Monday, October 29, 2012

Recipe: Cauliflower Crust Pizza

This past summer, I decided I was going to cut down on my intake of flour. As a person whose breakfasts consisted of bagels and whose lunch always included a sandwich, I thought I would have a tough time removing unnecessary bread from my diet. Slowly but surely, however, eggs replaced bagels, and greek yogurt or chicken leftovers replaced sandwiches, and I hadn’t looked back until a week ago. After my friend talked to me about the amazing pizza in New Haven (it really is incredible), I was reminded of how much I love pizza. For me, the single greatest ingredient in the world is an aged cheese, and pizza is the world’s greatest vehicle for any cheese. With my desire for pizza reignited, I set about looking for a delicious alternative to the classic flour-filled pizza dough crust. What I found amazed me.

From eggplant crust to spinach crust pizza to “meatza” (a crust made entirely out of meat), the internet threw tons of suggestions my way. I finally settled on using cauliflower as it is excellent at absorbing flavor but would not add enough of its own to remind me I was not eating real pizza. After testing out several different recipes, I found one that yielded a perfectly crispy and stable crust. I tweaked it and added some helpful notes. I was surprised at how good this healthy pizza turned out and I think you will be too.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Slightly tweaked from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Makes a little more than two servings.

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower (chop in food processor)
1/2 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
~6 T almond meal/almond flour (Much cheaper if you make it yourself; just throw almonds into a food processor until they become a fine powder. Make sure to not overdo it as this will result in almond butter)
3 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt
1 large egg, beaten

Pizza Toppings:
Whatever you like!
I like to top it with pesto (click for link to good basic pesto recipe), whatever cheese I am into at the moment, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Turn on the oven or grill, place the pizza stone inside (if using), and preheat grill or oven to 450F/230C. (If you don't have a pizza stone I might let the temperature get slightly higher.)

Use a food processor to finely chop the cauliflower until it resembles small kernels of rice. Put the cauliflower into a bowl and microwave until it's cooked through and soft, about 5-8 minutes. (Don't add water; the cauliflower will release moisture.)

If you don't have finely grated Mozzarella, pulse it a few times in the food processor so it's more finely grated.

In a small bowl, combine the cooked cauliflower, 1/2 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella, almond meal, Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, garlic powder, and salt. Beat the egg with a fork and then mix it into the other ingredients, combining them well. The dough should be sticking together pretty well at this point. If the dough is still very wet at this point, add another tablespoon or two of almond meal to soak up excess moisture.

Spray a heavy cookie sheet with non-stick spray (or cover with non-stick foil for easy cleanup). Form the crust ingredients into a ball and place on the cookie sheet, then use your fingers to form the crust, spreading it out as thin as you can get it. Put the cookie sheet on the pizza stone in the oven and cook with the door or lid shut until the crust is firm and lightly browned, about 13-15 minutes.

When the crust is done, spread with pizza sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and arrange toppings on top. Put pizza back in the oven and broil for about 3-5 minutes it to melt the cheese and heat the toppings. Be careful as the toppings will burn if you broil the pizza too long.

Enjoy while still warm! Note: All pizzas other than the one pictured were circular, but I was not patient enough to take pictures before I devoured them.


  1. Low fat mozzarella cheese-finally, my type of dish! This is probably one of the best pizza recipes I’ve come across with. I am a stalker of blogs with these dishes and I promise to stalk yours from now on. I’m on a very strict diet and I have been looking all around for treasures that I could include in my low fat diet list. Thanks for sharing!



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