Flatbread vs Pizza: The 5 Main Differences

Flat Bread vs Pizza

Flatbread vs Pizza: The 5 Main Differences

Although there are a few things that make flatbreads and pizza different, there is one main difference that sets them apart. Flatbreads call for a dough that does not contain yeast, otherwise known as unleavened dough. Pizza does contain yeast in its dough and is given time for the dough to rise and the yeast to develop. Flatbread has a heavier dough and pizza has a lighter dough.

How Different Can They Really Be?

With flatbreads being a super trendy menu item, it's easy to look at a flatbread and a pizza and think there's not much difference between the two. Flatbreads often have similar toppings as pizza do; pepperoni, mozzarella, spinach, tomatoes, etc. They're even cooked in the same ovens, a pizza oven or an open brick oven depending on the type of flavor profile that you're trying to accomplish. So, flatbread or pizza, what are all the differences and which one would you choose?

Skilled chef preparing dough for pizza rolling with hands and throwing up
Flatbread dough should be denser than pizza dough because it does not contain yeast. Yeast is what normally causes pizza dough to rise and become fluffy and crispy.

©David Tadevosian/Shutterstock.com

Flatbread vs. Pizza: Dough

The main difference between flatbreads and pizza is that flatbread dough does not contain yeast and pizza dough does. Although some may see this as a technicality, many restaurants nowadays don't necessarily follow this rule. Often, they are using the same exact dough for both. The dough of a flatbread without yeast is meant to be a denser dough that stays flat and doesn't rise (hence the name flatbread). The dough of a pizza that contains yeast is meant to be fluffy and rise for a more airy dough. So, if you're looking for a true flatbread experience, ask your waiter if they use unleavened dough when ordering your flatbread.

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Flatbread and pizza often have similar toppings, but many people like to get creative with their flatbreads. You'll see flavors like Steak and Gorgonzola, Fig and Prosciutto, Thai Chicken, and more.

©Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock.com

Flatbread vs. Pizza: Toppings

While flatbreads can have similar toppings as pizza, those who make flatbreads tend to get creative with their toppings whereas many stick to more traditional toppings when making pizza. Not only do we see creativity with flatbread toppings but also with their sauces! Often you can find flatbreads using alfredo sauce, barbecue sauce, olive oils, balsamic glaze, garlic sauce, and more. We also see a difference in the cheeses used on flatbreads. Pizza normally gets the classic mozzarella and parmesan, where flatbreads you can often see goat cheese, blue cheese, gouda cheese, and other exotic cheese options.

detroit pizza on an iron tray. selective focus
Some say pizza comes in all shapes and sizes, which can be true! But most often, they are round, square, or rectangular.


Flatbread vs. Pizza: Shape

Pizza usually comes in 3 shapes; round, square, or rectangular. Depending on the shape of the pizza, slices are cut into pie-style slices or squares. Flatbreads on the other hand are usually just thrown together and don't necessarily always have the same shape. They can be considered rustic as they usually come out looking like a rounded rectangular shape after being baked.

homemade pizza
Typically, pizza is viewed as a main meal item whereas flatbreads are often ordered as an appetizer.

©David Nuescheler / Unsplash – License

Flatbread vs. Pizza: Meal Placement

People typically lean towards a flatbread when ordering appetizers due to its versatility. It's a great shareable dish and you can order multiple styles to try the different flavors and taste a little of each. Flatbreads can be ordered as a main entree but are included in both categories. Pizza is typically always a main dish. Its size is substantial enough to share with more than one person to each have a satisfying meal.

Flat Bread vs Pizza Nutritional Facts
Flatbreads are seen as the “healthier” pizza option. Although it may look to be that way, that isn't necessarily true.


Flatbread vs. Pizza: Nutritional Value

Many people tend to think that a flatbread is healthier than pizza but that's not necessarily true. Although at an eyes glance at their nutritional values, flatbreads do look healthier but this assumption can be misleading as we have seen they often use similar ingredients. So why would one be healthier than the other? Portion size and toppings. Although flatbreads can show to have fewer calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, and cholesterol, that's usually because a piece of flatbread is significantly smaller than a slice of pizza. So before you double your flatbread portion because you think it's a healthier alternative, think again!

A Quick Comparison of Flatbread vs. Pizza

Infographic comparing pizza and flatbread.
Yeast is used in pizza dough, but not in flatbread dough.

One of the most important distinctions between pizza and flatbread is that one uses leavened dough, while the other uses unleavened dough. This means that pizza will rise, but flatbread will not. It also means that flatbread dough will be denser and heavier than pizza dough. When choosing toppings for pizza, most people tend to go traditional- think pepperoni, olives, and extra cheese as a few examples. Many people choose to use their creativity on flatbread, with lots of different sauces and toppings. Of course, there are some creative takes on pizza out there, too! How you decide to make your pizza or flatbread is entirely up to you; that's one of the great things about both of these dishes. They're highly customizable!

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Our Favorite Pizza Recipes

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Low Carb Dinner Ideas

Basil and Tomato Pizza

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  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Yield: Serves 4



1(10 ounce) thin-crust Italian bread shell
Olive oil flavored cooking spray
4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ medium-size purple onion, thinly sliced
½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil


1. Place bread shell on an ungreased baking sheet or pizza pan; coat crust with cooking spray.

2. Top with tomato and remaining ingredients.

3. Bake at 425°F for 7 to 8 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 8 wedges and serve immediately.


  • Serving Size: 2 slices
  • Calories: 349
  • Sodium: 592mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 11mg
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