Cauliflower crust pizza

Cauliflower crust pizza

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 45 mins

Easy

Serves 4 (makes 1 large pizza)
Whiz up cauliflower and ground almonds in a food processor to make this gluten-free pizza base - top with tomatoes, aubergine and cheese

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal463
  • fat33g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre8g
  • protein26g
  • salt0.7g
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Ingredients

    For the base

    • 1 cauliflower (about 750g/1lb 10oz)
      Cauliflower

      Cauliflower

      coll-ee-fl-ow-ah

      A brassica, like cabbage and broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of tiny, tightly packed flower…

    • 100g ground almonds
    • 2 eggs, beaten
      Eggs

      Egg

      egg

      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 1 tbsp dried oregano
      Oregano

      Oregano

      or-ee-gar-no

      Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

    For the topping

    • 227g can chopped tomatoes
      Tomato

      Tomato

      toe-mart-oh

      A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • ½ large aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways into long strips
      Aubergine

      Aubergine

      oh-ber-geen

      Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

    • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    • ½ small bunch basil, leaves picked
      Basil

      Basil

      ba-zil

      Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

    • 125g ball mozzarella
    • 25g Grana Padano or Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus extra to serve
    • a few pinches of chilli flakes

    Method

    1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stalk end, then cut into chunks. Blitz half the cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped, like rice. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining half. Tip all the cauliflower in a bowl, cover with cling film and microwave on High for 5-6 mins until softened. Tip onto a clean tea towel and leave to cool a little. Once cool enough to handle, scrunch up the tea towel and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the cauliflower, then transfer to a clean bowl. Stir in the ground almonds, egg, oregano and plenty of seasoning. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and grease with oil. Mound the cauliflower mix into the centre of the tray, then use a spoon and your hands to spread out into a 30cm round. Make it a little thicker at the edges to create a ‘crust’. Bake for 15-18 mins until golden brown and starting to crisp a little at the edges.

    2. Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan, brush each aubergine slice on both sides with a little of the oil, season and cook for 5-6 mins, turning once, until softened and charred – you’ll need to do this in batches. Transfer to a plate. Brush the onions with oil, season and griddle for 5-8 mins until softened and charred. To make the tomato sauce, whizz the canned tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic and some seasoning in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 8-10 mins until thick (you don’t want any watery tomato soaking into the cauliflower base). Tear half the basil leaves and stir through the sauce.

    3. Once the cauliflower base is cooked, set aside to cool a little. Turn the oven up to 240C/220C fan/gas 8. Drain the mozzarella and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spread the tomato sauce over the base, sprinkle over the Grana Padano, then arrange the aubergines, red onion and mozzarella on top. Scatter over the chilli flakes and return to the oven for 10-12 mins. Before serving, shave over a little more cheese and scatter with the remaining basil leaves.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    ellasedman
    21st Aug, 2016
    3.8
    Although generally easy to follow, this recipe is quite time consuming. I'd recommend doing a thin base as the cauliflower cooks better and packing the toppings with as many vegetables and flavours as possible. Overall a successful meal.
    SenoritaClaire
    7th Jul, 2016
    5.05
    Loved it! Delicious and filling. Not too crumbly. Excellent protein alternative to traditional pizza base.
    Scubalu
    30th Mar, 2016
    1.3
    I really didn't enjoy this I'm sad to say. Whilst I never expected it to taste like a pizza base it tasted overwhelmingly of cauliflower and didn't hold together well it just crumbled - I just feel like the effort doesn't beat the outcome. I enjoyed trying it though - always like to try new things
    julialallan
    2nd Nov, 2015
    2.55
    Overall this tasted really nice, but I wish I'd read the method before I bought the ingredients because it's too faffy, my kitchen was destroyed afterwards. Thank goodness I cheated and bought ready made tomato sauce otherwise i might've given up half way through. I would probably make the base again but use simple toppings that don't require any prep.
    GNJ
    29th Sep, 2015
    This was a really good pizza base. I think it needs some salt in the base for flavour but other than that it was perfect for a healthy alternative to a bread pizza base. I put it in for about 25 minutes so that it was nice and crisp around the edges before I added toppings.
    gooseberrycrumble
    26th Sep, 2015
    3.8
    I tried this last night and it was delicious! I don't eat dairy so omitted the mozarella (on my portion of pizza) and parmesan. I thought it might need meat/fish but it didn't. The crust was really filling, without causing that awful post-carb blow-out feeling. It is a bit fiddly, though; might make crust and tomato sauce in advance next time.
    tangent
    15th Feb, 2015
    5.05
    I only just came across the idea of using cauliflower this way after a member of a Facebook Group I use posted her version and like June, I wasn't convinced that a cauliflower crust would work but it was fantastic! I only wish I’d known about it sooner!!! I am undergoing a total lifestyle change at the moment, getting myself healthy, lowering my blood pressure and losing weight. A major part of that was the decision to completely remove wheat from my diet. I may well end up cutting out all grains and going very low carb but I've started with the wheat which has so much against it. Not missing it as much as I thought I might but when I saw this idea I did fancy a nice homemade organic pizza I made the crust and the tomato sauce as per the recipe (I ended up with 1lb 12oz of trimmed cauliflower that went into the processor) and it worked perfectly. I made one large pizza that was perfect for two using all the ingredients listed for the base and the sauce (I did reduce the sauce until it was very thick). I use all organic ingredients and I felt that the water I squeezed out from the cauliflower probably had a lot of the nutrients in it so I popped it into a small freezer bag and froze it to add to a soup or broth later. The water and the cooked cauliflower smelt surprisingly delicious. I chose my own toppings to add to the pizza and ended up with more toppings on it than in the image here and was very surprised to find that I could pick up a slice and it held firm. The pizza doesn’t taste like one on a dough base. In my opinion it is far nicer! If I’d tried this before I gave up wheat I would have made it on a regular basis! I enjoyed eating this delicious pizza and afterwards I felt great. With a dough base a pizza would always leave me feeling slightly over full and bloated. But this way there is none of that. If you would like to see what I did with images showing the steps, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153581656080410.1073741851.732985409&type=1&l=dc49caccaf
    junefallon765@g...
    29th Oct, 2014
    Wasn't sure about this recipe when I first read it, however, so glad that we tried it last night, absolutely yummy yummy. Well worth the effort, . We added mushrooms, and used low fat mozzarella. Remember to add seasoning to the base, & really squeeze out the water, you get about 1/2 quantity of cauliflower. Like the idea of sun dried tomatoes & would try roasted peppers as well Tasted as good the second day as the recipe will easily feed 4.
    Dorinha
    9th Oct, 2014
    Really good, used sun-dried tomatoes and chopped peppers in the sauce to thicken it up and add more punch and added extra tomato slices and black olives to top, didn't use mozzarella, just a small amount of vegan cheese. Yummy.
    misskasaley
    16th May, 2016
    Hi is there another way round it if you don't have a microwave?
    bforcey
    28th Sep, 2016
    2.55
    The second time I made this I didn't microwave the cauliflower, I just used it raw. I baked it for 30 mins at a slightly lower temperature. the pizza tasted less of cauliflower than the pre-cooked version.
    DAC26
    6th Jan, 2016
    3.8
    I made this using ground up oats instead of almonds. it was lovely (I also varied the topping) I do agree with one of the previous comments in that my kitchen looked a chaotic mess while preparation was in progress. I would probably do it in stages next time but would definitely make it again. Very tasty.
    tangent
    15th Feb, 2015
    5.05
    I used all the mixture for one large pizza and to make it easier to form the shape I covered a large dinner plate in foil and oiled it and then evened the mixture out over the plate before baking it. This resulted in a perfectly round pizza base and it was easy to create the slightly raised outer edge.