Low Carb Cauliflower Crust Carbonara Pizza
If it involves cauliflower, you can count me in. I would take a cheesy, fresh herb-packed, garlicky cauliflower crust over any pizza dough out there- handmade or store bought. There is something incredibly satisfying about getting to INDULGE in one of my favorite foods without feeling an ounce of guilt from the copious amount of carbs involved. I suggest everyone give this low carb, high-protein, veggie-packed cauliflower crust option a go!
I have found dozens of recipes out there and the number of ways to create these crusts are endless. After trying multiple painstakingly complicated, time consuming and messy versions, I found that using fresh uncooked riced cauliflower is quickest and easiest! I tried one recipe where I had to first prep and steam the cauliflower, then wait for it to cook (which I didn't do well resulting in hands on FIRE), then squeeze out ALL of the liquid with a washcloth which quite honestly grossed me out and let me tell you, by the end of it I was EXHAUSTED and didn't even want to eat the damn thing anymore! But I digress... I've shared my favorite way to make a cauliflower based crust and bread sticks is below. Obviously, feel free to tweak the sauce/topping combos to your liking if you're not a fan of alfredo or carbonara...
Cauliflower Crust Carbonara Pizza
- FOR CRUST:
- 1 head raw cauliflower, riced (or buy bag of cauliflower rice from Trader Joe's or Publix- produce section)
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Egg Whites or 6 Tbs Liquid Egg Whites
- 1/2 Tbs freshly minced garlic
- 1/2 Tbs freshly chopped basil
- 1/2 Tbs freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- FOR TOPPINGS:
- 6 pieces of crumbled extra crispy Bacon (pre-cooked)
- 6-8 quail eggs or 4-5 regular eggs
- 3/4 C Alfredo cream sauce of choice
- 1 C packed chopped spinach
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Additional 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese & Additional fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- To rice the cauliflower you can remove the core and break off the florets, then place them into your food processor, pulsing until texture of rice reached
- In a large bowl, mix the riced cauliflower, 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, egg whites, 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until combined... Place this mixture onto the lined baking sheet and press it out into a desired shape to about 1/4" thickness- if not sticking together well add more egg whites
- Bake for 20 minutes, some recipes will call for 12-14 but I find if I really want to ensure the crust isn't too soft more time is key... remove from oven, add alfredo-carbonara sauce, sprinkle with bacon, spinach, shredded chicken and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
- For the eggs- IF you have time- I like to crack them first into a pan to set the whites, before I transfer them to the pizza, this way I don't have to wait so long for the pizza to finish cooking- I've had issues with eggs taking forever to cook when directly cracked on to the pizza... you can Just crack the quail eggs on top of pizza but know the cook time will be longer
- Sprinkle pizza with more salt & pepper and return to oven to bake until cheese is melted, crust is firm in center and egg whites are cooked through- times for this may vary based on how you proceeded with your eggs but at least 10-12 minutes
- You may need to broil it for a minute or so if the eggs aren't firming up... keep a close eye as not to burn as this happens QUICKLY on broil!!
- Garnish pizza with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and ENJOY!
Garlic-Cheese Cauliflower Breadsticks
These are a dinner, tailgate or holiday party GO-TO for me! I bake them longer and end with a quick broil to get the level of crunchiness I prefer and to make them more firm for handling and dipping into sauces. These legit put all other "bread" sticks to shame. To make them, you will utilize the same exact ingredients listed above in the "FOR CRUST" section of the ingredients. I find it easier to press these out in a rectangular shape for the purpose of keeping with a bread stick shape.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Mix all ingredients and press out onto parchment paper on cookie sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Pull out, turn oven to broil and sprinkle with a bit more Parmesan
- Return to oven on lower rack and keep a close eye until breadstick cheese and edges turn golden brown (3-5 minutes)
- Garnish with fresh basil; If you like variety or are prepping these for a party, I enjoy putting an alfredo, pesto and red sauce on the side for dipping options!
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Definitely give this lower carb pizza option a shot- I promise it is a total game changer! And for those of you with kiddos- what a sneaky way to add in those extra servings of vegetables!? Thanks for reading everyone! Please comment below with any questions or input :)