I love the riced cauliflower trend. Replacing carb-heavy ingredients for lighter cauliflower makes me happier and healthier. My kids aren’t big fans, unfortunately, but it does work for my husband and I when we’re looking for a lighter meal. Of course, you cannot expect cauliflower to taste like rice or pizza crust, but if you play up the flavors of the dish, you don’t miss the heavier carbs you are replacing. And of course, cauliflower is naturally gluten-free!
Now, I never rice my own cauliflower. I really don’t like the effort it takes, but most importantly, I HATE THE SMELL. The smell of fresh riced cauliflower is not great. You can buy it already riced and fresh in some stores, but I do worry about how long some of that stuff has been sitting out (from a spoilage perspective). Instead, I buy the bagged frozen, already-riced cauliflower at the grocery store. This works just fine for my purposes.
Cauliflower risotto and cauliflower pizza crust are the main things I like to make with riced cauliflower. Here, I want to tell you about cauliflower pizza crust. I just don’t really like gluten-free frozen pizza crusts, at least the ones commercially available. They tend to have a long list of ingredients, and they don’t taste the way I want them to, anyway. Cauliflower crust pizza is not going to be the same as a regular pizza crust by any means, as cauliflower is much mushier. You cannot force cauliflower to be crispy for this purpose. I usually eat my cauliflower pizza with a fork and knife since the crust comes out soft. But that’s okay. I know it’s healthy for me and tasty.
My first step is always to start by putting a steamer bag of frozen riced cauliflower (around 10 ounces) into the microwave. I usually under-microwave it. If it says 5 minutes on the bag, I cook it for 4 minutes. You can use plain riced cauliflower, but I would also suggest the herb-flavored frozen riced cauliflower, as well. While the riced cauliflower microwaved, I added to a bowl 2 eggs, a teaspoon of dried oregano, a dash of black pepper, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, and half of a cup of shredded mozzarella. If you want to add Italian seasoning, different herbs, or different cheese to the “dough,” now is your chance! Mix, and then add the riced cauliflower once it is finished in the microwave.
Mix everything together again (it will be soggy, not doughy), and then pour it out onto a piece of foil sprayed with cooking spray, or parchment paper, placed on a baking sheet. I spread the mixture around with a spoon until it looked like it was in a pizza shape. I made two small crusts this time, but you can easily make one large one. Then, I placed the pan into a 425 degree oven for about 18 minutes. When the top is golden brown, I take the crusts out of the oven. The first picture is the “before” baking in the oven, and the second picture shows how long I usually let the crusts brown.
Now, for the pizza toppings – I’ve put various toppings on these crusts – feta cheese, roasted red pepper strips, sliced Greek olives; regular shredded mozzarella and turkey pepperoni; three different cheeses with olive oil and garlic sauce. The possibilities are endless. This time, I decided on some peppers and onions and diced turkey bacon that I cooked on the stove while the crusts were browning in the oven. After covering my pizza crusts with a thin layer of plain tomato sauce and about a quarter cup of shredded mozzarella cheese per crust, I added the peppers and onions and turkey bacon.
I popped the pan back into the oven and baked the crusts for about five more minutes, until everything was warm, melted, and delicious. Just a warning, since these crusts are soft, you have to carefully slide them off of the baking sheet and onto your plate or you’ll end up with a mess! Pair this pizza with a salad topped with chicken, and you’ll have a delicious, light gluten-free meal.
Easy Cauliflower Rice Pizza Crust
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon of dried oregano or Italian seasoning
• 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
• black pepper (just a dash)
• ½ cup of shredded mozzarella or your favorite shredded cheese
• 1 bag (10 ounces or so) of frozen plain or herb riced cauliflower (steamer bags are the easiest to use)
• Pizza toppings to taste: more shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, tomato sauce, olive oil, feta cheese, roasted red peppers, peppers/onions, crumbled bacon, ham, anything you can think of!
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine eggs, oregano/Italian seasoning, garlic, and black pepper in one bowl, while you microwave the riced cauliflower per the bag’s instructions. Try to under-microwave the cauliflower by a minute or so (if the bag says 5 minutes, microwave for 4 minutes). Once the riced cauliflower is ready, add to the other ingredients and mix together. Pour the cauliflower crust out onto a baking sheet on foil sprayed with cooking spray, or parchment paper. Smooth out with a spoon into one crust or two small crusts. Dough will be very wet/mushy. Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes, or until nicely browned. Pull out of the oven and add sauce, cheese, and any other pizza toppings. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until toppings are warmed and cheese is melted. Carefully slide onto plates as the crust will be soft.