Loaded Pepperoni Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Monday, April 25, 2016

Beauty comes in all sizes and shapes, small, large, square, circle, thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust, four cheese, extra toppings. . .  See what I did there? We all know that pizza is one of the best foods out there. This recipe just made it even better. Pizza is incredible, right out of the oven, or right out of the fridge the next day ( cold leftover pizza is amazing! ). There is truly no wrong time to devour pizza.  There are a myriad of scrumptious pizza combinations from veggie lovers, to bbq chicken, hawaiian, and dare I say it. . bacon pizza! ( Yes, it exists ). Whatever your hungry heart may be craving, pizza delivers.

I love classic pepperoni pizza, or a stringy four cheese round. You can never go wrong with cheese. I decided to take a shot at classic pepperoni with this recipe and jazz it up a little. I loaded it up with red peppers, baby bella mushrooms, sweet basil, and fresh mozzarella! This topping combination elevates classic pepperoni to a whole new level. This pizza is.. chic. Is that even possible? Each bite is beautifully balanced; equally spicy and savory. There is a hint of red pepper flakes to add warm heat, and sweet basil adds a gentle herby flavor. Fresh mozzarella seals the flavors together with a hint of salt, and adds a divine creamy texture that dances with the pepperoni. Okay, i'm making myself incredibly hungry right now! All of these sumptuous flavors are carried by an amazing cauliflower pizza crust. This cauliflower crust is better than classic crust. I am making that claim you guys! It. is. outstanding. 

Marrying together creamy melted cheese and savory sauce with your favorites toppings on a crispy warm crust is the epitome of deliciousness. Without that delectable crust to carry those yummy toppings we would just be chowing down on veggies, and stacks of pepperoni. Which is fine, I love me a veggie bowl. There is a certain satisfaction, though, in gently lifting a slice of heaven up and knowing that you are about to partake in a cripsy, salty culinary love affair ( Wow, Jen, that got intense ). You'll understand when you take that first bite of this cauliflower crust. 

This life changing pizza serves two or one intensely hungry person. Bless the clever culinary soul who thought up cauliflower based crust. You can eat the entire pizza without a shred of guilt, or extra bulge. Now we can have our pizza crust and eat it too!

 Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Red Pepper Pizza
- With Cauliflower Crust -
Prep Time: 20 min  |  Cook Time: 25 min  | Servings: 2 - 4


For the crust 
- 1 medium size head of cauliflower
- 1 egg 
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon sweet basil
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Small palm full of red pepper flakes ( optional )
- pinch of sea salt

For the toppings
- ¼ cup pre-cut baby bella mushrooms (you can find small pre-cut portabella's in the produce section)
- half of a red bell pepper cut into strips ( about 10 bell pepper strips )
- ¼ cup turkey pepperoni slices ( about 15 slices )
- 3 slices of fresh mozzarella 
½ cup pizza sauce

First things first, preheat the oven to 425˚, and line a pizza pan, or baking sheet, with parchment paper. Then begin with the cauliflower crust! Rinse the head of cauliflower, pat dry, and remove florets from stalk. If you're feeling a little lost because you've never worked with cauliflower before, think of it this way: You are basically dealing with albino broccoli here. So treat it as such. Just cut the florets off of the stalk and pop them into a bowl. Easy as pie! ( get it.. because pizza.. pizza pie! )

1. Begin by making cauliflower “rice”. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse in until a rice or grit like texture is achieved. If you do not have a food processor you can use a fine cheese grater!

2. Fill a medium pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Add in the cauliflower rice, cover, and boil for 4 -5 minutes. Drain into fine mesh strainer, and transfer onto a cheesecloth or a clean thin dish towel.  Wrap up the steamed cauliflower rice into the dishtowel, twist it up, and squeeze all of the excess moisture out. This is the most important step! If there is too much moisture, the crust will be soggy. So squeeze like heck!

The rice will be very hot so please be careful not to burn your hands. 

In a pinch you can microwave the riced cauliflower instead of boiling it. Microwave for 4-5 minutes on high, then squeeze all of the moisture out in the same manner as above.

3. In a medium size bowl, mix together the strained ( and squeezed ) cauliflower rice, egg, parmesan cheese, and spices. Use a fork or your hands to work the ingredients together. Place dough on lined pizza pan and pat out into desired shape. Dough should be about a ¼ of an inch thick. Bake for 20 minutes. When the crust is a warm golden brown on the edges and top it's ready!

4. Now it is time to add all of the delicious toppings! Start with pizza sauce then add the mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, and mozzarella to top it off! You can add as much of the toppings as you desire. Go light or go heavy! Whatever your hunger inspires you to do ;) 

5. Return pizza to oven and bake for 10 minutes or until toppings are bubbly and especially delicious to the eyes! 

Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy! I suggest sprinkling more parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes for an extra kick of flavor. You can customize this pizza in anyway that you like. The cauliflower crust is SO GOOD. You can make a hawain, supreme, classic pepperoni, bbq chicken. . the possibilities are endless!


What are your favorite pizza toppings? Will you try them with this cauliflower crust? Share your cravings with me in the comments! Have a beautiful day!

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I am so glad that you stopped by. I love to hear from my readers! I appreciate each and every comment. Let's chat! Leave some love and I'll be sure to reply. Have a lovely day - Jen