try something new: cauliflower crust pizza.

by Janetha on March 5, 2012

in how to

we eat a lot of pizza in our house. it’s quick. it’s tasty. it allows us to use up random ingredients in the fridge.

up until tonight, we always used the pre-made dough from whole foods for our pizzas. well, aside from that time in 2008 that i made meatza–pizza with a crust made out of meat. anyway, tonight i tried something new: cauliflower pizza crust.

i learned about cauliflower pizza crust during my low carb craze of 2008, but i have no idea why i never made it. i have seen it all over the internet over the years, but it still never piqued my interest enough to make it. well, my two co-workers (and livefit buddies!), amanda and kerryne (YES it’s the same kerryne from blog land–that’s why we hired her!) have been eating this cauliflower crust pizza like crazy. they’ve been raving about it, so i decided it was high time i gave it a shot!

i have seen several different recipes around the interwebs, but my recipe was adapted from a combo of only two of the many.

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makes one 9″ x 16″ rectangle pizza (twelve 3″ x 4″ slices)
total time: 35 minutes
adapted from stef and recipe girl

ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (yield 2 cups after grated/food processed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz finely shredded cheese of choice (use a medium-softness cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, colby jack, pepper jack, etc)
  • 3 TB nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (from the jar or fresh)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp ranch seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground sea salt
  • toppings of choice (see directions)

directions

  1. preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. grate raw cauliflower using a food processor or by hand with a grater. i am lazy and so i used my food processor–i pulsed until it reached a finely grated consistency.
  3. microwave cauliflower for eight minutes and then let cool.
  4. while cauliflower is cooling, prep your toppings of choice. choose a sauce (like marinara, pesto, barbecue, or alfredo), a cheese or two (feta, mozzarella, asiago, goat cheese) and your favorite toppings (sausage, chicken, pepperoni, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, artichokes, onions.. okay, i will stop now!)
  5. once cauliflower has cooled to almost room temperature, combine it in a bowl with the remaining ingredients (aside from the toppings, of course.)
  6. spray a nonstick baking sheet or line with a silicone mat. (if you don’t own a silicone mat, you really need to get with it and buy one. they are the BEST.) spread mixture evenly on the pan so it forms a 9″ x 16″ rectangle.. give or take.
  7. bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
  8. layer sauce and toppings on baked crust.
  9. place pizza back in oven until all the cheese is melted (if using cheese) and toppings are warmed through; about five minutes.
  10. slice & eat immediately. enjoy!

step by step photo tutorial

preheat oven to 450 degrees.

grate raw cauliflower using a food processor or by hand with a grater. i am lazy and so i used my food processor–i pulsed until it reached a finely grated consistency.

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microwave cauliflower for eight minutes and then let cool. it won’t look much different coming out of the microwave as it did going in!

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while cauliflower is cooling, prep your toppings of choice.

we chose marinara sauce.. i bought this brand because the lady on the label gave me the “buy me!” eyes.

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our protein of choice was italian chicken sausages by archer farms. this was the first time i’d tried these and they were great!

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we doubled up on the cheeses: mozzarella and feta.

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for the toppings, marshall picked orange and yellow bell peppers and.. wait for it.. mushrooms! HE said mushrooms. i am praising the heavens right now. i sautéed the veggies in a bit of white balsamic vinegar.

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i also added some dried basil, salt, and pepper. i cooked them just barely so they were still slightly crisp. random shout out: that cute wooden spoon was a gift from eden!

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once cauliflower has cooled to almost room temperature, combine it in a bowl with the remaining ingredients (aside from the toppings, of course.)

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this is a KEY ingredient.. everything tastes better with ranch. and you already dip your pizza crust in ranch, right? why not put ranch IN your pizza crust. duh.

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side note: “dip pity-do-dah–the dip that does it all”?! I LOVE THAT SLOGAN and just noticed it for the first time ever.. and have been using this stuff for years.

to measure my spices, i used these cute owl measuring spoons that were a gift from katie. mannn, blog friends rule.

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spray a nonstick baking sheet or line with a silicone mat. (if you don’t own a silicone mat, you really need to get with it and buy one. they are the BEST.) spread mixture evenly on the pan so it forms a 9″ x 16″ rectangle.. give or take.

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here is a photo to give you an idea of how thick it should be.

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bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are slightly browned.

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layer sauce and toppings on baked crust.

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place pizza back in oven until all the cheese is melted (if using cheese) and toppings are warmed through; about five minutes.

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melty goodness achieved!

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slice & eat immediately. enjoy!

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i ended up eating this and then going back for two more slices. it’s a good thing penny and randy don’t get pizza for dinner, because marshall and i gobbled the whole thing up.

nutritional info (all nutritional info calculated on thedailyplate.com) for entire CRUST recipe, no toppings:

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yes, that is the ENTIRE crust. so eating half of the pie.. or heck, even the whole thing, is totally acceptable.

here are the stats per slice (based on twelve 3″ x 4″ slices) with the toppings in this post:

Screen Shot 2012 03 05 at 9 59 41 PM

great stats, right?! and for the record/calculation purposes: i used 3 chicken sausages, 2 whole bell peppers, 4 oz mushrooms, 2 TB white balsamic vinegar, ~3 oz mozzarella, ~3 oz feta, and ~3/4 cup sauce.

my thoughts on the crust: this was DELICIOUS. it didn’t hold together as much as i’d expected (like normal pizza) but eating it with a fork wasn’t an issue. i have thumbs and have been using a fork for decades, so that worked out well. the bottom of the crust browned nicely, but the top wasn’t quite as crisp.

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it didn’t matter, it tasted amazing. i am really glad i saw that stef added nutritional yeast to hers (which is why i added it to mine), because that lent a cheesy, nutty flavor to the crust that i really enjoyed.

clearly.

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can’t wait to make this again! thanks for pushing me into it, amanda.

Qs~

what nontraditional recipes have you tried? did you love or loathe the results?
i have made cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and liked them (i did half potatoes, half cauliflower) and the meatza pizza that i mentioned at the beginning of this post. i want to try egg white ice cream, but kerryne had a couple flops with that one so i am hesitant!

xo. janetha g.

p.s. could you all do me a solid and take this 30 second sugar survey for my friends at the simply bar?? just tell them i sent ya. thanks!

{ 140 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie March 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I am so intrigued! I love cauliflower and I love pizza, so this is going on my to-make-list immediately.

(Yay for the owl measuring spoons!)

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Ali March 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Awesome, turning Friday pizza dinners healthier! One of my favorite non traditional combo is avocado chocolate pudding. Creamy and delicious!

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Kait March 6, 2012 at 2:05 pm

A SILPAT!!!!! OMG I can use one in Baltimore!!! How did I forget that on my list?! *Squee* My kitchen gadget budget is rising far too quickly for my own good…. xo

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Janetha March 6, 2012 at 3:34 pm

YES they are key! i also have silicone muffin tins (small and regular size) that i love

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

I’ve heard about cauliflower pizza crusts but I’ve never come across a recipe for one. I’m so excited to make it now! Except with those nutritional stats, I think I’m going to be tempted to eat the entire pizza. ;)

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Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) March 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Amazed at the protein!! Really?

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} March 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Hey a pizza I can scarf down the whole thing without feeling guilty–I like it! Not that I usually eat entire pizzas. Okay, I do. Sometimes.

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Charlotte March 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm

alright I really need to try to make this. pizza is my guilty pleasure…

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Maren March 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I definitely am making this this weekend. p.s. where did you find the organic ranch seasoning? I’ve never seen it before!

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Mary Legare Whaley March 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

That’s the coolest idea ever! I must try it. The weirdest food experiments I like to try involve beans and pumpkin…turned blondies/brownies. Yes it’s true. I make white bean blondies, white bean coffee cake, and pumpkin brownies. I use peanut flour (no wheat flower at all) and applesauce instead of eggs. It’s amazing what you can come up with using ingredients that don’t make sense…haha!

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Pure2raw twins March 6, 2012 at 7:42 pm

we have seen many variations of cauliflower crust before, yours looks great! we made a raw carrot cauliflower crust two years ago and it was just okay. haha nothing like this

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Lindsay @ Lindsay's List March 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Sorry, but I just went back and looked at the Meatza post. Loving that some people commented, “That looks SO good!”. :)

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Janetha March 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm

It should be known that the only four comments on that post come from my mom and my 3 sisters. ha. Love my old blog!!

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Naomi(onefitfoodie) March 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

when I first saw thing I thought about how good it would be with eggs on it and baked? then it could be a savory delicious breakfast…or lunch or dinner just eggs on that seems to go well in my mind! YUM!

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Jessica @ Busy Living Healthy March 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm

This looks amazing! I definitely need to make this soon! :)

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Melissa March 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

This is one the the pizza crust variations I haven’t tried, I will have to put this on my list

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elise March 7, 2012 at 6:57 am

im glad you have thumbs and have been using a fork for decades…i thought everyone was reverting back to caveman days! paleo is the hottest trend right now after all…

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brandi March 7, 2012 at 7:08 am

i want to try making this SO bad! i’ve got to get a food processor already.

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Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats March 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

Yum! So glad Marshall jumped on the mushroom train. I used to be a hater as well. Sucks that I missed out for all those years! :P

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Erika March 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

I’ve been seeing this on Pinterest and every time I x out and say “nahhh, that’s crazy” .. but somehow keep going back and looking and thinking about it. I think I may just try this.

And I haven’t tried many nontraditional recipes lately. The most non traditional for me would be the green smoothie I have daily. They’re not so “nontraditional” anymore, though. But they were for me!

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susan March 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I made this last night! I have to admit that I’m addicted to Amy’s and Kashi frozen pizzas, so I tried this as a healthier substitute. I omitted the nutritional yeast but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I must have picked up a smaller head of cauliflower because my pizza was substantially smaller, but I thought it was pretty good! Lots of flavor from the ranch! I would suggest using more tomato sauce than you would on a traditional homemade pizza–mine ended up kind of dry. Thanks for the recipe, Janetha!

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Janetha March 8, 2012 at 10:06 am

Glad you tried it.. thanks for the feedback!

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Jillian @ Sprinkle Massacre March 8, 2012 at 9:54 am

I need to try this recipe. When I tried cauliflower crust, it was a disaster, but then again I subbed cottage cheese in the mix. Bad idea. This came out perfect and looks delicious. Round two for me!

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Morgan March 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

This is literally the best thing ever. I used parmessan as the cheese and probably only 1 oz. I also used a smaller head of cauliflower, so my crust didn’t go as far, but it was seriously AH MAAAA ZINGG. Thanks so much!

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Janetha March 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, I want to try less cheese next time, thanks for letting me know it worked!

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Lauren March 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

I made this last night and it was really good! I don’t know if I just used a really small cauliflower, but I definitely didn’t have enough “dough” to make a 9×16 crust, I think I will use the whole cauliflower next time. I would love to make it again and this time use nutritional yeast, but I’m not sure where to find it. Any suggestions where I could buy it (I live in SLC)? Thanks for the recipe!

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Janetha March 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

So glad you tried it and liked it! My cauliflower made about two cups raw… but the nutritional yeast maybe bulked it up a bit. You can buy it at Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, and sometimes in the bulk bins at Smith’s Marketplace.. oh and at Harmon’s!

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Holloy March 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

Those are the cutest measuring spoons EVER. & I have made the cauliflower crust- it’s so good. I actually fooled Craig. He knew something was up because I was being so secretive in the kitchen, but he loved it. This reminded me to make it again. Maybe for tomorrow night’s meal.

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Holly March 10, 2012 at 7:47 am

Goodness. My name is supposed to be “Holly” ;) & the other comment I left on your most recent post is supposed to say ‘survey’ instead of ‘survery’- what is with me & LACK of spelling today!? ;)

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Jenna March 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Thanks for posting your version! Mine came out sooo yummy I didn’t even top it.

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Stephanie @cookinfanatic March 12, 2012 at 6:05 am

LOVE this idea!!! this looks so delicious, and who doesnt like a guilt free pizza?! :)

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Kelly March 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

I just found you from Lauren’s blog… and I can’t WAIT to make this pizza crust!! I’m looking forward to seeing more of your posts :)

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janetha March 12, 2012 at 8:49 am

Thanks for swinging by, Kelly! Let me know if you try it!

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Katie | wholelivingimprint.tumblr.com March 12, 2012 at 11:28 am

My boyfriend and I made this on Saturday night and loved it!! We topped it with mushrooms, tomatoes, soy cheese, and spicy chicken sausage. Ours turned out more like a casserole, but it was still so yummy and there were NO leftovers!!

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janetha March 12, 2012 at 11:31 am

My husband said the same thing about it being more like a casserole. Glad you guys liked it! Thanks so much for the feedback!

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Katie | wholelivingimprint.tumblr.com March 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm

You are welcome!!

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Michelle March 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm

This is the first recipe I’ve seen that uses nutritional yeast. Curious, why is that?

I’m going to finally make this, this weekend! Great tutorial!

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Janetha March 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm

It adds a great cheesy flavor and amps up the nutrition a bit!

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betty April 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

making this tonight! first time using nooch and first time with my new silicone mat! ADVENTUROUS APRIL, HERE I COME! haha

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Hannah April 25, 2012 at 12:58 am

This sounds amazing! I was wondering if you can make the crust without the cheese? Would you have to substitute something else instead?

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Janetha April 25, 2012 at 9:56 am

My co-worker tried it without cheese and it worked! It didn’t hold up quite as well, but it still was tasty!

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Hannah April 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Really?! Did she just take out the cheese or substitute something else for it?

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Janetha April 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Just omitted it!

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Enlightened Up May 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I’ve tried a zucchini/cauliflower crust before and didn’t add cheese either. I found that the egg was enough of a binder and you can add coconut oil as well. Mine was too thin though so I’d have to play around with it. Adding almond meal flour also thickened it up and increased protein content so that’s an idea…

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Jessica, the_toned_teach June 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

Saw this when you first posted it, it looked delicious.
Bought a head of cauliflower at the store yesterday.
Saw this again when Mama Pea made it, it looked delicious.
Looks like I am going to have a delicious dinner tonight :)

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Sue June 6, 2012 at 9:51 am

Can’t wait to try this! I hate the smell of cauliflower, but it is so versatile. I’m thinking I might sub the cheese with Daiya, since I’m supposed to be avoiding dairy right now. Anyone tried this?

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Janetha June 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

I am SURE it would work perfectly!

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Katy @ Think Pretty Thoughts June 15, 2012 at 8:16 am

I can’t even wait to try this. I’ll have to omit the cheese but can’t wait to try it! I wonder if I could do the buffalo chicken pizza you like on it. Or bbq chicken would be good too! :)

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Rosalie June 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Hi Janetha,

Do you think it would work out if I subbed coconut flour for the nutritional yeast? I don’t have any and would love to make this tonight. Also, do you think the base would freeze well?

Cheers!
Rosalie.

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Janetha @ meals & moves June 19, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Just omit the nutritional yeast–no need to add anything in its place. Also, I really don’t think it would freeze well at all. I guess it’s worth a shot, though!

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Carly June 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Did you use the ranch seasoning and the seasonings that you called for? Or just the ranch seasoning? I can’t wait to try it looks sooooo good!

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janetha @ meals & moves June 25, 2012 at 9:37 am

I used all the seasonings in the recipe!

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Carly Clark June 25, 2012 at 10:12 am

sorry when I looked at the recipe again I realized it was up there; oops. Thanks anyways(:

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Megan @ Weddings and Workouts August 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Oh my gosh I cannot wait to make this :-)

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Lauren October 31, 2012 at 1:02 am

Is nutritional yeast the same as bakers yeast or is it brewers yeast? I’m in the process of making it now, shoulda asked earlier lol

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Lauren November 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

Well I left it out cause I wasn’t sure. I think I spread it a bit thin cause it broke when I went to eat it last night but today when it was cold it was much easier to handle. Best of all? All 5 of my kids ate it lol they never even guessed what was in it lol. I’m going to make more tomorrow :) thanks

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Jill November 10, 2012 at 8:13 pm

We made this tonite, but I used all the topping recipe for your buffalo chicken pizza. We loved it! However we had 4 cups of grated cauliflower and ours did not come close to filling up a 13 x 9 sheet and was not as thick as yours.. Any suggestion?

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Janetha November 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hmmm that is weird! Maybe it cooked up more and shrunk more? I would just say use more cauliflower! It wouldn’t hurt! Thanks for the feedback, Jill :)

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Jill November 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Plus we put a green and orange pepper! Yummo!

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Jen deRemer November 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm

best way to get it crispy is to put cauliflower in a rag, twist it, and SQUEEEZZEEEE as much water out as possible!

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Julie February 12, 2013 at 10:00 am

I’ve made the cauliflower pizza crust before, just a lil different than your recipe.
I steamed my cauliflower in a big pot. I acutally use my spaghetti noodle pot vs the microwave, but I think I will try the microwave method. After the cauliflower has steamed for about 10 minutes, I let it cool in a dish towel, and then I squeeze all the water out of it.
I think this makes for a crispier crust having all the water drained out. Also, when I’m baking it, halfway through I flip the crust and let the other side brown, this also helps for a crispier crust.
Just a few things I’ve learned along the way. It’s definitely a labor of love, but soo worth it when your done. I usually make severaly batches of this and cut up into bite size pieces like a cracker, and store in a zip bag. Yummy!

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Janetha February 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

Thanks for sharing your method! Awesome :) xo

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Alvaro April 7, 2013 at 4:43 am

Hi! I’ve made the cauliflower pizza crust for first time and it’s awesome!

I have a question about crust, how should be crunchy? It seems that I failed something (maybe baking) because the crust is too soft. Is it normal?

However, incredible recipe! Thanxs!

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Janetha April 7, 2013 at 10:19 am

Hi Alvaro! Thanks for the comment. It is a little soft–you could try to press out the water from the cauliflower with a paper towel or cheesecloth prior to making the crust in order to crisp it up a bit. Also, the thinner you make it, the crispier it will get :)

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Jackie July 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

What is an alternative to the cheeses in the cauliflower dough? I cannot have cheeses :/

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Janetha July 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Try a soy or almond cheese replacement.

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