Drumroll, everyone…the long-awaited crispy cauliflower vegan pizza crust is here! Okay, it may not seem like that big of a deal to you, but it’s a recipe we’ve worked really hard on and we’re excited to share it with fellow pizza lovers. This cauliflower-based crust is gluten free, eggless, has tons of flavor and the best part – actually gets crispy! Just add your favorite vegan pizza toppings and consider your pizza night dilemma solved.
I – like most of the rest of the population – freakin’ love pizza. Could probably eat it 3x a week. I will admit, however, that there’s a serious lack of high-quality vegan/gluten free pizza out there. Most have dry, flavorless crusts (think cardboard) and scant vegan cheese, if any. Don’t even get me started on cheese-less vegan pizzas. I know vegan cheese isn’t anywhere close to real cheese, but it’s still a necessary ingredient.
I’m pretty sure cauliflower pizza crusts “broke the internet” (as the youths say) when they first hit the scene a few years ago. Our collective obsession with carb-counting is clearly to blame; cauliflower-based crusts offered an excuse to eat more pizza under the guise as a health food. Let me clarify that when I say “our” collective obsession – I mean the US in general. I could not care less about the amount of carbs I eat on a daily basis. I will most certainly eat an entire pizza on my own despite the composition of the crust. If you’re going to eat pizza, make sure you enjoy it! Pizza is one of the greatest pleasures of life.
So why are we so excited about our own cauliflower pizza crust recipe? Because it actually tastes really freakin’ (second time using that word in this post, sorry) GOOD! It has significantly more flavor than any regular gluten free pizza crust we’ve tried. It also holds up much better – well enough to eat with your hands. Gluten is what makes regular pizza crust so delicious. Its absence is what makes most gluten free pizza crusts so unenjoyable and difficult to eat.
This crispy cauliflower vegan pizza crust has been a godsend in our house. It’s easy to make, tastes fantastic, and works with just about any toppings your heart desires. Most cauliflower pizza crust recipes contain both eggs and dairy, so it was a bit of a challenge to come up with a crispy vegan version. After innumerable trials, we landed on the perfect crust formula. By the way – when I say “we”, I mean my mom. She’s the genius behind the recipes. I just take the photos, taste-test everything and write these rambling posts.
Keys to making the perfect cauliflower pizza crust:
- The key is to use frozen riced cauliflower, which is widely available at most grocery stores. After letting it thaw for about 10 minutes, wrap it in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. This is the most important step for making your pizza crust extra crispy!
- If you can’t find frozen cauliflower rice or would rather use fresh, you’ll need to rice it yourself in a food processor. Then, steam the riced cauliflower for 4-5 minutes, let cool and remove excess moisture. (Frozen allows you to skip 2 steps – much easier!)
- This crust is not just made from cauliflower. That’s pretty much impossible without the help of eggs and cheese. White rice flour and almond flour add the perfect amount of structure and moisture to help this crust hold up under the weight of toppings.
- Roll your crust extra thin. The thinner the crust, the crispier pizza. It’s also important to pre-bake the crust before adding toppings. Otherwise, it won’t have a chance to cook through and the middle will end up soggy and altogether unappetizing.
- Vegan parmesan-style cheese adds flavor and elasticity. This is the brand we typically use!
- Don’t skip the herbs. A good Italian seasoning blend adds a ton of flavor – it really makes a difference!
- You can freeze leftover dough by rolling it into a ball (pictured above) and storing in a sealed container. Let thaw to room temperature before rolling out and cooking as usual.
Vegan Pizza Toppings
Let’s talk vegan pizza toppings! Whether you go with a basic cheese or something as *fancy* as this Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza, it’s important to start with high quality ingredients. We don’t really have a specific name for this pizza, but here’s what it involves:
- Pizza sauce – duh. We try to look for an unsweetened version, like this one.
- Vegan cheese: look for a mozzarella or parmesan-style shredded cheese for best results. Our current favorites for melting & taste are Daiya Mozzarella Shreds, VioLife Mozzarella Shreds and Follow Your Heart Parmesan. Be careful – there are a few brands of cheese in the dairy free section that are lactose free but still contain casein (milk). Be sure to read labels!
- Mushrooms: sauté ahead of time in some oil and salt so they’re fully cooked when you add to pizza.
- Artichokes: marinated are my favorite. So much more flavor!
- Olives: any olives will do. Our personal favorites: castelvetrano, black olives and kalamata.
- Sun-dried tomatoes (in oil): You can usually find these at the olive bar or in a jar near the artichokes. Roasted red peppers are a great alternative.
- Arugula: add a bit of arugula before topping for a peppery, fresh bite.
- Red pepper flakes: gotta have a little spice.
Okay, enough chatter. It’s pizza night! Grab a good bottle of wine and get started on your new favorite crispy cauliflower vegan pizza crust.
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This cauliflower-based crust is gluten free, eggless, has tons of flavor and the best part – actually gets crispy! Consider your pizza night dilemma solved.
Cauliflower pizza crust:
- 1 10 oz bag frozen riced cauliflower, thawed for 10 minutes*
- 3 tbsp flax seed meal
- 3/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup vegan parmesan (this is brand we use)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- 3/4 tsp fine kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 jar pizza sauce of choice
- Vegan mozzarella cheese (we use almost one bag for a whole pizza, but it’s up to you)
- 2 cups mushrooms, sautéed
- 1/2 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
- 1/2 cup olives of choice, halved
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
- For garnish: arugula and red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Thaw frozen riced cauliflower to room temperature. Wrap in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag* and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well-combined. Transfer to parchment paper and knead into a ball.
- Transfer to a plate or bowl, cover with a dish towel and refrigerate for 30 minutes (to let the flax meal absorb into the dough).
- Return dough to parchment paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of dough and use a rolling pin to roll into a thin round. The thinner the better.
- Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms in 1 tbsp of oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until tender. Prep remaining toppings.
- Add desired toppings to crust, then return to oven for 7-9 minutes, until cheese is melty. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
*If you can’t find frozen cauliflower rice or would rather use fresh, you’ll need to rice it yourself in a food processor. Then, steam the riced cauliflower for 4-5 minutes, let cool and remove excess moisture. (Frozen allows you to skip 2 steps – much easier!)