Russo’s NY Pizzeria Gluten-Free Pizza

By | Apr 29, 2015

By Claire Baker, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) Director of Communications and New Media

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease five years ago, the one thing I missed most was pizza. I quickly learned that there is some really good gluten-free pizza out there, and some not-so-good. Before I couldn’t have it anymore, I don’t think I realized how much I depended on my pizza crusts to be a little chewy, a little bendy, a decent and tasty holder-of-ingredients. I wasn’t a big deep dish pizza fan back then, which now works in my favor, since most (all?) prefab and restaurant pizzas I’ve enjoyed in the last five years have definitely not been of the thick variety.

In addition to being thin, another thing I noticed was that gluten-free pizza crusts, especially those made with rice flour, tended to burn on the edges. My memory of a toasty regular crust is actually pretty pleasant. Burnt rice flour crust? Not so much. Okay… not at all. Which means that there is a very fine line between undercooked and ruined.

Russo's NY Pizzeria - Gluten-Free Pizzas

The gluten-free Mulberry pizza (left) and the Chicken Rustica from Russo’s NY Pizzeria.

That’s the reason I was so pleased with Russo’s. At first I was skeptical, since the crust is primarily rice and tapioca flour and an invitation to burnt edges. But then I saw that the crust is actually pre-cooked and they offered very explicit directions about how to not burn the crust, all a bit different than other gluten-free pizza baking instructions. Preheat the oven to 450. Let the pizza thaw for exactly 10 minutes before baking. Cook it on a tray, not the rack. Check the pizza at the early end of the time range and keep an eye on it after that. No burned edges!

And what’s more, it’s bendy. And chewy. And a good holder of tasty ingredients. The sauce is slightly sweet. The crust is on par or better than other crusts. I fully enjoyed my Russo’s pizza and would get it again (and will follow the baking instructions to the letter.)

NFCA’s office manager, Mary Buhring, also tried out two of the pizza varieties with her son, who also has celiac disease. They were huge fans of the Mulberry variety (Italian sausage, beef, Canadian bacon and pepperoni) and the Chicken Rustica (grilled chicken, tomatoes spinach, feta and mozzarella cheeses). I am a vegetarian, so I stuck with the plain cheese variety. We both agreed that the crust had an amazing crunch to it. Mary and her son loved the combination of the flavors and thought both pizzas tasted like they were made in a high end pizzeria. Ironically, she mentioned that without knowing that these pizzas are from Chef Anthony Russo, owner of Russo’s NY Pizzeria.

You can learn more about the pizzas by heading to


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