Pizza Goes Keto

What’s been unexpectedly exciting about going Keto is how much more fun I get to have in the kitchen – getting creative! Case in point, making a keto pizza. How do we replicate the flavour, texture, and deliciousness that this Italian staple brings, without use of a traditional flour dough?

Good news, folks – I’ve been struggling through that question ever since I made the leap to keto and I can tell you there are plenty of delicious options, each with their own merits. Be they homemade or store-bought, let me say you don’t have to give up an Italian fan-favourite when you go keto. Just toss aside some traditional ways of thinking, and be happy with a failed experiment or two :). As we have all experienced, even “bad pizza” has all the elements of a delicious meal.

Keto Pizza!
Pepperoni Pizza, with Chicken as the Crust!

In this post, I’ll delve deep(dish) in to the options you’ve got for building your own keto pizza from the ground up! These are my top bases for keto-friendly pizza crusts because they are simple to make (minimal ingredients, little prep time) and delicious:

Pizza Base Variations

  1. Coconut Flour
  2. Chicken
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Ground Beef

Always remember the number one focus here is to enjoy the process. Building your own pizza from scratch (including the “dough”) might seem to be a daunting task, but with these simple recipes and instructions, you will find it quicker and easier to make keto pizza from scratch than the traditional flour varieties ever would. Plus it’s really fun. These keto variations are way healthier and more satisfying than any take-out, guaranteed.

The “Crust” of the Matter – You’ve Got Options!

So, toppings are secondary and a matter of taste, just as long as you are keeping them keto (olives, cheese, bacon… ) you are good in my book! Our keto pizza crust is the base upon which all your “creative” (or sometimes just plain desperate) keto pizza toppings will mingle, bake, and get ‘happy’ together. For a go-to homemade sauce, check out my Lasagna Goes Keto recipe – make a large batch of that liquid gold and keep it on hand for topping your pizzas! Alternately, if you’d like to buy one instead, always opt for a low carb marinara sauce like Rao’s.

Another consideration – ensure you’ve got a quality non-stick baking tray or you’ll be scraping your masterpiece off the sheet, tears in your eyes (yes this is from experience). I’ve listed other pieces of essential gear you may want to consider – remember having the right tool for the right job will save you time and headache in the end.

OK let’s get on to the options and have some fun!

1. Coconut Flour Keto Pizza Crust

Starting with my personal favourite of all 4 options because the coconut flour gives a good combo of ‘breadiness‘ and ‘crispiness‘, especially if you roll it out very thinly. This variation of crust also offers some sweetness from the coconut, which I find compliments salty toppings well. I also find the high amount of cheese (ergo, fat) used in this recipe really satisfies me quickly, and so it limits the amount I am able to consume. 1-2 slices and I’m very full!

So bake one up, and be prepared to a return of the good ol’ days of “leftover cold pizza” in the morning for breakfast!

Essential Gear: Parchment Paper Trust me! Use it! Else you risk the dough sticking to your fingers and crust sticking to pan.

Pizza Goes Keto – Coconut Crust! Essential Gear: Infant to help with Perforating Crust!

Coconut Flour Crust Ingredients:

  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt

Instructions For Coconut Flour Crust

  1. Melt the Cheese

    Melt the cream cheese and shredded mozzarella together in a microwave-safe bowl.

  2. Make and Perforate your Dough

    Add your coconut flour, seasoning and salt to the bowl. Crack in the two eggs. Mix well (get your hands dirty), and lay out on baking sheet. Once at desired thickness (I like it very thin) perforate with a form toa llow even cooking.

  3. Bake @ 400F

    Pop this in the oven at 400F for 10-15 minutes. Good sign will be the raised areas around your perforations look a little brown all the way from the edge of the crust to the middle. You can remove at that point.

  4. Add Toppings, Bake and enjoy.

    Top as you like, and try to finish more than half this pizza. No way, you will be too full! A very different experience from the pizzas of days gone by!

    Tip: You can make a few of these in advance, freeze them and just top + pop in oven!

2. Chicken Keto Pizza Crust

Yes, in this crust we forego all semblance of sanity and use chicken as the crust. It sounds insane, but it really works well and this crust base adds an extra protein punch – and fullness factor – that helps it rank nicely with the rest. Also, because this is made of meat – the crust is officially ZERO CARB! Woohoo!

The trick with the chicken crust is the initial ‘drying out’ of the canned chicken. Step 1 below.

Essential Gear: Can Opener – Yes you Can! 😉

Chicken Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 Large can Chicken Chunks in Water (~400g)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
  • Italian Seasoning

Instructions For Chicken Crust

  1. Drain and Dry the Canned Chicken

    Set your oven to 400F. Drain the canned chicken of as much water as possible. Break up the pieces on baking sheet, spread as far apart as possible. Put in hot oven and allow the chicken to ‘cook’ and start to really dry out. Check on it, about 10 minutes should do the trick… feel free to remove and spread the chicken around for additional 5 if not quite dry.

  2. Make the Chicken Crust Dough

    In a mixing bowl, place all the dried out (hot!) chicken. Add Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Mix. Once relatively cool, add the egg and mix well. This is your dough, spread it evenly on your baking sheet.

  3. Bake @ 400F

    Finish the cooking process and remove when the crust looks golden brown. Should be crispy all around! Time will be around 10-15 minutes to get well-browned.

  4. Add Toppings & Bake Until Cheese is starting to brown

    Again keep an eye on your toppings so they don’t burn, but you are really just trying to get that cheese nice & melty.

3. Cauliflower Keto Pizza Crust

Yes yes, make your jokes. On keto, we substitute all carbs with cauliflower… eventually even our friends are substituted, and then, there is only cauliflower. But in this case, your cauliflower then becomes pizza – so it isn’t so sad! I found this the most ‘bready” texture wise, and it definitely carries some bulk.

Key to this crust is ensuring most of the moisture from the cauliflower has been drained before forming the dough and baking.

Essential Gear: Food Processor to create small cauliflower chunks to make the dough.

Cauliflower Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Cauliflower (Processed in to rice-sized bits)
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP Italian Seasoning

Instructions For Cauliflower Crust

  1. Process & Cook the Cauliflower

    In food processor, add your cauliflower to make small rice-sized granules. In a microwave-safe bowl, cook for 4 minutes (to get evenly cooked, you may need to remove and mix once or twice).

  2. Drain the Cauliflower

    This is the key step – place all of the (caution – hot!) cooked cauliflower in to a dish towel, and wring it out over the sink. Get as much of the liquid out of the cauliflower before moving on.

  3. Create Dough and Bake

    Add in your cheese, Italian seasoning first. Mix well, and then add your egg. This is your dough, and can be spread out on baking sheet. Put in hot (400F) oven and allow to cook 12-15 minutes.

  4. Add Toppings & Bake Until Cheese is starting to brown

    You’ve already got veggies as your base! So get the rest of the goodies on top, bake til done and enjoy! 400F for 10 minutes should do the trick.

    Tip: You can make a few of these in advance, freeze them and use again just by topping and putting in to a hot oven!

4. Ground Beef Keto Pizza Crust

This is a bit different from the others, with the use of a cast-iron skillet to get the job done rather than a baking sheet. The flavours from the ground beef really make this a meat-lover’s paradise – so for you carnivores out there give this a try!

For this pizza, you may want to change it up, and forego adding the tomatoe sauce instead dip in to it… just saying, get creative and try new things.

Essential Gear: Cast Iron Skillet

Ground Beef Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 3/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP Italian Seasoning

Instructions For Ground Beef Crust

  1. Brown the Beef!

    Add your seasoning, and a bit of salt / pepper to the raw beef. Add to your hot cast iron pan and brown it well. Drain the grease if you like, or leave it in if you’re like me and don’t mind it. Remove from heat.

  2. Add Cheese

    Add the cheese directly in to your cast iron pan with the beef still in it. Mix well and spread evenly over the surface.

  3. Bake @ 400F

    Pop the whole pan in to the over for anywhere from 15-20 minutes. You want it to dry out and get a little crispy!

  4. Add Toppings & Bake Until Cheese is starting to brown

    Finish this off in the oven with all your toppings. Either allow it to cool once the toppings look done and remove from the pan + cut and serve OR eat directly out of the pan with spoon 😉

Cop-Out Alternatives

If you’ve come this far, you are probably ready to don your apron and get started. If, however, you are in need of a quicker fix, here are some great pre-made keto pizza crust alternatives!