Hawaiian Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Gluten-FreeCauliflowerPizza

What to make for dinner tonight? Hawaiian pizza to the rescue! Salty, sweet, crunchy, cheesy—that's the combination of flavors you get in this pizza, which also happens to be gluten free because it's made with a cauliflower pizza crust!

Photography Credit: Jessica Gavin

It may seem odd to add fruit to a pizza, but ham and pineapple is an exception to the rule. Savory slices of cured Canadian bacon pair nicely with sweet and tart diced pineapple, all held together with melty mozzarella cheese.

This version of Hawaiian pizza takes on an unconventional twist. It’s made with a cauliflower pizza crust instead of the traditional wheat-based dough!

You’ll be delightfully surprised by the tender, chewy texture, similar to a thin flatbread. The crust is easy and fun to make, giving you a nutritious and lightened up pizza option.

Pizza Crust with Cauliflower Recipe turn it into fine crumbs Gluten-Free Pizza Crust par bake the crust

HOW TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST

Cauliflower has become a common cruciferous vegetable added into recipes and, if you haven’t noticed, it’s made its way into pizza. Are you ready?

This cauliflower pizza crust recipe is simple to prepare. Florets are processed with corn flour, eggs, olive oil, salt, cornstarch, and parmesan cheese. The eggs and cheese help to bind the pizza dough together for a flexible slice that’s easy to pick up.

The finely ground corn dominates the taste, providing earthy notes. It also gives the crust that irresistible chew, similar to wheat flour, but without the gluten.

Check out the step-by-step recipe: How to Make Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The neutral taste of cauliflower infuses its veggie superpowers without any undesirable flavors. Each serving has extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals that you wouldn’t get in traditional pizza recipes. It’s a versatile crust that you can expand to add any topping you’re itching for. Yes, you can have your pizza and eat it too!

Don’t feel like cauliflower crust? Swap in one of these recipes instead!

Hawaiian Pizza Recipe add the ham and pineapple

THE TOPPINGS FOR HAWAIIAN PIZZA

This is a “red sauce pie,” so use pizza sauce or fresh tomato sauce to build the base. Whatever is most convenient for you!

Look for whole balls of part-skim or whole milk mozzarella instead of the pre-grated cheese. These have the best the best melting properties.

What about the ham? I’m a big fan of Canadian bacon. Also known as back bacon or peameal bacon, it’s a leaner, cured, and fully-cooked pork ingredient compared to the American belly cut counterparts that need additional cooking.

Take your pizza to the next level by adding both Canadian bacon and smoked American bacon on top! That way you’ve got your savory and smoky bases covered. If you’ve got leftover ham from the holidays, ham steaks, or deli slices of ham that needs to be used up, they’ll work, too.

If you’ve got a fresh ripe pineapple begging to be cut up, I would recommend using that first. However, I don’t recall often being served up anything but the canned diced pieces from pizza parlors, so don’t be shy to use what’s more convenient.

I like canned products because the fruit is picked and harvested at its peak, so the taste should be consistent and balanced.

How to Make Hawaiian Pizza

HOW TO BAKE THE PIZZA

First, par-bake the cauliflower crust without toppings for 10 minutes before adding the toppings. This ensures that the excess moisture from the cauliflower and other ingredients evaporates, and the crust sets on the bottom and edges. The worst thing is a soggy crust, and the pre-cooking stage at high oven temperatures of 475ºF will take care of that.

The crust is flexible and holds together well, but it is relatively thin and doesn’t have that extra gluten-bonding action of a regular wheat crust.

Don’t overload the ingredients on top or it can be a little tricky to hold a fully loaded slice in your hand. I’ve found that about a 1/2 cup of pizza sauce, 4 ounces of cheese, 4 to 5 slices of chopped ham, and 1/2 cup of diced pineapple gives just the right balance on an 11-inch pizza crust.

Finish off baking the pie in a blazing hot oven until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the other toppings are warmed through. Be careful to watch that the edges of the crust stay crispy but not burnt. It’s a 5-minute countdown from this point until you can devour a slice!

Cauliflower Pizza Recipe

WHAT TO SERVE WITH YOUR PIZZA

This Hawaiian pizza recipe serves up about 8 slices, just enough for a family of four or a hungry pair. I like to have some additional sides to make it a complete meal such as a Caesar salad, wedge salad, broccoli slaw, or zucchini sticks.

If you’re feeling fancy, roasted brussels sprouts, parmesan broccoli, or an Italian antipasto salad are great choices, too.

TRY THESE OTHER GREAT PIZZAS!

Hawaiian Pizza with Cauliflower Crust Recipe

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  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 11-inch pizza (8 slices)

For full step-by-step instructions on making the cauliflower crust, see our post here.

Ingredients

For the cauliflower crust

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (7 ounces), 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn flour (2 1/4 ounces 57 g) or masa harina
  • 1 large egg
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups grated)

For the toppings:

  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 5 slices Canadian bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapples, fresh or canned
  • Black pepper, for garnish
  • Oregano, fresh or dried, for garnish

Method

1 Preheat oven: Place the oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 475ºF.

2 Process the dough: Add cauliflower florets, corn flour, egg, olive oil, and salt to a food processor. Process on high speed, scraping down the bowl every 30 seconds, until a smooth and sticky puree is formed—about 3 minutes total.

Add the cornstarch and process on high speed for 30 seconds. Add Parmesan cheese and pulse until just combined, 5 to 6 pulses.

How to Make a Gluten-Free Pizza Crust with Cauliflower process the dough Pizza Crust with Cauliflower Recipe turn it into fine crumbs

3 Shape the crust: Lightly grease a piece of parchment paper with olive oil. Transfer pizza dough to the paper. Lightly sprinkle corn flour on top.

Use your hands to press and shape the dough into a 10-inch circle, then use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough to about 11-inch circle. Dust the dough with more corn flour as needed to prevent sticking while shaping and rolling.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe shape the crust Gluten-Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust roll out the crust

4 Par-bake the crust: Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Allow crust to cool for 3 minutes, and then run a spatula underneath the crust to carefully remove and then transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Discard the parchment.

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust par bake the crust

5 Add toppings: Spread the pizza sauce over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Add the slices of ham, followed by the pineapple.

Gluten-free Hawaiian Pizza add the sauce Cauliflower Pizza Recipe add the cheese Hawaiian Pizza Recipe add the ham and pineapple

6 Bake the pizza: Bake until the cheese is melted and pizza edges are golden browned and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes.

7 Serve: Garnish pizza with black pepper and oregano, and slice and serve immediately while hot.

Leftovers will keep for about a week. To reheat, place on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook at 375ºF until the cheese is melted and the crust is warm and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

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Jessica Gavin

Jessica Gavin is both a Certified Culinary Scientist and Certified Food Scientist. Her first cookbook is Easy Culinary Science for Better Cooking.

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3 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. MKJ

    Hi Jessica,
    Can corn meal be either converted into (grinding?) or substituted for the corn flour?
    I’m trying to save myself a trip to the market!

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Cauliflower Pizza RecipeHawaiian Pizza with Cauliflower Crust