A childhood dream realized! Gluten-free pizza at Papa Murphy’s (Portland)

On the drive back from Seattle I saw a Papa Murphy’s sign from the freeway and man did it take me back to my childhood. For those in parts of the country that don’t have Papa Murphy’s, it’s Take & Bake pizza, where you pick it up and bake it at home on your schedule. They were all over the Pacific Northwest when I was growing and I feel like a big part of PNW family life (for the convenience). Now looking at the map online it seems to be in most parts of the country¬†(unfortunately for South Florida the closest location is in Fort Meyers).

Way back in the day when my family got Papa Murphy’s I would usually have my bread or tortillas with pizza toppings just from the store. Sometimes I was able to pick some of the toppings off the Papa Murphy’s pizza and it was delicious! Something about their combination of tomato sauce, cheese (pretty cheesy), and toppings was just the best (in my opinion)! Also as a kid when I would sometimes maybe sneak some actual slices here and there, something about it made it one of my favorites (especially as leftover pizza). When I got older my mom thought up getting extra sauce and toppings from Papa Murphy’s on the side and using that on top of my pizza. It tasted pretty good, but for some reason just wasn’t the same as the regular pizza unfortunately…. It was the pizza itself that I craved. I know I may be in upper percentile of it’s fandom, but I know a lot of people are big fans (of the pizza itself and the concept).

So I saw the sign and it took me back to a childhood love of Papa Murphy’s, but I didn’t think too much more of it. Then when I got home to Portland I unpacked and went about the night. I took a look in the fridge and noticed a Papa Muphy’s pizza. It was a meat pizza, which was a little weird, because my dad was the only non-celiac currently in the house and he likes vegetable pizzas. I asked my mom- “what’s that Papa Murphy’s pizza?” and she said it was gluten-free! WHAT?! Papa Muphy’s added a gluten-free crust a few months ago and she decided to get for me! I was beyond excited!!

I put it in the oven and waited with anticipation for it to bake. I let it cool a little bit (it took a lot of self-control!) and then had my first slice! The crust was pretty good. It tasted familiar for some reason. Pretty thin, got decently crunchy from the amount of time I had it in, and had just a slight hint of sweetness to it (taste that a lot in gluten-free pizza). As mentioned above I love their sauce and toppings, so those were all good. It was good pizza, but I still felt it was missing slightly whatever had made me obsessed with Papa Murphy’s pizza as a kid. Luckily I found it the next day when I had the leftovers (cold, which is how I like it). Then it tasted exactly like the regular and my childhood dreams were realized! Just the combination of the sauce and good amount of cheese and toppings. It’s almost there just as it’s been cooked, but it tastes pretty much exactly the same as the regular pizza when it’s cold.

I ended up getting Papa Murphy’s two more times on my trip and found myself saving quite a number of slices to be eaten the next day as cold leftovers. It was with one of these other pizzas that I placed the crust as being Udi’s (and my mom confirmed it). I used to make pizzas myself here in Miami with the Udi’s crust from the grocery store, so that’s why it tasted so familiar. The Udi’s size is a medium and you pay the Large price.

I’m not sure if I am the only gluten-free kid out there to have this obsession with Papa Murphy’s, but for gluten-frees it’s a nice convenient option and to me always tastes a little better than delivery. It’s also easier to control cross-contamination as you can see them make it front of you and then you bake it yourself at home (vs. gluten-free pizza made and baked in restaurant ovens elsewhere). You might not be as obsessed with Papa Murphy’s as much as me, but I do think you’ll enjoy it! The gluten-free pizza is available at participating locations, but looking over the map of Florida a lot of the locations here seem to have it. I would guess it’s somewhat commonly available at locations across the country, but take a look at their website to check. Hope we get Papa Murphy’s in Miami sometime soon!

Papa Murphy’s (locations across Portland and the country)


The uncooked version from the fridge
The uncooked version from the fridge
Cooked and looking pretty delicious
Cooked and looking pretty delicious
A piece close-up
A piece close-up
Ah the delicious leftover slice!
Ah the delicious leftover slice!

4 thoughts on “A childhood dream realized! Gluten-free pizza at Papa Murphy’s (Portland)

  1. That’s interesting. When Bob contacted Papa Murphy’s about gluten free pizza several years ago they told him it would not be safe for their gluten free customers for them to even try.

    1. I think I remember hearing that as well a few years ago when there was a rumor of gluten-free pizza at Papa Murphy’s that didn’t end up being true. I like that they use Udi’s crust so the actual crust isn’t made on-site (with a risk of cross-contamination at that stage). My mom goes and orders it in person, so she can request they take extra precautions and she can watch it being made. It’s then nice that you bake it at home and don’t have to risk cross-contamination in a shared oven. Still a risk of flour particles in the air and toppings having touched other pizzas, but relative to other pizza places (where the crust is made in a non-gluten-free kitchen, shared counter and toppings, and then is baked in an oven with regular pizzas), I think it’s a less risky. Celiacs need to weigh the risk though. But my mom is pretty sensitive in her reaction to gluten (at least compared to me, although we both have celiac) and she has been fine this way.

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