This keto pizza recipe is the perfect easy way to add some low carb eating to your life. It even has that perfect thin crust pizza “chew.”
Diets scare me
I had a pretty complicated relationship with food for a good part of my life. Nothing too concerning, but it wasn’t exactly ideal. I have two girls and I’ve worked hard to raise them to eat when they’re hungry, stop when they’re full. Sometimes, we eat our feelings. Most of the time, we do not.
I like the concept of Weight Watchers since nothing is totally off-limits. I think it’s wise to try to avoid dogmatic restrictions. So I’m not about to start a keto diet anytime soon (or ever). Or a strict Paleo diet for that matter.
The value of keto recipes
The keto diet is based upon being in ketosis, where the body feeds off of fat rather than glucose. I don’t know much of the details, and I’m mostly just looking to dabble and learn.
I really think there’s a lot to be learned from the inventive recipes that tend to come out of each new diet craze. I certainly have learned a ton from the Paleo diet. And I love being able to send you in that direction when you email me to say you have to be gluten free but can’t eat rice! ?
Okay, so how many carbs in this keto pizza?
I calculated the approximate nutritional information for this recipe using Cronometer (you can find the information at the end of the recipe), and the “net carb” count appears to be just under 3 grams per slice of pizza (without any toppings, since that will vary).
I’m not exactly sure how many carbs are in a typical slice of pizza or even a slice of my beloved Paleo pizza, but I’m sure it’s a whole lot more than that. That recipe has almond flour, but also plenty of higher carbohydrate tapioca flour.
Tips for making this keto pizza recipe a success
There are a lot of recipes floating around the Internet for “Fathead pizza,” which is basically a combination of shredded and melted cheese, cream cheese, almond flour, and egg. I based this keto pizza recipe off of what I believe is the original, from Cooky’s Creations.
I did first make the recipe as written, and it worked quite well as it’s a tried and true recipe, and seemingly led to something of a revolution. Recipes like this one from Cooky prove that there is still room for true innovation in recipe creation.
But I did ultimately make some changes that didn’t add any carbs but did make the recipe taste more like, well, the pizza I know and love. As originally written, the recipe tasted a bit oily to me (and to my family).
I resisted the strong urge to add tapioca starch, which is a staple of all gluten free baking (and even Paleo baking) since it provides so much structure and chew. Instead, I added some coconut flour, which really helped to absorb some of the oil from the cheese and almond flour.
I’ve tried melting the cream cheese and shredded cheese in this recipe in the microwave, but I find that it’s much harder to combine all of the ingredients that way. Be sure to use very low heat on the stovetop, and turn off the heat the moment you see the ingredients begin to brown.
The more you knead the dough, the easier it will be to handle. Don’t be afraid to roll it out and gather it back together multiple times before you’re satisfied with its texture.
You can’t store the raw dough for later use since the melted cheese will solidify in the refrigerator, and the eggs in the raw dough will prevent you from warming it in the microwave to roll it out. But you can roll it out, parbake it and let it cool completely then wrap it tightly and freeze it for later use.
Ingredients and substitutions
If you’re looking to make substitutions in this super simple recipe, it’s going to be a heartbreaker. I wish I had better news, but this low-carb pizza recipe is made with little more than cheese, almond flour, and eggs. Replacing them is kind of like replacing the gluten in wheat flour. But I’ll give it a shot, because I love you:
Dairy-free: My oldest child ate dairy-free for over a year, and I tried making cheese-heavy recipes like zucchini pizza with dairy-free cheese and it was really rough. Even when I settled on a favorite brand of dairy-free cheese (Violife brand is the best, but it can be hard to find; Daiya brand has come a long way and is a close second), the results were very disappointing.
Dairy-free cheese simply doesn’t melt the same way as conventional cheese. And when you use this much of it, it doesn’t have the same “chew.” I also have never been able to find a dairy-free cream cheese that is a proper substitute for conventional cream cheese, I’m afraid.
But good news! I do have a different sort of dairy-free low carb pizza recipe that I love and I think you will, too. If you’re not hooked on low-carb, there’s always my yeast-free gluten free pizza recipe, which is a perennial favorite on the blog. And there’s always our basic gluten free pizza dough, which never disappoints.
Nut-free: The almond flour in this recipe can probably be replaced with finely ground sunflower seed flour, but the recipe may turn green as the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds reacts with the baking powder.
When it comes to baking with almond flour, remember that not all almond flours are created equal. You must use finely ground, blanched almond flour in this recipe.Blanched almond flour is simply almond flour made from almonds that have had their skins removed. I only recommend using Honeyville brand or superfine almond flour from Nuts.com.
Almond flour is not a cheap ingredient, so store it in the freezer for longer shelf life. Be sure to allow it to come to room temperature before using it in baking, as it will clump when it’s cold. Almond meal is a much coarser ground and will not work.
Egg-free: Since there is only one egg per pizza crust in this recipe, you can try replacing each egg with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). But keep in mind that if you are also making other substitutions, you’re getting further and further away from the original recipe. Experiment at your own risk!
Low Carb Keto Pizza Recipe
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 ounces cream cheese
1 2/3 cup (200 g) finely ground blanched almond flour, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons (12 g) coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
Toppings of choice (unsweetened tomato sauce, more shredded cheese)
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place a pizza stone or overturned rimmed baking sheet in the oven as it preheats.
In a medium saucepan, place the cream cheese and melt over very low heat. Add the mozzarella in two parts, stirring gently until melted and smooth. Add about half of the almond flour, the coconut flour and the baking powder, and stir with a silicone spatula until the melted cheese has absorbed the flours. Add the remaining almond flour and stir to combine. As soon as the ingredients begin to brown in the pan, turn off the heat. Continue to stir and press the dough with the spatula until everything is well-incorporated. If the heat is still on, turn it off. Add the eggs to the dough and mix and press again until the dough is uniform in color and texture.
Turn out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper lightly floured with almond flour, and knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half, and set one half aside (cover to prevent it from drying out). Press and roll out the first half of the dough into a 12-inch round, sprinkling the dough lightly with more almond flour when it becomes sticky and rotating the dough frequently. Coax the edges inward toward the center to create an edge to the crust. Pierce all over with the tines of a fork to prevent the dough from puffing up too much in the oven.
Place the first round, still on the parchment paper, on top of the pizza stone or overturned baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough no longer glistens. Remove the crust from the oven. At this point, the parbaked dough can be cooled completely, covered tightly and frozen for later use. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
To continue preparing the pizza, top with unsweetened tomato sauce and more shredded cheese, if desired. Return the pizza to the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown and the cheese on top is completely melted (about another 10 minutes). Cool briefly before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information is per slice (based upon 8 slices per crust, without toppings). It is provided as a courtesy, using the calculator at Cronometer.com, but values are approximate and will vary based on real-world conditions, including the particular brands of products used among other factors.
Adapted from the Holy Grail Pizza Crust. That recipe seems to be the original on which so-called “Fathead” pizza was based.