How Many Calories In A Slice of Costco Pizza?

March 2nd, 2008 · 24 Comments

Kimberly and I were at Costco this morning picking up a pizza, among other things, when we noticed that there was no nutrition information on the pizza box. Costco does provide cooking instructions, a list of ingredients, and a warning about allergens (“contains: wheat, milk, soy”) but really nothing about calories, fat, or salt content per serving. It occurred to me that I could ball-park the calories part with a fairly simple analysis, though I couldn’t do much about the latter two without a lab setup. Here’s my calorie analysis:

We start with a Costco 16″ Round “Take & Bake” Pepperoni Pizza. Based on the size, we typically cut it into eight pieces, so my analysis will assume that a serving is 1/8th of the complete pizza. According to the Costco packaging, a whole pizza has a net weight of 44 ounces (or 1247.4 grams) so a single slice is 5.5 ounces (155 grams). Just to double-check, I weighed a single piece that we had cut and found it to be 151 grams. Hey, did Costco shortchange us on the pizza?!? No, it is probably more likely that I’m just not roboticaly perfect on cutting a pizza. Anyway, I weighed my slice both before and after cooking (according to the recommended instructions) and discovered no noticeable weight difference so we can assume the consumed weight of a serving of Costco pepperoni pizza is about 155 grams.

Now, if we just want an upper limit for the number of calories, we can easily calculate it because the highest density of calories within any food ingredient is 9 calories/gram. (Note that I’m using food calories.) So my 155 grams per slice means that there are no more than 1395 calories per slice of pizza. Before you panic and swear off Costco pizza, remember this is only an upper limit, a piece could have much less. And indeed, we’ll see with further analysis that it very, very likely does.

To get a better number, I assumed my Costco pizza was composed of a few major components: dough, tomato sauce, cheese, and a number of 3″ diameter pieces of pepperoni. I then measured the relative weight of each of these components in a single slice and looked up calorie counts for each. Here’s what I came up with:

Component Weight Calories
about 3.5 pepperoni slices 7 g 33
a “bunch” of mozzarella cheese 24 g 61
a “healthy spreading” of tomato sauce 33 g 16
a large triangular, flat, piece of dough 91 g 208

This puts our total at only 318 calories for a single serving (one slice, 155 g) of Costco pepperoni pizza!

It should be noted that the calorie densities used to arrive at this number are for products that may be different than what Costco uses. (In the table above are links to the sources for the numbers I’ve used.) This is particularly important if Costco uses products, or makes from scratch, versions that contain more sugar and/or fat. In which case, my number of 318 calories per slice is low.

For comparison, Pizza Hut’s published calorie counts for pan pizzas average 384 calories per 155 g serving. (For the record, they also consider a serving to be 1/8th of a pie.) Likewise, Papa John’s nutritional info puts a pepperoni pizza serving at 385 calories per 155 g. It should be noted that I normalized their published statistics to the same size as our Costco piece so we really are comparing apples-to-apples here. As a result, I feel like we’re in the ballpark on the Costco number.

For additional reading on how to measure calories:

UPDATE 2008.06.06: I’ve added another post with information from Costco regarding the actual calorie and nutrition information for all of their pizza varieties. Dave wasn’t that far off in his estimate but now you can get the info for all of the different 16″ pizzas Costco sells.

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24 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Joyce // 2013.05.13 at 10:26 pm

    I have eaten pizza in many places but have never tasted something so delicious as Costco pizza! The best there is, even at the finest Italian restaurants!

  2. 2 Aileen // 2012.01.20 at 6:15 pm

    I have this app on my phone that tells you the amount of calories in food. A slice of costco pizza has over 600 calories!

  3. 3 marty // 2011.12.10 at 9:10 am

    that’s 805 calories per slice… argh!

    • 4 Kimberly // 2011.12.10 at 11:58 am

      @Marty – If you went to the follow up post where I received the nutritional information directly from Costco, you’ll see that we weren’t that far off in our original post about how many calories there are per slice. For a similar serving size of 154 grams, Costco says there are between 270 to 360 calories per serving, depending on the type of pizza. You really have to make sure that you are comparing the same serving size. The info that you are referencing has a serving size of 288 grams, which is considerably more than the 155 grams we used and the 154 grams that Costco uses for their calorie information. For the actual nutritional information from Costco, check out the following post: http://addictedtocostco.com/2008/06/03/calories-in-16-costco-pizzas/

      It’s all about comparing like vs. like. You can’t take different serving sizes and make a comparison unless you are going to break it down as calories per gram, which I did on the follow up post’s spreadsheet.

  4. 5 marty // 2011.12.10 at 9:09 am

    not saying you’re wrong, but it seemed really low compared to the other way smaller pizza slices (ie. pizza hut). so i found this site that may be more correct. and, sucks…i was hoping yours was right!
    http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-costco-slice-cheese-pizza-i113819

  5. 6 Chelsea // 2011.05.19 at 11:09 am

    Well i apsolutly love pizza but way to many calories. I’m a cheer coach and i have to be in shape. Everytime i take my girls to Pizza Hut i always tell them to watch what they eat! :))

  6. 7 Rachel // 2011.01.01 at 1:25 pm

    Did you by chance do the calories for the canadian bacon and pineapple take and bake pizza?

    • 8 Kimberly // 2011.01.02 at 3:48 am

      @Rachel, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza at Costco. I’ll see if I can get the calorie information for it though.

  7. 9 costco pizza nutrition facts // 2010.11.30 at 4:06 am

    [...] pizza nutrition facts 318 calories in slice of costco pepperoni pizza according to this site: How Many Calories In A Slice of Costco Pizza? | Addicted To Costco! Reply With Quote + Reply to Thread « Previous Thread | Next [...]

  8. 10 funsnack // 2010.11.09 at 7:57 pm

    I REALLY appreciate the thought and time that went into this. I’m becoming more conscientious about what I eat and the other day bought a veggie Costco pizza and a cheese pizza. I’ve been regretting it as they are sooooooo good but bad for my diet. Now I don’t feel so bad since I’d assumed they had the ~700Cals as I’ve found through my iPhone app for Calorie counting. Thanks!!

  9. 11 Computer Blog // 2010.01.03 at 4:51 pm

    My brother would be amazed this website. We were recently speaking about this. lol

  10. 12 Alex // 2009.04.27 at 10:07 am

    Jacqueline, because most people start to eat in “moderation’ and decide to continue to eating in “moderation”, until pretty soon, they’ve eaten the whole box.

  11. 13 Jacqueline // 2009.03.27 at 2:36 pm

    I have an idea…eat that slice of pizza and enjoy it, but then take a nice long walk or maybe even run a little. Eat whatever you want (in moderation of course) but excercise it off. :)

  12. 14 Ben // 2008.06.20 at 1:55 pm

    Take note…their data is mostly based on 1/12th of a pie according to their spreadsheet, so keep that in mind. 1/8th of a pie slice would then be 540 calories for cheese and the classic NY serving of 1/6th of a pie would rock you with 720 calories. These stats are for the cheese.

  13. 15 Calories in 16″ Costco Pizzas // 2008.06.03 at 11:24 am

    [...] calorie information for a 16″ Pepperoni pizza from Costco (you can read about his findings in this post). However, so many people keep searching for the information and wanting it for all of the other [...]

  14. 16 Stell // 2008.05.05 at 7:54 pm

    Dave – Interesting that your used “pi” to explain the pie! Has anyone ever refered to you as an egghead? Just curious! :)

  15. 17 Craig // 2008.05.04 at 9:06 pm

    Looks like you’ve done a great job determining the nutrition facts of a Costco take & bake pizza! I think some of the 1/6 vs 1/8 confusion comes because in the “diner” area of Costco, they serve a larger pizza, in larger slices (and with different toppings). Those slices taste *much* more oily and are indeed much less healthy.

    Thanks for the break-down!

  16. 18 Dave // 2008.03.21 at 3:43 pm

    So I did the math (area = pi * r^2), and a 1/6th slice of an 18″ diameter pizza is 42.4 square inches of pizza. Whereas a 1/8th slice of a 16″ diameter pizza is only 25.1 square inches. The slice that this post calculates the calories of is only 59.2% of the size of the dietfacts pizza! Which means that, assuming the pizza is made the same as it was back in 2001, that dietfacts is saying our pizza slice has 476 calories.

    Also, we were at Costco today and I confirmed with the food center that they sell slices from an 18″ pizza, but that each slice is 1/12th of that pizza. So it has 21.2 square inches — even smaller than the 1/8th of a 16″ pizza we calculated above.

  17. 19 This Week at Costco - March 9 2008 // 2008.03.11 at 3:32 pm

    [...] How Many Calories In A Slice of Costco Pizza? [...]

  18. 20 Heidi // 2008.03.11 at 3:02 pm

    Hey, great sleuthing, Kimberly! It’s something I enjoy every once in awhile.

    I also enjoy making pizza with the Boboli pizza crusts (again, Costco) which include some pretty tasty sauce. Mmm, pizza…

  19. 21 Kimberly // 2008.03.11 at 10:22 am

    Not so fast, Heidi, you might still be able to enjoy that piece of Costco pizza. The info on DietFacts is from 2001 when the Costco pizza was an 18″ diameter pizza & a little different. The new artisan pizza is only 16″ diameter. And that makes a BIG difference in the size….I can tell you that from trying to fit the old one in my oven & having difficulty getting it in there & it definitely didn’t want to go in the fridge!

  20. 22 Heidi // 2008.03.11 at 10:16 am

    Oh, and here they list one slice, which is 1/6 of a pizza–a whopping 804 calories! There goes THAT guilty pleasure…

    http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/costco-pizza-cheese-one-slice-17854.htm

  21. 23 Heidi // 2008.03.11 at 10:13 am

    dietfacts.com breaks down a cheese pizza here:
    http://www.dietfacts.com/html/nutrition-facts/costco-pizza-cheese-whole-pizza-17853.htm

    And here are more items from Costco:

    http://www.dietfacts.com/list.asp?type=brand&brand=Costco

  22. 24 Christina // 2008.03.11 at 8:40 am

    My husband calculated the calories for their combo pizza that we get at the food court (we always buy a whole one for our family) and I think he calculated about 350 C a slice.

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