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Pizza (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, GAPS)

by Deliciously Organic on February 3, 2012

I spend most Friday afternoons outside with my neighbors. We pull up our lounge chairs, pour some wine, and catch up from the week. For the past couple of months, I’ve wished I could walk into the house after our Friday “block party” and make some pizza (if I’m going to be really honest, I wish I could order some). I didn’t have a recipe, nor did I have any idea how to make a grain free pizza that would provide the flavor and texture I want. So, I’ve brain-stormed for many hours and after a quick chat with a friend the other day, the light bulb came on. Seeds, roasted bell pepper, and a bit of cheese ground in the food processor makes for a flavorful pizza crust.

I tested it dozens of times (the other night I had over 10 different pizzas for my family to taste!). I recommend you keep the toppings light so you don’t weigh down the pizza or cause the center of the crust to become too soft. The crust itself provides delicious flavor, too. Also, if you’re dairy intolerant or follow a paleo diet, you can leave out the cheese, just keep in mind the crust won’t be quite as crisp (it will still taste great). It’s also best to make small six-inch pizzas so the dough cooks all the way through. The crust also makes a fantastic cracker when spread very thin and baked for about 30-35 minutes.

Friday night pizza has resumed in our house once again!

 

Pizza (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, GAPS)

Serving Size: Makes about 6 - 6" pizzas

Pizza (Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, GAPS)

You will have some marinara leftover. You can freeze the sauce for the next time you make pizza.

Ingredients

    For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds (I used soaked and dehydrated seeds, but toasted seeds will also work well)

  • 2 roasted red, orange or yellow bell peppers*

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

  • 1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (omit for Paleo)
  • For the Marinara:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (24-ounce) jar crushed tomatoes

  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (omit for Paleo, or for GAPS substitute with Pecorino Romano cheese)

  • Any other toppings of your choice: mushrooms, sausage, basil, greens, etc.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 300ºF, adjust rack to middle position, and place a pizza stone or pizza baking sheet in the oven (the stone/pan needs to preheat along with the oven). Place sunflower seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground. Add bell peppers, Italian seasoning, sea salt and cheese. Process until smooth.

Place a small sheet of parchment paper on the counter. Place a 1/4 cup scoop of dough on the parchment. Spread dough into a 6" round. Bake on the preheated pizza stone for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When garlic begins to sizzle, add tomatoes, salt and Italian seasoning (try to stand back a bit, as the sauce may splatter). Simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Remove crust from the oven. Top with 2 tablespoons marinara and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of cheese and toppings of your choice. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve.

*To roast the peppers:


Preheat the broiler. Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet and put under the broiler. Cook until the skins are just turning black. Using a pair of tongs, turn the peppers so the black skin is facing down. Repeat until all sides of the pepper are turning black. Place peppers in a deep bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers sit for 10 minutes (the steam will loosen the skins). When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and remove the seeds inside the pepper.

Here are a few things I learned while testing this recipe to ensure a crunchy crust:

I tested this recipe dozens of times and learned that the crust is very sensitive to heat. At first I thought a high heat would be the key, but the result was a burned exterior and mushy interior. The lower heat (300 degrees) proved to be just the right temperature. Hot enough to dry the crust out, but low enough not to burn. I learned that even a 10 degree difference will make a difference in the outcome of the crust (so make sure your oven is calibrated correctly). I used medium-size peppers and made sure to empty the juices and seeds out of them before adding them to the ground seeds. Too much moisture makes the crust mushy. Also, please use only a 1/4 cup for each pizza and make sure to spread them out to a 6-inch round. If the crust is too thick, it will be mushy.

One fool-proof method for a crispy crust is to dehydrate the crust overnight. Make your 1/4 cup, 6-inch rounds on parchment and put them on a baking sheet (You could also spread all of the mixture out on a piece of parchment and place on a large baking sheet. Dehydrate overnight at 170 degrees F (about 8-10 hours).

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] February 3, 2012 at 8:52 am

Very interesting! I’ll bookmark this recipe so I can try it soon. Thanks!

What seeds other than sunflower would you recommend?

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Deliciously Organic February 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

You could use pumpkin seeds. I tried the crust with a blend of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and really enjoyed it!

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Kristina Vanni February 3, 2012 at 8:54 am

Love the idea of a crust with sunflower seeds!

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Wenderly February 3, 2012 at 8:59 am

LOVE this Carrie! You’re brilliant! Can’t wait to taste it! Le YUM.

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Nicole February 3, 2012 at 9:06 am

I bet the flavor is amazing! I actually have a couple of red peppers in the fridge that need roasting (I don’t like raw bell peppers and I bought them for a recipe that I ended up not making) so the timing on this couldn’t be better. I think Superbowl Sunday might be a good time to test it :-)

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Karen February 3, 2012 at 9:14 am

I know its cheating but can I use jarred roasted peppers? I have a hard time making the roasted ones come out right! lame I know.. but Im not good at them!

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Deliciously Organic February 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

I haven’t tested it with jarred peppers, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just make sure to use enough of the jarred peppers to equal 2 full bell peppers.

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Pure2raw twins February 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

this pizza crust sounds amazing. we have made raw pizza crust out of sunflower seeds, yum!

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Bev Weidner February 3, 2012 at 10:11 am

Oh heck YESSSSS. omg.

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Thomas Koons February 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

This sounds delicious! I’ve really been wanting to go grain free but haven’t reconciled giving up some favorite foods. This sounds like it may provide an answer.

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Karin February 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

Can’t wait for our Friday pizza night to resume! We used to do this in Tucson! I think you hit this one out of the ballpark!! It looks awesome!

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Katrina February 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Whoaaa this sounds lovely!!

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Marla February 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Such a unique & tasty way to make a pizza!

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Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 4, 2012 at 1:36 am

I’ve been experimenting with grain-free pizzas too b/c I miss my pizza! lol I can’t wait to try your version with the bell peppers and sunflower seeds.

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HeatherChristo February 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Very cool Carrie! Thanks for all of your experimenting, you are opening up tons of opportunities for anyone wanting to eat grain free!

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JJ (kettlebell workouts) February 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

This looks great. I have tried so many different paleo recipes for pizza, but have yet to find something that really satisfies my craving for pizza. I do enjoy Naked Pizza’s gluten free pizza, but I know it is still not quite “healthy”. I will give this one a try, thanks for sharing!

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Kate @Type1Momma February 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thank you thank you thank you!

As a type 1 diabetic, pizza is my main nemesis – I’ve given it up completely but really miss it. I cannot wait to try this recipe, it sounds delicious.

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VA DE PAN February 6, 2012 at 8:45 am

Whith sunflower’s seeds, so great!!!!!! a differnts way of making pizza!!!!!

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Bethany February 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

What does the bell pepper add to the crust? Any thoughts on a substitute? My tummy and bell peppers are not on speaking terms.

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Deliciously Organic February 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm

The bell pepper adds tons of flavor and the moisture necessary to make the crust bind together. I’ve seen others use cauliflower in their pizza crusts. I’ve never tested this recipe with cauliflower, but it could be a good option.

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Marisa February 8, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Carrie, thanks so much for this recipe. My husband has been doing the low-carb thing very successfully for a while now, but has been having a major pizza craving of late. I made these for dinner tonight and he declared them a very tasty substitute. It’s nice to have satisfying alternative.

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Deliciously Organic February 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed them!

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Renee Kriehn February 9, 2012 at 9:58 am

I made this last night and had a question. The crust wasn’t crunchy and browned like yours looks in the picture. Is it supposed to be crunchy? Mine was very soft. I cooked them on the parchment paper over the pizza stone. Do you think that was my problem? Also, wondering if my peppers were too big and made the crust wet. Just curious. Regardless, the flavor was very good. I was a bit skeptical but thought it was tasty.

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Deliciously Organic February 9, 2012 at 12:40 pm

The outside will be crispy and closer to the middle will be a little softer (but not mushy – you should be able to pick it up and each it by the slice). I tested this recipe dozens of times and learned that this crust is very sensitive to heat. At first I thought a high heat would be the key, but the result was a burned exterior and mushy interior. The lower heat (300 degrees) proved to be the perfect heat. Even a 10 degree difference will make a difference in the outcome of the crust (you might want to make sure your oven is calibrated correctly). The peppers I used were medium size and I made sure not to pour the juices from the pepper (as I peeled them) into the mixture. Too much moisture makes the crust mushy. Also, if you used more than a 1/4 cup for each crust, or didn’t smooth it out to a 6″ round it will be mushy. Hope you don’t mind all of the details! I learned a lot testing this recipe. :)

One fool-proof method for a crispy crust is to dehydrate the crust overnight. So, if you think about it ahead of time, make your 1/4 cup – 6″ rounds on parchment and put them on a baking sheet. Dehydrate overnight at 170 degrees (about 10 hours). Makes a great cracker too!

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Renee February 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Thanks. All the details are good. I was trying not to ask to many questions to find out what I did wrong. They were still good regardless of the mushy crust. The next day I ate my left over mushy crusted pizza with tortilla chips and it was really good. The crust slightly cooked would make a really good dip for veggies, pitas or whatever. Thanks for all the creativity.

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Deliciously Organic February 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I welcome the questions anytime! I hope my answer wasn’t to lengthy! It was honestly one of the hardest recipes I’ve tested in a while. Glad the details helped!

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Nicole B February 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

My teenage son and his gluten-free girlfriend made this yesterday (with a bit of my help). It was delish! It was a bit mushy so they put it on convection for about ten minutes and it came out beautiful. Afterwards, I realized they didn’t preheat the pizza pan along with the oven. Will cook again!

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Nicole Stoddard February 26, 2012 at 1:25 pm

We made this for dinner last night; it was great! After I made the dough in the food processor I took a taste and it was “Romesco!” Have you ever made or had romesco sauce? It is one of our favorites; this would made a great grain free one. Of course, you can just omit the bread in that; romesco uses almonds and a plum tomato, plus olive oil and vinegar. Anyway, this was great, my daughters aged 16 months and 3 years ate it, too!

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Tara March 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I made this recipe for the first time tonight and can’t say enough good things about it!! Delicious, meets my many dietary preferences, and was simple! Over spring break, ill be making these for the family while we enjoy our week’s stay @ our vacation rental; I think all will love it! A friend pointed me in the direction of your website and I’m so happy she did. I’ve loved every single recipe I’ve tried so far and look forward to trying many more. One question; if I wanted to make some crusts ahead of time to use for lunches during the week, would you have a recommendation for storing them so that they are fresh & do not become mushy? Thank you so much for your recipes!

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Deliciously Organic March 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I’m so glad you all enjoyed it! For lunches – I recommend dehydrating the crusts (170 or as low as your oven will go for about 4 hours until dry). These crusts will keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks. During the week you could put sauce, cheese, etc. and run them under the broiler to melt the cheese. I also recommend wrapping them in parchment or a parchment sandwich bag to keep them crisp (http://www.amazon.com/If-You-Care-Unbleached-Sandwich/dp/B003Y3D68S).

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Allison March 25, 2013 at 2:18 am

BEST PALEO PIZZA I’VE FOUND. Great flavor, even with the cheese left out. The crust wasn’t as cripsy as I’d like, but still very tasty. Next time I will make smaller pizza rounds – about 3 or 4″ instead of 6″ & I’ll try jarred roasted peppers to save time. Also I may try a slightly dryer mix of the seeds to peppers ratio to see if that will make it crispier (yet still bind together)? Can’t wait to make these again!

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