Cauliflower ‘Pizza’

Cauliflower Pizza-5

Have you ever tried making a pizza base out of cauliflower?

I remember my first attempt. It. was. terrible.

Soggy, with a really strong overcooked cauliflower aroma and flavour.

Yuck!

It was so bad that I decided it wasn’t a place I ever wanted to go to again. Like never (and normally I’m a firm believer in ‘never saying never’).

But a few months ago I was thinking how nice it would be to have a low-carb dinner option that fitted the space we used to have for Friday Night Pizza. And how nice it would be to get Fergal, my 3-year-old, to eat more vegetables.

So I did some research and decided to try again.

This time I used raw grated cauliflower instead of steaming it. And I added some almond meal and grated parmesan to give it more of a ‘bready’ consistency.

The results?

The first time I made it my Irishman said it was good but refused to call it pizza. However I noticed he didn’t have any problems polishing off the last slice. So I figured it must be doing something right.

Then a few weeks later when he was actually excited about Friday Night Cauli ‘Pizza’ and we were both eyeing off the last slice. I knew this new style of ‘pizza’ was going to stay in our repertoire. Regardless of what we called it.

Oh and Fergal gobbled up his as well. So it really can’t taste like there are any vegetables in it ;)

A winner!

———————

Cauliflower Pizza-4

Cauliflower ‘Pizza’

I was tempted to call this a tart rather than set the expectations that pizza involves. But really it is closer to being a pizza than a tart. Either way it’s delicious. And I love that it’s low-carb so I don’t have to limit myself to only 1-2 modest slices.

make 1 large pizza – enough for 2
takes about 40 minutes

500g (1lb) cauliflower, about 1 medium
100g (3.5oz) grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon psyllium husks (optional)
2 eggs
100g (3.5oz) almond meal
your favourite pizza toppings

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).

2. Whizz your cauliflower using your food processor until it looks a bit like fine couscous. Or chop as finely as possible.

3. Add parmesan, eggs, almond meal and a really generous pinch of salt. Stir until combined.

4. Line a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Tip the cauli mixture onto the lined tray then using your hands smooth into a pizza shaped circle about 28cm (11in) in diameter. I like to make a ‘crust’ by shaping the edges to be taller than the middle.

5. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pizza is deeply browned and feels cooked.

6. Increase the heat to to 200C (400F) add your toppings and bake further 5-10 minutes or until you’re happy.

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Variations

psyllium alternatives – psyllium is a form of fiber. The pizza is perfectly fine without but you could use oat bran, ground chia seeds or ground flaxseeds if you like.

dairy-free – replace parmesan with extra almond meal. If you have some nutritional yeast lying around a tablespoon or so wouldn’t hurt.

nut-free – replace almond meal with bread crumbs or extra parmesan.

egg-free – use your favourite egg replacer.

martian ‘green pizza’ – replace cauliflower with broccoli.

do ahead – you can bake the base ahead of time and then just continue from step 6. Will keep in the fridge for a week or so or in the freezer for months. Defrost before baking.

smaller pizzas – feel free to make into whatever size (or shape) you like. Smaller pizzas won’t need quite as long so check after 20 minutes.

other veg – also thinking it would work well with spiralized zucchini instead of the cauli. Haven’t tried this yet so if you do please report back in the comments!

With love,
Jules x

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ps. What do you think?
Would you be willing something made with cauliflower to be called pizza? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

35 Comments

  • I’m so happy to get this recipe Jules. I have had the same experience as you in making a soggy cauliflower pizza and haven’t attempted one since. I can’t wait to try your recipe.
    Many thanks for your efforts.

  • What a coincidence! I have cauli pizza planned for supper tonight. It is now preferred to regular pizza. Adding the almond meal sounds intriguing as I sometimes have ‘soggy bottom’ issues too.
    I am going to experiment with Chick pea flour (Besam Flour) as that is what I have in the cupboard- run out of almond meal at the moment. This will add extra protein and fibre too.

  • I looooove cauliflower crust pizza! I also make it with eggs, lots of parmesan, some spices, and almond meal. I have recently started using my juicer to prep my cauliflower. It extracts all the juice, so the pulp is dryer to make the crust (no soggy crusts for me!), and I can drink the juice or use it in a soup broth. Win-win. My sister-in-law tried that type of crust with zucchinis and preferred it, but I have yet to try it…

  • I’ve made cauliflower pizza but when I did I had to put the cauliflower in cheesecloth and squeeze it over and over to get the water out. It took forever! But the pizza was surprisingly delicious.

    • No need for squeezing with this recipe Leah… because you’re not pre-cooking all the juices stay within the cauliflower cell walls so you get the nutrition without the sogginess! Jx

  • I made this recipe last night just as written and lined the tray with aluminum foil. While the taste was good, I would discourage anyone else from lining with foil as the crust was pretty much glued to it making it impossible to separate without losing all the bottom layer of crust. Has anyone had luck with parchment or no liner at all?

  • I made this pizza last night as written and it was super soggy!!! I made it on a silpat mat. We ended up eating it straight off the pan with forks, and the taste was good, but the pizza crust was mush. Interested in the juicer method.

    • Thanks for sharing Jessica! I’m wondering if it was baked long enough? And what sort of toppings did you use? I’ve never baked with silpat and I’m wondering if it needs longer to conduct the heat than a normal baking tray?
      Jx

  • I made this recipe exactly as it was written, including the psyllium, which I don’t think should be an optional ingredient. The results were perfect. Psyllium absorbs moisture. If you are not going to use psyllium then squeeze the moisture from the cauliflower like most cauliflower pizza recipes ask you to do.

  • Love cauli crust for pizza. I also make calzone (folded pizza). Line tin with baking paper. Bake the base for half the time recommended, spread filling on half then use the paper to fold the base over the filling. Continue baking for the full time.

  • And if you want to try this recipe, but you don’t have a blender, or food processor or any of those fast electric machines, you can use an ordinary grater. I grate the cauli as finely as possible but even if there are a few chunky bits the pizza base does not mind.

  • I don’t see psyllium in the ingredient list or recipe, but I see an alternative suggested. Am I missing something? How much psyllium do you use? Thank you!

  • I love the recipe. May I ask a question? In my research, I have discovered that when you bake with almond flour it is carcinogenic. This so upsets me because I love almond flour. I use a combination of chickpea flour and coconut flour and use many other healthy flours. What are your thoughts?

  • I also didn’t see psyllium in the ingredient list or recipe, but saw it as an alternative suggested. I made it last night and after tasting it thought that it should have some in there. How much psyllium do you use?

    • Hi Sue, I’ve added the psyllium into the ingredients list now. Thanks for noticing. It’s an optional 1 tablespoon.

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