Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The cauliflower pizza crust has taken the world by storm, but since the original recipe uses egg and cheese to bind it all together, it’s far from vegan-friendly.

So, the following is for my egg-free and dairy-free friends.

cauliflower pizza crust

Though there are plenty of fake cheeses and egg replacers now available in stores, I typically prefer to avoid these processed substitutes when trying to vegan-ize recipes. Instead, I like to use homemade flax or chia eggs, which can be made by simply stirring together freshly ground seeds and water to make a gluey, egg-like replacement.

I was hoping that making a vegan cauliflower crust might be as easy as replacing real eggs for my homemade vegan eggs– but after several attempts, that wasn’t the case. The results were soggy and incredibly fragile. Next, I tried adding coconut flour, hoping that it would help soak up some of the excess moisture from the cauliflower. But again, the crust wasn’t anything worth sharing.

Finally, I tried adding almond meal– remembering how well it holds together without eggs in my Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. And as it turns out, the combination of drained cauliflower, homemade chia eggs and almond meal works well together, creating a more firm cauliflower crust that you can actually pick up with your hands.

Of course, it’s still a cauliflower pizza crust, so it’s naturally more fragile than one made with wheat flour, but it totally does the trick if you’re in need of a grain-free and egg-free alternative. I hope you enjoy it!

Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Grain-free)
serves 2

Ingredients:

1 pound cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons ground chia or flax seeds, divided
3 to 6 tablespoons water, as needed
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, and pulse until a rice-like texture is created. Pour the cauliflower “rice” into a large sauce pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Drain the liquid, then transfer the cooked cauliflower rice in a freezer-safe bowl. Place in the freezer to cool for 10 minutes.

Note: It doesn’t really matter which order you cook and “rice” the cauliflower. Some people prefer to cook the florets first, then process it into a cauliflower “mash” to wring out in a dish towel. That’s how I did it in the cooking video below. Remember, you can skip the cauliflower cooking process completely if you use frozen thawed cauliflower. (You’ll sill need to process and wring it out, though.) See my Easiest Cauliflower Pizza Ever post for more details on that time-saving method.

In the meantime, mix together 2 tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, to create a thick vegan “egg.” Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken. You might need to add up to 3 more tablespoons of water to the mixture, but it will vary depending on how “wet” your cauliflower puree turns out.

Remove the cooled cauliflower rice from the freezer and transfer it to the center of a thin dish towel. Use your hands to squeeze the rice in the dish towel, removing all of the excess moisture from the cauliflower.

making cauliflower pizza crust

Place the drained cauliflower in a large bowl, then add in the vegan egg mixture, the almond meal, the additional tablespoon a ground flax or chia seeds, salt, garlic and dried oregano. Add more water as needed (up to 3 tablespoons) to mix the dough, but use as little as necessary to keep the crust crisp.

Stir well to mix, then press the mixture into the parchment-lined baking sheet. (I used a quarter baking sheet, so the crust filled the entire pan. If you are using a larger baking sheet, simply use your hands to shape the crust into your desired size, keeping the crust about 1/4-inch thick.) For best results, press the crust together firmly, making sure that there are no “thin spots” where it might crack.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and dry to the touch.

You could use this pizza crust as is, but it won’t be firm enough to lift with your hands. For best texture, I recommend using an additional piece of parchment paper to flip the entire pizza crust, then returning it to the pan to bake for an additional 15 minutes.

baking cauliflower pizza crust

Once the crust is firm and dry, add your favorite pizza toppings and return to the oven briefly to let everything heat up, about 5-10 additional minutes. I added marinara sauce, sautéed onions, fresh spinach and a sprinkling of cashew parmesan, for a properly combined pizza.

cauliflower pizza crust

Whatever your pizza topping preferences, I hope you enjoy this grain-free and vegan alternative!

4.74 from 45 votes
Print
Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

A grain-free pizza crust, that's also free of eggs, dairy and soy.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 2
Calories: 306 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons ground chia or flax seeds , divided
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons water , as needed
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, and pulse until a rice-like texture is created. Pour the cauliflower "rice" to a large sauce pot, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Drain the liquid, then transfer the cooked cauliflower rice in a freezer-safe bowl. Place in the freezer to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, mix together 2 tablespoons of ground chia or flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, to create an extra-thick vegan "egg." Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken.
  3. Remove the cooled cauliflower rice from the freezer and transfer it to the center of a thin dish towel. Use your hands to squeeze the rice in the dish towel, removing all of the excess moisture from the cauliflower.
  4. Place the drained cauliflower in a large bowl, then add in the vegan egg mixture, the almond meal, the additional tablespoon a ground flax or chia seeds, salt, garlic and dried oregano. Add up to 3 more tablespoons of water, only if needed to make the dough stir-able. Stir well to mix, then press the mixture into the parchment-lined baking sheet. (I used a quarter baking sheet, so the crust filled the entire pan. If you are using a larger baking sheet, simply use your hands to shape the crust into your desired size, keeping the crust about 1/4-inch thick.) For best results, press the crust together firmly, making sure that there are no "thin spots" where it might crack.
  5. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and dry to the touch.
  6. You could use this pizza crust as is, but it won't be firm enough to lift with your hands. For best texture, I recommend using an additional piece of parchment paper to flip the entire pizza crust, then returning it to the pan to bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Once the crust is firm and dry, add your favorite pizza toppings and return to the oven briefly to let everything heat up, about 5-10 additional minutes. I added marinara sauce, sautéed onions, fresh spinach and a sprinkling of cashew parmesan, for a properly combined pizza.
Recipe Notes

You can skip the cooking and cooling process when using frozen cauliflower. Simply allow the frozen cauliflower to thaw in your fridge overnight, which creates a "cooked" texture without having to do the extra work. Pulse the thawed cauliflower to create the rice, then drain well using a dish towel.

Notes:

  • Because this is a rather labor-intensive process, I highly recommend doubling or tripling the recipe and freezing the leftover crusts, for an easy pizza night in the future.
  • Or, for an even easier “vegan pizza,” try making my Eggplant Pizzas using your favorite vegan toppings instead! 

Reader Feedback: Have you tried the cauliflower pizza crust yet? Whether it’s the original recipe or this vegan version, I hope you enjoy this gluten-free alternative!

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Comments

Faith

Sound great can’t wait to try it. I was wondering can I use coconut flour instead?

Renee Jacobs

When you call for “almond meal” you mean the product that has a coarser grind than almond flour, right? Can you suggest a brand that you use (or do you make it yourself?) so I can get similar results as you? Do you think almond flour might work as a substitute? Thank you!

    Megan Gilmore

    Almond meal usually refers to the ground “flour” using almonds that are not blanched. I think it’s healthier to include the skins, so that you’re using the whole almonds, but blanched almond flour might work, too. Though it’s not organic, Trader Joe’s carries an affordable almond meal that’s easily available, and Bob’s Red Mill makes one, too.

Jen

Love this recipe! The second time I made this, I used Trader Joe’s frozen riced cauliflower instead of a fresh head of cauliflower, much easier and faster.

    Holly

    Hi! When you used Trader Joe’s rice cauliflower, hoe much did you use? Still 1 pounds worth?

Robby

It is so offensive to call that “pizza.” Especially offensive to Italians. It may be the most delicious food in the world and that’s great, but it IS NOT pizza. Please call it something else.

    MAggy

    I’m Italian AND a New Yorker (not the fake upstate NY, sorry guys, but Manhattan and Long Island NY, where the NY pizza legacy was created) and I’m not offended. Great for people with Celiac or a gluten intolerance. Chillax, buddy.

Alma

I love all your recipes and can’t wait to try this one, too! Can I use wet almond pulp that’s leftover from making almond milk or do I have to dry it out first?

ES

Made this crust for the first time, last night, for a pizza night dinner. It was AMAZING and DELICIOUS!! My husband was super skeptical so I made this crust/pizza for just myself as I’m cutting out wheat/gluten, providing other pizzas for everyone else. Many guests, and even my husband were curious and wanted to taste my pizza and they were very pleasantly surprised how delicious it was. I topped with 1/2 pesto and 1/2 marinara (the marinara side is my favorite), sauteed mushrooms, olives, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and sprinkled with a bit of cheese to keep it all together. After baking, I piled on some mini arugula! Oh, and I followed the crust directions to the T, notes and hints as well. Thank you! This is my new favorite and don’t think I can eat wheat crust pizza ever again! HAHA!

Myla Mercer

Can’t wait to try to make this! Thanks for the post.

Jan

Hi Megan,

I tried but the crust fell apart. Is it because I used cocunut flour instead of almond. I really want this to be perfect.

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, coconut flour can’t be swapped for almond flour– they are super different!

Melissa

What else can be used instead of flax and/or chia? I can’t digest either.

Katie

Welp, I followed everything to a T and the outer edge was perfect! The center was crumbly and soggy a bit but I think I just need to make it a HAIR thinner than I did and it would have been perfect to pick up and eat. The thickness and the consistency of flax egg and amount of water added needs to be 100% perfect I think. I personally added 1.5 tbsp to the mix after adding 1 tbsp flax. If you add too much or too little I can see where that would mess things up. I also used the middle of the oven- not the top. Oh, and the cashew parm is essential. Made it for he first time tonight and the leftover “cheese” is definitely going to be a new staple of mine. Also I used TRader Joe’s bag of riced cauli and that seemed to be the perfect Amt (1lb) but didn’t even fill the baking sheet. A whole head of cauli would likely be too much “dough” to make it the right weight to pick up.

sally

OMG! Fantastic!! Try it all you vegans out there. I have a vegan pesto I made that I used as a topping nalong with mushrooms, onions and sundried tomatoes I sauteed first. I used baby kale because I was out of spinach. Ok not perfect. I made my crust about an 1/8″ thick and that seemed to be perfect. Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe.

BTW – I used a bag of cauliflower rice I got at Costco.

MEGHAN

WHEN I WENT TO CUT THE VEGAN CRUST AND TRANSFER IT TO MY PLATE IT FELL APART. IS THAT NORMAL?

Ames

This pizza base is absolutely delish! But can anyone please tell me the nutritional info? ?

Ashley

I love this! I have made cauliflower crust a number of times but it was a recipe that involved a lot of egg and cheese and i’m cutting both out of my diet for the next month…possibly long-term. I’m excited to try this!

Brooke

Great recipe! I tried this for the first time the other night after a google search for cauliflower pizza led me to your site. Definitely labor intensive but worth it and I will make double next time for the freezer!

Rachel

Can’t wait to try this out!

Karen

I found a bag of cauliflower pre-chopped into “rice” at the store, and I want to try to make your pizza crust with it. Do you know how many cups of “rice” 1 lb of cauliflower yields?

Christiane Brasher

I have made this recipe like 5 times. Before I became vegan I also tried the non vegan cauliflower crust and this one is WAY better! I think the chia seeds just work better in this instance. If you are planning to make it my recommendation is to not even consider making it without using parchment paper.
I have tried a number of different recipes and this one blows them all out of the water. In fact when I look up a recipe and see one from Detoxinista, I always choose it. Haven’t been let down yet!🏆🏆🏅🏆🏅🥇

Michelle Rocha

Can i make my own “almond meal” by blending almonds in my vitamix turing into flour?? Instead of having to buy almond meal??

Jenn Warren

IS ALMOND MEAL THE SAME AS ALMOND FLOUR?

Jill

Why not use raw cauliflower mixed with the chia egg and almond meal. It gets enough cooking in the oven

    Megan Gilmore

    The raw cauliflower will release a lot of moisture when it is cooked, so the resulting pizza crust is soggy if you don’t squeeze out the moisture first.

Bee

Looks Delicious! What can i use insTead of almond meal as we are a nut free family?

Shelby

Really loved this crust recipe. I am not vegan but was drawn to the recipe because it did not require eggs or extra cheese. I found that when I tried to make cauliflower pizza crust before it tasted too much like egg (I may have messed up along the way) and I am not fond of eggs. This definitely was labor intensive! I put some extra work it because I ground the chia seeds and made almond meal myself (only because I did not want to go to the store). Next time I will definitely get the ingredients ahead of time Overall, I am very pleased. 🙂

Susannah

Looks great I’m definitely going to try it!

Sruti

Thanks for the recipe. I had to sub coconut flour for almond flour because that’s all I had. I don’t know if I squeezed out too much of the water? Or if it was the coconut flour but I thought the pizza was super dry- too dry?

I also baked for less time than noted above because Preston ground and started lately cracking ( it wasn’t too thin)

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