I’m often confronted with trying to figure out exactly how big to make a pizza and have struggled with how big is a 12 inch pizza? How many people does it really feed? How many calories does it have? Let’s take a couple of minutes and find out!

## The Dimensions of your *π* (the Math) – Let’s Get it Over With

Okay, we’re going to have to pull out the dimensions and solve a math problem eventually, so let’s get it out of the way first.

So we’re going to have to look at the area of a pizza. The formula to calculate the area of a circle (like a pizza) is πR², where π (pi) is approximately 3.14159 and R is the radius, which is half the diameter.

(Thank you Archimedes)

Area of a round Pizza = π x R²

**So the area of our 12″ pizza is 113 square inches **(rounded)**.** And if we’re talking about a rectangular or square pizza, it’s simply the length times the width

So a 12″ *square* pizza is 144 square inches.

If you want to do some of the math yourself, check out this website from the University of Delaware’s Pizza Calculator!

But what does that really mean?

### Do You Eat Every Bite?

Myself, I’m not always a crust person. Especially if the crust isn’t something special like our Pretzel Crust Pizza or at least made with a great crust in a proper pizza oven. Unless it’s something special, I’m not likely to eat more than a few bites of the crust.

So that means your 113 square inches of pizza might be exaggerated.

Let’s say you have a half inch crust you aren’t eating, then the “usable” area of your pizza drops to 104 square inches – a reduction of 8%. And of course, if the crust edge is 1″, you lose even more: 95 square inches, which is a reduction of 16%.

## How Many Slices of Pizza in a 12 Inch Pizza?

Generally, a 12 inch pizza will be cut into 6 triangular slices, although you can certainly cut it differently, if you wish.

## How Much Pizza Per Slice?

Of course, surface area of your pizza isn’t the only factor. Pizza has three dimensions! (Or more, if you want to get esoteric!)

The thickness of your pizza plays an important role in determining how much pizza you’ve really got – which translates into how filling it will be.

A Neapolitan pizza bianca (like our garlic pizza) is going to be one of the smallest pizzas because of its small surface area combined with few toppings and lack of a typical tomato sauce.

Conversely, a Sicilian pizza will generally have a crust nearly an inch thick plus typically loaded up with toppings. And, although not a rule, Sicilian (and Roman) pizzas are generally cooked as rectangles or squares.

## How Much Pizza Do I Need Per Person?

This is the real crux of the question, right?

As mentioned, different pizza crusts and toppings will have an effect on how much pizza is really in each slice or bite.

Not to mention the appetite!

Convention says a 12″ store-bought pizza (think Dominos or Pizza Hut) is sufficient to feed 2 people. In our household, that’s true.

Therefore, for us a decent rule of thumb is about 50 square inches of pizza per person. So, even with a modest 1/2″ of crust with no toppings, two people are going to get enough pizza out of a single 12″ pizza.

## 12 Inch Pizza Calories

Let’s face it – there’s probably one factor that will trump all others.

*Cheese!*

*Cheese!*

At about 115 calories per ounce, cheese is going to bring the most calories per bite than almost any other topping (well, pepperoni is actually higher).

That’s not really fair when you think of an ooy-gooey-cheese-crust-stuffed thick pan pizza loaded with cuts of pork versus a lightly topped thin crust vegetarian.

When it comes to calories, of course the size of the pizza dough does matter but, more often than not, the toppings drive this bus!

Still, it’s useful to know the calorie contribution of the pizza dough, so let’s look at that.

### Calories in Dough (Flour)

Different dough ingredients will play a part in the calorie count, but the differences between say bread flour and all-purpose flour are not vastly different. However, Type 00 flour and whole wheat flour are generally about 10% fewer calories than the bread or AP. Type 00 flour has lower protein, so the calorie content is lower than bread or AP. With whole wheat, there is more bran and germ, which bring more fiber and bulk, which means the flour less calories in the same volume. Even though both are lower in calories, whole wheat is far richer in fiber, vitamins, and minerals than any refined wheat flour.

Calories per 12″ pizza (relatively thin crust, no toppings – assumes 1.25 cups or 160 grams of flour* per pizza):

- Type 00 Flour: 500 calories/pizza
- All-Purpose Flour: 550 calories/pizza
- Bread Flour: 550 calories/pizza
- Whole Wheat Flour: 500 calories/pizza

** using King Arthur‘s published nutritional facts. Other brands may vary.*

If you’re looking for more specific calorie counts, each of **our pizza recipes** includes a calorie count in the recipe card!

## The Final Word on How Big is a 12 Inch Pizza

As discussed, although our default assumption might be that a 12″ pizza is going to get cut into 6 slices and feed a couple of people, there’s more to it. Each of those slices might be 18.8 square inches of deliciousness, the thickness, the toppings, and even the type of flour is going to play a part in how filling and fulfilling that pizza is going to be.

But as far as generalizations go, you’ll likely want to assume each person enjoying pizza is going to be looking for about 50 square inches of pizza – and possibly more if they’re really hungry and/or you make a top-notch pizza!

Todd’s cooking skills have revolved around the grill since about age 12, when he developed a love for grilling and took over for Mom at the BBQ. He worked at Wendy’s and at Earl’s Tin Palace (a restaurant chain in Canada) but never really did any sort of baking…until he and Heather started making pizza together! Now he’s often making dough in the mornings and pizza in the evenings.