The recommendations, revealed by The Times this morning, would see the limit for a pie set at 695 calories and pizzas at 928 calories.
The paper points out that this limit would be breached by all but four of the classic pizzas on the menu at PizzaExpress.
The guidelines are to be unveiled by PHE as part of a package of measures to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy eating.
A consultation this summer recommended mandatory calorie counts on all menus, including takeaways.
The Times understands that the Department of Health is sticking to its proposals despite resistance from some ministers over the potential cost to businesses.
Liz Truss, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said she was concerned the proposals would be “burdensome” to small companies and “could result in job losses and higher food prices”.
Ministers want to cut calories in ready meals, pizzas and savoury snacks by 20% by 2024.
PHE chiefs met food industry leaders this week to set out the proposals on how to meet calorie reduction targets.
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said: “Excess calories is the next big challenge for the food industry to improve the food we all consume.”
Alison Tedstone, the body’s chief nutritionist, said: “The simple truth is, on average we need to eat less. Children and adults routinely eat too many calories. These are early days in the calorie reduction programme but the food industry has a responsibility to act.”
A PHE spokesman said the pie and pizza plans were at an early stage, and targets could change before the publication of the guidance next spring.