Crispy Cauliflower Pizza Crust—Because Who Needs the Bread Anyways?
Pizza seems to be the universal love language. Who doesn’t swoon over melted cheese and perfect tomato sauce spread on a base of crisp, toothsome carbs? But, just because we all love it, doesn’t mean we all can eat it.
More and more, I’m learning that I can no longer take for granted my ability to process all those carbs. And so, it’s with much gratitude that I’d like to give a big shout out to everyone’s favorite grocery store for introducing me to pizza’s low-carb counterpart:the cauliflower pizza crust. If you aren’t familiar with Trader Joe’s cauliflower pizza crust, do yourself a favor and try it. And because we love a challenge, we figured out how to make a Trader Joe’s-inspired cauliflower pizza crust at home!
Cauliflower Crust vs. Bread Crust: Three Reasons We Love Cauliflower Crust
- It’s gluten free.
- It’s low in carbs.
- It’s the healthiest pizza crust out there.
Is Cauliflower a Carb?
As you probably know, cauliflower is a vegetable that is very low in carbohydrates. With just about five grams of carbs per one cup serving, it’s a great vegetable to have on hand if you’re trying to stick to a low-carb diet.
But let’s get real for a minute: are you having a hard time believing that cooked cauliflower makes a suitable replacement for bread? Well, you better believe the hype, because the nutty and mild flavor of our favorite cruciferous vegetable makes a really convincing alternative yielding the healthiest pizza crust available.
In addition to simply roasting or steaming to eat as a side dish, cauliflower is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can, with a little technique, stand in place of your favorite carb-y treats like rice, mashed potatoes, and yes, even pizza crust.
So, if the keto, paleo, or gluten-free lifestyle is your thing, you’re going to love this low-carb crust recipe.
Is Cauliflower Pizza Crust Good for You?
Essentially, yes! Once a cauliflower pizza crust—or any pizza crust for that matter—is topped with melty, gooey mozzarella cheese, meat, and whatever other toppings you add the term “healthy” becomes relative. As for carb count though? This crust gets major points in the nutrition category. With just six grams of carbs per slice and tons of vitamin C and antioxidants, I’d say it's probably your healthiest option when it comes to ‘za.
How to Make the Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust:
- Cauliflower. You can totally use frozen cauliflower rice for this (yes, this exists! thank you Trader Joe’s!), or fresh, homemade cauliflower rice, but using a whole cauliflower is just as easy (and sometimes cheaper). Simply steam the cauliflower florets until completely tender, and then mash them up.
- Crispy Edges- Crispy cauliflower pizza crust should be your goal. Crispy edges and good, chewy texture can only be achieved by getting ALL the moisture out of the mashed cauliflower. For this task we highly recommend using a nut milk bag. If you don’t have one, you can use cheese cloth or a clean tea towel, even layers paper towels will do in pinch. You will need a lot of muscle for this, and can expect the cauliflower to release about one and half cups of excess liquid!
- Structure. - to get that bread-like consistency, and bread-like structure—i.e. one that is strong enough to support all those delicious toppings—you’ll need something to bind the cauliflower together. Since we’re not trying to make this crust dairy-free, we’re relying on the binding power of eggs and cheese to hold our crust together. And, if you’re following a keto diet, they’re an added bonus!We used cream cheese in our cauliflower crust recipe, but goat cheese is another tasty option.
What Do I Put on Cauliflower Pizza Crust?
Anything you want! Like any regular pizza, the topping possibilities are endless. We’ve topped our cauliflower pizza crust with:
- Tomato pesto
- Fresh mozzarella (or burrata)
- Black olives
- Fresh arugula
- Fresh parmesan
Want To Spice Things Up A Bit? Here Are A Few Of Our Favorite Unusual Pizza Toppings:
- ‘Everything but the bagel’ seasoning
- A drizzle of honey (especially when served with salami)
- Spicy pickled peppers
- Fire-roasted corn
- Peaches (especially when paired with pesto and burrata)