Delicious zucchini pizza bites make great use of large, firm zucchinis. Enjoy the flavors of pizza using a nutritious vegetable base!
After transitioning to a low-carb diet, I was mourning some of my favorite foods, including pizza. It took me a while to figure out that although the crust is no doubt delicious, what makes pizza so great is actually the things you put on top of the crust. 🍕
That’s why these zucchini pizza bites are so amazing. I just love that I can enjoy the best parts of pizza – the sauce, the cheese, and the toppings – but use a vegetable base.
How I came up with this recipe
The idea for this recipe came to me after I found some extra-large zucchinis at the farmer’s market. I was wondering what to do with them.
I grilled one of them just the way I usually grill eggplants, brushing it first with a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The balsamic grilled zucchini turned out wonderful.
And then it occurred to me that a large zucchini does resemble an eggplant, and since eggplant pizza is a big hit around here, I could try making a similar recipe using zucchini.
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
You’ll only need six ingredients to make these tasty pizza rounds (exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
1. Extra-large zucchini: Try to find firm zucchinis with smooth, dark green skins.
2. Kosher salt: For drawing excess water out of the zucchini.
3. Olive oil spray: I love this delicious oil. But if you’re unsure about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead
4. Pizza sauce: Try to use a sugar-free sauce. Rao’s is my favorite brand.
5. Shredded mozzarella: You can also use one of the bagged pre-shredded cheeses labeled as “Italian blend.” Provolone is good too.
6. Toppings: I like chorizo or pepperoni. If you’re not a fan of processed meats, you can use olives and red onions instead.
How to make zucchini pizza bites
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Salt the zucchini. First, you slice the zucchini and salt the slices to help draw out water. This step prevents sogginess, so please don’t skip it!
Roast the zucchini. Next, you bake the zucchini slices in a hot oven.
Add pizza toppings and bake. For the final step, you top each zucchini slice with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, and return to the hot oven to melt the cheese.
Variations on the basic recipe
The basic recipe that I usually make calls for using shredded mozzarella and pepperoni.
But as you can see in the photos, I changed it up today and used sharp cheddar and Spanish chorizo. Certainly, these are not traditional pizza toppings, but this is what I had at home, and it was excellent! So feel free to use whatever cheese and toppings you like.
How to serve zucchini pizza bites
They make a great appetizer or a delicious side dish. When I make them as a side dish, I like to serve them with a main dish that I can cook in the same 450°F oven. So I often serve them with one of the following:
Can I keep leftovers?
Hmm… ideally, not. This is one of those dishes that should really be enjoyed when freshly prepared. So try to make only as much as you think you’d be able to eat.
However, if despite your best intentions you end up with some leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. Place them on paper towels to absorb extra moisture, and reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
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Zucchini Pizza Bites
- 1 extra-large zucchini, total weight about 1 lb., unpeeled
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt for salting
- Olive oil spray
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- 2 oz shredded mozzarella
- 1 oz uncured pepperoni
- Slice the zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place on a large plate and sprinkle with the salt. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray it with olive oil spray.
- Rinse the zucchini slices in a colander and pat dry with paper towels. Spread on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray with olive oil spray. Bake 10 minutes on each side, until tender and lightly browned.
- Spoon a little marinara sauce on top of each zucchini slice. Top with cheese and pepperoni. Return to the hot oven for 2 minutes or so, just until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.