Low Carb Papa John’s Ordering Guide

Learn how to order low carb Papa John’s like an expert.

Our new content manager is from Kentucky, the birthplace of Papa Johns and he could not help sharing how to order 35 item Papa John’s low carb menu items to help.

You’ll learn exatctly what to order if papa john’s keto options are what you’re looking for!

In a hurry? Get his Papa John’s Low Carb Menu one-pager if you want to see full macros for all of Papa John’s low carb pizza toppings and wings.

Low Carb Papa John’s – What To Order

Hey there, It’s Brian B the new content manager at MrSkinnyPants!  Since I’m from KY, I could not help but share some options from Papa Johns. Your choices are pretty straight forward. You can pry off the toppings from your pizza (do what you gotta do) or dig into some oven baked wings (better option)

Here are some low carb options at Papa Johns in the order of tastiest to, “doing what you gotta do”

Here is how to order low carb.

1. Buffalo Wings (8-count)

These are the bone-in wings. (there are boneless options) They are tossed in buffalo sauce and baked. They are super easy to eat because they come backaged in a little cardboard box.  In this photo they are unrapped so you can see what you’re eating.

Low Carb Papa Johns Buffalo Wings
My Low Carb Papa John’s Buffalo Wings
  • Order it low carb: “Buffalo wings”
  • Macros: 840 calories and 7 net carbs

Because these wings are baked, they aren’t crisp like the fried wings you might get at your local wing joint. Still, the flavor is good enough that these suffice for a keto meal in a pinch. On the buffalo wing heat scale, I’d rate these as mild to medium.

2. Unsauced Wings (8-count)

Don’t like buffalo wings? You can order wings with NO SAUCE! These are bone-in and oven-baked to a tender, but not crisp texture. If you’re like me you’re gonna want SOME flavor… so check out our breakdown of sausces in option #3.

Low Carb Papa Johns Unsauced Wings
My Low Carb Papa Johns Unsauced Wings
  • Order it low carb: “Unsauced wings”
  • Macros: 810 calories and 4 net carbs

If you’re at one of the lucky locations that carry Garlic Parmesan Wings…they check in at 1040 calories and 6 net carbs but those were not available at the Papa John’s near me.

Their BBQ Wings and Honey Chipotle Wings are too high carb to fit a keto diet.

3. Low Carb Dipping Sauces

Sometimes you just need to add some flavor. Other times you just need to switch up the flavor. If that’s you…. keep reading!

Low Carb Papa Johns Dipping Sauces
Here are some low carb dipping sauce options ($0.75/ea)
  • Ranch – 100 calories and 2 net carbs (my personal go to)
  • Cheese – 40 calories and 2 net carbs
  • Pizza Tomato Sauce – 20 calories and 3 net carbs
  • Blue Cheese – 160 calories and 0 net carbs
  • Garlic Butter – 150 calories and 0 net carbs
  • Buffalo – 15 calories and 2 net carbs

3. Pizza Toppings – Option #1

Here is an interesting choice to add some toppings to your pizza and still be low carb (and tasty)

  • Spinach Alfredo Sauce
  • Canadian Bacon
  • and Green Olives

Start with Spinach Alfredo sauce. It’s love carb and plenty of calories.

WARNING…

This will not be easy, but tastes great LOL

Add Canadian Bacon & Green Olives

The result is a $10 clump of low carb ingredients that looks terrible but tastes great.

Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza - Original Crust with Canadian Bacon and Green Olives
My Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza toppings – Cheese, Canadian Bacon, and Green Olives
  • Order it low carb: Not possible. Must order w/ crust and peel off toppings.
  • Macros: 380 calories and 8 net carbs (toppings for 1/2 medium pizza)

Unfortunately, I ordered 3 test pizzas with Alfredo sauce and an Original crust, so you’ll see the clump in two more examples.

4. Pizza Toppings – Option #2

Anchovies are weird but give this one a shot. When mixed with these toppings this combination will do the trick and be a reasonably tasty low carb option!

  • Spinach Alfredo Sauce
  • Anchovies
  • and Bacon Pizza
Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza Toppings - Anchovies and Bacon
My Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza Toppings – Anchovies and Bacon
  • Order it low carb: Not possible. Must order w/ crust and peel off toppings.
  • Macros: 460 calories and 12 net carbs (toppings for 1/2 medium pizza).

Somehow the Papa John’s bacon has 1 net carb per slice according to their online nutrition menu so that made this entree higher carb than expected.

5. Pizza Toppings – Alfredo Sauce, Sausage, and Banana Peppers

This has been one of my standard pizza orders for the fast food challenge. For some reason, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I normally do. Flavor fatigue, perhaps.

Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza Toppings - Sausage and Banana Peppers
My Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza Toppings – Sausage and Banana Peppers
  • Order it low carb: Not possible. Must order w/ crust and peel off toppings.
  • Macros: 460 calories and 8 net carbs (toppings for 1/2 medium pizza).

After having trouble peeling the toppings off my Alfredo sauce pizza orders, I placed two more pizza orders to test the peel-ability of tomato sauce versus no sauce and thin crust versus original crust. I wanted to see which pizza yielded the best peel-ability.

Verdict: For the easiest peeling pizza, get a thin crust with tomato sauce.

6. Pizza Toppings – Light Tomato Sauce and Pepperoni

Surprisingly, peeling toppings into perfect slices was easier when the pizza had tomato sauce. The tomato sauce prevents the cheese and pepperoni from adhering to the crust.

Low Carb Papa Johns Pepperoni Pizza Toppings
My Low Carb Papa Johns Pepperoni Pizza Toppings
  • Order it low carb: Not possible. Must order w/ crust and peel off toppings.
  • Macros: 380 calories and 8 net carbs (toppings for 1/2 medium pizza).

The 8 net carbs is probably overstated as much of the pizza sauce gets left behind on the crust when you peel. I’ve reported the highest possible value to be safe.

7. Pizza Toppings – Light Tomato Sauce and Italian Sausage

My final pizza for this review was an Italian Sausage. By this point, I had gotten good at prying the toppings off the pizza. It’s much easier when you give it 10 minutes to cool and use a fork to pry from the edge of the crust towards the center of the pizza.

My Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza Toppings - Italian Sausage
My Low Carb Papa Johns Pizza Toppings – Italian Sausage
  • Order it low carb: Not possible. Must order w/ crust and peel off toppings.
  • Macros: 400 calories and 8 net carbs (toppings for 1/2 medium pizza).

Crustless Pizza

Pizza restaurants will make you a crustless pizza if you give them a specific set of instructions. I haven’t been able to convince a pizza place to do it, but if you’d like to try, here’s the instructions to give them:

  • Add a tiny bit of oil to the pan and pass it through the oven to get it hot.
  • Put down a very thick 1/2 inch layer of cheese for the “crust.” Run it through oven with just cheese. Cheese will compress & flatten by 3/4 and caramelize into a crust.
  • Add a very light layer of pizza sauce, more cheese, and these toppings: [insert your toppings].
  • Pass the pizza through the oven one last time.
  • Let it cool off a little to harden before sliding it into the pizza box.

(Note: Thanks to Reddit user mlumpkins for these instructions.)

Low Carb Papa John’s – What To Avoid

In case you’re new to the keto diet, you can’t eat the pizza crusts, breadsticks, cheese sticks or garlic knots. They’re too high carb.

All their desserts and sodas are off limits.

There are also some sneaky menu items that seem low carb, but aren’t.

Tempting crust to avoid

  • Gluten Free Crust – 17 net carbs per slice

Tempting pizza sauce to avoid

  • BBQ Sauce – 6 net carbs per slice

Tempting topping to avoid

  • Pineapple Topping – 2 net carbs per slice

Tempting chicken entrees to avoid

  • Honey Chipotle Wings (8 piece) – 26 net carbs
  • BBQ Wings (8 piece) – 19 net carbs
  • Chicken Poppers (5 Piece) – 20 net carbs

Summary

Buffalo wings are the safe play when ordering from Papa John’s. They are filling enough to hold you over until your next meal and taste good enough to not leave you wanting.

If you prefer to live your low carb life a bit more dangerously, then order a pizza, rip off the toppings and eat them 🙂

One day Papa John’s will have low carb pizzas on the menu because our growing numbers demand it. Until then I hope this article provides you with a good short term solution.

What’s next

My next low carb fast food guide is coming soon (30+ fast food joints)

Sign up to get my best options at each fast food chains!

Follow my Fast Food Challenge

Get my specific LOW CARB RECOMMENDATIONS for top Fast Food Chains like, McDonald's, Subway, or Chick Fil A, etc. (1 new chain per week)

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You’ll also get some simple low carb recipes and other tips from me for all the times you’re not eating in a fast food!

Cheers,
“Mr. SkinnyPants”

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