The secret to a great paleo and keto cauliflower pizza crust? Bake until the crust becomes very browned and crisp, with very dark edges. That’s how you’ll get the best flavor and texture.
As soon as my husband and I transitioned to a low-carb diet, I started looking for acceptable substitutes for some of our favorites. Not surprisingly, pizza was the first on my list! 🍕
Using cauliflower to make a pizza crust sounds quite suspicious, I know. I was a big skeptic – until I made it. But now it’s one oy favorite keto pizza crusts, and I make it very often. In fact, we have it almost weekly for lunch on Saturdays. It’s a beloved – and tasty – tradition.
Cauliflower is awesome
It’s no secret that cauliflower is the darling of the keto and paleo worlds. It is nutritious, tasty, and extremely versatile. A few examples:
- Cauliflower rice is a wonderful alternative to white rice.
- Cauliflower makes a delicious mock potato salad.
- And mashed cauliflower is truly phenomenal – I don’t miss mashed potatoes ever since I started making mashed cauliflower.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few ingredients to make this tasty crust (exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
Olive oil spray: you’ll use it to grease the pan.
Fresh cauliflower: I recommend using fresh in this recipe. Frozen is too mushy.
Eggs: Yo help bind the crust together. Use large eggs.
Spices: Dried oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a recipe.
For the pizza topping: pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan, and any other favorite toppings (such as pepperoni, or – if you’d rather avoid processed meats – olives, peppers, or mushrooms).
How to make cauliflower pizza crust
It’s actually very easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You mix shredded cauliflower with egg and spices. Flatten the mixture on a parchment-lined pan, then bake until golden brown. Once you have your crust, you can top it with your favorite toppings.
Return it to the oven, and bake (or broil if your pan is broiler-safe and the parchment is unbleached and marked as broiler-safe) until the edges are crispy and well-browned.
While making pizza crust out of cauliflower may sound like a stretch, it actually works. The shredded cauliflower combines with the eggs and seasonings to bake into a very tasty, crispy crust. It truly gives you the pizza experience without the gluten and carbs.
Should I add cheese?
I know that some recipes instruct you to add Parmesan, and I’m sure it’s delicious, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The crust is excellent without cheese, and without the Parmesan, it’s also paleo.
Does cauliflower pizza really taste good?
Yes! Unless you really hate cauliflower, it does taste good. In fact, the cauliflower flavor is hardly noticeable once you bake the crust and add the toppings. I think it is only noticeable if you really, REALLY dislike cauliflower.
Now, does it taste as good as a doughy pizza crust? Of course not. Kind of like garlic parmesan spaghetti squash is wonderful, but not as wonderful as real pasta.
But if your health is a priority, and a high carb doughy crust is out of the question, then this crust is a truly tasty alternative.
If you’re still feeling suspicious, another wonderful keto and gluten-free option is this coconut flour pizza crust. It’s very tasty, and it IS quite close to the real thing.
And if you want a truly easy and quick pizza experience, try this delicious keto skillet pizza, that features a crispy cheese crust.
Tips for a crispy non-soggy crust
I have three tips for making sure the cauliflower pizza crust comes out crispy and not soggy:
1. Pat the crust very thin
My most important tip is to pat the crust very thin. Then bake until it’s very browned and crispy, with very dark edges. That’s how you’ll get the best flavor and texture.
2. Don’t add too many toppings
This crust is not as sturdy as wheat flour crust. Adding too many toppings could cause it to become soggy and floppy. So add toppings sparingly.
3. Bake until well-browned
Don’t be afraid to bake the crust until the edges seem almost burned, especially in the last step of heating up the toppings. That’s exactly how you ensure a tasty, crispy crust.
Can’t you just buy this crust? Why make it?
It’s true that you can now buy a pre-made crust, an option that wasn’t available (as far as I know) when I first started making this recipe, back in 2013. Just like you can now buy riced cauliflower for making cauliflower rice.
So buying a pre-made crust is certainly an option. I do find that the frozen pre-made crusts are a bit soggier than the homemade one (when prepared properly). So I still make this homemade crust regularly.
Is it keto?
Yes! As you can see in the nutrition info below, even with pizza sauce, a generous serving has 9 grams of net carbs (14g carbs and 5g fiber).
I know that many don’t worry about calories on the keto diet. But to me, one of the best things about this crust is that it’s very low in calories. So when we’re hungry, I make two of these pizzas just for my husband and myself, and we each get to eat an entire pizza! 😮
Can you freeze cauliflower pizza crust?
Yes, you can. Cool it off completely on the pan and don’t add any toppings. Carefully place it on a piece of cling wrap, top with another piece of cling wrap and gently seal. Place it flat on a freezer shelf.
Once frozen, you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months, and you can reheat it in the oven from its frozen state. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes, then add your toppings and place briefly under the broiler.
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Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- Olive oil spray
- 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (14 oz, 400 grams without refuse)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce, no added sugar (I like Rao’s)
- 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella (3 oz)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Any other pizza toppings you like (but don’t overdo it)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (this is important – I tried without parchment and the cauliflower crust got soggy instead of crispy) and lightly spray it with olive oil spray. You can also use a 13-inch pizza pan, and cut a parchment circle to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Place the cauliflower in food processor and rice it – pulse until its texture resembles rice. Work in batches if needed.
- In a medium bowl, mix the riced cauliflower, eggs, oregano, garlic powder and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to the center of the prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to press it into a thin 13-inch circle. Try to even it out so that it’s all the same thickness, and don’t allow the edges to be too thin, or they’ll burn (but even if they do get too dark, they’re still delicious).
- Bake the cauliflower crust until golden-brown and very set (so that edges can be gently lifted up from the baking sheet without the circle falling apart), about 40 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Switch oven to broil*, set on high. With a spatula, spread the tomato sauce on top of the cauliflower pizza crust. Sprinkle the cheeses on top. You can obviously add more toppings at this point, but not too many if you don't want a soggy crust.
- Return the pizza to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and browned in spots, 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into eight triangles using a pizza cutter, and serve.