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Crispy Cauliflower Crust Pizza [Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Dairy-Free]

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Few foods conjure such a powerful craving as pizza. The first whiff of the stuff is almost enough to make you double back and grab a whole pie from whatever streetside vendor you just passed.

As with any sinful food, there is usually a cleaner option available. Some genius, at some point, realized that you could make a pretty darn good substitute out of cauliflower and creativity.

We’ve tried two cauliflower crust recipes – which definitely makes us experts on the subject – and this one is our favorite. The crust is perfectly crispy, flaky, and flavorful. A simple selection of toppings is all you need to satisfy the strongest pizza craving. This recipe is courtesy of Beard + Bonnet – check out the rest of her blog, too.

For half of our pizzas, we used pesto and for the other half we used tomato pizza sauce.

Ingredients [makes approx. 6 – 6″ diameter pizza crusts]

3 cups ground cauliflower
1 cup and 2 T. almond flour
4.5 flax eggs [or real eggs, if you prefer] 4 T. nutritional yeast [optional, but recommended because it adds a cheesy flavor] 1 t. sea salt
1 t. dried rosemary
1 t. garlic powder
freshly ground pepper to taste

Ingredients [for pizza sauce]

1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 medium roma tomato
1 T. oregano
1 t. sea salt
1 t. basil
1 clove of garlic
Add ingredients to food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Ingredients [for pesto]

2 cups of spinach
1/4 almonds
1 garlic clove
2 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
dash of sea salt
dash of freshly ground black pepper
Process or blend until smooth.

Recipe

Preheat the oven to 450° and line a large baking sheet (or 2 baking sheets) with parchment paper. No parchment paper? Foil will work.

Mix the flax eggs and let them set up in the fridge until you need them later.

Food process or blend the cauliflower until you have 3 cups. You want the cauliflower to look like rice, not mashed potatoes, so don’t over process!

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In a large bowl, combine cauliflower and all of the ingredients for the crust. Mix together until a batter forms. It will be sticky and mushy, but should resemble dough.

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Portion the dough onto the baking sheets, using about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of dough per pizza. Use your hands to shape them into little pies, build up the crusts a bit.

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Place them in the oven on the bottom rack – without toppings – and bake for 15-20 minutes.

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When the time is up, remove them and add sauce and toppings.

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Switch the pizzas onto the top rack when you return the pan to the oven. Bake for 10-15 more minutes. The crusts should be golden brown and irresistible-looking.

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We kept the toppings simple, but the possibilities are endless. On the pesto pizzas, we used cherry tomatoes garlic cloves, and arugula. On the pizza sauce pizzas, we used red pepper, onion, asparagus, and spinach. Get creative with the toppings because really, why not?

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41 Comments
  • Kelly
    May 21, 2017

    I have to say.. I was skeptical about this recipe. I LOVE pizza, and I didn’t want to have to give it up for the lifestyle change I am making. I am SO glad I tried this! I followed the recipe exactly I didn’t have any problems with the crust being mushy. The crust was perfectly browned after the first trip in the oven and crisped up a bit more through the second trip. For some reason I thought there would be endless steps in preparing a cauliflower crust for pizza (especially after reading recipes from Pioneer Woman, etc) but this was so simple! I will definitely be making this a staple in my house. My daughter and I had so much fun in the kitchen making these! I love your site and all recipes I have tried so far! I check weekly for updates :)

  • Jenn
    May 25, 2014

    Well…They are in the oven… But I am thinking I am going to have to eat it with a fork..

    I followed the recipe exactly as stated except I used one of the alteration from a comment and used 3 Tbs of Coconut flour, as that is what I had on hand, which in retrospect seemed drastically less flour than the 1 C+ 2 Tbs that is quoted in the recipe… but I continued on :) when mixing the crust batter, it seemed really dry (is it suppose too? as I think if I have the 1 C of flour as it called for it would be WAY more dry than it currently was) Well dry or not I was going to make it! So as I flattened the crust on the pan, it seemed to stick together good YAY But after the initial 20 minute precook, the crust was nice and brown but not firm…But I thought that it might firm up once i have the toppings on and cooked the rest of the 20 minutes…They are in the oven now :) And really is it so bad if I have to eat it with a fork? btw my batter made 2 7X4.5 crusts

    Thanks for your recipe, it was super easy and very little clean up! I will let you know if it firms up, and how we liked it :)

    • Jenn
      May 25, 2014

      Ok…WOW First the flavor! it was awesome! Although I didnt have any rosemary, I used basil and a little cayenne. YUM! I did have to eat it with a fork, but still very delicious! well worth it to try again and Thank you again for the recipe :)

      One question, as I stated above, when I was mixing the batter, it seemed very dry, looking over the recipe the only liquid is the flax egg, is that right? Even though dry, do I just do what I did and form a crust with my spoon?

      Thanks again :)
      Jenn

  • Emily
    February 10, 2014

    Do you think the crusts would hold up in the freezer after being baked for the initial 15-20 minutes? Or would the dough hold up in the freezer?

    • thefitchen
      February 11, 2014

      I wouldn’t recommend freezing it, but that’s just me! Since cauliflower has a high water content, I would think it would get freezer burn. If you try it, let me know!

  • Michelle
    January 19, 2014

    You don’t say to put the crusts on the bottom rack but when you say to put them back in with the toppings on them you say to switch them to the top rack. I just finished making these and they definitely were not soggy but I assumed you meant to start the crusts on the bottom rack. Maybe that’s why a few of your commenters had soggy crusts?

    Taste great through! Thanks!

    • thefitchen
      January 21, 2014

      Thank you so much for the critical eye! That could be causing some of the soggy crust situations. Will fix that right away! Glad you enjoyed it and it worked for you!

  • Brittany
    January 15, 2014

    You have no idea how happy I am to find a cauliflower crust that is dairy free AND EGG FREE. Thank you thank you!

  • ellie
    January 12, 2014

    I tried another recipe without almond flour and it was soggy too, twice now. I’m wondering what i’m doing wrong? I followed someone’s video on youtube who said to nuke the cauliflour for 8 minutes and then wrap it in cheesecloth & press to remove moisture but it still came out soggy.. even cooking for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.. was your crust crispy? I really want this to work… and be crispy!

    • thefitchen
      January 15, 2014

      That’s frustrating! This crust was not soggy at all. Nice and crispy – which I what I’m always going for! This recipe requires prebaking the crust for 15-20 minutes, then adding toppings, then baking again. Hope it works for you!

  • Antonio
    November 7, 2013

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thank you once again.

  • marfigs
    November 1, 2013

    Hallo! This looks nom – do you think I’ll be able to replace the flour with anything else, such as chickpea flour? Almond flour is ridiculously expensive, alas!

    • thefitchen
      November 1, 2013

      Hi! I think chickpea flour would work just fine! Oat flour and rice flour would also be good substitutes. :)

  • Summer
    September 27, 2013

    Just made this last night , it worked perfect with a full size pizza. I used 4 eggs as we are paleo not vegan.( Yet ;) ) Thank you so much for all your delicious recipes ! Also just made the Vegan Alfredo sauce and wow !!!

    • thefitchen
      September 27, 2013

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it, and the alfredo sauce as well. Hmm…that gives me an idea. Alfredo sauce ON the pizza?! ;)

  • Susan
    September 23, 2013

    Just made this. It was absolutely delicious!!! Thank you

    • thefitchen
      September 24, 2013

      Fantastic — so happy you enjoyed it! :) Thanks for letting us know!

  • @newaitress
    September 3, 2013

    Like all vegetables, cauliflower contains a lot of water which will be released when it’s baking. Try wrapping the chopped cauliflower in cheesecloth and putting it in a colander with a heavy object on top to press out some water.

  • John B
    August 26, 2013

    I did this with coconut flour (only 3 table spoons) instead of the Almond… I also used medium tofu not soft. This worked perfectly. I did keep an eye on it though instead of timing it so I have a feeling that the cook time was longer than suggested. Eye balling it seemed like a good idea. I also made mine a bit thinner and a poked holes in it to make sure the center would cook all the way through. The edges were quite crunchy and the slices stood up to being held.

  • Barbara
    July 27, 2013

    I was super excited to try this tonight, I followed the recipe to the letter but the crust was VERY floppy and soggy except the borders of course :( i was not even able to take them out of the foil with a spatula as they broke immediately, I wonder what I did wrong? They were around 8-9 inches.

    • thefitchen
      July 29, 2013

      Oh no! That shouldn’t have happened. :( So sorry it didn’t go so well. We really can’t be sure what went wrong as we’ve never had them do that when we make this recipe. Was your cauliflower particularly wet?

      • katie.hake.5@facebook.com
        August 15, 2013

        Same happened to me:-(. My poor kids were so excited for pizza and I couldn’t deliver…I also followed directions. Cauliflower wasn’t wet…so sad!!!

        • thefitchen
          August 16, 2013

          So sorry to hear that! :( Thanks for letting us know. We really need to try it again to see if we can figure out the solution.

  • Jadedstare
    July 26, 2013

    I’m allergic to eggs, dairy and flax. Would a different type of egg substitute work and if so which would be the best?

    • Barbara
      July 27, 2013

      Soft tofu can be replaced for eggs

    • thefitchen
      July 29, 2013

      What Barbara said! Soft tofu is an option. Let us know how it works. :)

      • Amanda
        March 3, 2014

        Chia seeds are also an amazing egg substitute.

        • thefitchen
          March 4, 2014

          Truth! Hadn’t considered using them for cauliflower crust pizza. Thanks!

    • Kasia
      March 13, 2014

      Instead of flax or real eggs you can also use chia eggs (same measurements as flax). It’s just ground chia seeds and water.

      Making these tomorrow for our weekly pizza night! :)

      • thefitchen
        March 13, 2014

        Thanks for the idea! Chia would be great to try, especially if I was in a pinch! Enjoy. :)

  • KE
    July 15, 2013

    Can this be made into a regular sized pizza (12 or 14 Inches) and cut into slices or are the individual sizes necessary?

    • thefitchen
      July 15, 2013

      It could surely be made into a bigger pizza. The crust might not get as crispy towards the middle, but it’s hard to say for sure since we haven’t tried it yet! Let us know how it works. :)

  • Katie
    July 6, 2013

    I tried this with buckwheat flour and it was soggy and floppy! I will follow directions next time!

    • thefitchen
      July 7, 2013

      Cauliflower makes all the difference in the world!

  • Lori
    July 5, 2013

    Can you use gluten free flour instead of almond flour? If not is almond meal the same as almond flour?

  • Rachel
    June 29, 2013

    What is ground cauliflower? Cooked and mashed (i.e. the wet vegetable), or dried and made into flour (and therefore dry)?

    • thefitchen
      June 29, 2013

      It’s just the raw vegetable — no cooking and no flour. Wash it, chop it into manageable chunks, and use a food processor or blender to create the “ground” texture. :)

  • Clark&Jordan
    April 25, 2013

    The first cauliflower crust we tried turned out that way – floppy and soggy. Ick. This one is at least 100 times better! Let us know what you think. :)

  • erika
    April 25, 2013

    Oh wow! This looks great! I’ve made cauliflower crust before, but my version used only cauliflower, cheese and eggs and it could be kind of watery/floppy. This looks nice and sturdy–and flaky, like you mentioned. I can’t wait to give this a go!

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