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The Secret To Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust

This cauliflower pizza crust is a healthy veggie-packed recipe that is naturally gluten-free and grain-free. It’s perfect for people who still want to eat their pizza, while following a low-carb or food combining diet.

best cauliflower pizza

How to Make Cauliflower Pizza

Making cauliflower pizza is straight-forward, but a little labor intensive. If you start with fresh cauliflower, you’ll need to steam it until tender. (You can skip this step by using frozen cauliflower– read further down in this post for more info.) Then, you’ll pulse it in a food processor until it’s rice-like in texture.

cauliflower rice food processor

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(You can save even more time by purchasing pre-riced cauliflower, either fresh or frozen.)

Once your cauliflower is tender and “riced” you’ll need to squeeze out the moisture that cauliflower naturally contains. This is the secret to getting a dry crust that you can pick up with your hands. (I the same nut milk bag that I use to make almond milk to do this.)

cauliflower rice squeeze

Once the cauliflower “rice” is very dry, you mix it with an egg, soft goat cheese (which gives the crust a better texture than using shredded cheese), and some Italian seasonings.

cauliflower pizza dough recipe

The crust won’t be like anything else you’ve worked with before– you spread it with a spatula, and use your hands to press and shape the dough.

how to make cauliflower pizza crust low carb

Bake until the crust is dry and golden, then flip it and bake longer until the other side isn’t soggy. I use the parchment paper to make the flipping process easier. (You don’t need a second piece of parchment paper after you flip it– the baked crust won’t stick to the pan after it’s been flipped.)

flip cauliflower pizza with parchment paper

Using Frozen Cauliflower for Pizza Crust

I’ve been making this cauliflower pizza crust for years, and there are a number of ways you can make it, but the easiest method is by starting with frozen cauliflower. I buy 1-pound bags of frozen cauliflower, so that I don’t have to do any chopping, and then I thaw them in the fridge the night before I want to make my pizza.

frozen cauliflower bags

Using frozen cauliflower allows you to skip the pre-cooking of the cauliflower, and ultimately saves you time, but I’ve also included directions for starting with fresh cauliflower in the recipe below if you’d prefer to do that. You must thaw and squeeze out the liquid from the cauliflower to get a non-soggy crust.

Update: Since originally writing this post, many stores are also now carrying frozen pre-riced cauliflower, which will save you even more time, since you won’t have to break out the food processor, either.  I’ve made this crust using two 12-ounce or two 16-ounce bags of frozen cauliflower, so know that this recipe is relatively flexible with the cauliflower amount.

pizza toppings

Cauliflower Pizza Toppings

One last thing to keep in mind when making a cauliflower pizza crust is that you should try to keep the toppings minimal. Go light on the sauce, so that it doesn’t re-hydrate the crust and make it soggy, and the same goes for the cheese. (Remember, there’s already some cheese baked into the crust, too!)

How to Make Cauliflower Pizza Crust Without Cheese

If you don’t tolerate dairy well, I’ve made this crust by omitting the cheese and using an extra egg instead. The crust texture is a little “egg-ier” that way, but it still holds up. I’ve also posted a Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe, if you need an egg-free and dairy-free option.

frozen cauliflower pizza

How to Freeze Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Because making a cauliflower pizza crust can be a bit labor-intensive, I like to double the recipe and make two large crusts (or 4 smaller crusts for individual pizzas) and freeze the extras for an easy future meal. I’ve found that this works best by baking the crusts, and then freezing them in an airtight container. That way, when you’re ready to make a pizza, you can simply place the frozen crust on a pizza sheet and bake it at 400ºF just until it’s heated through, about 10 minutes. Then add your toppings and bake for 5-10 minutes more, until the cheese is bubbling.

4.74 from 309 votes
best cauliflower pizza
The Secret To Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

Here's how to make a perfect cauliflower pizza crust, for a healthy and low-carb option. Time-saving tips included!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cauliflower, keto, low carb, pizza
Servings: 4
Calories: 74 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets , riced
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. If using fresh cauliflower, fill a large pot over medium heat with an inch of water. Fit a steamer basket into the pot, then pour the raw cauliflower into the steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot, steaming the cauliflower until it is very tender and can be pierced with a fork.

  2. If using frozen cauliflower, be sure to thaw it completely before getting started, then continue with the following steps. 
  3. Pour the completely thawed, or freshly steamed, cauliflower into a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade. (You may have to do this in batches if you have a smaller food processor.) Process until a rice-like texture is created. If you bought frozen riced cauliflower, you can skip this step and proceed to the next one.

  4. Transfer the "rice" to a clean, thin dishtowel. Wrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel, twist it up, then SQUEEZE all the excess moisture out! (Be careful if your cauliflower is still hot-- you may want to let it cool before handling.) A lot of extra liquid will be released, which will leave you with a nice and dry pizza crust.

  5. In a large bowl, mix up the squeezed-out rice, egg, goat cheese, and spices. (Don't be afraid to use your hands! You want it very well mixed.) It won't be like any pizza dough you've ever worked with, but don't worry-- it'll hold together!

  6. Press the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (It's important that it's lined with parchment paper, or it will stick.) Keep the dough about 1/4" to 1/2" thick, and make the edges a little higher for a "crust" effect, if you like.

  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 400F, until dry and golden. Use the parchment paper to flip the crust over, and bake again until the other side is nice and dry, about 10 to 15 more minutes.

  8. Add your favorite pizza toppings to the crust, such as sauce and cheese, then return the pizza to the 400F oven. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, just until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Slice and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Time-Saving Tip: I recommend making a double-batch of cauliflower pizza crusts--> make one for now, and save one for later. After baking the crusts, wrap up the extra pizza crust in foil, and FREEZE it for a quick "frozen pizza" to enjoy another night! All you need to do is add toppings and bake at 400F, until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

Per 1/4 of the pizza: Calories: 74, Fat: 4g, Carbohydrates: 4g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 6g

Recipe Notes:

  • I have found that goat cheese creates the best texture with this crust, but other readers have reported using other types of cheese with success. Feel free to experiment as needed, and please report your results in the comments below so we can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: Have you tried a cauliflower pizza crust yet? If cauliflower isn’t up your alley, you should try the quinoa pizza crust in No Excuses Detox. It’s another fan favorite!

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Comments

Sandi

Did you cook the cauliflower “rice” right in the 1″ of water? or in a steamer basket in the water?

    Megan

    Yes, I cooked the rice directly in the 1″ of boiling water– no steam basket. I drained it all into a fine mesh strainer after cooking, before transferring it to the dishtowel to squeeze out the rest of the moisture.

    Hope that helps!

      Michele

      Could I use frozen cauliflower? Has anyone tried it before that way?

Sue

since you have had 51 comments to date, and no one has asked for clarification, i must be asking a question that needs none. however, i am unsure about the steaming of the cauliflower…you said boil the water, put the cauliflower in, and cover and steam for 4 to 5 minutes. does that mean you let it boil on high, or does that mean you cover it and turn it off to steam??? what is the desired doneness of the cauliflower at the end of the 4 to 5 minutes. thank you for enlightening me. i appreciate it.

    Megan

    Hi Sue! I do let the water continue to boil while the cauliflower rice is covered for 5 minutes– though, I’m not sure it’s necessary. After 5 minutes, I usually just assume that it’s done, and don’t really check the texture, but it should be at a “fork tender” consistency. (Of course, it’s nearly impossible to check with a fork since the consistency is already rice!) You can usually smell when it’s done, as well, as your kitchen will start to fill with the strong scent of cooked cauliflower. 😉

    Hope that helps!

      Sue

      hi megan,

      thank you, and now will you trouble shoot for me?…

      i did not think you wanted it to continue to boil covered, because, one, i did not think that meant steaming, and two, i thought it might burn. so what do i do now…can i salvage the cauliflower? put it back on and cook it a little longer? i know this is not rocket science, but i wanted to do it the way you did, at least for the first time. thanks for your patience with this neophyte cook.

        Megan

        If you brought the water to a boil, added the “rice” and covered for 5 minutes, it should be steamed properly– even if you turned off the heat. Next time I make it myself, I will probably reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, rather than keeping it boiling, because I don’t think it’s necessary.

        If you’re concerned that it’s not cooked enough, (if the rice still feels too firm) I imagine you could cook it another 2 minutes in boiling water, then pick up the recipe from there! Be sure to drain and squeeze out the moisture well– that’s definitely the key to a good crust! And be prepared for the texture to be more moist and crumbly than traditional dough. You’ll have to shape a rather mushy dough onto the parchment paper, but it will be nice and firm after baking! Good luck! 🙂

          Dvora

          Any chance the boiling step can be skipped entirely? Seems baking in the oven would cook the riced cauliflower and not introduce more water? Has anyone tried this?

          Megan Gilmore

          The cauliflower needs to be cooked in order to release enough water. You can make it with “raw” cauliflower rice, but then the baked crust will be soggy.

TiffanyK

I was surprised at how tasty this was! Truly a keeper in the recipe book. The texture, flavor and look was all similar to pizza! I cannot wait to make this again. Wow. Thanks for the recipe!

Sandi

My rice was still mush the second time around, and still didn’t look like yours, but I decided to proceed anyway, and I’m glad I did because it worked! It held together just fine and could easily be picked up to eat, we did not use any utensils. We topped it with sauce, mushrooms, onions, spinach, chili pepper flakes, parmesan, mozza, and fresh basil.

    Megan

    Yay, I’m so glad it worked for you!!

Jenny

Hi, Megan. My younger daughter was recently diagnosed with gluten and casein intolerance, so for now we steer clear off any milk products, including goat milk (it has a diferrent form of casein, but during the “cleansing” period none of it is allowed). So, my question to you – can i make the same crust but skip the cheese altogether? DO you recommend any alternatives? Is it just for flafor, or it actually keeps the thing together?

Thanks so much,
Jennt

    Megan

    Hi Jenny!

    I haven’t tried making this without the cheese yet, so I can’t say for sure how it will turn out. I think if you reduce the cauliflower a bit, and just use the egg, it should turn out fine… but you just never know until you try.

    If food combining isn’t an issue for you, perhaps adding a tablespoon of ground flax would help bind it together as well.

    Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

joanne

this crust was great. i was not expecting to like it but I really did!!!
My daughter followed the recipe exactly and the crust was easy to pick up, crisp, and I would not have known that it was cauliflower had she not told me. we are going to make it when we get home for sure. you must wring out the moisture after the cooked cauliflower cools some.
bon appetit!

Corly

Hi Megan. I made your Cauliflower Fried Rice two nights ago and your Cauliflower Pizza Crust for dinner tonight and both were SO good, particularly the pizza. My husband loved it! I made all the cauliflower rice a couple of days ago and kept it covered in the fridge so it was a lot simpler and quicker to make make both dishes. I even whipped up some more of the fried rice for lunch today! Thanks for some amazing recipes!

Tram

If I don’t have parchment paper, has anyone used nonstick spray or foil??

    Megan

    I’ve tried baking it on a Silpat, which usually has similar results to using non-stick spray, and the crust wasn’t as dry or firm as when using the parchment paper.

    Please let us all know if you have any luck, though!

Singularity

What’s so great about this recipe is it’s really forgiving: when I saw I wanted to try it right away, but, except for the egg and the seasonings, I had none of the ingredients. So, I used broccoli and zucchini “rice” and blended cheddar with plain yoghurt as the cheese. Since it didn’t have any strong character without the chevre, I threw in a teaspoon of miso, a clove of garlic, and some black pepper to compensate. I just used a simple topping of chopped red bell pepper. And it was delicious! Thank you so so much!

    Megan

    That sounds wonderful! I’m glad it turned out so well, even with the substitutions. 😉

Lory

I’ve made this a few times, and always get perplexed on the measuring of the cauliflower rice-is this before or after steaming and wringing? We love this pizza-even our nonpaleo adult kids! thank you!

    Megan

    I measured the 4 cups AFTER steaming and draining the rice, but BEFORE wringing it out. The amount reduces even more after removing all that extra moisture!

    Luckily, this recipe is very forgiving, and it should hold together even if the measurements are a little off each time. 😉

      Savannah

      Thank you so much for this recipe – have the crust in my oven now & it smells amazing!

      Just wanted to suggest that you make a notation in your recipe that you measured COOKED cauliflower (because in your current instructions you specify RAW cauliflower). I followed the directions and ended up with very little “dough”, so used my remaining cauliflower to make up the difference and ended up much closer to what I suspect is the intended outcome for this recipe. If I had known to measure it out already steamed it would have saved me some guessing and extra steps 😉 (And this comment is waaay down the list – not easy to find!)

      That being said, I LOVE your recipes and many are on regular rotation – thank you so much!!!

        Jennifer

        Thank you very much for posting this clarification! I’ve made this recipe twice, and measured the four cups *raw*. Needless to say, I ended up with barely a cup of cooked/strained cauliflower.

Sue

Since you were so kind, Meagan, to address my queries about steaming the cauliflower, I thought I would comment on the questions asked by some of the posters about now using cheese and using alternates to parchment paper…

My 5 year old son and I made this, and we did not add cheese, and we did cook in a silicone pan. My son said it was soooooooooooo delicious. It was indeed dry and firm and tasty. So all systems go!!!

Sue

sorry for the typing error…meant to say

…questions asked by some of the posters about NOT using cheese

    Megan

    Thank you, Sue! Good to know that it works well without the cheese, too!

    I’ll have to try using my Silpat again next time!

Jamie

Just made my 1st pizza with the recipe!! Loved that it’s crisp enough to pick up!! I missed the comment about measuring the cauliflower after steaming and draining it, so my pizza was a lot smaller than yours, but still yummy!!! Thanks!

Cari De La Cruz

OH. MY. GOD. MEGAN!!!! It works! It works! We made this last night and it held together AND was crispy!!! I made mine a tad thicker than my daughter made hers, but each had wonderful qualities that we will be sure to repeat again 😉 Thank you for sharing this with me; you’ve brought pizza back into my “bariatric” life! Note to self: Find the box containing the food processor in the garage; ricing two heads of cauliflower by hand costs too much in knuckle-flesh…;-) Have a great day!

Rachel @ The Health Revival

I’ve made this, but with raw “riced” cauliflower and part skim shredded mozzarella as the base and it was really good! My only issue was it sticking to the pan, but (duh) parchment paper solves that issue.

On my next one, I think I’ll give your recipe a try, as I’m a huge fan of goat cheese…so creamy and tangy, YUM. Would make a great Margherita pizza! Thanks 🙂

    Rachelle

    Rachel, did you find that using raw “riced” cauliflower worked just as well as using steamed riced cauliflower? I would like to omit unnecessary steps. I considered steaming & then using my Vitamix…or using my Vitamix & then steaming…BUT would much rather use raw riced cauliflower.

Abbie

After reading this recipe (which I plan to try), I happened to be making cauliflower mashed potatoes, so I wrung out my cauliflower for that, too. It made a huge difference- much more like mashed potatoes!

    Megan

    Good to know! I’ll have to try that next time I make some mashed cauliflower, too. 😉

      Thomas

      Good idea, my mashed cauliflower is always runny

Abbie

I am on a low-carb diet, not a detox, so I generally do not keep goat cheese around. I mostly have mozzarella, cheddar, and italian cheeses like parm and asiago. Would any of these work instead of goat cheese? Or is there any other cheese at all that would be a good sub? Thanks for the amazing work you do! 🙂

    Megan

    Yes, any of those cheeses should work instead of the goat cheese! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Terry

This pizza crust was AWESOME! All day I was thinking about making my pizza-but figured I would Google the crust recipe and the one I was using did not come up at all. YOURS did. I went out and bought all of the ingredients, rep pepper, onion and some fresh baby Bellas. OMG-it was the absolute best. I am making it for company this weekend. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. Being 100% Italian, pizza MUST be a staple in my diet. Now, it can be-Healthy!

Mary Beth

Oh! I’ve made cauliflower pizzas twice now and although they were both delicious, I didn’t think about baking the crust before the toppings… Can’t wait to try it out! My very Italian boyfriend actually loves these, so needless to say anybody slightly hesitant should go for it!

Laury@TheFitnessDish

I’m off to the store…how many heads of cauliflower do I need to buy???

    Megan

    I used one large head of cauliflower to create one large crust, or two personal-sized crusts.

Laury@TheFitnessDish

PS– could you email it to me haha…I will get that ot my phone! I can’t find your twitter account

Gracie

Hello , does the cauliflower have to be raw and fresh to turn it into “rice” or does it turn into rice even if you use frozen cauliflower?
Thanks bunches, Grace

    Megan

    I bet frozen would work, too! I’d pulse it in the food processor while it’s still frozen, then allow to thaw and squeeze out all the extra liquid. (I bet you wouldn’t even have to steam it, as thawed cauliflower would already be tender.)

    Let us know how it works for you!

Grace

Thank You, and I definetly will…another thing, would the recipe still work if a used a cheese substitute, like vegetarian cheese to hold it together? I know one of the previous commenters used yogurt., but I just want to be sure so I dont mess up. 🙂 Thanks Bunches!

    Megan

    I’ve never tried the vegetarian cheese substitutes, but I’ve heard that some of them melt just like cheese– so that should work! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Dora

hi, I’ve been looking at making this recipe, but I’m highly lactose intolerant. What would you suggest as a substitution for the chevre in the crust? Also, I was planning on using “follow your heart” cheese, but if you have a suggestion there, I’d love it as well.

    Megan

    I think any cheese-substitute that melts would work. Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

      Dora

      i meant what would you use instead of the chevre?

        Megan

        Yes, that’s what I was referring to. A cheese-substitute that melts would replace the chevre and act as a binder in the crust.

Sierra

I made this tonight and it was amaaaaazing! Thank you so much for posting the recipe! Instead of using goat cheese, I used mozzarella. I don’t think I’ve ever had goat cheese and was just curious if you recommend goat cheese over “regular” (cow) cheese (and if so, why). I’m fascinated by this blog! I’ve never really heard of food combining. I’m intrigued!

Lisa~~

Thank you for a great recipe. I have made this a few times and have come up with a slight variation that is a huge hit in our home. I posted the recipe and shared the linky love. I hope that you’ll check it out: Cauliflower Crust Pizza on Cook Lisa Cook.

michael

Hi from Ireland. Delicious recipe for pizza crust and indeed many others too on your website. Thanks so much for taking the time to share! M

Geet

can i replace the egg with a flax egg and mozzerella cheese instead?

    Megan

    I haven’t tried the flax egg yet, but it’s definitely worth a shot! The mozzarella cheese should work fine, too.

    Let us know if you have any success! 🙂

mandy lam

Hey! this recipe looks awesome! i was just wondering, could you use broccoli to do that too?

    Megan

    Yes, I’ve made it with broccoli, and it’s delicious!

Denise

Great recipe! Made this yesterday and had some leftover cauliflower so I made another one but this time I didn’t cook the cauliflower. I figured it would cook in the oven. It came out great and saved me some time.

    Megan

    Wow, that is a time saver! Thanks for letting us know! 🙂

Erin

Any ideas what I can use for a binder other than egg? (I can’t have egg, soy, gluten) I have used flax “eggs” for an egg replacer but don’t know if it will be a good enough “glue” to hold the cauliflower together.

    Megan

    I’m not sure if the flax eggs will work, either. In other recipes, I’ve had success adding some extra flax to the mix (in addition to the flax eggs), but I haven’t tried that with this particular recipe. Other than that, I can only tell you what won’t work! (I tried using agar-agar once… and it was a mess.)

    Let me know if you have any luck! 🙂

Erin

OK. I am excited to try this recipe. I cannot have eggs so used flax “eggs” instead. Also I read somewhere about microwaving the riced cauliflower. I simply put the riced cauliflower into a covered microwave-safe glass dish (adding NO water). It came out great, nice and dry. No need to squeeze out water! I haven’t eaten the crust yet but it cooked up great and looks wonderful.

Kate

Hi there!

Question: I’ve used a recipe for cauliflower mash where instead of boiling the cauliflower in water you microwave it to take the water out of it. Do you think this might work to help expel water from the cauli-rice needed for your pizza crust?

I ask because squeezing the water out of the cauli-rice when I made your recipe was messy and actually pretty strenuous. And, it required me to let the cuali-rice sit a long time to cool (otherwise even wrapped in a towel it was too hot to handle).

Thanks for any insight you might have!

    Megan

    Hi Kate! I don’t own a microwave, so I can’t test this theory… but please let me know if you have any success!

    I’ve had another reader let me know that she made this crust without even cooking the cauliflower rice beforehand, so perhaps that might be an option, too? (I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I plan to!) One thing I’ve tried, that does involved a little pre-planning, is making the cauliflower rice ahead of time, then freezing it while it’s still raw. When you thaw the rice, the liquid is easily released with squeezing, and you can use it immediately for the crust without cooking it, or burning your hands! (The freezing process provides a cooked texture after thawing.)

    Hope that helps!

Nicole

This was the first cauliflower crust recipe I’ve ever tried and it was honestly fantastic. I really enjoyed it. Thanks so much!

Rachel

Would parsnips instead of cauliflower work? I’m intolerant to cauliflower and looking for alternatives. I did make this crust with cauliflower before and it was perfect consistency, only it doesn’t get along with my body even after all that baking.

Thanks Megan!

    Megan

    Hmmm… I bet they would! It would probably effect the flavor, but if you like the taste of parsnips, then I say go for it!

    And please let us know if you have any success! 🙂

Diane

This recipe is amazing! I love it…my husband loves it! I’ve tried other recipes and had decided I would not try again. So happy I found yours. Thanks Megan for a great recipe! Love the photos too.

Holly

Oh. My. Goodness. Made this last night for friends and they were incredibly impressed (as was I). I haven’t eaten pizza for years and boy did I miss it! My only complaint was that I doubled the recipe with the intention of freezing one of the pizza’s as suggested but my company and I gobbled up both! I also attempted to load a little too many veggie toppings which made the pieces a little soggy so next time I’ll go easy on the toppings and pair the pizza with a big raw salad instead. I used daiya cheese instead of chevre and it turned out beautifully…. crispy, delicious and very bread-like.
I was wondering if I might be able to make actual “bread” slices by shaping the dough into bread slice shapes and making it a little thicker so I might use it to make sandwiches… have you tried this?
My only advice to those who haven’t tried this amazing recipe yet is to make sure you plan ahead! I had to wait forever for my cauliflower rice to cool down before I could squeeze out the moisture so we ended up eating pretty late but next time I’ll just make it ahead of time. Definitely try this recipe, I’m pretty sure my life will never be the same!

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