You may think the words “healthy” and “pizza” don’t belong in the same sentence, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While traditional pizza recipes can certainly be made healthier by reducing cheese or adding an abundance of veggies, these Cauliflower Pizza Bites take it a bit further by subbing dough with riced cauliflower. To ensure you get the perfect pizza bites every time, follow these steps and get ready to wow your friends, families and picky eaters alike with this crowd-pleasing recipe.
We went with muffin-sized crusts for these to make them easier to eat for children and also to ensure less cooking time while still obtaining a sturdy crust. Unlike traditional pizza dough, the cauliflower crusts will have to be cooked a bit before adding the pizza toppings. You’ll want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees for this recipe.
Oil the muffin tin and line with 5x2 inch strips of parchment paper. The strips allow the mini crusts to be removed from the tin with ease.
Take one medium-sized head of cauliflower and remove the stems and leaves, then cut it into florets. Simply place the florets into the food processor and pulse to make “cauliflower” rice. Work in batches if your food processor is on the smaller side and be careful not to over-process as the end result will be mushy, making it harder to extract the water. Alternatively, use a box grater to rice the cauliflower by hand if you don’t have a food processor.
Once you achieve the desired texture, transfer the cauliflower rice over to a large microwave-safe bowl and cover with a paper or kitchen towel. Place in the microwave and cook on HIGH for five minutes. This cooks the cauliflower a bit and allows it to release its water.
Allow the cauliflower rice to cool for a bit (or put in the fridge for a few minutes) before placing it in a thin kitchen towel or cheesecloth and over the sink or bowl, squeeze tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Water has no place in pizza crust, so you want to get as much water out as you can to ensure you get a crisp and pleasantly textured result.
Place the now dried cauliflower rice in a bowl along with the rest of the dry ingredients and the ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.
By now your oven should be preheated and your cauliflower mix is ready to be formed into mini pizza crusts. Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture into each cup of the muffin tin. Press the tops down slightly to flatten them. You only want a thin layer, no more than ¼” thick.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges are the slightest bit browned. While they’re in the oven prepare your toppings. For this recipe we went with Colavita Crushed Tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. We believe that cooking is part skill and part preference, so if you want to explore other toppings or you don’t have these on hand, feel free to experiment. You do want to keep in mind that these bites are small and that overloading with too many toppings can make these less of a bite and more of a mouthful. Also, cauliflower crust isn’t as flexible or sturdy as traditional pizza crust, so be careful not to weigh them down.
Remove from oven, top each with a teaspoon of Colavita Crushed tomatoes and grated mozzarella. Then broil for about one minute to melt the cheese. Keep your eye on them, as they burn easily. Cool for about a minute and these are ready to eat!
You can! However, not all cauliflower rice is created equal, so you may have to do some testing to determine which brand is best. Some prepackaged cauliflower rice has additives such as salt or other seasonings, so if you’re using these, adjust the ingredients accordingly. You’ll still need to microwave (although possibly for a bit less time) and wring out all the excess liquid.Can I rice other vegetables as crust?
We went with cauliflower because the color is closer to regular pizza crust and if you’re feeding picky eaters or finnicky children, sneaking veggies into their favorite foods is a good way for get them to get their nutrients. However, if you’re feeling experimental, it can’t hurt. Depending on the vegetable, cooking time may need to be adjusted so we recommend adding a vegetable to the cauliflower to maintain similar consistency.Is this recipe gluten-free?
It is! In fact, all of our new April recipes are gluten-free, healthy and kid-friendly. We wanted to bring you finger food that was both fun and easy to make, as well as adaptable to certain food allergies and intolerances. To get the recipes, click here.