Think of it as a meatless-lovers pizza: plant-based protein meant to substitute for Italian sausage, chicken and meatballs.

Pieology Pizzeria this last weekend rolled out three plant-based "meat" toppings in chicken Italian sausage discs and meatballs made from high-quality plant proteins that Pielogy said tastes and looks just like the real deal. In a written statement, Pieology officials said the new meatless protein toppings "are vegan, non-GMO verified, contain no cholesterol or soluble fats, and are packed with protein."

“Although vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians will love the new pizza options, the premium toppings are a healthy choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a new style of protein," Pieology’s Vice President of Marketing Chad Bailey said in a written statement.

But the healthier options come at a price: $1 per ounce.

Pieology, a fast-casual pizza chain founded in 2011, has five Phoenix area locations and one Tucson location, at 914 E. Speedway next to the University of Arizona. It's open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.