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September 29th, 2020

Ess, Ess/ Eat, Eat

Crispy zucchini pizza crust is a low-carb, 5-ingredient win

Sheela Prakash

By Sheela Prakash TheKitchn.com

Published August 26,2020

Crispy zucchini pizza crust is a low-carb, 5-ingredient win
I was hesitant to serve this gluten-free zucchini pizza crust to my carb-loving parents, thinking they'd scoff at the idea of a crust made from vegetables. But when they gobbled the whole thing up, I knew it was a win — and a reminder that veggie-based crusts aren't just for our low-carb friends. Like it's trendier cousin, the cauliflower crust, this zucchini pizza crust is for anyone who wants a lighter, equally delicious twist on classic pizza.

Unlike most varieties, this easy version doesn't call for alternative flours or cornstarch for binding. It's a simple combo of zucchini, egg and mozzarella cheese, plus a little Italian seasoning and of course some salt and pepper.

3 tips for the crispiest zucchini pizza crust

In my opinion, the best zucchini crust is the crispiest crust. Here's how to achieve it.

1. Squeeze the zucchini as dry as possible. Zucchini has a high water content, but the drier the zucchini, the crispier the crust. You'll start by placing the grated zucchini in a colander and tossing it with salt. As it sits, it will release a lot of its moisture. Then, give it a good squeeze before adding it to the rest of the ingredients to wring out any last drops.

2. Flip the crust. Zucchini crust is more delicate than a traditional crust, rendering it nearly impossible to simply flip with a spatula. But we've got a smart solution: After the crust bakes for 20 minutes, you'll place a second rimmed baking sheet directly on top, flip them both and voila! When you remove the hot baking sheet, the crust will be upside down on the back of the cool baking sheet. Return it to the oven and bake until the entire crust is golden-brown and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes more.

3. Insulate the crust with cheese. Instead of spreading the now-crispy crust with sauce and risking sogginess, you'll create a barrier by starting with a layer of cheese, followed by sauce, then more cheese. Broil until browned and bubbly, then serve immediately.

ZUCCHINI PIZZA CRUST

Serves: 2

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free Italian seasoning
  • 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/3 cup pizza or marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil leaves and red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)


1. Arrange two oven racks to divide it into thirds and heat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Trim 1 pound zucchini and grate on the large holes of a box grater. Place the zucchini in a colander set in the sink or over a bowl. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, then let sit 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and several grinds black pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Grate 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese (1 1/2 cups) and add 1 cup to the bowl (reserve the remaining 1/2 cup for topping the crust).

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3. Firmly press the zucchini with the back of a large spoon to release as much liquid as possible. Squeeze any remaining liquid from the zucchini with your hands, then add to the bowl with the egg mixture and stir to combine.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and use your hands to shape it into a large, thin circle about 8-inches wide (the thinner it is, the crispier it will become). Bake on the lower oven rack until the bottom of the crust is golden and crispy, about 20 minutes.

5. Place a second rimmed baking sheet directly on the crust. Using potholders and holding both baking sheets together (careful, it's hot!), flip them both. Remove the hot baking sheet and parchment — the crust should now be upside down on the back of the cool baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack and bake until the entire crust is golden-brown and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes more.

6. Remove the crust from the oven and heat the broiler to HIGH. Sprinkle with half of the remaining cheese. Carefully spread 1/3 cup pizza sauce over the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

7. Broil on the upper rack until the cheese is browned and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Top with torn fresh basil leaves and red pepper flakes, if desired.

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Grace Elkus is deputy food director for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com.) APARTMENT THERAPY. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.