I might very well be the last food blogger to try it, but after reading about cauliflower crust pizza for a couple of years, here I am to report on my first attempt at turning a classic into its lighter, gluten-free cousin. First, let me say that I don’t see it as a way to replace the “real deal.”  All those glorious characteristics of the authentic pizza crust will always have a place in our kitchen. But, if you are in the mood for something lighter or if you need to cook for someone who suffers from celiac disease, this recipe will please you more than you imagine.  I wolfed down a little more than half a pizza (!!!!) and instead of heading straight to the couch to lay down and wait for that carb-induced coma, here I am typing this post to share with you.  Behold the power of the cauliflower crust!


(Broiling issues, courtesy of a Jack Russell named Buck)


(slightly modified from Chef in Disguise)
Yield one pizza crust
1 small to medium-sized head of cauliflower (about 1 cup after squeezed to remove liquid)
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried herbs (I used dried thyme)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used 1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese)
tomato sauce
toppings of your choice

Place a pizza stone in the oven, or turn a baking sheet upside down and use it if you don’t have a pizza stone. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil.

Wash and thoroughly dry the head of cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, and process until they are the size of rice. Place the cauliflower rice in a pot and add enough water to fill the pot 2/3 of the way up. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the cauliflower. Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and twist the towel around the cauliflower and wring it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a pizza like crust.

In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, egg whites, cheeses, dried herbs and salt,  and mix by hand, you sort of knead the dough together. Transfer the crust to your parchment paper. Press evenly forming a circle. Make sure it is as tight as you can make it. You also don’t want it to be too thin or too thick.  With the help of a cutting board, transfer the parchment to the oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it after the 10 minute mark. When it starts turning golden brown, it’s done.

Remove the pan from the oven. Add your sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler till the cheese melts and bubbles. Watch it carefully or it will bun.



to print the recipe, click here



Comments: Two things are very important when making pizza crust out of cauliflower. First you absolutely must minimize the amount of water present in the processed cauliflower or the binding agents (egg whites and grated cheese) will not be able to hold it together. When you think you squeezed enough water out, squeeze some more.  Made me think  of David Rosengarten decades ago when demonstrating a recipe for tabouli. Mince the parsley, when you think you minced it enough, mince some more. You simply cannot over-squeeze the cauliflower. Capisci? Second thing, once you place it under the broiler, watch it like a hawk. Sawsan says clearly in her blog “it will burn quickly.”  Which makes you wonder why yours truly would place it under the super powerful broiler of our oven, and then decide that Buck seemed too agitated and needed to go out to the backyard. I said to myself “this will only take a minute.” Indeed. Problem is that it also only took a minute to almost burn part of my beautiful pizza.  Lesson learned.  Do as I say, not as I did. Watch the pizza, move it around, especially if your broiler is very powerful.



Will I be making it again? No doubt.  But probably not as the single item in our dinner, because making one pizza was already quite involved, and it would not be enough for the two of us, since it’s so light.  But I can see us having two pizzas, one “authentic” and one cauli-crust version. Or the cauli-pizza and a huge salad with barbecued ribs on the side… (just kidding).

I made this version a couple of days after having our entire lab over for a “regular” pizza party. There was one small pizza leftover, and some toppings like grilled zucchini, cheese and tomato sauce. The leftover pizza was warmed up in the oven and made Phil a happy man. The cauli-crust was embellished with the toppings that were ready and waiting in the fridge, and made Sally a happy woman. Don’t you love happy endings?

Sawsan, thanks for your great tutorial on the pizza crust! 
Next time I’ll be a better virtual student…

ONE YEAR AGO: Silky Rutabaga Puree

TWO YEARS AGO: Bon Bon Chicken: Light and Spectacular

THREE YEARS AGO: Red Wine Sourdough Bread with Cranberries

FOUR YEARS AGO: Award-Winning Sourdough Baguettes

FIVE YEARS AGO: Country Rye (Tartine)

SIX YEARS AGO: Penne a la Vechia Bettola


  1. You are not the last to try it. I had never heard about this until now. Maybe because people are not really concerned about gluten free foods here in France but this sounds good and different so I am going to try.


    • It is a real social phenomenon here, the craziness of self-inflicted imaginary gluten issues. I think Brazil is joining the trend to a lower extent. OF course, there IS such thing as a serious illness, but too often it is a condition that people believe they have because “they feel better without gluten.” Well, I feel better in general when I don’t over eat no matter what, and the problem with gluten loaded food is that they tend to be almost addictive, it is super easy to over do it

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have been wanting to try this. I am one of those feeling so much better after eliminating gluten, but I hope it is not forever. I love traditional pizza which will be dinner Sunday night. I may make this for myself,and see if it can be a replacement for a while.


    • yeah, carb comas are not fun. Hate them… Come to think of it, when I was in my twenties I would eat half a large pizza, much to the despair of my boyfriend at the time, who was a very tall guy, and always hoped he could end up having one slice more than me. No luck for him… Good times!

      Liked by 1 person

    • it’s an interesting recipe to have in your repertoire – I’ve also seen people using zucchini, but I did not find the color of the “crust” very appealing. Cauliflower works best, in my opinion

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you kindly for the shout out Sally
    I actually do what you plan on doing. I make a regular pizza and a cauliflower one or serve it with a big salad.
    I know it can’t completely replace regular pizza crust in my house but knowing that I can sneak in some extra veggies disguised as pizza into our meals is good enough for me🙂


  4. Buck – you are totally forgiven – we can see !! Well, I have a month’s worth of groceries arriving on Tuesday and I did wonder what I would do with that beautiful early-in-the-season cauli still looking at me every time I open the fridge door ? Solved!! Am not really a pizza eater, but this is simply too good . . . . oh, should I run out of the toppings methinks the crust with some last-minute innovative additions might just do . . .


      • Sally dearHeart – midday in Eastern Australia, getting ready for Sunday lunch! With both your education and knowledge and length of time ‘on the blogs’ I am standing up and clapping loudly enough for you to hear: and that about your comment re ‘gluten-free’ – one of the biggest ‘hypes’ of my lifetime. If just one of your readers takes that seriously, does own research and passes it on . . . this actually could be a healthier and far more medically logical world! Don’t people really realize all that rubbish is a matter of dollars and cents . . .?


        • you are absolutely right. People are making a ton of money out of this. Have you noticed the price you pay for “gluten free bread crumbs?” – basically it is rice cereal passed in a food processor, bagged inside a “natural looking box”, and there we go.. lots of people buying it because God forbid they face a molecule of gluten. Again, I am not talking about DIAGNOSED celiac sufferers. Now you don’t want to get me started on the “immune boosting diet” or “detox salads.” It would not be pretty, and I might even lose my composure 😉


          • Just clicked on this and said ‘Glory Hallelujah’!! If this ‘conversation’ twixt a couple of gals across the Pond between the US and Australia has made just ONE person think and look things up and tell someone close and ACTUALLY reconsider all the info . . . . I would feel very, very satisfied 🙂 . . . oh yea, fully agree about each of the others too !!! . .


  5. I got very excited for a minute because I cook for a diabetic, but she is sadly allergic to egg white. And she will not eat yolk ever, from being forced to eat egg as a child by some relatives who ‘didn’t believe in allergies’. At the same time, I personally have never met a person with Celiac disease and I believe it is not necessary to avoid gluten for the general population….or salt….


    • agree with you… but is is such a widespread thing the “I don’t feel good if I eat gluten” – honestly, I find that people with celiac disease might get really tired of this. For them it is not a matter of “I don’t feel good”, it is a horrible reaction that simply prevents them from enjoying anything with a minimal amount of gluten. Then you see lots of these imaginary-celiacs having a glass of beer, and if you bring that to their attention they will say something like “my type of disease is different and science has not been able to diagnose it or understand it yet” (sigh, sigh, sigh)


  6. Ha ha! That’s it…blame the dog…!😉
    I’ve only made a cauliflower pizza base and I did like it, but I’m not s big enough pizza fan to keep making it, like you say, it’s quite involved. Nice to see and read about your version 😀😀


    • If you love cauliflower and want to see great uses for it, go to Mike’s blog The Iron You… he has amazing recipes using it for all sorts of things… really wonderful!


  7. No, you’re not the last, Sally, to try this. I haven’t even tasted one yet, let alone make a cauliflower crust pizza. People are doing so much with their cauliflower and I’m just happy to roast mine. Your review of the crust reminds me of spiralized noodles. Yes, they’re good, just like your crust, and I enjoy them but they will never take the place of pasta. Even so, I’ve a number of GF friends and having a flourless pizza crust in my repertoire would come in very handy. Thanks for pointing the way. 🙂


  8. This sounds like a fun project! For our house, I’m guessing we’ll need the salad and ribs on the side too!😉 I can just picture your pizza party and I’m sure it was a success. I still salivate thinking of your sauce (and dough) (and toppings).


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