The Secret To Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Since this post was originally published in 2012, there have been a LOT of Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipes popping up online. This one is still my favorite, but I’ve made it even easier in my new cookbook, Everyday Detox.

Check out my updated recipe, which I call the Easiest Cauliflower Pizza Crust Ever. It’s a HUGE time-saver compared to the recipe below!

cauliflower pizza on a pan

Since traditional pizza is mis-combined, thank goodness for whoever came up with the idea of making a cauliflower-based pizza crust. Now we can have our crust AND cheese, and eat it, too. (All without feeling sluggish and greasy afterward.)

You may remember that I’ve tried my hand at a cauliflower crust before. It was fine, but definitely more egg-y than traditional pizza crust, and it certainly couldn’t be picked up by hand!

Luckily for us, chef Doris has taught me the secret to making perfect cauliflower pizza crust.

hand holding a slice of pizza

The kind you can pick up with your hands.

The kind that will fool your family.

The kind you’ll want to eat again and again!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Serves 2 to 4 people

ANIMAL PROTEIN | Gluten-free, Soy-free, Nut-free

Recipe courtesy of Doris Choi

Ingredients:

2 pounds cauliflower florets, riced
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup soft goat cheese (chevre)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F, then get to work on your crust.

Step 1: Begin by making your cauliflower “rice.”

Simply pulse batches of raw cauliflower florets in a food processor, until a rice-like texture is achieved.

grinding cauliflower in a food processor

Step 2: Cook & Strain the rice.

Fill a large pot with about an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Add the “rice” and cover; let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. Drain into a fine-mesh strainer.

Now here comes the secret:

Once you’ve strained the rice, transfer it to a clean, thin dishtowel.

straining, transfer, and squeezing cauliflower riceWrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel, twist it up, then SQUEEEEEEEZE all the excess moisture out! (Be careful not to burn your hands!)

It’s amazing how much liquid will be released, which will leave you with a nice and dry pizza crust.

Step 3: Make & Shape the dough.

In a large bowl, mix up your strained rice, beaten egg, goat cheese, and spices.

Don’t be afraid to use your hands! You want it very well mixed.

mixing cauliflower pizza crust dough in a bowlIt won’t be like any pizza dough you’ve ever worked with, but don’t worry– it’ll hold together!

Press the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (It’s important that it’s lined with parchment paper, which is not to be confused with WAX paper– they’re very different!)

shaping cauliflower pizza dough on a panKeep the dough about 1/3″ thick, and make the edges a little higher for a “crust” effect, if you like.

Step 4: Bake!

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400F.

baked cauliflower pizza crust on a panThe crust should be firm, and golden brown when finished.

Step 5: Load on the Toppings!

Now’s the time to add all your favorites– sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you like.

grated goat cheeseThis goat mozzarella is ridiculously good, without a “goat-y” flavor.

putting sauce and cheese on top of cauliflower pizza crust

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 and adding the toppings, wrap up the whole pizza in foil, and FREEZE it for a quick “frozen pizza” to enjoy another night! Simply thaw and bake at 400F, as directed below, until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

Return the pizza to the 400F oven, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, just until the cheese is hot and bubbly.

Then slice and serve immediately!

cutting cauliflower crust pizza Enjoy!

Tip: If you need to avoid eggs or dairy, try making my Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust instead!

4.6 from 284 votes
Print
The Secret To Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
A grain-free alternative to traditional pizza crust, that you can pick up with your hands!
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 your oven to 400F.
  2. To make the cauliflower rice, pulse batches of raw cauliflower florets in a food processor, until a rice-like texture is achieved.
  3. Fill a large pot with about an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Add the "rice" and cover; let it cook for about 4-5 minutes. Drain into a fine-mesh strainer.
  4. THIS IS THE SECRET: Once you've strained the rice, transfer it to a clean, thin dishtowel. Wrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel, twist it up, then SQUEEZE all the excess moisture out! It's amazing how much extra liquid will be released, which will leave you with a nice and dry pizza crust.
  5. In a large bowl, mix up your strained rice, beaten 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 1/3" thick, and make the edges a little higher for a "crust" effect, if you like.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400F. The crust should be firm, and golden brown when finished.
  8. Now's the time to add all your favorites-- sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you like. Return the pizza to the 400F oven, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, just until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
  9. Slice and serve immediately!
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.

Hope you try this the next time a pizza-craving strikes!

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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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