CPK Gluten-Free Pizza Review and Menu Details

California Pizza Kitchen, famous for its hand-tossed, restaurant-style pizzas and diverse menu, has built a solid reputation for being a relatively safer pizza spot among gluten-free eaters for many years now.

Given all the buzz, I couldn’t wait any longer and finally decided to visit my local CPK to taste-test their gluten-free pizza offerings for myself.

But before embarking on my taste-testing and review, I researched CPK’s menu and read others’ thoughts on their pizzas. Surprisingly, opinions about CPK’s gluten-free pizzas were polarized. Some couldn’t get enough of the taste and service, while others felt the quality had sharply declined since pre-pandemic times

So it really was time for me to try them out and put together an up-to-date assessment of their GF pizza and menu to see where they stand in the game these days.

Mission completed – in this review, I’ll share everything I learned about their GF menu and my personal experience with their pizza.

Without further ado, let’s dive into this review, starting with the key takeaways…

Key Takeaways

  • CPK offers 5 regular size (11”) certified gluten-free pizzas.
  • Their gluten-free pizzas come with prearranged toppings and ingredients.
  • CPK does not offer build-your-own pizza options for gluten-free orders.
  • The gluten-free pizzas at CPK are prepared under strict gluten-free guidelines, referred to as “validated gluten-free”.
  • CPK offers only one type of gluten-free crust: a certified gluten-free cauliflower pizza crust. 
  • Based on my observation, I highly doubt CPK’s GF pizzas are 100% safe for Celiacs. Cross-contact is real possibility.

Pizza’s Review | Taste, Texture, Prep, Price, and Overall

For this review, I ordered takeout at the Northridge, CA location, which is one of the closer CPKs to my place.

Being a huge fan of mushrooms, I opted for the gluten-free mushroom, pepperoni, and sausage pizza made on a thin cauliflower crust.

The order took about 25 minutes, and the munching started soon after.

Here’s everything about the taste, texture, and more:


Within seconds of my first bite, I was hit by overwhelming saltiness and spiciness. The pepperoni was very salty, and the sausage was quite spicy.

Sadly, I couldn’t taste the sauce, mushrooms, or basil on the pizza because of the excess salt and spice I tasted, so I can’t say how fresh these other toppings were.

On the flip side, the crust was well-made and held the toppings nicely. The cauliflower crust tasted just like regular pizza dough and didn’t have any veggie taste or smell.


Texture-wise, the pizza was a bit dry on the outer edges but evenly crunchy and crispy within. The toppings were somewhat dry too.

I think the pizza might’ve been taken out of the oven a minute or two late, but the good-quality cauliflower crust compensated for the overall dryness of the pizza.


Honestly, I couldn’t get the fuss over CPK’s stringent efforts to ensure gluten-free pizzas are contaminant-free.

I sat at the bar and had a full view of the pizza chef working. The entire prep counter area was about 25 feet in length, and I didn’t see the chef prepping my GF pizza separately. All the pizzas were prepared within a 10-foot section of the pizza counter.

To be fair, separate utensils were used, and the pizza was put in tin foil before going into the oven.

CPK GF Pizza in tin foil before going into an oven

However, I didn’t see any other special prepping steps significantly different from pizzerias like Blaze or MOD Pizza.

So, if you’re a Celiac, be cautious when dining at CPK because, based on what I observed, cross-contact was very much possible.


CPK’s prices are dine-in restaurant prices, so they’re on the higher end.

Here’s the breakdown of what my GF pizza cost.

Pizza………………. $22.49


The best part of my CPK pizza was the crust. I had never had a cauliflower crust that so closely mimicked regular wheat crusts. But, everything else about the pizza and the service was mediocre at best.

I’ve had great food and times at CPK in the past, but at this taste testing, my socks were not knocked off.

CPK’s Gluten-Free Menu

At CPK, they don’t provide customization or build-your-own pizza options for their orders. You might be able to request a few add-ons to their original GF pizza recipe, but creating a pizza from scratch isn’t an option.

(Quick note, if you’re thinking of adding extra toppings to your gluten-free pizza that aren’t part of the original recipe, be cautious, as the additional toppings could come from shared trays, risking cross-contact)

To maintain what they call “validated gluten-free”, CPK offers GF pizzas with prearranged toppings and ingredients, prepared under strict gluten-free guidelines.

The “gluten-free validation” does not apply to the rest of the non-gluten foods on their menu.

For your convenience, I’ve organized CPK’s gluten-free menu into categories below to help you navigate better:

The Wedge
California Olive Oil (Mediterranean Herbs)
California Cobb
Italian Chopped
Banh Mi Bowl
CPK Salad
Main Plates
Cedar Plank Salmon
GF Pizzas
GF Original BBQ Chicken Pizza
GF Pepperoni
GF Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage
GF Margherita
GF Traditional Cheese
Kids GF Pizzas
GF Original BBQ Chicken Pizza
GF Pepperoni
GF Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage
GF Traditional Cheese

CPK’s Gluten-Free Pizza Ingredients and Nutrition

CPK’s GF Cauliflower Crust Ingredients: Cauliflower, Mozzarella Cheese, Rice Flour, Herbs, and Spices

For nutritional information, you can visit CPK’s gluten-free page, select your desired pizza, and click on its picture. A pop-up window will appear, displaying the nutritional information per slice.

Unfortunately, the cauliflower crust as a standalone item isn’t listed, so I couldn’t find any nutritional information on the crust itself.

Here are the nutritional facts for the gluten-free pizza I ordered:

GF Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage (Per Slice)

  • Calories 200
  • Carbs 15g
  • Protein 9g
  • Fat 10g
  • Sugar 1g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sodium 460mg
  • Saturated Fat 5g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 30mg
  • Calories from Fat 90


What is gluten-free at California Pizza Kitchen?

On the pizza menu, CPK offers 5 regular sizes (11”) certified gluten-free pizzas and 4 pizza options on the kids’ menu. Feel free to refer to the Gluten-Free Menu section above, where you’ll find the entire selection of gluten-free foods available at CPK.

Is CPK safe for Celiacs?

Although CPK has a good reputation among gluten-free eaters, based on my observation of the pizza chef prepping my GF pizza and other pizzas, I have doubts about it being 100% safe for Celiacs.

As mentioned earlier, all the pizzas were being prepared within a 10 feet section of a counter dedicated to the pizza chef. However, CPK does encourage highly allergic or celiac customers to discuss their needs with the manager on duty before ordering food. The extent to which a manager can make a difference remains unclear.

Is the cauliflower crust at CPK gluten-free?

Absolutely. CPK’s cauliflower crust is gluten-free and crafted with a tasty mix of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, egg whites, rice flour, and various herbs and spices.

What are the ingredients in CPK’s gluten-free pizza crust?

CPK’s gluten-free cauliflower crust consists of cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, egg whites, rice flour, and a blend of herbs and spices. It contains eggs and dairy, so exercise caution if you have allergies to these ingredients.

How big is CPK’s gluten-free pizza?

CPK’s GF pizza is a nicely sized 11” thin-crust pizza.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, my experience with CPK’s gluten-free pizza was somewhat underwhelming. If I decide to give their GF pizza another go, I’d likely choose the Margherita or cheese pizza, considering the pepperoni and sausage on my previous order were a bit too salty and spicy for my liking.

Although CPK is known as a reputable pizza restaurant with higher prices, I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of the pizza this time around. However, I’ll give them another chance in the future, hoping to discover more satisfying gluten-free options.

If you’re interested in CPK’s gluten-free selections, feel free to give them a try – but do keep in mind the possible limitations and potential risks for those with celiac disease. Enjoy your meal!