How To Make Crustless Pizza

110629-190511_Lg

Okay, listen up:

THIS. IS. AMAZING.

I’m not kidding. I came up with the recipe because I’m eating low carb during the week now, but this is so good I have to try hard to not eat it on the weekend.

Good wood-oven pizza gets a lot of flavor from the slightly toasted cheese. This recipe is almost nothing but toasted cheese. It is seriously, amazingly good.

Ingredients

110629-185519_Lg1 cup fresh shredded parmigiano cheese
3 slices provolone cheese
½ cup peperoni, diced
3-4 tablespoons pizza sauce
— optional —
your favorite pizza toppings, diced
[NOTE: See this link for the difference between “parmesan” and “parmigiano” aka “parmigiano-reggiano”.]

Directions

You might remember the fried parmigiano salad bowls I did a while back. Tons of flavor, a bit of structure, but a little fragile. Then there were the Asiago cheese crisps. More flavor than plane Asiago, holds together well, but not much structure.

Hey, I know … how about I do a hard cheese base with soft cheese on top? And that’s what I did.

Warm up a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat. Dump in the parmigiano and make sure it covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Add the provolone on top.

110629-185645_Lg 110629-185710_Lg

Spread out the pepperoni or other toppings.

110629-185832_Lg

Don’t use big slices, dice everything nice and small. The pieces you cut this into will be much smaller than regular pizza, and you’ll want to have a good distribution of toppings.

When the cheese is bubbling and starting to turn brown on the edges, slip a spatula under and make sure it isn’t sticking. You’ll want to check out the video over on my other site to see how.

Once you’re sure it’s not sticking — you should be able to shake the pan and the cheese will slide around — add just enough sauce to cover almost up to the edge.

110629-190058_Lg

Slide the pizza out onto a cutting board and let it rest for a minute or two.

110629-190236_Lg

This gives the cheese time to set up a little bit, and the sauce time to warm up. (Starting with room-temperature sauce instead of refrigerated is a good idea.)

Slice the pizza before transferring to a plate to serve.

110629-190422_Lg 110629-190711_Lg

Hey, there’s a piece missing. Yeah … it never made it onto the plate.

110629-190511_Lg

This is one crust that nobody is going to feed to the dog after eating “the good part”.

110629-190802_Lg

And that’s it.

Like I mentioned up above, I’ve got the whole video of how to make crustless pizza over on the other site.

Crustless Pizza

Crustless Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh shredded parmigiano cheese
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • ½ cup peperoni, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • -- optional --
  • your favorite pizza toppings, diced

Instructions

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the parmigiano cheese and make sure it covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Top with the provolone, and the pepperoni and whatever toppings you like.

When the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown on the edges, slip a spatula under to make sure it's not sticking. When the cheese slides around easily without any sticking, top with sauce almost to the edge.

Slide out onto a cutting board and let it rest a minute or two. Cut into six or eight pieces and enjoy.

Comments

  1. This looks quite good in a heart-stopping sort of way. :)

    • Actually, this counts as “healthy food” to my way of thinking. That’s what the other blog is all about, how it’s not the pepperoni and cheese that’s bad for you, it’s the bread underneath.

      • I’m sorry, in general cheese is never going to be as healthy as some good whole grains. People also lose weight when they cut back to a reasonable protein intake and cut the crap carbs.

      • There are no “good whole grains”.

      • Have you read “Nourishing Traditions?” There are good whole grains if you know what to do with them.

      • It could be argued that pasterized dairy, devoid of its natural enzymes and chock full of second-hand growth hormones and antibiotcs, isn’t good for a body either. I really want to like your blog, but you seriously need to take a proper nutrition class!

      • Would that be a proper nutrition class where they teach that diabetics should get more than 50% of calories from carbohydrates? Where they lump saturated animal fats with industrial hydrogenated vegetable oils and tell you to avoid them?

        No thanks, I don’t need any of those classes.

      • Um, no. I mean a proper holistic nutrition class would be in order. Grains are not evil, even though they may not work for you. Better yet, just make your recipes, and people can decide whether or not they are acceptable, but keep your inaccurate nutrition advice out of it. Too many people give wrong advice and we wonder why no one can understand basic, sound nutritional concepts.

        Holli, MNT, candidate (that’s an holistic nutrtionist, btw)

      • Holli, I’ve probably spent more time studying nutrition than a lot of people with initials after their names. And because I’m not worried about losing an accreditation, I’m not stuck advocating the broken nutritional advice put out by the USDA, the ADA (now the AND), or the other ADA.

        The advice I give is simple, it’s scientifically based, it’s the way people ate for thousands of years, and it consistently produces good results for people who have tried every other diet under the sun.

        As for the two points you raised that weren’t simply appeals to authority:

        1. I agree that raw milk from cows raised without antibiotics is preferable. I’ve said so several times. But given the choice between store-bought milk and something made with wheat flour, I’ll take the milk.

        2. I didn’t say grains are evil. What I have said is that grains are completely unnecessary, and for many (if not most) people they are actively harmful.

        If you disagree with either of those points, I’d be happy to post an article you write explaining your position.

      • Neat! Glad to hear about your other site. By the way, I used this pizza base as the foundation for Tostadas the other day & it was fantastic! Thanks for the brilliant idea.

      • Claire Bargo says:

        Alright so there seems to be some serious confusion about what is and Is not healthy, In the United States and many other countries who have followed our poor lead. We were lead to believe in the Mcgovern Reports flawed logic and reasoning.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5HqhzsG5N4

        As said in the video and backed by many real scientists, The nature of the claims made during the McGovern report were wildly inaccurate.

        For those who have taken traditional false american nutrition classes sattled with the duty of adhering to the McGovern report would do well to read this

        http://www.amazon.com/dp/1430309334/?tag=opeminreq-20

        The real reason the McGovern commity was drafted to establish an FDA law is because at the time in the 1940’s people were eating a lot more meat and eggs and a lot less sugar and bread, As such certain companies wanting to sell more and more crops needing to expand their profits as far as possible wanted to convince people that grains were much more healthy then meats.

        In actuality this is false. The human body reacts to saturated fats in a very curious way, when you eat a steak or a handful of peanuts, you feel very full for a great amount of time. this is because your body recognizes it’s full on a cellular level.

        on the other hand, grains convert directly to sugar in your system (2 slices of wheat bread is the same as a can of mountain dew.) What this means is, your body produces insulin to regulate the large amount of sugar, prolonged a diet of such will result in excess insulin in the system and diabetes.
        Furthermore, when sugar is being processed it can only use the amount of sugar necessary at the time. this results in your body needing more energy but as the sugar is still in the blood system your body moves it to fat cells to make way for more food.
        This is why after eating a small bowl of rice, you get hungry in an hour or so.

        As for the argument of “Meat and cheese is bad for your heart” The reason heart diseases happens is because carbohydrates impact the cell wall, and saturated fats remove the infectious build up of carbohydrates before the damage is down. however if your diet is 11 servings of grains with a tiny bit of fatless meat sodium will build up and there will e no saturated fat to remove it.

        Again, read the book. think for yourself. with companies like Monsantos having such political pull in U.S it does Americans well to think for themselves and look outside their country at other countries nutrition habits. and scientific deductions.

  2. Isn’t it ridiculously good?! I like my cheese really browned…. gahh….I’m salivating….

  3. Tiffany McCullough says:

    Nice to have you back! Thought you’d gone on a waaay long vacation, but no, guess you were on a low carb diet. My husband recently did the Dr Eades Protein Power and Low Carb diet and lost 30 lbs quickly plus lost his taste for sugar. Love the pizza recipe and am definitely going to try it since we try to avoid bread (not me so much as my husband…seems even a slice causes him to gain weight). Love the “no bread” part. Always did like all your recipes. My favorite recipe of yours is: Brownies. Haven’t made it in a while since we’re “off” sugar. Take care and keep cooking and cooking up recipes.

    • I still eat brownies on the weekend. First of all, it’s just too hard to tell myself that I’ll never eat sugar, pasta or bread ever again. But even better, there’s some support for the idea that “carbing up” one day a week actually helps keep ketosis going in high gear the rest of the week.

  4. I’m a HUGE fan of carbs, but that looks seriously yummy. :)

  5. Oh my. I’m going to have to try this. Like now. Okay, so maybe tomorrow since it’s after midnight right now, but soon regardless.

    And thanks for the link on Parmesan. I had no idea what the difference was until now.

  6. Cheeky!

  7. Thank you for posting this!
    I have missed pizza since going Gluten Free 3 or 4 yrs. ago (Not by choice lol!) missed it a Lot! Now pizza for me :) TY!

  8. Hope you like it. Tell all your friends! :-)

  9. Would it matter if I used Parmesan cheese and omitted the pepperoni?

  10. Try to get a block of Parmesan and grate it yourself. If you get the kind that comes pre-shredded in the green can, it includes anti-caking agents, like cellulose powder. It won’t melt as well.

    And sure, omit the pepperoni. Use whatever toppings you would normally get on your pizza. Just dice it up smaller than you normally would.

  11. This actually looks amazing! I’m NOT kidding! 😉 I’m always hate those badly made crust and it looks like it’s much better without them. Much easier to make too, right?

    And oh Drew, before I forgot, we will having The Best Food Blogger Contest on FriendsEAT soon so be sure to drop by, vote for your favorite food blog and yes, you may nominate yourself 😉

  12. Yikes, I just realized you said you don’t participate in Blog Awards, but I promise – it’s a crustless one 😉

    • Hah! No worries, it’s the ones that are just glorified chain letters that I don’t do. But I’ll take a look at yours.

  13. i like to cook this

  14. :) :) :) :)

  15. This looks delicious! I’m going to try it, but we’re on a budget….do you think it would work with other cheaper cheeses such as cheddar and mozza?
    I could just try it out anyways. At the very worst, I’d just end up with a mass of cheese and pizza toppings anyways, which can’t possibly be a bad thing, just harder to eat.

    • Allison, go with a hard, dry cheese for the first one in the pan. That’s what sets up into a manageable crust. Use soft, high-moisture cheese and it won’t hold its shape.

      • Just tried it this evening. So delicious!! It took care of my week long pizza craving. Even my 5yr old who won’t eat anything that’s been browned was fooled and ate 7 or 8 peices (we made 5 – 5″ pizzas cut into quarters). I think it’s even better than normal thin crust.
        So, FYI, we ran out of real parmesan and my son was begging for more and we tried it with powdered parmesan even though you said it might not work. First try was a disaster and it just browned and stayed as powder, but I added a bit of water and it turned kind of doughy, and then continued browning ok.
        Next time I added water first mixed it up into a paste over low heat, spread it out and cooked it up until crispy and then added toppings. It worked out ok, but certainly the flavor was lacking and had a slightly chalky texture and my son actually ate and enjoyed it(that’s the real test). Sure doesn’t match the real parmesan crispiness and flavor, but if you’re desperate for a quick pizza fix it would do the trick.
        It was super quick and super tasty to make. Real parmesan is going to become a staple grocery item in our household now. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

      • So glad you all liked it! The powdered parmesan doesn’t work as well because they include either cornstarch or powdered cellulose to prevent caking.

      • Still having pizza every day! LOL, my son loves it so much. (and so do I).
        I thought I’d let you know that we did get it to work with cheddar because we ran out of parmesan, but had to brown the heck out of it for a long time to get the moisture out. Then it had a crust that held it’s shape. However, after frying it that long there was so much grease rendered out of the cheese that it made for quite messy(yet very tasty) eating because of dripping grease. My vote still goes to the parmesan crust for texture and flavor. Just letting you and your readers know that there are other options for budget restraints or if you’re out of parmesan etc.

  16. Wow, this looks delicious. Needs a bit more meat for my taste, but fried cheese was one of my favorite snacks as a kid so I’m sure I’ll love this.

    Also gotta love the “saturated fat is teh bad” and “whole grains are healthy” comments. They’re funny in a sad kind of way. Government brainwashing is so hard to undo. People need to watch Fat Head, read Wheat Belly, and learn the truth about how the government has turned us into a nation of obese diabetics.

    • couldn’t agree more. it should be a requirement in schools these days, but then i guess the government wouldn’t get as much money… so it won’t happen. very sad… i guess all we can do is try to get people to see the light!

  17. hey drew , your website is great but you should have a search engine. it makes it easier for us to look for what we want.

  18. This is a great recipe, thank you! But just as you care about your tastebuds and what you eat, make sure you care about you or your loved one! It’s breast cancer awareness month! Stopping by with a reminder to do your self breast exam.
    Here’s a fun place to start! Everybody loves boob lube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p8pIHy2GRI

  19. You are a genious Drew! :-)

  20. Barb Stephens says:

    Thanks for this recipe. My husband went low carb after reading “Why we are fat and what we can do about it” by Gary Taube (not sure of exact title or author, but very close!) AND, I’d already had to go off wheat, barley, rye and most oats due to a celiac diagnosis this spring….this looks like it’ll fit perfectly into both our diets!

  21. Betsy Murphy says:

    Thanks, Drew. I made this today for lunch and it was great. I used homemade Mario Batali’s marinara. Such a nice change for my low carb eating plan.

  22. I just found your site (looking up how to make cultured butter), anyway, LOVE the site. This looks SOOOO yummy I have to make it —hmm, maybe lunch tomorrow! I am just wondering though, it seems that the sauce would really affect the flavor of the finished product…maybe even more so than on traditional pizza. Do you know of a good pizza sauce recipe or good national brand? I have tried different sauces in the past but most of them are nothing great.

    • Stephanie, I like to make my own pizza sauce. But if I don’t have time, I like the local brand I can find at Alesci’s Italian Market. I can pronounce all the ingredients, and they’re mostly the same ones I’d use. (Although I’m really liking extra oregano lately. I think it’s a nostalgia thing.)

  23. Love the pizza!
    I’ve seen it suggested that taco shells can be made from colby jack or cheddar by cooking them the same way. When I use just regular grocery store pre-shredded cheese, it ends up really greasy. I’d really love to find an alternative because as much as I love my LC taco salads, sometimes I just want a taco, or a small ‘wrapped’ sandwich. (I would die for fresh, salted campari tomatoes and almond slivers wrapped in a cheddar shell!) Have you experimented with any other kinds of cheeses?

    • It’s always good to have at least a thin layer of a really dry, hard cheese first to give it some structure. I like parmigiano reggiano for this.

      One of the problems with store pre-shredded cheese is that they dust it in cellulose powder — basically really finely ground sawdust — to keep it from sticking together. By the time you overcome the cellulose, the cheese is starting to separate. That’s why I always shred my own cheese when I’m doing this.

      Lower moisture cheese will provide more structure, high moisture provides flexibility. It’s a bit of a balancing act to get it exactly right.

      • Thanks! I’ll be on the lookout for parmigiano reggiano, and try it again with freshly-grated cheese.

  24. Erin Cooper says:

    New here,intresting site.Decided to make pizza, went to buy cheese and found parmigiano reggiano, it was $22 a lb. didn’t get it, got good parmasan instead.Guess I didn’t cook it long enough,kind for fell apart,taste good tho, used slightly sauted onions and mushrooms. i’ll try it again

    • Yeah, the good stuff can be pretty pricey. I use a good parmesan myself. Getting the texture just right takes some practice. I’ll admit, sometimes I still mess one up. But like you said, still tastes good.

  25. Todd McDaniel says:

    Wow, this is is the first time I heard of anything like this. Looks great and perfect for when I need to meet my carb goal for the day.

    But, I just can’t hold my tongue after reading some comments here. Nobody here is saying grains are evil, right? That’s about as over-dramatic as saying fat is evil. Moderation is key, no matter what b.s. the FDA is currently saying. If all one did was eat this pizza all day everyday, they would be about as bad off as if they ate bread all day (not really, but close). Calories, Carbs, Protein, Fat… It’s a balancing act.

    • For grains to be “evil” they’d have to have intent to do harm. Grains don’t care. But if they did have intent, they couldn’t be much worse for us than they are.

      • Todd McDaniel says:

        Hm, I see. So, if I were to grab a handful of wild rice out of a field… boil it and eat it… I’m doing myself bodily harm? I see, I see. Hmm.

        Well! Anyhow, great blog recipe-wise. I actually made this pizza and it was great. The crust reminds me of when the cheese oozes out of cheese sticks and hardens on the pan. I used to purposefully leave them in too long, because it was my favorite part to chew on.

      • The phytic acid in grains binds to several nutrients, including phosphorus, magnesium and iron. This makes grains “anti-nutrients”. Removing grains from your diet can increase iron absorption 1160%.

  26. Todd McDaniel says:

    “It may actually be a good thing that phytic acid inhibits the absorption of minerals in your high-phytate food. People with high levels of iron, for instance, can eat a vegetarian diet without using these techniques and feel fairly secure that their diet is not causing iron overload. (Blood testing is the best way to monitoring iron status.)

    Whether you should be concerned about phytic acid in your food or whether you should embrace it really does depend on your own nutritional status.”

    • Let’s see, iron overload. Let’s see what the internets has to say. From the University of Maryland Medical Center:

      Iron overload disease is usually due to an inherited condition called hemochromatosis. But it may occur in people who take large amounts of iron over a long period of time.

      So it’s usually due to an inherited condition. And how prevalent is that condition? According to Wikipedia:

      Hereditary haemochromatosis is an autosomal recessive disease with estimated prevalence in the population of 2 in 1,000 among patients with European ancestry, with lower incidence in other ethnic groups.

      That’s 0.2% of one ethnic group — lower in others — have the hereditary condition, which is still the “usual” cause of the disorder.

      What are the unusual ways to get it? Back to Wikipedia:

      The most important causes are hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC), a genetic disease, and transfusional iron overload, which can result from repeated blood transfusion.

      So that’s the causes and prevalence of iron overload. What about iron deficiency? Back to U of M again:

      According to the World Health Organization (WHO), iron deficiency is the number one nutritional disorder in the world. Up to 80% of the world’s population may be iron deficient, and 30% may have iron deficiency anemia.

      Okay, let me get this straight. Up to 80% of the world’s population is iron deficient, 30% with anemia. Compared to 0.2% of one ethnic group that has a genetic predisposition to overload, and (much less likely) the risk of overload due to repeated transfusions.

      And against those odds, you’re really suggesting we should eat more rice to guard against the possibility of getting too much iron?

      • Todd McDaniel says:

        I thought what I quoted was from the same link you posted? No? My mistake, wrong random google result then.

        Hm, well 80% of the world’s population is iron deficient. Interesting fact that has nothing to do with me. Well, maybe it does! When I get my bloodwork done I’ll ask them if I have an iron deficiency. I’ll check the internets to make sure he is right. I’ll assume the moderate amount high-phytate food is the cause.

        I’ll take it one step further … I’m headed to UofM Medical Center to ask whoever wrote that if I should be concerned about the bodily harm that the amount of phytic acid I consume from nuts, beans, spinach, grain causes. If I learn that I should, I’ll lower it accordingly. I’ll fit in more iron and less high-phytate food or both into my macros. Balance. If I’m told to remove it completely as if phytic acid is cyanide and only the gov says otherwise, I’ll consider him as kooky as the 100% anti-saturated fat people of the 80s no matter how many people lost weight and got healthier by eliminating all meat products.

        But, regardless, next time I crust something in nuts, I’ll pop a multivitamin pack in your honor.

        Cheers,
        Todd McDaniel

  27. This looks like an improved version, with better cheese, of something I’ve made, which was in turn inspired by a dish with the mock Spanish name “chupaqueso”: shredded cheddar fried in its own fat to make a sort of toasted cheese tortilla, flipped to crisp the other side, and folded over a filling, usually more cheese. Howard Tayler, who draws the web comic Schlock Mercenary, came up with the name and seems to have invented or reinvented it on his own.

    • Seriously!? I’ve read Schlock from the beginning but I never bothered to look up what a chupaqueso actually was. If this is close to it, then I’m even more impressed with myself.

  28. Yep, crustless pizza, just like Gramma used to make! 😉

    Anyhoo, cool idea. I’m gonna try it, if I can get it past my cheese-hating wife.

  29. sadly, your pop up window blocks 1/2 my screen and as there’s no option to close the window, I won’t be returning to your site.

  30. Hello Drew,

    For over a year and half I am post op gastric bypass and although I am not restricted from eating grains, pasta,rice or bread I have said no to them completely… from 300lb I have maintained a good steady weight of 145lb, but if there is something that I do miss eating is pizza, I have found your recipe due to a pizza party here in the office, I took two slices and scrape of the cheese and sauce, still looking for the crust effect :/ so I Google crestless pizza and you came up, I can not wait to make this :0)

    Also about the whole grain thing, I also agree that although not all grains are bad, but even the good ones can be so addicted that will leave you gaining the lbs, at least that is what is seen and any one that has lost the weight but regained no matter the wls plan they chosen!

    Again can’t wait to try this…

  31. I’m SO glad someone simplified making gluten free “pizza” for me!!! All these crusts are expensive and horrible for me!!! I’m sorry there are so many haters on the comments section. This is delicious! If anyone thinks that taking the crust off of a pizza is going to allow you to eat it every day without health consequences, they should take a reality check! MODERATION, people!!!!

  32. Shelley Surgeson says:

    Thank you from a newly gluten free family. I miss pizza and have been trying gluten free crusts. They are not the same and we have since developed an aversion to big chunks of bread such as sandwiches and buns etc. So tonight after one more attempt we scraped everything pizza off the bread and enjoyed. Hubby said lets find a crustless pizza. Thank you this looks goooood!! to me no grains are good

  33. This receipe sounds great to me! I love pizza, but quite frankly can do without the bread. I hate when these “holistic nutritionist nazis” come on someone else’s board to publish their negative opinions. To the holistic nazi, if you disagree so much with the information posted on here, then why are you reading this blog? Go start your own blog, and stop trying to push your foolish knowledge on other people.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Cook Like Your Grandmother – Haven’t tried these yet, but they sound pretty great. I’ll definitely be making some of these recipes, especially this one: No Crust Pizza […]

Tip Jar

Like what you see? Buy me a drink.