between pinsa and pizza: cooking methods. 

– Pinsa is typically baked in electric ovens at around 375°F for a relatively short period, about 25 minutes. This process ensures the outside becomes crispy while the inside stays soft and airy, preserving the moisture in the dough.

Traditional Neapolitan pizza is usually cooked in wood-fired brick ovens, reaching temperatures as high as 400°F to 500°F and baked for just 2 minutes. This extreme heat gives pizza its distinct, slightly charred crust and the unique smoky flavor that is difficult to replicate in a conventional home oven.

In short, there’s no wrong choice between pinsa and pizza – it all boils down to individual preferences for ingredients, nutritional content, form, texture, and cooking techniques.

How Pizza and Pinsa Compare In Digestibility?

Both pizza and pinsa have unique traits that impact their digestibility.

With its mix of rice, soy, and wheat flour, and longer fermentation period, a pinsa crust tends to be more easily digestible. This fermentation process aids in breaking down the complex carbs and proteins, making it easier on the digestive system.

A traditional pizza dough uses only wheat flour and has a shorter fermentation time, which can make it slightly harder to digest. However, it’s important to note that individual responses can vary widely based on personal digestive health.

Therefore, while pinsa might be a more digestible option for some, others might find they digest pizza just as well.

When Having Acid Reflux: Is Pinsa a Good Substitute for Pizza?

Pinsa may indeed be a suitable alternative for individuals suffering from acid reflux. The lower yeast content and longer fermentation process reduce the acidity level, making it potentially less triggering for acid reflux symptoms.

In addition, the lighter, airier texture of pinsa means less bulk to digest, which could be beneficial for those with digestive discomfort. However, it’s important to remember that individual triggers can differ significantly.

High-fat and spicy toppings, common on both pizza and pinsa, can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms in some individuals. Thus, while choosing pinsa may help, it’s equally important to select toppings wisely, lean towards lean proteins and vegetables, and avoid potential triggers like high-fat meats and excessive cheese.

Pinsa vs Pizza: Which Is Healthier?

After distinguishing between pinsa and pizza, do you feel which dish is healthier? The answer largely depends on individual dietary needs and the choice of toppings.

If calorie count, carbohydrate content, and sugar levels are your main concern, a slice of pinsa can be a healthier choice due to its lighter, airier dough and the possibility of choosing healthier toppings.

However, remember that certain toppings can greatly increase the fat content. Meanwhile, while the traditional pizza might be more calorie-dense, it does offer nutritional benefits such as calcium from mozzarella.

Therefore, the healthiest choice between the two often comes down to customizing your toppings wisely, opting for a balance of vegetables and lean proteins, and portion control.

Pinsa Or Pizza: Which One Is More Delicious?

The answer to this question is the same as asking: which food is healthier? It all boils down to personal preferences.

Pinsa with its lighter, airier dough and crispier crust might be the perfect choice for those who appreciate a more delicate flavor profile and a healthier option.

Meanwhile, the rich, chewy texture and often robust toppings of a traditional pizza may be the ultimate culinary delight for those who prefer a heartier fare.


In the end, the pinsa vs pizza debate is largely a matter of personal preference, influenced by factors like individual dietary needs, taste preferences, and even conditions such as acid reflux.

Both dishes offer unique flavors, textures, and culinary experiences, making each a vibrant part of Italian gastronomy. Whether you’re a fan of the crispy, airy pinsa or the hearty, chewy pizza, there’s no denying the charm of these iconic foods.

Leave a Comment