Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zucchini Crust Pizza

Giving up wheat was really hard for me. I have always craved bread. I remember going to the kitchen and eating bread right out of the bag during snack time. At Thanksgiving I would eat 10-12 of my grandma's Parkerhouse rolls. She made extra because she knew I would eat them. Pizza combined two of my favorite foods: bread and cheese. When I first discovered that wheat was the source of many of my health troubles, I was devastated. This could not be happening. I love food. I love bread. I love bread too much.

I'm sure some of you have had this conversation with yourself as you thought about the prospect of giving up wheat/gluten. It's hard. It is a lifestyle adjustment of huge proportions. The first two times I tried to give up wheat, I didn't stick with it. It was too overwhelming for me. And then, I realized I was only going to get through the change if I took it one day at a time. And so, I started with a favorite food. Pizza.

I gave myself the challenge of making a homemade gluten-free pizza. Fortunately, it did not take long for me to find something I loved. In fact, I preferred it to the previous pizza crusts I had baked before I quit eating wheat. I highly recommend the recipe for "Plain Pizza Crust" in 125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt. My all-time favorite for a long time was "Plain Pizza Crust" topped with the "Roasted Vegetable Pizza Topping" recommended by the same book. It felt so good to eat pizza again. I made it when I had company, baked it for my family when they were in town, and my kids would ask for it. If I could make and eat pizza, things were going to be OK.

I was totally happy with my homemade pizza. I never really thought about switching it up. But then, on an online forum I was browsing, someone recommended making a zucchini pizza crust as a way to cut carbs and add in veggies. Zucchini? Really? Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies, but in a pizza crust? I was unconvinced. Unconvinced, but still a little intrigued. Imagine my delight when my wonderful husband came home from the grocery store with FOUR zucchinis because they looked so fresh on the produce shelf!

I used this recipe from Your Lighter Side: Zucchini Pizza Crust . The only change I made was that I baked the crust longer than the recipe called for. In my oven, it ended up being close to 20 minutes, but you have to be careful not to burn the edges of the crust. I used one huge zucchini, and it yielded three cups of grated green goodness. I decided to split it in half and make two pizzas and that worked wonderfully! Should you choose to make this on a pizza pan that has holes in the bottom, be sure to stick a cookie sheet on the rack below it to catch anything that might drip from the pizza pan.

I highly recommend Dei Fratelli pizza sauce. No high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients, and it says "Gluten Free" right on the can. Best part? It is in with the regular ingredients, and is actually one of the more economical sauces I've seen in my grocery store. Top with some cheese (I used mozzarella, parmesan, and a tiny bit of cheddar for some color difference) and whatever toppings you desire. I just used a yellow bell pepper because that was all I had in my refrigerator.

The pizza was fantastic! And the best part was that I fooled my oldest child! He had NO IDEA that there was zucchini in this pizza and he ate two slices!

For one pizza you will need:

1.5-2 cups grated zucchini
2 eggs
2 cups mozzarella for the crust
Pizza sauce (one can of Dei Fratelli easily tops two pizzas)
Desired cheese and toppings

Once you've topped your pizza, increase the baking temperature to 425 and bake for about 15 minutes, or until cheese turns light golden or starts bubbling.

I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we have!


  1. I keep meaning to ask...did your crust come out crispy or soft?

  2. The edges got really crispy. The rest was firm...not soggy, but not crisp either. But it was firm enough the the kids could hold their slices as they ate. I baked it on a pizza pan that had holes in the bottom (with a pan on the rack below to catch drips) and I think that helped. :)