Through the years dabbling with culinary arts, here’s my thesis: Cauliflower works the hardest.
You can bake it, make soup from it, air-fry it, mash it, and even make rice from it. This vegetable is definitely versatile, and when you want to make a low-carb pizza, cauliflower will happily rise to the occasion.
Keep reading for my tried-and-tested cauliflower pizza crust recipe plus how to make a white, cheesy topping.
This vegetarian pizza is a timeless companion – you can have it for breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner. The blend of cheeses, herbs, and pesto? Perfection. The thin, light crust baked sweet and crispy? Out of this world! Oh, and did you know it’s 100% gluten-free?
This cauliflower white pizza has 3 main parts: the cauliflower crust, the cheese mixture, and the toppings. At the moment, it remains a vegetarian, gluten-free recipe, but at the bottom of this blog post you’ll also see alternatives for a variety of healthy pizza toppings!
Is This Recipe Really Healthy?
As I’ve grown older and wiser, I’ve become more health-conscious so I try to strike a balance with my ingredients when I can. When there’s loads of cheese in a recipe like this one, I try to offset that with a very healthy ingredient. Trust me, this cauliflower is the real superhero here. Let me tell you why.
Cauliflower is low carb and high in fiber
Traditional pizza crusts are typically made of flour, yeast, and salt. Cauliflower is a healthier, grain-free substitute! It’s low-carb, low in calories, and high in fiber. A cauliflower crust is so much better for digestion and automatically increases our veggie intake! Who would’ve thought that pizza = fiber?
Cauliflower is jam packed with nutrients
If you’re not already convinced, cauliflower is a superfood, alongside foods like broccoli, blueberries, chia seeds, and green tea. This means that it’s jam packed with a variety of nutrients our body needs. Specifically, it’s high in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and the list goes on!
Cauliflower protects against chronic diseases
Because of its high vitamin C content, our intake of cauliflower means that we’re boosting our immunity naturally! It is also rich with antioxidants, slowing the growth of cancer cells and reduces the risk of heart disease.
So go ahead and dig into that pizza, it’s the healthiest one you’ll ever have!
- Cauliflower – If possible, choose riced cauliflower to save time. This is going to be the main part of the crust.
- Cherry tomatoes – Used as a garnish (toppings).
- Garlic – Used to make white base.
- Ricotta cheese – Ricotta cheese is my go-to choice for white pizza. Being made from whey, it is high in protein and calcium. The fluffy texture makes ricotta cheese easy to spread, but don’t underestimate its rich flavor!
- Shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese – Both are common cheeses in Italian cuisine and acts as a binder for cauliflower crust.
- 2 large eggs – Keeps cauliflower crust sticky and sturdy!
- Seasoning – Italian seasoning, black pepper, thyme, oregano.
- Olive oil – Brushed on cauliflower crust.
- Basil pesto – Helps balance out the cheesiness of a white pizza. With lots of basil leaves and pine nuts, these toppings make it so refreshing with the cheese combo and the pizza crust.
How to Make Pizza Crust with Cauliflower
So we know how amazing this vegetable is. How do we turn it into a tasty crust? It’s not going to be the easiest thing you do all day, but it’s so worth it.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 18 X 13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cut the stem and leaves of the cauliflower. I usually keep the stem in the fridge to make vegetable stock for a different recipe! Starting from the center of the remaining stem, cut the cauliflower into small florets of even size, keeping the core intact. Wash your cauliflower and strain it.
- Add the florets to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Depending on the size of your food processor, this may need to be done in batches. At this point, you should get cauliflower rice which is slightly damp. If you have store-bought cauliflower rice, you can skip to the next step!
- Microwave for 15 minutes or until softened, stirring every couple of minutes. Let the cooked cauliflower cool for 10 minutes.
- Using a clean dish towel, dry the cauliflower completely. You may have to turn the cauliflower around and squeeze the water out, doing so multiple times until your arms get sore. This step is crucial to avoiding soggy crusts later on!
- Pro tip: Be very careful as the water may still be hot.
- In a large bowl, stir the cauliflower with eggs, mozzarella cheese, parmesan and season to taste. Your cauliflower should now be sturdy thanks to the eggs and the cheese.
- Using a spatula, spread the cauliflower mixture onto the baking sheet, forming a crust. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
And voila, you have crispy cauliflower pizza crust! Although, things won’t always go your way…
Why Did My Crust Come Out Soggy?
I had to face a soggy cauliflower crust in my first few times making this recipe, and I can tell you – God has a very special way of testing my patience!
I’d put my cauliflower into the oven to bake, and steam would appear inside creating a very damp environment. Once I took it out after 20 minutes, it looked alright but fell apart as soon as I picked it up from the pizza pan.
So here is your gentle reminder: dry cauliflower thoroughly! Ask for help if it’s accessible. Teamwork makes the dream work, and the dream is a crispy cauliflower crust.
How to Make White Pizza Topping
While the crust is baking, we’ll work on the white pizza topping. Pizza bianca, as it’s known in Italy, is mainly made with olive oil, herbs and seasoning. There is no tomato sauce in it, but you still get a rich, delicious combination of flavors from the cheese, basil, pesto, and herbs.
- Whisk together ricotta cheese, garlic and herbs (I’m using thyme, oregano, and basil – feel free to choose your favorite herbs.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add olive oil into a small bowl with garlic. We’ll then brush this lightly on the baked cauliflower crust. Sprinkle parmesan cheese.
- Using a spatula, spread the ricotta mixture evenly across the pizza. Leave a thin ring around the edges as the crust.
- Pop on the cherry tomatoes and sprinkle fresh mozzarella.
- Drizzle pesto over the pizza and sprinkle fresh basil. The pesto and basil are going to taste so good!
- Put the pizza back into the oven, which should still be running, and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese melts.
Healthy Pizza Toppings
Maybe triple cheese pizzas just aren’t your thing. You can still turn this into a healthy pizza recipe with endless topping possibilities!
Here are some tasty (and healthy) recommendations:
- Sundried tomato pesto – Sweet, tangy, and a great source of vitamin C!
- Rocket leaves or arugula – Can be eaten raw, have a mild bitter and nutty taste
- Figs – These sweet, seedy fruits will create texture and sweetness to your pizza
- Beetroot – Usually not a popular option since beetroot tastes earthy and slightly bitter, but it is so rich in iron!
- Roasted vegetables – Layer some raw carrots, onions, potatoes, bell peppers and zucchinis over your pizza and let them roast in the oven. It doesn’t get any healthier than that!
- Avocado – Garnish your pizza with avocado slices – this will go great over a tomato sauce base.
- Seafood – Make a surf and turf pizza using canned tuna, prawns, salmon, or squid.
- Pineapples – Fresh or canned pineapples, anyone? The perfect companion on seafood pizza!
To keep cauliflower pizza crust for future use, store it in an airtight container after it has been baked in the oven. It can be kept for up to a week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. When you are ready to serve, simply add toppings onto the crust and then reheat it in the oven!
Healthy Cauliflower White Pizza (with step-by-step instructions)
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER CRUST
- 3 heads (8 cups) cauliflower
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
WHITE PIZZA TOPPING
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- pesto, drizzled
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
RICOTTA CHEESE MIXTURE
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 18 X 13 baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- To make the cauliflower crust, add cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground, yielding about 2-3 cups per head of cauliflower. PRO TIP: I love purchasing from my local grocery store the pre-riced cauliflower takes care of this step for you.
- Transfer cauliflower to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely with a paper towel and place into the microwave for 15 minutes, or until softened. Stir cauliflower every couple minutes during this step. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Using a clean dish towel, drain cauliflower completely, removing as much water as possible. PRO TIP: I put on my silicone oven mitts during this step as the water squeezing out of the cauliflower is hot!
- Transfer drained cauliflower to a large bowl. Stir in eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan and Italian seasoning; season with a healthy dash of salt and pepper.
- Spread cauliflower mixture onto your prepared baking sheet patting into a crust almost filling your entire pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
WHITE PIZZA TOPPINGS
- While the cauliflower crust is baking. Prepare your toppings.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, thyme, oregano, basil and garlic; season with pinch of salt and pepper.
- Whisk olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Remove cauliflower crust from the oven. Keep the oven on.
- Lightly brush the crust with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Spread ricotta cheese mixture across the entire pizza.
- Layer with cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.
- Drizzle pesto over pizza and sprinkle fresh basil.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.