Is Pepperoni Keto?

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Pizza is a staple food for many of us. Whether it's for a birthday party, game night, or just a casual Friday dinner, pizza is always a hit. 

That explains why one of the first recipes people master on keto is how to make a low-carb crust using cauliflower or fathead dough.

But what about the toppings? Is pepperoni keto-friendly? And what other ketogenic pizza topping options are there?

Throughout this article, we'll look at the most important keto-related aspects of this food. We will discuss whether pepperoni is good for keto, as well as nutrition information and an overview of the different types that are available.

Find out all this and more in the following paragraphs.


What is it?

Pepperoni is a dry-cured sausage made from a combination of pork and beef. The meats are ground together and spiced with paprika, garlic, salt, and black pepper. 

The mixture is then fermented and cured for several weeks before being sliced into thin rounds. It is typically used on pizza, but it can also be added to sandwiches, salads, and other Italian dishes. 

While it is most commonly associated with American cuisine, this food actually has its origins in Italy. The word "pepperoni" comes from the Italian peppers that were originally used to flavor the sausage. Today, it is one of the most popular pizza toppings in the world, enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures.


Nutrition facts

One ounce of this food contains the following nutrients: 

Serving size: 1 oz (28 g)

  • Calories: 140 kcal
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Net carbs: 1 g
  • Total carbs: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 600 mg

How many slices of pepperoni in 1 oz?

It depends on the brand, so check the label. For example, 1 oz is 16 slices of Hormel or 8 slices of Hillshire Farm.

Nutritionally, this food is a good source of protein and fat. It also contains a range of vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and zinc. 

Since pepperoni is a highly processed meat that is high in sodium, it should be enjoyed only in moderation as part of a healthy diet. 

When choosing pepperoni, look for brands that are lower in artificial ingredients and sodium content.




Can you have pepperoni on a keto diet?

Yes, you can. It is high in fats and low in carbs, making it an acceptable addition to a keto-friendly meal. 

In addition, it is also a good source of protein, providing essential nutrients that your body needs to function properly. 

So if you're looking for a delicious and slightly spicy way to add more flavor to your ketogenic lifestyle, you can include it in your salads, wraps, or pizzas.


How many pepperonis can you have on the keto diet? 

Since it contains a negligible amount of carbs, you can have one or two 1-oz servings of this food per day. This amount will depend on your individual taste and preference. 

It is important to keep in mind, however, that this is an ultra-processed food, so you do want to moderate your intake.

This food is relatively high in protein, which can be beneficial. However, it is also high in sodium, with 600 mg per serving. 

Therefore, people with hypertension may want to limit their consumption if they are watching their sodium intake. 

In general, you can use this food in moderation to meet your daily fat and protein goals as part of a keto diet.


What kind of pepperoni is good for keto?

There are many types of pepperoni that are good on keto. The most popular ones are made from beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or a combination. But they also come in different shapes and forms that are suited for specific recipes, such as the ones mentioned below.

  • Cup and char: It is a dry cured type of salami made from pork and beef. The meats are ground, mixed with spices, and then formed into a cup-shaped casing. Once the casing is filled, it is hung to dry for several weeks. The finished product has a slightly chewy texture and a deep red color.
  • Flat-laid: This is a type of pepperoni that is not curled up. It is flat and thin, and it can be cut into any shape. The mixture is spread out onto a flat surface and allowed to air dry for several weeks. The finished product has a paper-thin texture.
  • Stick pepperoni: This is made from a mixture of beef, pork, and bacon. It is usually cut into thin strips and then dried. The mixture is formed into long, thin cylinders and then aged for several weeks.



What can you have with pepperoni on keto?

When it comes to following keto, pepperoni is ok to include occasionally. Not only is it low in carbs, but it also has a very distinct flavor that can liven up any dish. 

Here are some delicious keto-friendly pepperoni ideas:

  • Pizza: This classic dish can be made low-carb by using a cauliflower base or fathead dough and topping it with sugar-free pepperonis.
  • Cheese sticks: These tasty appetizers can be made by wrapping pepperoni around string cheese. They can be baked or eaten cold, making them a perfect snack for any occasion.
  • Soup: Add them to make a hearty soup, perfect for a cold winter day. Use plenty of vegetables, and the addition of this food will give it a nice smoky flavor.
  • Pasta: Substitute traditional pasta with low-carbohydrate options like spiralized vegetables or shirataki noodles. The addition of pepperoni makes it a filling and satisfying meal.

Alternatively, try pairing it with sharp cheddar cheese and almonds for a tasty snack or appetizer. 

With so many options available, you can easily satisfy your cravings while staying within your daily carb intake goals.


Keto-friendly pepperoni alternatives

There are many alternatives that you can use to replace pepperoni on keto:

  • Pork rinds: It is a type of food made from pork fat and skin. They are traditionally fried in lard or other animal fats but can also be baked. Pork rinds have protein and are low in carbohydrates, making them a popular food for people following a ketogenic diet. 
  • Sausage: It is a type of meat product made from ground meat, typically pork, lamb, or beef, and flavored with spices and other ingredients. It can be cooked in various ways, including frying, grilling, and boiling. Like pork rinds, sausage is high in fat and protein but low in carbs, making it an ideal keto-friendly food. 
  • Ham: It is a type of cured pork that has been salted and smoked. It can sometimes be eaten raw but is most often cooked before eating. Ham also provides protein without adding carbs, making it another good option for those on a ketogenic diet.
  • Mushrooms, spinach, bell peppers, and black olives are healthy, whole foods you can use on pizzas, salads, or sandwiches instead of processed meats.


FAQ about pepperoni on keto

Interested in learning more about this food? You may find some of your questions answered here.

Salami is a type of cured meat that is typically high in fat and low in carbs, making it a great option for people on a ketogenic diet.

However, some types can be high in preservatives and other additives, so it's important to choose brands that are made with natural ingredients.

When shopping for keto-friendly salami, look for brands that are free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. 

You should also check the label to ensure the product is grass-fed and hormone-free. While salami can be a great addition to a low-carb plan, be sure to choose wisely to get the most health benefits.

Yes, however, it is not healthier than other types. It is also a processed meat cured with salt, nitrates, and other preservatives. 

Eat in moderation, and consider using vegetables or unprocessed meats instead.

Yes, however, it is also an ultra-processed food high in sodium and other unhealthy ingredients like dextrose and sodium nitrite. For this reason, it should be avoided or consumed in moderation on a keto diet.

Since it is a low-calorie and low-carb food, it can be included in keto or other diets. However, it is not a healthy food in general as it is highly processed and it contains saturated fat, which is linked with cardiovascular diseases. 

This meat may help you keep your overall calorie intake in check, but it is healthier to eat whole, unprocessed foods.

  • Hormel's Natural Choice Uncured is a great choice, as it is made with meats that have not been treated with artificial preservatives.
  • Applegate's Uncured Pork & Beef is another good option, as it contains no sugar or gluten.
  • Finally, 365's Uncured is also a keto-friendly option, as it is made with pure pork and beef with no artificial additives.

So whether you're making a keto pizza or just looking for a delicious snack, these brands have you covered.
Whatever brand you choose, be sure to read the labels carefully to make sure you're getting a product that fits your dietary needs.

Yes, but you will need to make some adjustments. Regular crust is too high in carbs, and pre-made tomato sauces may also contain sugar.

Make your own low-carb crust at home using grated cauliflower or fathead dough, and whip up a tomato or pesto sauce from scratch using real ingredients. As for toppings, you can add cheese, vegetables, and meat