Are Papa Johns Papa Bowls Keto - A Full Review

Are Papa Johns Papa Bowls Keto? A Full Review

Papa Johns Papa Bowls are keto-friendly! However, just because they fit into the keto diet doesn’t mean you can eat them without doing the math.

We will break down each bowl so you know exactly what to expect and how to manage your diet.

The Papa Bowl – Explained

Papa Johns Paper Bowls are basically a pizza without the crust. This means most of the carbohydrates from the pizza are removed, however, the tomato sauce and vegetable toppings still contain carbs.

The Papa Bowls are the healthiest items on the Papa Johns menu, but because they aren’t completely carb-less, you need to weigh up your daily intake before picking your order.

Generally speaking, a Papa Johns Papa Bowl will have no more than 20 grams of net carbs, but each bowl will be different.

Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl


The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl has the lowest amount of calories out of our three choices. This is because the meal is mostly made of chicken tenders and creamy Alfredo sauce. This means it’s high in protein.

The ingredients for this bowl are chicken, alfredo and garlic parmesan sauce, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and onions. While the bowl is baking, the chefs will also include a 3 cheese blend mix alongside an Italian seasoning.

Total Nutritional Values

The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl contains 15 grams of carbs in total. Because of the 6 grams of fiber, this creates a net total of just 9 grams.

This is the lowest total figure and the lowest net figure of all three bowls.

A single serving is 428 g or 1 bowl. That bowl will contain 570 calories, 270 of which come from fats.

The total protein comes in at 62 g, sugars at 6g, sodium at 2,050 mg, and fats at 31 g. The trans fats are just 1 g while the saturated fats are 31 g.

The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl contains the lowest figures in all nutritional values apart from protein and fats. It has the highest protein content with 62 g and a mid-range of fats with 31 g.

Gluten-Free, Vegan, And Dairy-Free?

The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl is not vegan or dairy-free. This is because of the chicken tenders which are a key aspect of the meal, and the alfredo sauce, which is another key aspect.

Removing these will mean removing the meal itself.

The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl isn’t gluten-free either. This is because of the seasoning mix. 


The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl is just like a classic chicken Alfredo pasta. The bowl comes with lots of chicken, so you won’t feel short-changed, and the sauce is a heavy coating of rich flavors.

The rich flavors come from the 4 types of cheeses. The sauce itself contains parmesan, while the top layer of baked cheese is made from a secret three-cheese blend. One of those three kinds of cheese has to be mozzarella – we can just tell.

The mushrooms within the dish are smooth and plentiful, while we would prefer a touch more spinach. 

Because there is so much cheese, it would be easy for this meal to become greasy or have an overpowering dairy flavor. However, the rich and creamy texture is just right.

Without a doubt, this is our favorite of the three which is perfect because it’s also the best for the keto diet!

Is The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl Keto-Friendly?

The Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl is the best option for the keto diet. It is absolutely keto-friendly because it contains a lot of protein and a mid-level amount of fats, which is the perfect balance for this diet type.

Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl


The Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl contains a lot of meat, as its name suggests. This means it has a high protein count, just like the Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl.

All of the meats are classic flavors for a pizza. They are pepperoni, meatballs, and sausages. All of these are layered on top of the Alfredo sauce, with tomatoes, onions, and green pepper scattered around them.

Just like the Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl, this bowl is topped with Italian seasoning and a three-cheese blend before being baked.

Total Nutritional Values

A serving of Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl is 463 g or the bowl as given. This serving is larger than both the Chicken Alfredo and the Garden Veggie.

The Italian Meats Trio is larger in other ways too. It contains the most calories of three, with a whopping 880, 610 of which come from fat.

Speaking of fats, this bowl contains 68 g which is the largest total of the three bowls. The records keep breaking with the highest sodium count at 2,460 mg and the highest cholesterol at 185 mg.

On the keto diet, the thing we care the most about is protein. The Italian Meats Trio bowl contains a middling 46 g worth of protein, which is surprisingly low considering the amount of cheese and meat in this meal. 

From a keto point of view, we care the most about protein and carbohydrates. The protein levels are okay, while the total carbohydrates come in at 25 grams.

This is pretty low already, but looking at the net grams, that figure drops to 18. This is due to the 6 g of fiber.

The Italian Meats Trio bowl has again come in first place for largeness, as it has the highest carbohydrate content of all three bowls.

However, 24 grams of carbs and 46 grams of protein isn’t too bad really. It’s just the worst carbohydrate number out of these three options.

Gluten-Free, Vegan, And Dairy-Free?

The Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl is not vegan or dairy free. It cannot be considered vegan due to the pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs that make the dish complete.

The Alfredo sauce and the melted cheese on top also stop it from being dairy-free.

Just like the Chicken Alfredo, the Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl uses Italian seasoning which isn’t gluten-free. This means those with celiac disease shouldn’t order this bowl.


The Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl tastes exactly like a pepperoni pizza. In fact, that’s exactly what the bowl is, the only thing that’s missing is the carby crust.

When we order a pepperoni pizza, we are there to experience the tangy sauce and spicy sausage meat. We don’t care about the crust. It’s only there to help shovel the pizza into our mouths faster.

With the Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl, we get all that flavor and none of the carb. Even the added vegetables make us feel a little healthier as we indulged in the most gluttonous Papa Bowl on the menu.

Is The Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl Keto-Friendly?

Yes, the Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl is keto-friendly, however, it is the least keto-friendly option out of the three Papa Bowl options.

The bowl is considered keto-friendly because it has a low amount of carbohydrates, which can easily be managed or balanced by other meals in the day.

In total, it contained 24 grams of carbohydrates and 46 grams of protein, alongside 68 grams of fat.

The keto diet desires more fats than protein and more proteins than carbohydrates, so this balance matches the diet perfectly. However, this bowl contains the most carbohydrates out of the three.

Use this information to balance your day’s meal plan.

Garden Veggie Papa Bowl


The Garden Veggie Papa Bowl still contains the classic cheese sauce baked on top and the delicious Italian seasoning, however, it also contains a plethora of vegetables.

This includes banana peppers, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Yum, yum!

Total Nutritional Values

Because of the large number of vegetables in this bowl, the carbohydrates are slightly higher than in the Chicken Alfredo. 

In a single bowl, you can expect 21 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fiber for a net total of 15 grams of carbohydrates.

This bowl has the lightest serving size coming in at 390 g per bowl. It also has the lowest total calories at just 380, 220 of which come from fats.

In the keto diet, we care the most about fats, proteins, and carbs. We know the carb is 21 grams, but the protein amount is 22 grams, and the fat is 24 grams. 

This means this bowl contains more fat than protein and more protein than carbs, but all three figures are very close to each other.

This bowl also contains 9 g of sugar, 1,610 mg of sodium, and 55 mg of cholesterol.

Gluten-Free, Vegan, And Dairy-Free?

Despite being made of mostly vegetables, the bowl is neither vegan or dairy free.

There is no meat in the bowl, so vegetarians can safely order this option, but the cheese sauce blocks vegans and dairy-free dieters from joining in with the fun.

The Garden Veggie bowl also contains Italian seasoning which means it isn’t gluten-free either.


To get the most out of this Papa Bowl, you should order it “well done”. This is because the lack of protein changes the balance of the bowl. 

Choosing the “well done” option, should remove some of the watery nature of the bowl, and help the meal feel less like soup.

Normally a vegetarian pizza doesn’t feel less packed than a meat one, because the crust creates a platform or sturdiness to carry the flavors.

This bowl, however, feels like it’s missing something. More mushrooms might do the trick, as the spinach, onions, and peppers all get lost in the sauce.

However, the chefs made a great decision in adding banana peppers. They created a surprising spiciness to the otherwise watery and weak meal.

Is The Garden Veggie Papa Bowl Keto-Friendly?

Yes, the Garden Veggie Papa Bowl is keto-friendly. It has a low carb content, which is great, but it also has a low protein and fat content.

Although this bowl is keto-friendly, you should choose the Italian Meats Trio Papa Bowl if you need to add more fat to your diet that day or the Chicken Alfredo Papa Bowl if you need more protein and fewer carbs for this meal.

All three are great choices, but if you need a bowl to help you balance your diet, use that knowledge to find the right choice that day.

How Much Does A Papa Bowl Cost?

Prices are always subject to change, but right now they cost $7.99 each. There is no difference in price between one bowl and the next.

Can You Make Your Own Bowl?

Yes, you can make your own Papa Bowl.

During the creation process, you can pick which sauce you prefer (buffalo, ranch, BBQ, alfredo, or pizza), you can choose which vegetables and meats to include (pepperoni, chicken tenders, meatballs, sausages), and which cheese blend (3-cheese or parmesan).

Depending on your local store, you might be able to “unclick” the Italian seasoning, making the meal gluten-free.

In fact, you can create one of the three bowls in the Create-Your-Own section, and unclick the Italian seasoning, so turn it into a gluten-free option.

These bowls also cost $7.99, so taking this longer route will not cost you more.

Final Thoughts

All three of the Papa Johns Papa Bowls are keto-friendly because they are low in carbohydrates. However, they aren’t as low as you would expect.

The amount of vegetables and cheese in each meal, means they aren’t a 0-carb diet. 

Judging by the other meals you’ll eat that day or week, you should pick the Chicken Alfredo if you need more protein, the Italian Meats Trio if you need more fat, or the Garden Veggie if you’re a vegetarian.

However, if you don’t care about the little details, then pick whichever flavor you prefer. They are all keto-friendly.




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