I got home from yoga last night around 7pm. I WAS STARVING! I went straight to the kitchen, covered in sweat and all my yoga glory, just to discover our fridge was about as empty as I have ever seen it. Our fruit and veggie drawers are usually so full that they overflow onto the bottom shelf. I grabbed the 85% empty cottage cheese container and scarfed it down while trying to figure out what the heck to make for dinner. Even my go to giant everything but the kitchen sink salad was out due to lack of… well everything but the kitchen sink. The one thing I did have was a little spaghetti squash. It seemed to be staring up at me sadly next to the 1/2 a zucchini and 1/2 an onion (I am not exaggerating… all of the toppings for this creation were left overs besides the olives that had been sitting unused in my pantry for months).
While browsing Pinterest the other day for gluten free recipes I saw a post for spaghetti squash pizza crust. More than a little intrigued, I read through a few recipes but all of them ended by saying that you could only eat this with a fork and they were still trying to find the magic ingredients to get it to stay together like a pizza. They also all included mass amounts of cheese for a binding agent…
So there I am… in my kitchen…
mostly naked… in my yoga clothes… covered in now dry sweat… with an empty container of cottage cheese, a spoon andddd… a spaghetti squash. I am pretty sure my cat thought I was crazy and was wondering why the heck I was in the kitchen for so long and he hadn’t been fed. I decided I was going to attempt the pizza crust, which I swear to you I was positive was going to be a huge flop based on what I had at my finger tips (going to the store was out of the question at this point, I would have settled on ice cream for dinner before I got my butt back out the door). I could not believe how insanely good this ended up! Even my pizza loving, Italian boyfriend, LOVED it! When he got home later from being out with friends he devoured half! He couldn’t believe how healthy it was and how delicious it was! I actually think I am pretty lucky there was even one slice left for me for lunch today!
I have made cauliflower pizza crust before, which I now need to try again based on how well this recipe came out, but it crumbled when you picked it up. It tasted yummy but was almost more like an omelet with pizza toppings. Hard to explain but that was the flavor/texture I kept being reminded of. This however… I still can’t believe it was made with spaghetti squash. You would think it would be stringy and have a weird texture or flavor, but it sliced perfectly, browned lightly on the bottom and even got crunchy on the edges! ahhh I am tempted to make this again tonight! lol
WARNING: I took way too many pictures! I am going to try and narrow it down on here but just to put it in perspective… I started with 253. I am going to blame the difficulties I was having getting a good shot in my fluorescent lit kitchen. I really wish you could just switch on natural light. That would be pretty amazing.
Let’s get started with the Homemade Pizza Sauce
Note: This sauce was WAYYYY more delicious than I expected. As I mentioned earlier, the ingredients in this entire pizza are literally the only things I had in my fridge and pantry. I know basil is more typical for pizza sauce but cilantro is one of my favorite herbs and this sauce turned out phenomenal! The cilantro gave it a light flavor that I loved!
The finished product was very garlicky but soo soo good! If you follow the instructions below, your will not be as garlicky because you will not rush and skip the browning of the garlic step. This will make the sauce infinitely better!
Onto the Toppings
This section is going to be short and brief for two reasons. First, those three pics are all of the toppings on the whole pizza. If you know anything about me you know I LOVE toppings! Pizza toppings. Salad toppings. Sandwich toppings. And naturally Ice Cream toppings! Normally this pizza would have been piled high with every fresh veggie I could find. Unfortunately… this is all I could find :/ The second reason is that you could put absolutely any toppings you wanted on this! Keep it simple with sauce and cheese or add some or that carnivore stuff if that’s how you roll or plan ahead, unlike me, and go to the farmer’s market BEFORE you start this instead of the morning after.
Next up… THE CRUST Pre-Baking!
I am not going to delve into how to roast your spaghetti squash in this post but you can read all about how to do it in my post: Caramelized Roasted Spaghetti Squash (GF, DF, Vegan!) It is super easy! Mine roasted while I was in the shower. I do suggest for this specific recipe roasting it ahead of time though and letting it cool completely or at least most of the way.
If you don’t do and/or if you skip the step about squeezing out the extra water (like I did… you live, you learn right?) the images above are what your crust will look like. I solved the issue by absorbing all that extra liquid with paper towels, but I felt super wasteful doing that and am pretty positive it would have been even better if I had gotten more of the liquid out.
This is essentially what your crust will look like pre-baking, except hopefully a little less watery. Rest assured it will still come out awesome if there is extra liquid in the pan. You won’t be able to get all of it and it will evaporate as it is cooking. So DO NOT WORRY what it looks like before you bake it!
Onto the THE CRUST in all it’s baked up glory!
These pictures do this crust absolutely no justice! I will leave you with the fact that the edges should be lightly browned and the whole top should be firm to the touch (15-18 minutes). I soooo badly wanted to take a bite at this point but knew I had to keep it pretty for the final pics! You’re welcome! 😉
And then we put it all together!
This is the part you get to have fun with! I was surprised how good this combination of flavors was! Try it out if it looks good to you! But feel free to add anything you like! And then let me know in the comments what you added and/or modified for you pizza! I really want to figure out how to make this vegan so if someone does please let me know!
Now put this baby in the oven and let the magic happen!
and the BEST Gluten Free Pizza Ever (IMHO)!
The last ten minutes of this whole process combine all the flavors perfectly! The cheese melts into gooey goodness and the sauteed veggies become sweeter and yummier and all those non-professional words that describe delicious vegetarian meals!
Despite having taken 253 photos, I really wish these photos were better. Actually I wish there was a way to photograph flavor. How awesome would that be?! Wasn’t there a technology discussed a few years ago that would allow scents to come from your tv?! I don’t know if that is insanely awesome or creepy. Maybe they should work on a scratch and sniff app for the iPhone. I would like to note that on 4/24/2014 I thought of this idea and all you can back me up if the inventor makes millions lol Maybe I should copyright this idea 🙂
The best part of this recipe… the crust is actual crust! It holds together! You can pick it up! OMG success! I am soo happy!
So if your mouth isn’t watering you should probably stop scrolling, but since I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t be… here is the recipe! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
The Best Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ever!
Prep and total times include the time to cook the squash and prep the ingredients for the sauce and toppings! Cook time only includes the cooking of the crust and toppings!
- 1 small spaghetti squash (about 1.5lbs) roasted click here to read how to roast the squash
- 1 large egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Kraft)
- 1 T Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice Flour
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t basil
- dash red pepper flakes (if you want a little kick)
- Spray olive oil
- 1 can (1.5 cups) Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1/2 small bunch fresh cilantro
- 4-8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t salt
- Spray olive oil
Toppings (can use anything you like but this is what I used... and only because they are the ONLY things I had in my fridge!):
- 1/2 large zucchini, chopped
- 1/4 large yellow, chopped
- 12 large pitted black olives, sliced
- 1 T Shredded Parmesan & Romano cheese (feel free to add more if you like!)
- Spray olive oil
Helpful but not a necessity:
- Food Processor to chop garlic and blend the tomatoes and cilantro together
- I have an even older version of this little guy and he did the trick so don't be discouraged if you have a not so amazing piece of equipment
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roasting the Spaghetti Squash:
- Check out my post on different ways to roast your squash
- You want this done or almost done when you start your sauce so it can cool for the crust making
Homemade Tomato Sauce:
- Peel 4-8 cloves of garlic depending on your preference and size of the cloves and chop them in your food processor or by hand
- Add chopped garlic to a sauce pan on medium with a spritz of olive oil to brown and bring out the flavor (about 5 minutes)
- Add your can of diced tomatoes (1.5 cups) (Any kind will work but the fire roasted organic ones were super yummy! You could also dice fresh tomatoes!), cilantro, salt and pepper to your food processor and blend on high till the chunkiness level is to your liking. You could easily just chop the tomatoes and cilantro to your liking and mix by hand in a large bowl with the salt and pepper... the food processor definitely simplifies this though.
- Add tomato mixture to the pan with the garlic and simmer on low heat while you work on your pizza crust (about ten minutes until heated through and flavors are combined)
Pizza Crust (this is the insanely amazing part):
- Add egg, eggs whites, grated Parmesan, rice flour, salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes to a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a large fork or whisk (Do not beat the eggs too too much!)
- Scrap the cooled spaghetti squash into a separate bowl and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. You can use a cheese cloth or paper towels. It does not need to be bone dry but not super watery either.
- WARNING: If you do not let the squash cool and remove the moisture first it the dough will be watery... AND that's what happened to me. I ended up using paper towels to absorb most of it off the pan as it seeped from the mixture so it turned out fine but I think it would have held up even better if I had done the step above!
- Add spaghetti squash to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly again. This time you will definitely want a fork not a whisk since the "spaghetti" will be stringy.
- Spray a large baking sheet with oil or cover in parchment paper (I haven't tried this but most pizza crust recipes recommend it).
- Scoop your crust mix into the center of the pan and use a fork to pat it down as evenly as possible. You want it to be a little more than a 1/4 inch thick. To thin and it will probably burn. To thick and it will stay to wet in the center and start burning on the sides.
- Place crust in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Check it at least once during the time. The edges should be brown and the crust should be fairly solid.
- Work on your toppings while this is baking.
Toppings (Get creative! This is literally ALL I had in the fridge!)
- Chop you onion and zucchini and saute on medium heat until lightly browned and transparent (5-7 minutes) I did these separate but you can do them together if you like. I like my onions extra caramelized and a little burnt 🙂
- Slice your olives... or be smart and buy the pre-sliced ones at the store... oops!
- Set aside toppings in small bowls along with the shredded cheese
Putting it all together:
- Remove your crust from the oven.
- Scoop your sauce into the center of your crust and spread evenly, leaving room for crust!
- Add your zucchini, onions, olives and cheese evenly over the pizza.
- Place back in oven for 7-10 minutes. You want the cheese to be melted and all the toppings to be heated through without burning the crust.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes so the cheese that is IN the crust can start to harden just a tiny bit so the slices will be able to be picked up. I can not tell you how excited I was that the crust came out so delicious and that I could actually eat it like a real pizza without all the flour and gluten and yuckiness!
- LAST STEP: Try not to eat the whole thing! You will want to! 🙂 But seriously, half of this pizza is only 372 calories so if this is your whole dinner you should probably just find a friend and dig into this and a yummy salad!
I wish I could give this recipe more than five stars! Get creative with your own pizza and let me know what kind of sauce changes or toppings you added! I love to hear about modifications 🙂
Ps. Like any good pizza... this is DELICIOUS cold! Not that I had some after dessert or anything 😉
Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Margolin and And a Side of Ice Cream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- What is your favorite gluten free pizza crust.. besides this one of course?
- Any ideas on how to make this vegan? Of course I know the many ways to replace eggs but I have a bad feeling about using cheese substitutes for something that requires melting and binding.
- Most importantly… what did you top your pizza with?!