Cauliflower crust pizza is a life saver for people on a gluten free diet. Tastes great and satisfies your pizza cravings.
You’ve probably seen cauliflower crust pizzas around for a while. I was sceptical to how good this crust could be and if it even would hold together. Well, as you can see, it does hold together quite well. It also has a distinct vegetable flavor which is quite different than a flour crust, but tastes good in it’s own way.
Making a cauliflower crust
The crust is made from a head of cauliflower, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, one egg, and a couple seasonings.
The first thing to do is cut the head of cauliflower into fairly small florets and use a food processor to “rice” the cauliflower. Just like in this recipe for Fried Cauliflower Patties. I had to do this in 3 batches because the cauliflower has so much moisture in it that it sticks to the side of the processor bowl.
You should end up with about 3 cups of riced cauliflower. Put it all into a microwave safe bowl and nuke it for 4 to 5 minutes. It just depends on the strength of your microwave. You will start to smell the cauliflower cooking towards the end of the cooking cycle. Pour the hot cauliflower onto a large, clean dish towel and let it cool enough for you to touch. You’ll need to wring out the moisture and you, (and I), will be surprised at how much water it contains.
Bunch the cauliflower up in the towel and working over a sink, twist the cloth to get rid of most of the moisture. I’ll guess that there was a quarter cup, if not more, that I was able to squeeze out. I ended up using a few paper towels wrapped around the towel ball to try to squeeze as much moisture out that I could. Doing this is going to let your crust brown up more easily.
Shred your cheeses next. I used a block of mozzarella which I placed in the freezer for 45 minutes to harden up. Doing this, I could easily grate it on the smaller sized grater holes to get a fine grate.
Place everything into a big bowl and mix together well with a spoon or spatula. What you’ll end up with is a moist dough with a grainy consistency.
Prebake the pizza crust
Prepare a large sheet pan, (1/2 sheet pan size…13 by 18 inches), by spraying with cooking spray. Place the dough on the sheet and start working it into a circle with your hands. Work the cauliflower crust to about 1/4″ thickness leaving a slightly raised edge. This is actually the fun part because it is easier to do than you might think. Mine ended up being about 12 inches in diameter.
Bake the crust in a 450° oven for 12 to 18 minutes until the sides and top just start to brown slightly. If you have a convection oven, the fan may speed up the browning.
Pull the crust from the oven and start adding your toppings. I used about a quarter cup of sauce as the base, then added sliced tomatoes and sprinkled on a good amount of mozzarella.
Place the pizza back in the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the cheese starts to brown. After the pizza was done, I added the basil strips.
The toppings that you use on your pizza are totally up to you, but we have so many fresh tomatoes that a Cauliflower Crusted Margherita Pizza seemed the logical choice for us.
Hey, if you make this recipe take some photos and put them on Instagram with the hashtag, #joeshealthymeals. I love to see what you’re making. Also add a comment on how you thought the crust was.
Here’s the printable recipe.
Cauliflower Crust Margherita Pizza
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 lg egg
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup pizza sauce
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced (see notes)
- 5 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
- fresh chopped basil
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in a food processor, pulsing to "rice" the florets. (This may take 2 or 3 separate batches). Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 4 to 5 minutes to soften.
- Place the cooked cauliflower onto a large, clean towel and let cool to the touch. Once cooled, Wring the towel over a sink to squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- Put the cauliflower into a large bowl and add the 2 cheeses, egg, and seasonings, and combine well with a spoon or spatula.
- Spray a 13 by 18 inch baking sheet with cooking spray then place the dough on it and form a circle pressing with your hands. Press the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and a slightly raised rim. Place in the oven for 12 to 18 minutes, until the crust starts to brown.
- Remove from the oven and top the pizza with the sauce, tomatoes and finally the cheese. Place the pizza back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown. Remove and add shredded fresh basil.
Never say never. The crust is pretty good.