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4 Veggie Pizza Crusts to Try Now

Pizza night and guilt over gluten don't have to go hand in hand. These healthy crusts have all of the flavor, none of the flour.

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Eggplant Crust
Courtesy of Lauren Goslin
Courtesy of Marissa Lubin
Courtesy of Brittany Mullins
Courtesy of Clare Critchley
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Eggplant Crust

While many veggie pizza crusts are made of grated veggie plus binding ingredients, these eggplant crust pizzas are different in that the round of eggplant is the entire crust. Think mini pizzas: an eggplant round with toppings heaped under melted cheese.

Lauren Goslin, who runs food blog Oatmeal with a Fork, praises this recipe's simplicity and versatility.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (you can leave the skin on or peel it)
  • Salt
  • Oil spray
  • Toppings of your choice

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Place the eggplant rounds onto a clean dishtowel.
3. Lightly salt each side of the eggplant rounds.
4. Let them sit on the towel for 15-30 minutes to "sweat" some of the water out.
5. Press down on the eggplant slices with the towel to squeeze out some of the water.
6. Spray each side of the rounds with an oil spray.
7. Place the rounds onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 20 minutes.
9. Remove the pan, and top the rounds however desired (sauce, cheese, vegetables, etc.).
10. Place the pan back into the oven for about 10 minutes, until toppings have cooked through.
11. Remove and enjoy!

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Portobello Mushroom Crust

This recipe flips the dish on its head with a topping as the base.

"It has all the cheesy saucy flavors you crave in pizza, but with a lot less carbs, fat, and way more nutrients," says New York food blogger and future registered dietitian Marissa Lubin, author of Get Off Your Tush and Cook. "The portobello mushrooms have an amazing earthy flavor and meaty texture that bring these crustless pizzas to the next level."

Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pizza sauce
  • Part-skim low-moisture shredded mozzarella (or any other cheeses you like)
  • Toppings
  • Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, etc., for garnish.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel or mushroom brush. Using a spoon, gently scrape out the gills from the inside of the cap (they can be bitter, but are fine to eat if you want to keep them). Remove any remaining stem.
2. Mix olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub both sides of the mushrooms with the mixture and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake cup side up for 10 minutes.
3. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and turn the temperature up to 450° F. They have probably released some liquid at this point so try to dry them off with paper towel as much as possible.
4. Spread inside with a little tomato sauce. Top with shredded cheese and toppings. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Then turn oven to broiler setting and broil for 1-2 minutes so cheese can get bubbly and brown.
5. Let cool 5-10 minutes.

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Cauliflower Crust

"I love this cauliflower crust recipe because I can have pizza anytime I want -- without the extra carbs and calories," says Brittany Mullins, a Richmond, Virginia-based health coach, personal trainer and author of food blog Eating Bird Food. For these reasons, cauliflower pizza crust is perhaps the best-known veggie substitute, and for good reason. This crust's riced cauliflower and mozzarella base provides a lighter crust that's almost like the real thing.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head cauliflower (about 2 cups riced)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Prep a cookie sheet or pizza stone by greasing it with oil. You can grease the cookie sheet or use greased aluminum foil. (It will stick if you don't grease it properly.)
3. Remove the stems and leaves from your cauliflower and chop the florets into chunks. Add to a food processor and pulse just until the texture is similar to rice. If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater or chop it.
4. Saute cauliflower "rice" in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook until translucent, approximately 6-8 minutes. You can use the microwave for this as well. Just place cauliflower in an uncovered microwave-safe bowl and cook for 8 minutes.
5. In a bowl combine the cooked cauliflower with all remaining ingredients.
6. Spread dough out evenly over foil (or stone) -- about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch thick. The pizza should be about 9-10 inches in diameter.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden, crispy on the edges and cooked through the middle.
8. Remove the crust from the oven.
9. Top with pizza sauce and toppings. Be careful not to add too many heavy toppings as you don't want to weigh down the crust.
10. Broil the pizza for 5 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted. Allow the pizza to cool for 2-3 minutes then cut and serve immediately.

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Sweet Potato Crust

While this pizza crust isn't entirely flour-free, it uses oat flour, which adds a punch of cancer-fighting, cardiovascular system-boosting dietary fiber.

"This recipe won't leave you feeling heavy or weighed down and can be altered to fit your pizza-topping preferences," says Clare Critchley, author of the Canada-based vegan blog Calm Mind Busy Body.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon oat flour
  • 1 heaping cup cooked sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sea salt, black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon tzatziki seasoning mix
  • 2 teaspoon corn starch

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Precooking the sweet potato at an earlier time helps to cut down on the prep, since cooking it can take a bit of time and waiting for it to cool adds to that. Blend the cooked sweet potato with the oat flour until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula and blend a few batches if you have a smaller blender.
3. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add in the rest of the ingredients. Mix until everything is combined.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly onto it, forming a crust that is about 1/2-inch thick. Even though the mixture is sticky, once it is baked it should be easy to lift off the parchment paper.
5. Bake for around 18-20 minutes. You can either add topping halfway through baking or after you've baked the crust.

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