Guide to Ordering Gluten Free at Papa John’s and Review

Another large pizza chain that’s thrown its hat into the gluten-free pizza ring is Papa John’s.

Famous for offering fresh, never-frozen dough and lots of delicious toppings, Papa John’s has been a go-to spot for pizza lovers for many years.

But, no matter how good a pizza chain’s track record is, the question for gluten-free eaters remains: are their gluten-free pizzas actually good, or are they just trying to stay relevant in diet trends?

Well, we decided to find out for ourselves and went on a little adventure to our local Papa John’s to see which side of the fence they fell on.

In this post, we’ll go over all the details on Papa John’s gluten-free menu and give you our honest opinion on their GF pizza and overall experience.

Let’s start with the key takeaways….

Key Takeaways

  • The overall taste was good – not amazing, just good.
  • Their gluten-free crust is made mainly of ancient grains. This made the crust a bit doughy, and a little chewy as it got colder.
  • The toppings smelled and tasted pretty fresh- props to Papa for that!
  • Was it worth $16.15 as a 10-inch single-topping GF pizza? Nope. Too pricey for the overall value. We’d take Domino’s or Pizza Hut over Papa’s option.

We’ll get into more details in the taste-test section. But, for now, let’s go over the nitty-gritty of their gluten-free crust and menu items.

Papa John’s Gluten Free Crust Ingredients, Nutrition Facts, and More

Papa John’s Gluten Free Crust Ingredients: Water, Sorghum Flour, Modified Rice Starch, Tapioca Starch, Teff Flour, Cage Free Egg Whites, Whey Powder, Shortening Flakes (Palm Oil, Natural Butter Flavor, Soy Lecithin), Quinoa Flour, Amaranth Flour, Canola/Olive Oil Blend, Yeast, Sugar, Brown Flax Seed, Salt, Cultured Brown Rice, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavors.

Calories and Macros Per Slice (Pepperoni on GF Crust)

  • Calories = 180
  • Net Carbs = 17g
  • Protein = 6g
  • Fats = 9g
Papa John's Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza Nutrition Label

Quick note: The nutrition label posted here is for the Pepperoni pizza we ordered on the gluten-free crust because Papa John’s did not provide nutrition information for their gluten-free crust separately. Other sources did not appear to provide reliable figures either.

So, we figured it’d be best to post the pizza’s nutrition label as accurately as possible versus giving you unreliable numbers. You also can see all the nutrition numbers for the rest of Papa John’s signature pizzas on their nutrition guide page here.

Oh, and before we forget, Papa John’s only offers one type of gluten-free crust on its menu. It’s a small (10-inch) crust, and this is what the bottom looks when the pizza is fully baked.

Papa John's Pizza Gluten Free Crust's Bottom

Papa John’s Gluten Free Toppings

Like other pizza chains, you’ll get enough topping variety at Papa’s to make your favorite pizza combination without gluten and most other major allergens. 

To see the most up-to-date list of toppings, sides, and extras for each allergen category, visit Papa’s allergen guide here. Just a heads up for gluten-free eaters: wheat is the gluten marker on this guide. Anything checked marked as containing wheat has gluten.

Based on this guide, we’ve reorganized the list of gluten-free items for you below in a more user-friendly format.

Gluten-Free (Ancient Grains)
Pizza Sauce
BBQ Sauce
Ranch Sauce
Alfredo Sauce
Pizza Cheese
Parmesan/Romano Cheese
Asiago/Fontina/Provolone Cheese
Green Peppers
Black Olives
Green Olives
Sliced Jalapenos
Banana Peppers
Fresh Spinach
Italian Sausage
Canadian Bacon
Grilled Chicken
Philly Steak
Roasted Wings
Honey Chipotle Wings
Buffalo Wings
BBQ Wings
Garlic Parmesan Wings
Dipping Sauces
Garlic Dipping Sauce
Pizza Dipping Sauce
Cheese Dipping Sauce
Ranch Dipping Sauce
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
BBQ Dipping Sauce
Buffalo Dipping Sauce
Crushed Red Pepper Packet
Parmesan Cheese Packet

Papa John’s Gluten Free Pizza Review | Taste Test and Experience

Before popping into our local store, we reviewed their specials to see if they had any deals or coupons for gluten-free pizzas. Based on our area, they were not offering any deals.

We ran a few test orders using their website to check out the prices, and oh boy, their prices were not low. At least, not for the gluten-free pizza.

Finally, we decided to just stick with the classic pepperoni pizza on the GF crust.

And, here’s how it all went down.

The Pizza (Taste & Texture)

Papa John's Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza

The freshness of the cheese and pepperoni was the first thing we noticed when we opened the box. The smell of the toppings was pretty potent and in a good way.

But, surprisingly, the overall taste was just okay…. Just okay.

The cheese was a bit bland, the pepperoni was on the greasy side, and it was a little too chewy.

The sauce was barely noticeable between the toppings’ smell and pepperoni’s grease. It just didn’t stand out at all.

As for the crust, it tasted nutty and as it cooled down, it became doughy and a little chewy.

Keep in mind that if your pizza gets cold, Papa John’s has reheating instructions on the box you can follow to help retain the quality and taste.

But, if you listen to us, it’s best to finish it while it’s warm.

The Employees & Pizza Preparation

Honestly, we don’t have much to share here. Walking into Papa John’s is like walking into any Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Not much difference in customer service styles.

All pizzas are prepared and baked in the same area and oven, so don’t count on your Papa’s GF pizza to be completely gluten-free.


Papa John’s gluten-free price was unnecessarily high. For a small 10-inch one-topping pizza, they charged just about the same price as Blaze, Pieology, and MOD Pizza, where you can overload your pizza with unlimited toppings.

Here is the breakdown of the total we paid for the 10-inch pepperoni pizza:

Gluten Free Pepperoni


Is Papa John’s Gluten Free Crust Dairy Free?

No, it’s not. Papa John’s gluten-free crust contains eggs and milk.

What Size is Papa John’s Gluten Free Pizza?

Papa John’s GF pizza only comes in small size and it’s 10-inches.

Is Papa John’s Gluten Free Crust Keto Friendly?

Papa John’s gluten-free crust has high carb content and it’s not keto-friendly.

Is Papa John’s Gluten Free Pizza Safe for Celiacs?

Although Papa John’s may offer some accommodations to keep your gluten-free pizza as safe as possible, their gluten-free pizzas are prepared and baked in the same area and oven as their regular pizzas. So, simply put, if you’re Celiac or have a severe gluten allergy, we recommend avoiding Papa John’s altogether.

Final Words

In today’s pizza world, some places go out of their way to ensure their gluten-free or other non-traditional pizzas are just as good as their regular pizzas. Some others are just staying relevant.

Papa John’s is somewhat of a unique case. They’ve cared enough to make their own gluten-free crust but haven’t done much else to set themselves apart from the competition.

If you’re at Papa John’s for pizza and decide to give their gluten-free a try, you won’t be disappointed. But if you’re looking for better-tasting and quality GF or other non-traditional pizzas, you’re better off checking out the newer generation of pizza chains.