A creative and healthy gluten-free recipe for Southwestern Cauliflower Crust Pizza.
Asheley and I get on these binges where we will watch like
3 4 5 an all-day marathon a few episodes of Chopped. For those of you not familiar with the show, four contestants are presented with a basket of 4 ridiculously random ingredients and have a short window of time to come up with and execute a creative dish. Three judges then critique the dishes and send someone home after each round, until one victor remains with a $10K check.
Now, unfortunately there is no $10K check being awarded today, but YOU get to be the judge. That’s right, YOU get to be Alex Guarnaschelli. Chris Santos. Aaron Sanchez. Scott Conant. or Geoffrey Zakarian. Actually sorry, Asheley just said she calls dibs on Geoffrey Zakarian. She has a pretty gigantic crush on the silver fox. Can’t say that I blame her either.
Welcome to the Chopped Cooking Challenge: Food Blog Edition 🙂
So, let me present to you the contestants….
For the inaugural Chopped Cooking Challenge: Food Blog Edition, I wanted to invite my good buddies from the dude blogosphere. Welcome Mike, David, and Sean.
All 3 of these guys have amazing blogs and if you don’t already follow them, you need to. A brief intro about them…
Mike from The Iron You lives in NYC. He’s into all that triathlon, exercising, paleo-esque living sorta crap. You know, he’s that healthy friend that gives you the judgemental look as your scarfing down a hot dog with a side of ice cream. But really, he has some super unique and healthy recipes on his blog that I’m always crazy impressed with.
David from Spiced Blog is our brotha from New York-tucky (i.e. upstate). The dude comes up with some pretty creative recipes, and is a wizard at grilling and homemade ice cream making. I keep asking him to ship me some ice cream, but he never does. Jerk.
Sean from Snack Fixation also lives in NYC and is your go-to guy for all things snacks. The dude reviews all sorts of delicious snacky-deliciousness and also posts some of his own recipes here and there. You need to check out his instagram to keep up with all the amazing stuff the man eats around the city.
Okay, so today’s basket….
Avocado. Sriracha. Mortadella. Cauliflower.
Yea, I know. Not a basket of ingredients you typically see together. But we dudes each came up with a recipe for you utilizing these 4 ingredients.
You obviously know mine. It’s this Southwestern Cauliflower Crust Pizza.
Mike @ The Iron You made… Cauliflower Crust Mortadella and Cheese Panini
David @ Spiced Blog made… Fried Cauliflower with Spicy Avocado Cream
Sean @ Snack Fixation made… Spicy Mortadella Pasta Salad
So now it’s time for you to decide. Who’s the victor?
And just a note for my recipe here…
I used mortadella because, well, I had to. It was a basket ingredient. Feel free to substitue grilled chicken/steak, cooked ground beef, or just leave the meat out and make it vegetarian 🙂Print
Southwestern Cauliflower Crust Pizza (Chopped Cooking Challenge)
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 1 Pizza (probably 2 people for dinner) 1x
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust (recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1/4 cup frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed
- 1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 thick slice mortadella, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
for the Cauliflower Crust
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Heat the olive oil a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add red bell pepper and red onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
- Top cooked cauliflower crust with sauteed peppers and onions, corn, edamame, black bleans, and mortadella. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Cook in 450°F oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
- While pizza is cooking, combine mayonnaise with 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of sriracha (depending upon how spicy you want it).
- Remove pizza from oven, top with avocado, queso fresco/cotija cheese, sriracha mayo, and a squeeze of lime. Serve immediately.
for the Cauliflower Crust
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper lightly grease with olive oil.
- In a food processor, process the cauliflower florets until it resembles rice (evenly chopped but not totally pulverized). Transfer cauliflower rice to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes, or until cooked.
- Let cauliflower cool for a bit, then place in a clean kitchen towel. Twist and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Don’t skip this step, as the cauliflower needs to be dry in order to set properly as a “pizza crust”.
- Pour the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, cheddar cheese, and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix to combine.
- Using your hands, press the mixture onto the baking sheet into a thin, even-layered disk.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool slightly, then carefully flip and cook for 5-7 more minutes.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
I’ve been wanting to try a cauliflower pizza crust recipe for ages now! It looks absolutely amazing and I really like all the Southern-style toppings! Definitely a recipe to try out!
Thanks so much Jess 🙂
Chris – this is such a brilliant challenge idea! I love Chopped!!!
Your toppings are fantastic and your cauliflower crust looks exceptional!
So, if I was going for originality – I would have to vote for David’s battered and fried cauliflower, but Mike’s cauli bread and your cauli crust would win in the “healthy foods I would adapt in my kitchen” department. I haven’t seen Sean’s yet…so far it’s a tie – but I -and all your readers-can be bribed with food …just saying… 😉
Hmmmm, a cauliflower pizza is in the mail to you! How’s that for a bribe!
Love Chopped! I go on Chopped binges too 🙂 Especially when it’s the celebrity chef ones. I myself have crush on Aaron Sanchez…love that dude!
You are too funny and what a great idea for a challenge!
I really want to try this pizza 😀
Ahhhh Aaron Sanchez (but you have to say it like him… Arrrrrron… with lots of rolled tongue) hahaha
Man, I can’t find the right words to say how proud I am of you. You’ve not only made cauli crust pizza, but you’ve delivered one of the best looking cauli crust pizzas I’ve ever laid my eyes on. This.Is.Solid.
About me giving judgmental looks when I see somebody scarfing down a hot dog…well, I have to disagree with you.
My looks are not only judgmental, they’re also condescending, harsh and full of resentment.
I’m just a mean human being you know…
Hahaha, wow, proud words of encouragement from Alpha! Hahaha, that was hysterical… condescending, harsh, and full of resentment LOL
You have my vote, Chris….but I might have a slight bias towards you…and cauliflower pizza crust! Nice to check out some other dude bloggers 🙂 Hope you all have a great weekend!
Hahaha yes, 1 vote for me 😉
Wow. Chopped is a great show! Tons of fun! Cauliflower pizza crust? That is impressive creative! This pizza sounds super delicious. You have totally outdone yourself!
Thanks so much Lokness!
This is so fun!! I think it’s awesome that you guys are doing your own version of Chopped. Also a great way to promote the guys of the food blog world! This pizza is such a creative way to use those ingredients. Looks amazing!
Thanks so much Beth! It was a lot of fun!
haha I definitely go on food network watching binges. We just got cable again after a year without it so I have been wasting wayyyy too much time ahem, catching up! lol
Loveee all the southwestern toppings you have going on here. I still have yet to try the cauliflower crust pizza but I definitely need to!
No cable for a year?! I’m impressed. Yup, it’s about time you caught up lol.
Pretty sure you guys are my favorite “dude” blogs and love that you have joined together for this! But love this recipe even more Chris! So need to make this soon, I have been in the mood for pizza lately and this sounds perfect!
Yay for us being your favorite dude bloggers… I mean really, who’s better than Mike, David, and Sean?!
Hi Chris, sounds like a fun contest, love this combination of ingredients, well maybe not if I had to be them all together myself, but this pizza looks great, love the crust.
I love watching chopped. I think I’d totally lose it and freak out with all that pressure. These seems like a better version to me 😀
I love this pizza! I have been wanting to try a cauliflower crust and now I really really want it now. Looks delicious! Great job 😀
Yea, having a few weeks to plan out your dish is a LOT easier hahaha. Much less stressful 🙂
Haha this is so much fun!! Love chopped and these ingredients that were chosen! The cauliflower crust looks incredible! and I bet it tastes amazing with all those southwestern flavors! I still need to try making a cauliflower crust and can’t wait to try this one – pinned!
Thanks so much Kelly!
Alice // Hip Foodie Mom
oh my gawd, I love this idea!! Chopped Cooking Challenge for food bloggers. . awesome!!! Now, if we could just get this on the Food Network, we’d be golden. 😛 I’ve been wanting to try cauliflower pizza for the longest time. . totally going to try your recipe . . looks so delicious!!
Hmmm, maybe some big wig from FN will come across this post and make it happen. It would be so much fun to make that happen!
Oh I love how you spiced up the pizza! It looks soooo good!! YUM 😀
Thanks Layla! It was pretty yum!
What a great crust Chris! I love how inventive you were – and your pizza looks amazing!
Thanks so much Kristi! You’re too kind 😉
Your Chopped challenge sounds like so much fun! And I love what you did with the ingredients – this looks amazing! I have been dying to try a cauliflower pizza crust – yum!!!
Thanks so much Cate! It was a blast!
Somehow I failed to comment on this yesterday, Chris. I am a bad Wolfpacker. Don’t hate me! This pizza looks absolutely amazing…I’ve been wanting to make a cauliflower crust pizza, so now I just need to make that happen. And I totally laughed out loud at the New York-tucky. Hilarious! I just might have to start using that one. Thanks for organizing this bad boy, too…you know, we’re already getting requests to do it again! 🙂 #WolfpackEats represent!
Hahaha, I’ve been using New York-tucky for a long time. It’s a totally different NY up there! Dude, this was so much fun. Maybe a dessert challenge needs to be issued in the near future?!
I would happily dig in to this pizza! I’m very impressed by your cauliflower crust. And if you ever let any ladies in on future Chopped challenges, I’d love to participate! Chopped as gotten me through many an elliptical session 🙂
I’ll be trying to do these Chopped posts about once every month or two. Love for you to participate. I’ll add you to the list 🙂
This looks amazing. Loving the toppings! I mean, avocado on pizza? Genius! Pinned 🙂
LOVE avocado 😉
You executed this perfectly!! I’ve been wanting to make a cauliflower crust for ages! Your toppings are the perfect complement to this healthier crust!
Thanks so much Liz!
This pizza looks amazing – love all the southwestern flavors AND that it’s on a cauliflower crust!! So good 🙂 pinned!!
OKAY, this chopped pizza looks EPIC! It is literally covered in so many delicious toppings. I want to reach into my screen and eat it!! 🙂 You did a wonderful job on this pizza!!
I wish we could reach into the screen… that would be an amazing invention!
Every time I go to make cauliflower crust, it ends up soggy and….not so yummy. Yours, on the other hand, is crispy and looks drool-worthy! It’s a tough choice between your pizza and Mike’s cauliflower crust panini (what?!). Super creative! I love this chopped challenge idea – I’d love to get in on it sometime (are ladies invited?:)
The key to crispy crust is to ring out all excess water from the cauliflower after it’s cooked… it is a crucial step. And yea, Mike’s pretty creative and awesome like that.
Love for you to participate! I’m hoping to do another one in about a month or so. Since you are one rad lady, you sure are invited haha
Yep. That first photo sealed my vote. This pizza looks AH-MAZING, Chris! Southwestern food is one of my favs and I am definitely gonna have to try this one for our next pizza night. In LOVE with that amazing-looking cauliflower crust. 🙂 Pinned!
Thanks Sarah! I love me southwestern flavors too… my fave!
Ooh, this is a tricky one! I honestly like the sound of all 4 recipes but as your blog is the only one of those blogs that I follow I would have to be diplomatic and say that I like yours best!
However, I do particularly like the sound of the fried cauli dish as well 😉
Why thanks Helen 😉 I’ll take any vote I can take! David’s fried cauliflower sounds pretty fantastic… he’s one creative dude!
This looks beyond fun! I love southwestern flavors and this lightened up cauliflower crust is awesome 🙂
It was a ton of fun! Southwestern flavors are my fave 🙂
Gorgeous, Chris. This looks like the kind of pizza I skip meals for… so I can enjoy more of it. Nice job. And the cauliflower crust idea was brilliant.
Thanks so much Sean! Love that pasta salad you came up with!
Chris, how have I not been following your blog before this moment? This. Is. Genius. In the lead-up to my oh-so-nail-biting-qualifying exams a few months ago, I would just pull up an episode of Chopped–sometimes two–and just wallow my way through dinner while shouting obnoxious comments to the contestants. I love that you guys have done a Chopped edition–lordy lord, that sounds like it would be so much fun to partake in! I can’t pick. I just can’t. But heck yessss this is awesome!
Thanks so much Ala! Glad you stopped by!
What a fun challenge Chris! And this is the best looking cauliflower pizza crust – totally on board with the southwestern flavors too; yum! Pinned 🙂
Thanks so much Chelsea!
I still haven’t tried cauliflower crust pizza but it sounds so dang good! Must try soon.
Have an awesome day!
Thanks so much Melanie!
Sarah and Arkadi
We really gotta try the cauliflower crust! Your version looks so appetizing!
Yes, totally try it sometime! Thanks guys!
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen
Oh Gosh… I’ve wanted to try this cauliflower pizza dough for I don’t know how long. Yours looks great and very tasty. I’ve gotta try to make some soon. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Olivia! Definitely give it a try sometime! Can’t wait to see what you would come up with!
omg I absolutely LOVE this concept and this recipe!!! What a fun and creative food blogger spin, this is such a great idea Chris. and holy yes for mortadella!!! one of the most unappreciated Italian meats and it is truly so crazy delish, love that you are repping it here! votin’ for ya!
Thanks so much Christine! It was a lot of fun!
I just made this! We loved it! The toppings were so unusual, yet totally perfect together! This will be a staple at our table!
Thanks so much Annie!
I’m in the process of getting bikini ready and REALLY craving pizza! I’m almost ready to try one of these cauliflower crusts … almost. I’m kind of a pizza snob. But your cauliflower crust pizzas always look tasty!
Hahaha it’s a great alternative to the real thing 🙂