Healthy Twist on Papa John’s Cheeseburger Pizza

For anyone that has known me for a while, you know that I am by NO MEANS a cheeseburger person. I am 110% a pizza person. Growing up, the times my Papa Bear (as I so lovingly call my father) would go to town on the grill (charcoal, of course, because he’s a man’s man and knows how to do it right) he would be flipping burgers AND some hot dogs, because he knew I would NOT eat a cheeseburger.

Do I like them? Sure. I just never crave them and never really opt for them by choice. If given the option of having a cheeseburger or a hot dog, I (sometimes) may respond “both!” but more times than not I’ll simply choose a hot dog (or four, kidding… kind of).

Ask me if I want a cheeseburger or a pizza, I will never hesitate to laugh in your face because pizza is the only answer to that question (at least if that question is directed at me).

However, Papa John’s had got me feeling some type of way last month with their Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza commercials (that always came on at 11pm when I would be in bed and my late night cravings were in full force).

I’m telling y’all… this Papa John’s commercial was haunting me. Maybe it was the fact that there were pickles on the pizza (I’m a pickle lover, too), but it just looked so damn delicious! I had to try and make my own prep-friendly (diet-friendly) version… sans bacon.




Cheeseburger Pizza


  • Pita, Wheat
  • 1 lb. extra lean (97%), ground beef
  • Bacon (if you have the macros for it!)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Prego Light Smart Marinara Sauce
  • Vlasic Kosher Dill Relish
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese (I used Go! Veggie Mexican shreds)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. With a bread knife, cut the pita bread in half (horizontally) so that you now have two “crusts.” Picture below. Place pizza crusts on pizza pan.
  3. In a skillet, add coconut oil and brown the ground beef. If you have the macros for the bacon, prepare this on the griddle using the directions on the packaging.
  4. Take .4 C of Light Smart Marinara (I used about .2 C for each crust) and spread evenly on crust, leaving the edges sauce-free.
  5. Once the ground beef is cooked, sprinkle ground beef pieces on top of your marinara sauce (I used 3 ounces, 1.5oz per pizza). If you have enough macros for the bacon, chop into little pieces and throw it on top!
  6. Time to add the dill relish! I’m a pickle-loving weirdo, so I kind of went overboard with my relish topping (8 tablespoons to be exact) so add as much relish as you’d like – assuming that you won’t want as much pickle-y taste as I was craving.
  7. Top your currently hamburger only pizza with cheese – I used .5 C total of the Go Veggie! shredded mozzarella, about 1 serving of cheese per pizza (28g per / 56g total).
  8. Place pizza pan in the oven and bake at 425 degrees until cheese is golden or melted (because I’m using Go Veggie cheese, it doesn’t really melt like real cheese, so I used the coloration as my guide). For me, it was about 11 minutes. I slightly overcooked mine in order for the pita “crust” to be really crispy.
  9. Cut like a normal pizza and enjoy!




MACROS for BOTH pizzas: 38P | 54C | 12.5F

  •            If you added bacon to your pizza, don’t forget to account for those macros!
  •            This also accounts for 8 TBSP of dill relish, if you only use 4 TBSP you save 2g of carbs.


That’s right y’all for BOTH pizzas it’s LESS THAN 500 calories! If you’re a little carb-conscious you can save one of the pizzas for another meal and enjoy only one (maybe swap one pizza with a side salad). I had consciously carb-hoarded on this day to be able to fit this wonderful creation into my daily intake. While I’m sure the real Papa John’s Bacon Cheeseburger pizza is WAY better… this was a great (and easy!) option that helped me fulfill a HUGE craving I was having (almost daily thanks to those commercials!) without compromising my diet.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!




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