Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Ground Beef and Green Olives

I recently got a major craving for one of my favorite pizzas ever, namely Ground Beef and Green Olive Pizza.

I figured it was probably a good time for me to go out and try the classic paleo pizza crust replacement that is cauliflower crust. I knew of its existence for I’d seen a lot of recipes for it on several blogs, but  never was fully inspired to actually go out and make it.

As long as grains were still a part of my regular diet, I really couldn’t think of a valid reason for me to make the switch, except for maybe saving myself a couple hundred calories.

But for me, the pleasure of biting into a chewy, soft and cracking pizza crust far outweighed the need to slash down a few calories.

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

I’ve since changed my views on the subject and now believe that I’m much better off without the grains, so I figured I was finally good and ready to make the switch.

Officially.

So I asked for recommendations on Facebook and got directed to quite a few yummy recipes.

Unfortunately, most of them called for a hefty serving of cheese, which I was not a fan of. If I was gonna have pizza with cheese, I preferred to save said cheese for the top and not add it to the crust itself.

Hey, something HAS to be said for hooey, gooey, melting cheese.

And so it was decided: I would use the recipes for inspiration, but create my very own, dairy free version.

One of my main concerns with cauliflower crusts was that I’ve always been HIGHLY skeptical as to its ability to “stay together”. I thought for sure that it would completely collapse and fall apart as soon as I’d try to lift a slice up from my plate.

Well, much to my surprise, it held up just fine!

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

See? I was able to hold my pizza in one hand, just the way I like to eat it.

I’ve never been one to eat pizza with a knife and fork, you see. I dunno. To me, that kind of misses the point. I mean, you wouldn’t think of eating a hamburger or a hot-dog with a fork and knife now, would you? Well, to me, same goes for pizza. It’s meant to be eaten with your hands! Why else would it have a crust?

And this crust allowed me to do just that. SCORE!

Now, of course, the texture is really different from that of a traditional pizza crust. You don’t get much of the crispiness or chewiness that a good bread crust provides. However, its texture is still very agreeable, if you ask me. Hard to describe, but one that I can very well see myself adapting to.

It’s sort of firm, chewy and soft, all at the same time! That’s pretty much how I would put it. But the best way to find out, is to try it for yourself.

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

One department in which this crust would be far superior to the classic whole grain crust is FLAVOR!

Let’s face it, bread on its own doesn’t have much flavor going on.

This crust, however, is simply LOADED with flavor, so in that sense, it makes the whole pizza eating experience even better.

In fact, this crust has so much flavor on its own that I think it would make for a fantastic light meal simply drizzled with some good extra virgin olive oil, topped with a few sliced  olives, a handful of fresh herbs and maybe a few pine nuts sprinkled on top.

In short, I think I won’t need much more convincing to switch to cauliflower crust for good.

I’m already completely sold! 

Ground Beef and Green Olive Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Yield: Serves 1 or 2

NF based on the entire pizza

Ground Beef and Green Olive Cauliflower Crust Pizza

INGREDIENTS

    The Sauce (I used ¼ cup for 1 pizza)
  • 1 small can diced tomato (I used Eden Organic)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds, coarsely ground
  • pinch crushed chili peppers
  • pinch ground clove
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • The Crust
  • 350g cauliflower, grated
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • The Garnish
  • 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ red bell pepper, diced
  • 150g ground beef, cooked
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 100g fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 4 tbsp sliced green olives
  • Fresh basil, chiseled

INSTRUCTIONS

    The Sauce
  1. To make the sauce, add onions, garlic and seasoning to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until fragrant and the onions become translucent, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add canned tomatoes and honey if using and bring to the boil then lower heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 15-20 minutes, until sauce is thickened and all water has evaporated. Reduce to a fine puree with a stick blender, if desired. Set aside while you work on the crust.
  3. The Crust
  4. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 475F.
  5. Use a box grater or the grater disc of your food processor to grate the cauliflower.
  6. Place the grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover loosely; microwave for about 4 minutes on high. Place the cooked cauliflower in a fine mesh sieve and press it down real hard with a ladle or an unbreakable bowl or plate that fits snugly into the sieve; You need to remove as much water as you possibly can, so don’t be afraid to squeeze. If you don’t have a fine mesh sieve, you could also dump the cauliflower onto a clean tea towel, let it cool for a few minutes then wrap it like you would a candy and squeeze the heck out of it by wringing the towel.
  7. Add the cauliflower into a bowl, along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well by hand until all the ingredients are well incorporated and resemble dough.
  8. Place a piece of parchment paper onto a cutting board and dump your dough smack in the center. Form it first into a ball, then flatten it down gently with your fingers and form it into a nice, flat disc or approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter. If you want a ticker border, you will have to also form that with your fingers, as the dough won’t rise.
  9. Use the cutting board to slide your crust onto the hot pizza stone or baking sheet that’s been sitting in the oven. Bake for 8 - 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown; remove from oven by sliding it back onto your cutting board.
  10. The Garnish
  11. Spread however much tomato sauce you like evenly over the cooked pizza crust; top with mushrooms and half the bell peppers; add ¾ of the mozzarella cheese, followed by the cooked ground beef, the rest of the bell peppers and sliced olives. Finally, add the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  12. Slide pizza back in the oven and cook for an additional 7-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and the crust starts to color on the edge.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two. Sprinkle with fresh basil, cut into wedges and ENJOY!

Notes

The recipe for the cauliflower crust has been greatly inspired by The Lucky Penny's Best Cauliflower Crust Recipe

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/cauliflower-crust-pizza-with-ground-beef-and-green-olives/

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Grate the cauliflower, microwave and remove extra liquid by pressing it down through a fine mesh sieve

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

This is what the dough should look like when all the ingredients have been mixed together.

Form the dough into a ball and shape into a thin round disc.

If you want a thicker edge, you’re gonna have to form that by hand as this dough won’t raise! 

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

After the crust comes out of the oven, spread however much tomato sauce you like all over the top of your pizza then add the toppings.

Then back into the oven it goes…

Can you tell I like mine with LOTS of toppings? 

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Take pizza out of the oven and let it cool for a minute or two. 

This’ll give you some time to admire it…

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Cut into wedges and admire some more… 

Oh, you’re allowed smelling, too! 

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

It smells even better from up here! 

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Even with all those toppings, I was able to hold my pizza in one hand! 

SCORE! 

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

And it can also be torn into smaller pieces, without completely falling apart! 

Cauliflower Crust Ground Beef  | by Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

Take a closer look…

Can you see that this crust really does have a crusty feel to it? 

I think I’m in love!

 

 

 

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Comments

    • says

      Wow, thank you so much for dropping by, Lori! It’s an honor to have you here. I hope you like this version of Cauliflower Crust. Do let me know how it turned out for you if you end up giving it a try! :D

  1. says

    I have a confession to make! I’ve never made the cauliflower crust pizza! And I’ve been doing low carb and gluten free for almost 2 years now! This one has definitely inspired me to give it a try though – and I LOVE the topping combination you used! Green olives? Count me in!

  2. Lesley says

    I love cauliflower crust pizza. The only thing that I wasn’t thrilled with is that there is always a lot of cheese in the recipe. Most other recipes call for cheese in the crust to hold it together like a glue, as well as on top as a topping.I’m trying to cut back on dairy and it looks like you’ve created the perfect cauliflower crust. I can’t wait to try it.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      We are so on the same page, Lesley. If I was gonna have cheese on that pizza, it was gonna be as part of the toppings, not all lost amongst a bunch of other ingredients in the crust. I was gonna make it “count”. The cheeseless crust worked wonderfully, couldn’t have been happier with it, and I was able to add loads of hooey gooey melting cheese to my toppings! I hope you end up liking this crust as much as I did, if you do give it a try! Make sure you let me know how it went! :)

  3. Trish says

    This looks great – I have seen this floating around for a while. I am going to wade in and try it.

  4. says

    I have tried so many cauliflower pizza base recipes but NONE have looked as good as yours. You are eating it like real pizza!!!! haha amazing. Cannot wait to try this one! Thank you for sharing :)

  5. says

    I love to make and eat pizza and this Cauliflower Crust Pizza with beef stuff is going to be my favorite Pizza. Thanks Sonia for this delicious recipe..

  6. Linda says

    This sounds really great, my suggestion is try pesto instead of any kind of tomato sauce, then put your toppings on, you will fall in love again! Linda

  7. Caitlin says

    Is there another type flour you think i could substitute instead of the coconut flour? I don’t want to use a wheat based flour, but i do have oat flour and spelt and buckwheat? i’m hoping to make this tomorrow! and i love that your recipe doesn’t have cheese in the crust (so you can save it as a topping! :))

    • says

      Ooof, I really don’t know Caitlin, I’ve never tried any other flour in this… I take it you could probably use oats, but you’d have to use significantly more since it’s not as “absorbent” as coconut flour. Buckwheat I wouldn’t recommend because of its really strong flavor, which I don’t think would work too well with this crust. As for spelt, well, while it would probably work, it happens to be a form of wheat, and you said you wanted to use non wheat based flour, so I think it’s out! ;) Personally, I would probably use almond and add a few tablespoons of tapioca flour.

      Let me know how your experiment turns out, will you?

  8. says

    I made this rather sceptical of the Cauliflower base however that was the best bit! Amazing recipe and I will certainly make again, although the base fell to pieces when I tried to move slices to a plate making it more like a pizza bake! Still, amazing flavour.

    • says

      Glad you liked, Jonathan, but I’m really surprised to hear that your crust crumbled to pieces! Mine always holds up perfectly well (which kind of surprises me every single time, I must admit!) Hopefully next time you make it, it’ll hold up nicely for you too! :)

  9. Stephanie says

    AWESOME recipe!!!! Can not wait to try it this Friday for our family movie night. Thank you so much for sharing your great creativity. :) One quick question… would 350 grams of shredded cauliflower equal 2 1/4 cups? Thank you!!!

    • says

      I wouldn’t know about cups measurements, Stephanie (I’ll definitely have to check that next time I make this recipe) but 350g is roughly half of a large head. You don’t have to be super precise with that measurement either. What really matters is that you remove as much liquid as you possibly can from the cooked cauliflower. Really squeeze the bejeezus out of it!

      And thanks for your kind words and great enthusiasm, by the way! I really hope this pizza turns out for you. Do let me know how you liked it if you end up making it! :)

  10. Dorianne says

    I tried it. Good taste but mine was not crunchy – very soft and broke in pieces when serving! Could it be there was too much water? Should I try increasing coconut flour? Thanks

    • says

      I would definitely say too much water, Dorianne. It’s very important that the cauliflower be as dry as possible when you’re done squeezing it. You shouldn’t be able to squeeze another drop out of it. Let me know how it goes if you try it again! :)

  11. Anna says

    How many calories is just the crust? I am trying to calculate calories with different toppings. Thanks, so excited to try!

  12. Julia says

    This looks so amazing and I am dying to make it! However, I don’t have a microwave. Any suggestions as to how to make this without microwaving the cauliflower? Can I boil it? Many thanks!

  13. laura says

    Hi, so I made your cauliflower crust recipe, and it turned out wonderfully. I only made a couple of minor adjustments – I roasted the cauliflower at 350 until tender, adding some ghee and salt in the middle of the roasting process. I thought it would add to the flavor profile to carmelize the cauliflower, and I think it did add to the final flavor. I still wrung it out to get rid of the extra water. The only other change I made was substituting two tablespoons of raw tahini for the nutritional yeast, because my husband and I are avoiding yeast products. I thought the tahini would have that similiar “twang” that the nutritional yeast has, I love the raw tahini by Gobel’s, that is the brand I used. Everyone loved the pizzas! ( for toppings, I used roasted peppers, tomatoes, and sauteed grass fed beef with onions, plus chili powder and other seasonings.

    I wanted to also let you know that I used this same dough to make a delicious quiche! I had enough dough to make another pizza, but only half as much toppings as I thought I would need. I pressed the dough into a glass pie pan, and the amount was perfect to make a beautiful crust up the whole side of the pan. I put in the toppings, and five or six whipped eggs with salt and pepper, and baked for 40 min at 350. For the last ten minutes, I wrapped the crust in foil so that it wouldnt get burnt. It turned out so deliciously, the crust was beautiful, flaky and browned on the edges. I will definitely make again, and experiment with toppings. Thank you so much!!

    • says

      BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT!

      Love it ALL! Love the idea of roasting the cauliflower, love the addition of ghee and tahini, love the toppings that you used, and LOVE LOVE LOVE the quiche crust idea.

      I cannot thank you enough for all the inspiration and for taking the time to write this amazing feedback, Laura. Wow, you totally made my day (and you totally rock, too!) :D

  14. Rachel says

    Hi! I found this recipe and blog via Pinterest. I am sooo excited I found this recipe since I will soon be going Paleo! I do have a couple questions though and since I’m new to the paleo thing, please bear with me :)

    1) since the mozzarella is dairy, is it still ok to use if I’m following Paleo?

    2) I’m confused as to why the nutritional values are VERY high! Is that accurate? For all the veggies and stuff I was just surprised to see how high the values were.

    3) how can I subscribe to your blog to get recipes ? ;)

    Thank you for sharing your recipe and amazingly delicious looking photos! Can’t wait to try this and see what else you have !

    • says

      Dairy is like a big gray zone of the paleo world. Some do it, some don’t. I guess it all comes down to how well you tolerate it. Personally, my sinuses can’t handle it. I get stuffed for days whenever I have dairy, so I have now decided to eliminate it from my diet. Plus, the only cheese that I can fairly easily get my hands on around here is the commercially produced stuff that’s been stripped of all its nutrients, so I’d much rather pass anyways.

      I’m surprised that you would find the nutritional values high… it’s funny I was just looking at that recipe a few days ago and thought to myself that it was surprising that there would be so little calories and carbs in such a large meal! I mean, look at all that cheese and meat, and the size of that crust! This is a meal and a half, let me tell you!

      Lastly, you can subscribe to my posts by entering your email address in the “NEVER MISS A POST” box in the sidebar. I’m very flattered that you would want to receive my new posts by email, thank you very much. I hope that if you do try some of my recipes, you will share your thoughts and feedback. And if you ever have questions, please, don’t hesitate. It’ll be a pleasure for me to help! :)

      • Rachel says

        Thanks for a reply! I’m still looking up things about Paleo and I’m glad you answered the question about cheese. Dairy does seem to be a grey area like you said.

        As for the nutritional value, I was just surprised by the calories and sodium!!! Also the carbs seemed very high for no bread. I’m not going to let that stop me from trying this recipe ;) I’ve read that on Paleo there is no need to count carbs/fats/calories etc. I’ve read that one several sites. That’s one big thing that turned me onto Paleo :)

        I will be subscribing to your blog! Can’t wait to learn more….

      • says

        Ah, but almost half those carbs come from dietary fiber, so they don’t really “count” as carbs, from a low carb or keto diet standpoint. What you need to consider is total NET carbs, which is total carb minus dietary fiber. At a little over 25g of carbs for the entire pizza, I would definitely consider this a low carb meal, especially since there’s a good chance you could never polish the whole thing off. Like I said, this is a fairly LARGE meal, and very filling.

        As for sodium, you really don’t want to concern yourself with that at all. A lot of it probably comes from the olives, but then again, sodium is not the enemy…

        And you’re right about paleo not being keen on counting calories and stuff, but it’s still a good idea to get some sort of an idea of what goes into your body in terms of nutrients, that’s why I still like to provide that information. Since switching to paleo, I stopped counting every calorie and tweaking all my macros like I used to, which has been extremely liberating, but from time to time, I still feel the need to crunch in the numbers and see where I stand. Sometimes, I tend to drift a little bit towards the “high-carb” end of the scale… it’s good to be able to get things back in line.

        Oh, and re: dairy – Pretty much all those who do it do it in moderation, i.e. no more than once or twice a week, or even less. Dairy is mostly considered a treat and for most, falls into the “20″ portion of the “80/20″.

  15. Angela says

    Do you absolutely need the almond flour? I’m not sure if I can omit it because I don’t actually know what purpose it serves (flavor or function). I am allergic to tree nuts but this recipe looks AMAZING! Thank you! :)

    • says

      It actually helps in keeping the dough together, Angela, so I wouldn’t really leave it out. Perhaps you could sub tapioca starch, arrowroot powder, flaxseed meal or just add a little bit more coconut flour.

      And thank YOU for your kind words! :)

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