low-carb pizza crust

One of the challenges of eating low-carb is having to say goodbye to old favourites.  Some foods were much easier to get over than others (I’m very ‘meh’ about pastas now), but there are some that are just too good to let go (I’m talking about you, Korean rice cakes).  Pizza is certainly in the “too good to let go” category because it’s essentially got all the bases covered – it can be crispy, chewy, savoury, sweet, spicy, meaty, hearty, light… I could go on and on.  It’s a classic creation that is also incredibly adaptable, and there’s no “best” way to make it.

As much as we stay away from so-called “faux” foods that some low-carbers lean towards (no judgment there either; it’s just the way we prefer to eat and to each their own), sometimes it’s fun to mix it up and try out a low-carb version of a formerly carbalicious favourite.  I’ve heard of the cauliflower crust (too much work for me) and the “meatzza” with a ground beef base (too much protein for my liking).  But then I came across this crust that everyone referred to as the Holy Grail Pizza Crust.  How could I not be intrigued by that?  The number of people who have posted about this crust led me to assume that this must be one helluva good crust… and oh, is it ever.  Somehow, the author of the recipe figured out that mixing melted cheese together with almond flour and a few other ingredients can turn into a pizza crust.  Who knew?  It may not be the crusty, chewy thin crust pizza that I so fondly remember as being one of my favourites, but it does the trick every time.

I make this monthly as a special treat and so far, it has never disappointed.  It’s so versatile and easy to put together, and now we can enjoy one of our favourites without going off the low-carb train.  Plus, it’s so filling that it only takes a couple of pieces to satisfy our cravings.  This is just my very, very subtle tweak on an already famous-amongst-the-low-carb-crowd pizza crust.

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First things first, the cheese needs a trip in the microwave.  I use all mozzarella cheese for the crust because I prefer the milder flavour; some people prefer a mozza/cheddar mix.  It takes about 45-50 seconds in the microwave to give it a good melt.

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In another bowl, almond flour, an egg, cream cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder are mixed together.

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This is the dough after the melted cheese is added to the almond flour mixture.  The original recipe instructs you to use your hands to mix the dough together, but I found that I got more dough on my hands than in the bowl.  I found using a fork more effective and definitely less of a mess is made.

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I have a 12-inch non-stick pizza pan that I use as the vessel for the crust.  12 inches is a good size as the dough isn’t spread too thin.  You can also use a large flat baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat if you prefer, and really, you don’t necessarily need to press it out into a disc – just go for whatever shape works so long as the dough is spread in an even layer.  Because it’s so sticky, I put some olive oil on my hands before patting it down, otherwise – just like when mixing the dough together – more of it gets on the hands than onto the pan.  At this time, the crust needs a quick 8-10 minute pre-bake to set it.

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It’s a good time to get the toppings ready.  For this particular pie, I assembled together chorizo with sweet peppers, pepperoni, homemade tomato sauce, and some more shredded mozzarella.  I like to stick with a max of 3 toppings to prevent overwhelming the pizza.  As you can see, we lean towards enjoying a meat lover’s style pizza.

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The crust is ready to be topped when the surface is golden brown.  I like to leave some of the outer crust exposed to get super crispy on the second bake.

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Another 15 minutes in the oven and you have a beautifully crisp pizza.

The best part of this pizza crust is that it can easily be picked up and held, just like regular pizza.  It’s just as good the next day reheated as it is fresh out of the oven.

Low-Carb Pizza Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (use full fat – none of that low-fat or fat-free stuff!)
  • 2 tbsp full fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • toppings of your choice

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Prepare a 12-inch pizza pan or large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, almond flour, egg, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.  Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated.  Set aside.

Place the shredded cheese in a shallow bowl.  Microwave for 45-50 seconds, or until just melted.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.  Add the melted cheese to the almond flour mixture.  Using a fork (or your hands – if you dare), mix in the melted cheese until a sticky dough starts to form.

Spread the dough onto your prepared pizza pan or baking sheet into a disc.  If the dough is too sticky, put a small amount of olive oil on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking onto your hands.  Ensure there are no holes or areas where the dough is spread too thin.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the surface begins to brown.  Remove from the oven.  Layer on your toppings of choice and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are a deep golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Let cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

*For nutritional information, please see the original recipe that is linked in the introduction.

Tips:

  1. Ensure that the cream cheese and egg are at room temperature before you start putting together this crust.  This makes it much easier to mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Use a fork to mix together the dough.  I find it much easier and there’s less mess on my hands.
  3. Put a small amount of olive oil on your hands before spreading the dough onto your baking pan of choice.  This makes it easier to pat out into a disc.
  4. Resist the urge to load on the toppings.  The crust itself is filling as it is and too many toppings can potentially overwhelm the finished product.
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