Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza. Homemade pizza dough topped with sauce, cheese, and crispy homemade vegetarian cauliflower “pepperoni”. If you love a cheesy pepperoni pizza, this is a considerably healthier, yet still a super yummy, option. And in my book, the cauliflower “pepperoni” is even better than the original. Serve this cheesy pizza warm for a truly simple dinner that everyone will love. There never seem to be enough slices to go around!
Hands down, this has to be one of my favorite pizzas to date. Just like most of us out there, I LOVE a pepperoni cheese pizza. Probably more than a fancy pizza with fun toppings. It’s just hard to beat a pep pizza!
As a kid, we’d rarely order pizza out or go even out for pizza. So when we did it was such a treat. We had three types of pizzas we’d order. Classic cheese with pepperoncini (we’d always get extra pepperoncini on the side, so delicious), pepperoni, and then another favorite was buffalo chicken. Nothing fancy at all – but pizza really shouldn’t be!
While I love pepperoni and dishes with pepperoni, it’s one of the most processed meats you can enjoy. So it’s obviously not the best for us. But of course, we all still love it!
So I started to think about how I could recreate pepperoni in a healthier way. And then it occurred to me that I could just create my own mix of the spices used to make pepperoni…but toss them together with cauliflower.
I knew it wouldn’t be exactly the same, but I knew it would be good!
Here are the details
You want to begin with the cauliflower. You’ll need to pre-roast it since it needs a little time to cook before adding it to our pizza.
The spices are essential here as they are what’s adding our “pepperoni” flavor! Smoked paprika, chili flakes, fennel, mustard seed, garlic, and onion. Toss this mix with the cauliflower, plus I like to add a couple of shallots. Roast everything up until the cauliflower is just beginning to get crisp, but not actually crispy.
The cauliflower can finish cooking atop the pizza.
While the cauliflower roasts, I like to push out my dough. I used the pizza dough recipe that I have in the HBH Every Day cookbook. But of course, you can also use store-bought! Just make sure your dough is at room temperature. This will make shaping your pizzas much easier.
Push the dough out, then spread on your favorite pizza sauce. I love to use Rao’s calabrian chili marinara. Then, add lots of cheese…a mix of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan is our favorite mix.
Grab the cauliflower from the oven, then top your pizza with your “pepperoni”! Throw the pizza back in the oven and cook until the cheese is bubbling up and those “pepperoni” are crisp on the edges.
And that’s it. Top with lots of fresh basil, extra parmesan, slice, eat, and enjoy!! Pepperoncini on top are a great addition too!
One of our very favorite pizzas! Even my brothers, who LOVE real pepperoni, enjoyed this pizza. I’ve made it a few times recently and it’s always a hit!
Looking for other pizza recipes? Here are some favorites:
Lastly, if you make this Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza
Calories Per Serving: 316 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1-2 teaspoons chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- kosher salt
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1/2 pound pizza dough, at room temperature
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded provolone cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. On a baking sheet, toss together the olive oil, cauliflower, paprika, chili flakes, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Add the shallots. Toss well to evenly coat. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.2. Rub a large baking sheet with olive oil. Increase the oven temp to 450° F.3. On a lightly floured surface, push the dough out until it's pretty thin (about a 10-12 inch circle). Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Spread on the marinara sauce, add the cheeses, then arrange the shallots and cauliflower "pepperoni" over the cheese.4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cauliflower is crisp. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil. Slice and enjoy!