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4 Brilliant (and Crispy!) Alternatives To Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Tired of soggy cauliflower crust pizzas? Change up your crusts and try these fresh swaps that'll deliver a crunchier, crispier base you'll absolutely love.

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It’s a clever, nutrient-dense fix for gluten-free, grain-free diets. But let’s get real: Cauliflower pizza crust just isn’t that… crusty. While cauliflower crust is delicious and a healthy idea, it isn’t always the best choice for a saucy slice of pizza stacked high with your favorite toppings. That’s why we’ve come up with sturdy swaps that’ll seriously stand up to sauce – meaning you can say goodbye to floppy, sloppy slices and instead load up your pie. Our cauliflower crust alternatives are ingenious, extra nutritious and (most importantly of all!) super crispy. 

Try these brilliant pizza backdrops, all of which are gluten-free and good-for-you. Plus, we’ve even included some crafty grain-free options. 

1. Herbed potato crust

Skip the gluten and try a potato-based crust instead! The natural starches in potatoes yield a crispy but sturdy grain-free alternative that mimics traditional pizza crust – which makes it ideal for classic sauces and abundant toppings. Plus, potassium-rich potatoes are loaded with resistant starch that’ll feed gut bacteria and balance blood sugar. Or, you can sub in white sweet potatoes; their lighter texture, lower moisture and higher starch content makes a better swap than orange sweet potatoes. 

Make the base:

  1. Peel and grate 4 medium Idaho or Russet potatoes. Spread half the grated potatoes on a clean, lint-free kitchen towel and squeeze firmly to extract as much water as possible; repeat with a dry towel and the remaining potatoes. 
  2. Transfer grated potatoes to a medium bowl; add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and press into a 10-inch circle. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, until top is golden and edges are crispy. 
  4. Remove from oven, add sauce and toppings, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Top with: Garlicky tomato sauce, mushrooms, pepperoncini, red onions, baby spinach leaves, shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

2. Portobello un-crust

This veggie-centric version of a classic pizza crust meets pretty much everyone’s needs. It’s gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, keto and Paleo-friendly. And mushrooms are impressively nutritious, as they’re high in selenium, potassium and antioxidants that boost immunity and protect against cancer. The earthy, savory, umami appeal of portobellos pairs well with robust flavors, and the cup-like reservoir stands up to lots of saucy possibilities. And it’s super-simple: There’s no mixing, kneading or waiting, so you’ll have the speediest pizza-esque option ever.

Make the base:

  1. Remove stems from 6 large portobello mushrooms; using a spoon, scrape away ribs inside each cap. 
  2. Brush both sides liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, add sauce and toppings, and bake for 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Top with: Roasted red pepper sauce, shaved fennel, caramelized onions, black olives, Asiago or Manchego cheese.

3. Crispy quinoa crust

Gluten-free, vegan and (technically) grain-free, this thin, crispy crust is a nutrient-rich alternative to cauliflower. Quinoa is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds add binding power sans eggs, plus extra nutrition. While white chia seeds are prettier, you can swap black in and achieve the same crispy final product. Soaking the quinoa before prep is key; don’t use pre-cooked quinoa, or you’ll end up with a soggy, limp, pointless crust. 

Make the base:
1. Soak 1 cup uncooked quinoa in water to cover overnight, then drain through a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly. 

  1. Transfer to a food processor; add 1/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process into a thick, smooth batter.
  2. Line a baking sheet lined with a lightly oiled piece of parchment. Spread batter over parchment and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove from oven and lift parchment and crust from baking sheet. Brush hot baking sheet with olive oil, flip crust over onto baking sheet and peel off parchment. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until edges are crispy and top is golden.
  4. Remove from oven, add sauce and toppings, and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Top with: Pesto, baby arugula, roasted cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese.

4. Rustic beet crust

For the more adventurous palate, here’s a ruby-red crust that starts with beets – an ingredient that’s high in fiber and antioxidants. Traditional tomato sauce is lost on this vibrant background; a white sauce (vegan or dairy-based) lets toppings shine. Layer with less-conventional selections that don’t compete with beets’ natural sweetness, and finish with a sprinkle of salty, crumbly cheese.

Make the base: 

  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon yeast and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 1/2 cup pureed beets and whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in 1 cup gluten-free flour.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable, adding flour as needed. Transfer to a bowl coated with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until doubled in size (1 to 2 hours).
  3. Arrange dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment. Dust top with flour and roll out into a 12-inch circle. Transfer crust to a large baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal or sesame seeds. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, until edges and top are firm and just starting to brown. 
  4. Remove from oven, add sauce and toppings, and bake for 5 minutes longer. 

Top with: Béchamel sauce, broccoli rabe, yellow pear tomatoes, asparagus, shaved leeks, ricotta salata or crumbled goat cheese.

In need of more pizza inspiration? Try these recipes, which are great alternatives to cauliflower crusts:

Featured recipe: Sweet Potato Flatbread with Rapini & Caramelized Onion