To say that pizza was a staple in my house growing up would be an understatement. After all, we’re Italian…we have pizza at least 17 times a week, right!?! A Keto Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust, on the other hand, is another thing altogether. I don’t think the words Keto Pizza or Cauliflower Crust were ever uttered in my house. Ha!
The truth is we did have Pizza quite often, but it wasn’t take-out…and, no, it wasn’t DiGiorno (which, BTW, literally translated means, Pizza “of Day.”). No, my mom made a homemade Pizza crust and homemade tomato sauce; she grated the Mozzarella cheese by hand. It was a labor of love. Which is funny, because she’s French. But my Grandpa Fucci (my Dad’s dad, whose family is from Naples), taught her how to make his famous pizza pie and she was a natural.
This is what I truly love about food. (Of course, I like the eating part of it…that goes without saying.) But, even more, I love how it brings people together. It was one way my Dad’s parents connected with my Mom. Well, that, and Backgammon games that would last until 2a.m.…and usually end in a heated discussion about how my Mom or Grandpa must have cheated because “no one can roll so many doubles.” (A quick side note here, if you’ve never played Backgammon before, you must! I just love the game! Oh, and rolling doubles is a good thing because it means you get to move your pieces twice.) I digress.
Let’s talk Keto Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust!
How to Make a Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Let’s start with the crust because every good pizza needs a good base! (Another quick side note: If you’re not following a keto diet, try my Mom’s homemade Pizza Crust…so good and pretty easy too. You can grab the recipe HERE. I digress…back to Keto and this amazing Keto Cauliflower crust.
I know there are some of you out there who might be thinking that a Cauliflower Crust does not a real pizza make. I hear you. I am not going to try and convince you that you cannot tell the difference. Because you can. But while this is not the same as a traditional pizza crust, it is great for mixing things up a bit and for giving you the same satisfaction of a traditional pizza crust.
The cauliflower brings a great sweetness to the crust and it will also crisp up nicely, so you get some texture too! So…go into it knowing that it is different, but it is great in its own way.
You do have to get most of the moisture out of the cauliflower. That’s probably the most important thing to remember when making this crust. You can do that by cooking it over medium/medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or so. Basically, you want the cauliflower to be soft and for the steam that will emerge from it to stop. This will be the sigh that most of the moisture is out.
I know some folks go an extra step and squeeze out any last bit of moisture in the cauliflower in a clean towel. I don’t do that…really, for a couple of reasons. The first is that this recipe doesn’t need it. If you cook it long enough, you’ll be fine. Second, when you’re living in a tiny space, you probably don’t have a washing machine in your apartment…and so, you tend to be very careful about not giving yourself more laundry to do than you have to. At least that’s been my experience.
To give this Pizza Crust a more Italian taste, I like to add a little Garlic and Onion Powder, as well as some dried rosemary and basil. This is completely optional, but I think it gives it a nice touch.
Is the Crust Too Wet?
Do not be worried when you combine the cooked cauliflower with the egg and cheese mixture. The cheese will melt and the “dough” will look very wet, almost as it there is too much moisture in it or that you didn’t cook the cauliflower long enough. Don’t worry about that. That’s normal. Cooking it in the oven will help to continue the moisture removal and bring the crust together.
What, No Salt in the Crust?
As you may know, I am all about salting and seasoning at every step. This is one occasion where I was a bit on the fence about it. In theory, it would make sense to salt the cauliflower when you’re cooking it because the salt will help to pull out the moisture in the cauliflower.With that said, because this crust is primarily three ingredients (cauliflower, parmesan cheese and egg), I am a bit more cautious about adding the extra salt because the parmesan cheese brings its own saltiness to the party. I have tried it both ways. I like salt and it didn’t bother me, but it was right on the border of too salty. Plus, the time savings and moisture removal benefit you get from adding salt during the cooking process did not make sense in the long run.
Extra Crispy Keto Pizza Crust
After you mix the cooked cauliflower with the egg and cheese and spread it around in the pizza pan, you will bake it for 20 minutes at 400°F. If you want an extra crispy crust like I do, flip the crust over and bake it for another 10 minutes. I find the easiest way to flip it is to slide it onto a plate or cutting board, place the pizza pan on top (be careful, it’s hot) and flip them both over. While the cauliflower crust will stay together and you can freehand the flip, it can still crack, so this slide and flip method will prevent any problems with the crust breaking.
Choosing the Right Pizza Sauce
Don’t underestimate choosing the right sauce for the pizza. In Italy, especially when talking Neapolitan Pizza, there are very strict requirements for the sauce.
In the Tiny Kitchen Keto Kitchen, while the requirements are not mathematically expressed, you do want to use a nice, vibrant sauce. What do I mean when I say vibrant? I’m talking fresh! A bright red sauce that is not weighed down with a ton of spices or cheese. Marinara works great! It doesn’t have a ton of extra ingredients in it.
Do not use the stuff that is touted “Pizza Sauce.” I say this for both regular and Keto-friendly pizzas. They generally have sugar in them and that doesn’t belong on a pizza.
If you’ve got a few extra minutes, try the Tiny Kitchen Basic Tomato Sauce! That sauce works great on this pizza.
Keto Friendly Toppings for Your Keto Friendly Pizza
There are tons of options. As we are making a Margherita Pizza, I kept it simple with mozzarella cheese, a little hand-torn basil and some extra olive oil.
I recommend grating your own cheese. I know the pre-grated is so easy, but for taste and quality, grab the ball of Mozzarella cheese and just slice off a few slices and throw it on top. I like the low-moisture mozzarella for this recipe. You will notice a huge difference.
Other keto friendly toppings include most any cheese, olives, meats, onions, bell peppers, and artichokes.
Even if you’re not following a Keto diet, I hope you try this Keto Pizza. The crust, itself, is definitely worth a try! Let me know what you think and leave a comment to let us know your favorite Keto-friendly Pizza toppings.
Keto Margherita Pizza with a Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust
SO WHAT YOU'RE GONNA NEED IS:
Make Cauliflower Crust
- In a frying pan over medium heat, add riced Cauliflower. (Note: If necessary, rice whole cauliflower in food processor). Stirring occasionally, let riced Cauliflower cook until most of the moisture has been removed and the cauliflower is a translucent cream color, about 10 minutes. (Note: you don’t want it to brown, so turn down the heat if it starts to)
- While Cauliflower is cooking, whisk Egg in Large Mixing Bowl.
- Add grated Parmesan Cheese and mix with Whisk until combined (Note: it will be firm and lumpy.)
- When Cauliflower is ready, add to the Egg and Cheese and mix until thoroughly combined. (Note: cheese will melt and it will be fairly moist.)
- Line Pizza Pan with Non-stick Aluminum Foil and spray Foil with Non-stick Cooking Spray.
- Transfer Cauliflower to the Pizza Pan, evenly spreading and tightly packing in the pan. (Note: it will less than 1/4 inch thick)
- Bake in 400°F oven for about 20 minutes or until light Golden Brown (Note: for crispier crust, flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes)
Make the Pizza
- After crust is cooked, top with Tomato Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese.
- Bake in 400°F oven until topping are melted.
- Remove from oven and top with hand-torn Basil and a drizzle of Olive Oil (optional).