*Note: This recipe has been on V&B for over a year, I have made it several times and modified the post and updated some pictures. My cauliflower and photography game has improved over the year…somewhat.
Happy post-Valentine’s week! Who else ate more than one assorted chocolate box for themselves? Not only is this the week where all the leftover chocolate goes on sale, but this is the week where every female complains about the ridiculous amount of candy they ate and OH I AM ONE OF THEM. Aside from my chocolate chant, I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s weekend. Alone or not, I’ve always loved this holiday because it’s a good excuse to eat and make whatever I want and with that being said, now I need vegetables.
With some left-over snow storm food, I decided to whip up a cauliflower pizza. Everyone on Pinterest rants and raves about not only cauliflower pizza, but cauliflower rice, Alfredo sauce, and a bazallion other replacements that I just can’t happen to think of. When I first heard of a pizza crust made with cauliflower I was a little confused but more inspired. Now that I’ve made and tried it, the idea is brilliant. Thank you – you carb-free angel for discovering this.
This pizza is simple, but does take a little time to put together. It’s important to break down the cauliflower so all you’re left with are the big florets. That gets pulsed in the food processor, microwaved, then squeezed dry. The cauliflower is then mixed with cheese and egg to bind and seasonings and fresh herbs for taste. This is more wet than your typical pizza dough, so shaping is much easier if the crust is pressed to its shape. It’s par baked, then topped with pizza sauce and toppings of choice before being baked a second time. I broke it down here:
1. Prep the cauliflower
- Wash & dry cauliflower head. Remove the chunky green leaves, then cut the head in half to cut off the thick white stem.
- Pulse the cauliflower until it reaches a rice-like consistency.
3. Microwave & Squeeze
- Transfer to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Dump all that into a kitchen towel and squeeze as hard as you can to remove as much moisture as possible. Work it. Work it hard.
- Once it’s cool enough to handle, add the egg, cheese, and seasonings. I like to add oregano for the pizza feel, crushed red pepper for the heat, garlic salt because garlic, black pepper, an Italian blend of cheese annnnnnnnd PESTO! It’s something I’ve added into the recipe over the year because it brightens up the color and flavor so much. If you don’t have any pesto on hand, throw in some fresh herbs!
5. Shape & Bake
- The easiest way to shape is use your hands. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy here. The “dough” is so wet that it needs an initial par-bake before adding on the toppings. The best way to judge when to take it out of the oven for toppings is when the crust gets brown and crispy, about 20-25 minutes. As soon as it gets hit with the toppings and the cheese gets melty, it’s shove your face like you’ve never eaten healthy pizza before because you probably never have time. Phew.
Let me warn you, you have to know what you’re biting into before tasting this. If you expect a New York style pizza you’ll be disappointed. This is made with cauliflower, so just as you’d expect, you will taste cauliflower. I topped mine off with my super easy pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and dried Oregano. I can assure you that whatever your creative little mind tops this off with, it’ll be the best dang cauliflower you ever had.
Note: This pizza yields 8 slices, which serves between 2-4 people. I broke down nutritional information to show you ONE slice of pizza.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. Italian cheese blend
- 2 T. basil pesto, see notes below
- 1 t. oregano
- 1/2 t. garlic salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 c. pizza sauce
- 1/2 c. Italian cheese blend for topping
- Preheat oven to 400
- Remove the chunky green leaves from the cauliflower head. Cut the head in half lengthwise (this just makes it easier to cut off the stem). Remove the stem and any other thick fibers attached to the florets.
- Lightly wash and dry with a paper towel. Place florets in a food processor and pulse until rice-like. If you don't have a food processor, use a box grater!
- Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and zap for 4 minutes. Once cool, transfer to a kitchen towel and squeeze out as MUCH moisture as possible. Squeeze it good!
- Once cool, add to a bowl with the egg, cheese, pesto, and seasonings. Combine and form a ball with your hands.
- Press the ball out to form a pizza shape on a baking stone lined with parchment paper. If still wet, use a dry kitchen towel to help shape.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the bottom and edges are brown and crispy.
- Take out of the oven and top with pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings of choice. Bake until cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown on the edges (10 minutes).
- NOTE: nutritional info is based off ONE slice of pizza. This pizza makes 8 slices, serves 4 people.
- I used a basil and parsley pesto made with garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. If you don't have pesto, use a handful of chopped basil and parsley!