I get so many requests from people wanting to eat out whilst on a gluten-free diet that I just had to check out the gluten-free offerings at Pizza Express. There were a few things that you’d expect to be gluten-free – like olives and toasted almonds. But I wanted to be sure that people who need to avoid all gluten could be guaranteed a gluten-free meal and be saved from any embarrassment when out with friends.

My pizza party included people on a gluten-free diet as well as those who were watching their weight and we ordered an array of dishes to see if they tasted as good as they sounded on the menu.

What we ordered

Our starters included huge olives, dough balls (which unfortunately weren’t gluten free) and a creamy gluten-free risotto, which was demolished in seconds by all.

Rissoto gf

Then our slimmer tucked into a Leggera Superfood Salad with chicken. This was a huge plateful at fewer than 340 kcals. It was also gluten free.

Legara

I preferred this to the Leggera pizzas as the salad took longer to eat (which helps your brain to register when you’re full) and if you’re tempted to eat pizza, you might prefer to share a regular pizza and share one of these salads.

Nazlin, who is on a gluten free diet, enjoyed the Giardiniera gluten free pizza, but the rest of us found the base a little dry and crispy.

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If you don’t need to avoid gluten for dietary reasons, you wouldn’t be ordering this – and if you’re on a gluten free diet then you’ll be accustomed to slightly different  textures and flavours. Given the choice, you’d probably prefer to order a pizza like everyone else and that’s the beauty of a gluten-free menu.

The gluten free Melanzane Parmigiana (roasted aubergine layers with tomato and mozzarella in béchamel sauce) made a nice change from pizza.

aubergine

We finished off with a mini gluten free chocolate brownie – but there was little evidence of this when we left!

brownie

What would have made it better?

  1. Dough balls with olive oil and balsamic vinegar – the restaurant I visited didn’t have this on the menu. This would not only make it lower in sat fats than serving with butter, it’s also a great way to share….
  2. Calorie values on all menu items. I think this just helps people to make informed choices. If you’re eating something high in calories, that’s fine, just be aware you’re doing so!
  3. A greater choice of gluten free desserts, maybe a light refreshing sorbet?