Gluten-free Mini Pizzas with Cauliflower Crust

Build garden-fresh pizzas with flour-less crusts. The secret ingredient? Cauliflower.

by John D. IvankoSeptember 3, 2014
PHOTO: John D. Ivanko/

Pizza is a Friday-night mainstay for much of the country, but those with dietary restrictions or food sensitivities can often feel left out of this meal tradition. These mini pizzas featuring a cauliflower crust and garden-fresh toppings, however, are perfect for both vegetarians and those on gluten-free diets. You’ll wonder why flour-based crust is necessary, and even meat-eaters won’t feel slighted by their delicious flavor.

We love recipes that maximize our garden harvest. These pizzas use fresh ingredients that ripen roughly at the same time: cauliflower, summer squash, tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and basil. If you’ve harvested other veggies you want to include, use those, as well. Other delicious options include bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach and kale.

The key to this recipe’s success, of course, is making a great cauliflower pizza crust. Allow yourself a good 1½ hours prep and cook time—it’s time-consuming but worth it. You’ll first steam-cook the cauliflower, then chop it finely in a food processor. Following the recipe instructions below, bake each side of the formed cauliflower crust patties before adding the toppings and cheese. To keep the crusts from sticking to the pan, minimizing your frustration during cooking, use a non-stick baking sheet or non-stick mat placed on top of a baking sheet.

Recipe: Cauliflower-Crust Pizza

Yield: 6-inch pizzas



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  • 2 medium heads cauliflower
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  • 2 cups pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cups fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 1 cup shredded summer squash or zucchini
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cups basil leaves, for garnish


Wash cauliflower heads and chop into chunks. Steam in pot of boiling water until tender.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove and drain cauliflower with a slotted spoon, and place in a food processor. Chop finely with several repeated pulses. Transfer to large bowl, and mix well with mozzarella cheese, egg, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Divide cauliflower mixture into eight balls of roughly equal size. Flatten each ball out on a non-stick baking sheet or mat, about 1/4 inch thick.

Cook cauliflower crusts in oven for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned. Carefully flip, and cook for 15 more minutes or until the other side is nicely browned and firm. Remove from oven, but leave oven on.

On each crust, add a layer of tomato sauce, followed by basil, summer squash or zucchini, two tomato slices and cheese. Return pizzas to oven and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the cheese completely melts.

Serve immediately, garnished with torn basil leaves.

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