Paleo Pizza Night with Pesto Pizza Recipe

Nutrition-3If you’re anything like me, the one food you miss the most after beginning a paleo lifestyle is pizza. There’s just no way around it, pizza is the food of the gods. I truly believe this. And I have been known to occasionally (about once every couple months) indulge in a real, white flour-crusted, greasy food-topped slice of pizza (Ok, three slices).

Still, these indulgences often make me feel guilty, not to mention bloated and disgusting! I’ve been meaning for awhile now to try my hand at a paleo pizza, and by god, I’m glad I finally did it this weekend. There is cheese on this pizza (fresh, part-skim mozzarella), but it would be just as delicious without.

I used a crust recipe from Mediterranean Paleo. They’ve got a few different recipes for pizza crust, and I am definitely interested in trying the others. This one was good, but definitely nothing like a traditional pizza crust. It came out a bit more like a savory shortbread cookie, at least in terms of the texture. However, it was really nice and crispy and tasted great, and it truly did satisfy my craving for cheesy, crusty deliciousness.

I topped my pizza with homemade pesto (dairy-free), fresh mozzarella, diced tomatoes and chopped chicken. I sprinkled on some red pepper flakes after baking to add a bit of spice. It was amazing!

Here’s how you can have your own paleo pizza party!

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

(recipe from Mediterranean Paleo author Caitlin Weeks)

To make the crust, beat together the egg and olive oil in a small bowl until well combined.

In another bowl, mix together the almond meal, tapioca flour and salt. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined, forming a dough. (You may need to use your hands to get the dough together.)

Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper on a kitchen counter or similar surface. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4 inch in diameter. (If the dough sticks, place another piece of parchment paper on top of it while you are rolling.) Before adding sauce and toppings, use your fingers to form a thicker edge around the outside of the pizza.

I found it a bit challenging to roll out the crust in a proper circle, so please forgive my blob of a pizza! It definitely did not affect the taste!

Crust Before

For the pesto sauce:

  • 3 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pinenuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup olive oil

While traditional pesto sauce recipes suggest that the olive oil should be poured slowly into the food processor or blender used to combine the other ingredients, I say you should just dump it all in together. That’s what I do, and it comes out the exact same way. So save yourself 2 minutes (it’s a busy world, after all!) and just dump all of the ingredients above into a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth. DONE! It’s it beautiful?!

Pesto BeforePesto After

Once the crust and the sauce are made, it’s time to construct your pizza!

With your prepared crust still lying on top of the parchment paper, pread the pesto sauce evenly on top of the crust (I had a lot of sauce leftover and have been finding fun things to do with it all week!). Then add whatever toppings you like! I used chopped chicken, diced fresh tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella.

Crust After

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place a pizza stone (really required for this recipe- The Pampered Chef makes a great one) in the oven to heat up while the oven is pre-heating. Once the oven is ready, place your pizza on the pre-heated stone, keeping the parchment paper underneath it. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

Take the pizza out of the oven and carefully remove the parchment paper from underneath the crust. Turn on your broiler and place the pizza back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. This helps the crust get extra crispy and adds a nice golden brown color to the cheese.

Finally, take out your pizza, slice and enjoy! We served this pie alongside some salad topped with a variety of veggies and olives. It was the perfect meal, especially served with some delicious red wine 🙂

Pizza and Salad Pizza

Let me know what you think of the crust! Do you have your own favorite crust recipe? I’d love to try some others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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