Shiitake, Basil and Lemon Cauliflower Pizza

Has everyone jumped on the cauliflower-pizza-crust-train yet?

Yes, no, maybe so?

Shiitake, Basil and Lemon Cauliflower Pizza (89)

If not, you better do it soon!

Or you could wait and try it whenever you want. Cauliflower’s not going anywhere…that I know of, at least.

Shiitake, Basil and Lemon Cauliflower Pizza (49)

Recently there has been a bunch of talk going around about “wheat belly”, claiming how evil gluten is for your body. In addition to that, there is the popular Paleo diet which recommends avoiding grains and wheat in your diet all together.

Personally, the thought of giving up bread gives me a small panic attack but if you are trying to avoid it then this cauliflower crust is one tasty way to do it!


Shiitake, Basil and Lemon Cauliflower Pizza

Click to Print this Recipe!

Crust adapted from Eating Bird Food

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (I used an Italian blend)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 chopped basil
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic & herb seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese for topping

Shiitake, Basil and Lemon Cauliflower Pizza (1)

Start by preheating the oven to 425°F and wash and cut the cauliflower into florets.

Dry the florets thoroughly and then place into a food processor and pulse until a texture similar to rice has formed.

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Place the riced cauliflower into a medium size microwave-safe dish and microwave for 8 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through.

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After the cauliflower cools, blot the excess moisture with a towel or several paper towels. It is really important to remove as much moisture as possible in order to avoid a mushy crust! Confused smile

In a separate medium size bowl, combine the 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend with the egg, one tablespoon of the lemon zest, and the dry seasonings.

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Stir ingredients together and then add them to the riced cauliflower and mix until well combined.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cauliflower mixture on top.

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Smooth out mixture with a spoon until you have a nice shaped pizza crust.

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Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until crust is light golden brown.

While the crust is cooking, warm the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.

Sauté the garlic until fragrant and then add the mushrooms and continue to cook for about 2 minutes.

Then add the lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of lemon zest and sauté for about 5 more minutes.

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Once the crust is golden brown, remove from the oven and top with mushrooms and garlic.

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Continue to layer the pizza with the fresh, chopped basil as well as the parmesan cheese.

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Place pizza back in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Allow to cool for a few minutes and you are ready for a light and healthy dish packed with lots of fresh flavor!

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Not only is this pizza light and tasty, it is a meal you can feel relatively good about eating.

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As delicious as this pizza is, you can’t expect the texture of the crust to be like real bread. It is tender and fragile so the toppings should be kept light if you want it to hold together properly. The most important tip for getting good texture is to make sure the cauliflower is as dry as possible. I tried adding an extra egg to hold it together better and that idea was no bueno. I’m telling you…don’t do it. Blech!

Also, if you are not a huge fan of cauliflower flavor then you would be better off trying this crust with tomato sauce as it helps to mask the cauliflower a little better.


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{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl April 3, 2013, 5:20 am

    Cauliflower pizza crust is a favorite of mine! I am loving the unique toppings that you used in this recipe, too :).
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…Vegan Tempeh and Black Bean TacosMy Profile

    • Sarah April 3, 2013, 9:09 am

      I was pleasantly surprised at how good it is!

  • Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness April 3, 2013, 6:34 am

    This sounds amazing! I have been wanting to try cauliflower pizza crust for quite awhile, I love the unique toppings you used too.
    Nicole @ Fruit ‘N’ Fitness recently posted…WIAW – Half Marathon EditionMy Profile

    • Sarah April 3, 2013, 9:07 am

      I saw you are trying to be gluten free; sounds like a perfect time to give it a try! :)

  • Anna @ ApronHearts April 3, 2013, 6:35 am

    I haven’t tried cauliflower pizza crust before! It sounds amazing. I love that it’s gluten free :) Can’t wait to try it (egg-free) ;). Thank you for sharing.
    Anna @ ApronHearts recently posted…oat flour pizza with sun dried tomatoes, baby spinach and goat cheeseMy Profile

    • Sarah April 3, 2013, 9:08 am

      I haven’t seen an egg free version but I would be very curious to see how it turns out.

  • Ashlee@HisnHers April 3, 2013, 6:59 am

    Oh gosh that looks delicious!! Your crust looks better than most I’ve seen!
    Ashlee@HisnHers recently posted…What My Heart Desires + Kitty BathsMy Profile

    • Sarah April 3, 2013, 9:09 am

      Thanks Ashlee!

  • Sonia the Mexigarian April 3, 2013, 7:43 am

    I saw the picture before I read the title and said “I don’t care what it is, I want it!” Yep, pretty much drooled here.

    I haven’t tried cauliflower pizza before but I really think I’ll try it it. I love cauliflower.

    I think if I couldn’t eat gluten, I would curl into a ball and cry. My favorite meal is a hunk of straight from the oven bread with a nice crust and a wheel of cheese. Yeah, I love bread too much. I am also one of those weirdos that eyes peoples crusts of pizza (who doesn’t like eating the crust?? really???) .
    Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted…April Goals: Fitness, Health & FoodMy Profile

    • Sarah April 3, 2013, 9:11 am

      Haha…yeah, pretty much all pizza makes me drool. You should give the crust a try, it’s a fun way to mix things up. I couldn’t agree more- no bread should go to waste!

  • Taylor April 3, 2013, 4:44 pm

    I definitely need to get on the cauliflower pizza crust train!! I’m reading a book right now called “Wheat Belly” and while the thought of giving up bread and pasta makes me want to cry, it is interesting stuff! Can’t wait to try this pizza!
    Taylor recently posted…edamame and corn quinoa saladMy Profile

  • Beth @ Motor City on my Mind April 4, 2013, 10:59 am

    I have a whole head of cauliflower in my fridge right now…. maybe I should put it to good use and attempt this recipe?!

  • Carole April 4, 2013, 4:51 pm

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole’s Chatter is collecting links to dishes using cauliflower and/or cabbage. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . It would be great if you checked out some of the other links – there are lots of good ones already. Cheers

  • Carole April 5, 2013, 5:24 pm

    Sarah, thanks for joining in the Food on Friday fun. I hope to see you again soon. Hope you checked out some of the other links. I am blown away with the ideas people have come up with! Cheers

    • Sarah April 6, 2013, 7:38 pm

      Thanks again for the invite Carole! :)

  • Cassandra April 8, 2013, 6:24 pm

    I was never a fan of cauliflower until I tried it roasted and curried. Now we’ll eat the whole thing in one sitting.

    Your recipe sounds delicious, and that crust is beautiful-can’t wait to try it.
    Cassandra recently posted…Joule Sunday Wine Dinner Series, Korean StyleMy Profile

    • Sarah April 8, 2013, 8:03 pm

      Thanks Cassandra! I hope you enjoy it! :)

  • Michelle May 8, 2013, 9:37 am

    Love the toppings! So creative! I have a basic cauli crust pizza on my blog. Looks like we used close to the same method!

    just in case you wanna check it out!

    Michelle recently posted…Fruit Salad with Basil and LimeMy Profile

  • Simon October 12, 2014, 1:20 pm


    I tried this recipe today on black bastard BBQ as you can see at the following link

    Awesome idea to try!

  • Yordanka August 12, 2015, 8:57 am

    Looks really good and I would like to try it. However, I don’t have a microwave. What can I do instead?

    • Sarah August 12, 2015, 8:58 pm

      You might be able to steam the cauliflower but then it will retain more moisture which will make it harder for the crust to hold together. If you let it dry out for a while before using then it might work!


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