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The Best Low Carb Pizza -keto cake walk-

When I started a ketogenic diet, I knew that the first recipe I needed to conquer was pizza. At our house, we have movie night every Sunday night and movie night means pizza! Since I didn’t want to be the only one in the family not able to enjoy a good pizza, my quest for the perfect low-carb pizza was born.

I tried A LOT of pizza crust recipes. So many. Most of them fell in the “meh” category. Not terrible, but not great. Only one recipe was so bad that I threw the remainder outside, and even the squirrels wouldn’t touch it. Ha.

The “holy grail” of low-carb pizza, according to the internets, is the “Fathead” pizza dough, which is a cheese-based dough that gives back some of the structure that low-carb doughs usually lack. So of course I had to try it.

I tried the basic recipe that’s floating around, and while it was ok, it was a bit firmer than I like. So after scouring the internet and trying several other recipes, I circled back to the basic Fathead dough and tweaked it until I got it to be as close to my beloved high-carb pizza as possible.

Before I share my recipe, let me just say that these low-carb alternatives will never be exactly like the high-carb version you remember. Our aim is to make them as close as possible, and always delicious, but just know going into any low-carb baking endeavor that what you’re making is an alternative and not a replica. Got it? Good. Now you can keep reading. 😉

Adjusting the Recipe

In the basic recipe, you start by melting together mozzarella and cream cheese. Then you add an egg, almond flour, and a little salt. I do this in my recipe as well, only I made a couple of additions.

First, I added 2 teaspoons of baking powder. This creates a bit more lift and makes the dough less dense and a little softer, while still having a nice chew to it like a regular pizza. Secondly, I added a teaspoon of yeast.

Now, yeast will not create any rise in this dough because there is no gluten structure. It’s only here for flavor and as such is a completely optional ingredient. If you have problems with candida or otherwise don’t tolerate yeast well, feel free to leave it out. (If you choose to leave it out, I suggest adding 1 tsp vinegar to give the dough a hint of sour-dough flavor.) But for those of us who can eat it, it gives a lovely familiar, comforting flavor that I really missed in my pizza.

The next change I made was to bake it in a cast iron skillet. Cast iron gives the dough a really nice crust on the bottom and keeps it from ever being soggy. Then I topped it with a stunningly delicious roasted-garlic Alfredo sauce and steak. These few changes turned a solid recipe into a spectacular one, in my opinion, and everyone to whom I’ve fed this pizza has been a fan.

The Best Low Carb Pizza

Here are the detailed instructions for the recipe, with helpful tips and photos. To head straight to the recipe, click here.

Crust

The first step in this recipe is to melt together mozzarella cheese with cream cheese.

I use a microwavable bowl and microwave for 90 seconds and it comes out perfectly. You can do this on the stove as well, just make sure you use very low heat or do it in a double-boiler so you don’t risk overheating your cheese and causing it to separate.

In a separate bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, yeast, and salt. (Note: you can successfully substitute half of the almond flour with the coarser almond meal. Why would you want to do this? Because it’s cheaper!) 

Add this along with one egg to the cheese. I find I get the best results if I mix this all together rather than one before the other. If your cheese (or the bowl it’s in) got screaming hot, let it cool slightly before adding the egg or it might scramble. You do, however, want the cheese to be very warm as it will make it much easier to mix.

A note about mixing: this dough is not the easiest to mix. I’ve done it with a spoon, but honestly I mostly just use my hands. It goes so much quicker and I think it mixes it better.

The Best Low Carb Pizza -keto cake walk-

Press the dough into a cast iron skillet, going up the sides just slightly to form the crust. You can make this in a pie plate or just on a cookie sheet as well, but I really find it comes out best in cast iron. My pan is huge, a good 12 inches (and weighs as much as a small child) but I think it should work fine in a slightly smaller pan, just make sure you watch the cooking time.

Important note: Even if your cast iron skillet is well seasoned, grease it extra with some olive oil to make your life easier removing it. This is especially important if you want to freeze all or half the pizza. 

Bake this at 400°F for 8-10 minutes or until it’s just starting to turn golden. The picture above is about as far as you can pre-bake it before you end up with overly-dark crust at the end, so feel free to take it out a little earlier. If at this point you find that it’s getting bubbles, poke them with a fork to deflate. I’ve tried docking the dough at the beginning, but I find it doesn’t actually prevent bubbling at all.

The Best Low Carb Pizza -keto cake walk-

Alternatively, you can also make this low carb pizza on a pizza stone. Just press the dough into desired shape on parchment paper. Using a pizza peel or rimless cookie sheet, slide parchment onto preheated pizza stone. This is an easier method if you’re dividing the pizza to freeze.

Freezing: Freeze the crust at the par-baked mark, adding the toppings and then placing on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about an hour before wrapping with foil and storing in the freezer up to 3 months.

Options: If using the cast iron skillet, you can freeze either half or all the crust. If you want to only freeze half, cut the crust in half and remove one side to freeze (I use two spatulas to get it out cleanly.) To freeze a whole pizza, allow to cool completely before removing from skillet. If using a pizza stone, divide the crust into desired portions before baking and bake as smaller pizzas.

To bake from frozen, place your skillet or pizza stone in the oven while it preheats to 400°F, then place frozen pizza in the hot skillet. Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden.

Sauce

Roasted Garlic cloves

While the crust is cooking, you can work on the Alfredo sauce. The secret ingredient in this sauce is roasted garlic. I bought an enormous bag of garlic from Costco and in order to keep it from going bad before I could use it all, I made up a huge batch of roasted garlic and threw it in the freezer. (Here’s the technique I used.)

But if you don’t have a ready-made batch of roasted garlic, you can easily roast a whole head. Just chop off the top of the head, place it on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap into a pouch. Bake at 400°F for 20-30 minutes. For the Alfredo for this pizza, you only need 5-6 cloves. Smash them up into a paste.

Normally in my Alfredo sauce, I start with a roux of butter & flour. But now that I’m not eating flour or any other grain, I leave the flour out and use a higher percentage of cheese to thicken the sauce. Stir in the garlic paste with the cheese.

Toppings

Top the crust with sauce. You will really only need about 2/3 of the sauce. Putting too much sauce on the crust will result in your toppings sliding off. The good news is, you’ll have extra sauce to eat straight from the pan. You’ll thank me. That stuff is basically crack.

I topped the sauce with steak. This is about half of a petite sirloin steak, for a total of about 3 oz. I seared it well on both sides, but left it rare since it was going to be cooked more on the pizza. I sliced it thin and then broke it up into bite-sized pieces and scattered it on the pizza. Then I topped it with more parmesan, mozzarella, and one sliced green onion.

The Best Low Carb Pizza -keto cake walk-

Bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until cheese just starts to brown slightly.

The Best Low Carb Pizza -keto cake walk-

This pizza is so good, you guys.

And look at how this crust flexes just like a regular crust! And the bottom browns nicely to give great texture.

The Best Low Carb Pizza -keto cake walk-

This crust recipe is so versatile. Obviously, you can add whatever low-carb-friendly toppings you like, such as a sugar-free tomato sauce, other meats, different veggies. Whatever you love on your pizza!

Enjoy!

The Best Low Carb Pizza

The Best Low Carb Pizza

Yield: 8 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

You'll never miss carbs with this pizza in your recipe box!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz. /170g) shredded mozzarella
  • 2 Tbsp (1 oz/30g) cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup (2.45 oz/70g) almond flour
  • 2 tsp (10g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (4g) yeast (optional) or sub 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) salt
  • 1 large egg

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp (14g) butter
  • 1/3 cup (80mL) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (2 oz./56 g) freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 5-6 cloves roasted garlic, smashed into a paste

Toppings

  • 3 oz. (85 g) steak, cooked rare and sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. (12g) freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz./85 g) shredded mozzarella
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F
    2. Make crust: Melt mozzarella and cream cheese together until fully melted. Stir until combined. Whisk together almond flour, baking powder, yeast, and salt in a separate bowl. Add to melted cheese along with 1 egg. Mix well until dough is fully homogenous. Dough will be sticky.
    3. Oil hands and press into greased 12-inch cast iron skillet, going up sides slightly. Alternatively, press out onto a piece of parchment paper and place on preheated pizza stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to turn golden.
    4. While crust is cooking, make sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan, then add heavy cream. Heat until just starting to simmer. Add garlic paste and parmesan, turn off heat, and stir until cheese is fully melted.
    5. When crust is done in the oven, top with about 2/3 of the sauce. Add sliced steak, parmesan, mozzarella, and finish with sliced scallion. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and starts to brown.

Notes

To Freeze: Freeze the crust at the par-baked mark, adding the toppings and then placing on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for about an hour before wrapping with foil and storing in the freezer up to 3 months.

To bake from frozen, place your skillet or pizza stone in the oven while it preheats to 400°F, then place frozen pizza in the hot skillet. Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 21.7gSaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 594mgCarbohydrates: 5.2gNet Carbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 1.3gProtein: 16.9g
This is the best low carb pizza I've ever tried! Amazing, yeasty dough topped with roasted garlic Alfredo and steak. 4g net carbs per slice. #keto #lowcarb #pizza #alfredo #steak #glutenfree #grainfree

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