Earlier this week we talked about the amazing cruciferous vegetable cauliflower, now let’s put that knowledge into practice and make one of my (new) favorites with cauliflower… Cauliflower Pizza Crust! Cauliflower crust has become very popular within the low carb and paleo communities because it’s loaded with all the flavors of pizza without using refined carbohydrates or any fuss with baking breads. I pair cauliflower with familiar pizza seasonings such as oregano, garlic, and onion amongst an entire menu/meal plan with ideas on how to make your own pizza crust. Plus, if you know anything about my story, you know that gluten and diary don’t play well with my digestive system. So today I give you my favorite gluten free and vegan friendly cauliflower pizza crust that’s also paleo friendly!
FREE BONUS: Get the downloadable Digestion Tips eBook from McKel here!
The only pizza you’ll ever need…
I’ve played around with this recipe for a couple weeks now and it was hard work, you know eating all these pizza crust “failures”. But hey, all in the work of a good recipe. When I think of pizza crust I think of several variations – doughy, crispy, thick crust, thin crust, New York style, Chicago style, flatbread, etc. This pizza crust recipe is more thick and doughy than thin. If a thin crust is what you’re after, a couple modifications to the recipe should lend a thinner crust (see in the Note section of the recipe). First and foremost, we forgo all the heavily processed carbohydrates that taste great for a second on the tongue; but leave us feeling heavy, weighted down, and down right lethargic afterward. Food should not only taste great, but it’s gotta make us feel great! If you’re eating foods that make you feel like there’s a brick in your stomach or you want to take a nap after, check out what you’re putting in that beautiful body of yours (and let’s start with that pizza we all love so much).
Cauliflower Crust Tutorial
This pizza crust is made without any of the standard “dough” ingredients, no gluten, no dairy, no grains, nothing but goodness from cauliflower and some fun ingredients you’ve seen here before on Nutrition Stripped. I love incorporating chia seeds into this pizza crust as it creates a “doughy” texture and moistens the overall crust (if you don’t have chia seeds, this recipe still works). Since this may be a very new concept using a vegetable as a “dough”, I thought it’d help everyone out to show you step by step how to make the crust. Let’s take a peek at the recipe and dig in!
Tips to keep in mind
- Crust // This isn’t going to be like standard pizza crust you’re used to, so open your mind to a new experience of a “crust”.
- Baking // All ovens are different, therefore the time it takes to cook this may take longer/shorter and also depending on how thick you make the crust, keep this in mind.
- Texture // This dough can be very fragile after it’s been baked, just handle with love (and if it falls a part, it’s still darn good).
- Nutritional yeast is optional // It’s purely used for taste. Perfect for non-dairy lovers as it has a cheesy flavor and is loaded with B vitamins and protein. Read here for more on nutritional yeast.
- Sauce // Top with whatever marina or pizza sauce you enjoy (hopefully organic if not homemade!).
- Have fun with your toppings! Load on them veggies!
- red marinara, white sauce, Basil Pesto (my favorite), sun-dried tomato puree, roasted red pepper compote, etc.
- arugula, spinach, kale, micro greens, sprouts
- onions, peppers, tomatoes, corn (organic, non-GMO), mushrooms, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus spears
- beans, organic tofu, organic tempeh, hemp seeds, farm fresh egg, shrimp, ham, chicken, beef [follow the NS philosophy if you consume animal proteins]
- pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, peaches, pears
Spices and herbs
- fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, shallots, fresh basil, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, chives
The Classic // marinara sauce + Classic Cashew Cheese
Nutrition Stripped Style // sun dried tomato puree + fresh sliced tomato + fresh basil + arugula + hemp seeds + nutritional yeast
Greek Isles // sun-dried tomato puree + kalamata olives + pepperoncini’s + capers + Classic Cashew Cheese
Skinny Italy // basil pesto + fresh sliced tomatoes + eggplant +spinach + fresh basil + Classic Cashew Cheese
The Hawaiian Tropic // marinara sauce + sliced pineapple + fresh cilantro
White on white // white sauce + hemp seeds + organic tofu
Mexican // roasted red pepper compote + roasted corn + beans + Classic Cashew Cheese + jalapeños + fresh cilantro
Mushroom Madness // marinara sauce + portabella mushrooms + shiitake mushrooms + white button mushrooms + Classic Cashew Cheese
Rose // white sauce + rosemary + chicken + Classic Cashew Cheese
The Californian // marinara sauce + zucchini + tomato + arugula + fresh avocado
Farm Land // marinara sauce + spinach + any and all veggies! + vegan cheese + farm fresh egg (optional)
- 1 small head cauliflower (550-600g), before steaming
- 2 whole eggs (or use chia eggs)
- 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (or use dairy cheese)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with a pizza stone.
- To create the pureed cauliflower, simply chop all the cauliflower florets into small pieces, place into a blender and blend until pureed (it doesn't have to be perfectly smooth).
- Lightly steam cauliflower for 3-5 minutes or until slightly soft, puree again to help smooth. (You have an option of leaving this a bit chunky or smooth if you prefer)
- Place the lightly steamed cauliflower into a nut-milk bag//cheesecloth//paper towels over a large bowl (to catch the liquid) and squeeze the excess water from the cauliflower.
- Let the cauliflower sit within the nut-milk//cheesecloth//paper towel for about 5 minutes, returning to squeeze any further water.
- Discard the cauliflower liquid. The end result will resemble a firm puree.
- Combine the remaining ingredients into the large bowl and hand mix with a large spoon or whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Spread the "dough" into either 1 large pizza shape or 2 small pizza rounds on a piece of parchment paper that will be transferred to the hot pizza stone.
- Avoid spreading the "dough" too thin as the moisture will cause it the crack and pull away from rest of the dough, I like leaving mine about ½ inch thick.
- Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and firm to touch. You can flip this half way through the baking process to make sure both sides are cooked well to your liking.
- Take out of the oven and top with your favorite toppings.
- Bake for another 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees or until everything on the top has warmed and melted.
BAKING: All ovens are different, and the time may take longer if you choose to make a thicker dough. Use a chia egg to make vegan.
TOPPINGS: Some toppings are more moist than others, this will require more baking after you've put on the toppings
NUTRITIONAL YEAST: optional (see note in blog post)
NOTE* be careful when flipping, this is a very fragile “dough”
FREE BONUS: Get the downloadable Digestion Tips eBook from McKel here!
I want to hear from you! What are your favorite pizza toppings? Have you ever had cauliflower pizza crust before? I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I do and feel free to “share” this recipe by tagging me @nutritionstripped and using the #nutritionstripped.
Love Cauliflower Pizza Crust and want even more healthy recipes and tips to live whole and eat well? Get the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook with almost 100 delicious whole food recipes not on the blog! Get your copy here.