I realize this will never really substitute for Chicago pizza (sorry Jersey friends, NY-style just isn’t as good), but I am glad I have come up with a recipe to fill the void when I’m jonesing for some pizza goodness. Obviously any toppings can be used in place of pepperoni; I’ll probably try my all time favorite spinach & mushroom combination in the future. There are a lot of low carb pizza crust recipes floating around Pinterest, most of them using cauliflower or zucchini as the base of the crust. I find those instructions to be labor intensive and the carb count relatively high per slice, so I brainstormed to think of something much easier with less carbs for an individual-size pizza. Pork rinds to the rescue again! It’s kind of amazing how versatile pork rinds are and I never knew it until a few weeks ago. I have another recipe on the horizon using them and it’s a real winner, too. This recipe is fast & easy, delivers a great personal pizza and has near-perfect macro ratios – it’s a win-win all around.
I began by pre-heating my oven to 450°F and pulling out all my ingredients. In my Ninja food processor I added 1.5 servings (about 14 pieces) of traditional pork rinds plus 1/4 cup of the 365 shredded 3 cheese blend and 1 teaspoon of Italian herbs seasoning. It only takes 15-20 seconds for the pork rinds and cheese to be evenly crushed. I poured the pork rinds mixture into a bowl, added one egg and stirred until fully combined to form a dough-like texture.
I poured the dough onto the center of a pizza pan and, using my fingers, pressed it down and out to form a circle. I think it’s important to make sure there aren’t any cracks in the crust so that the dough sticks together throughout the cooking process. It’s okay if the edges are not perfect – as you can see in the photo below there are gaps around the edge of my crust, but this did not effect the cooking process.
With the oven fully heated, I placed the pizza pan with the plain crust on the middle rack and set the timer for 15 minutes. I also placed a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack below to catch any drippings – this is an important step to avoid a mess in your very hot oven. The initial cooking allows the crust to harden and crisp up before adding any toppings. It becomes golden brown and smells delicious. After 15 minutes I pulled the pan out of the oven, added 3 tablespoons of Rao’s Sensitive Formula Marinara sauce, 1 ounce of uncured pepperoni and 1 ounce of shredded mozzarella cheese before replacing the pan back in the oven.
I actually turned the oven off and just let the cheese melt for 5 minutes or so before removing the pizza from the oven and slicing in half. The crust holds up well and does not crumble – it is dry (not greasy) but not too crunchy and does not have that usual pork rind aftertaste. For me this is the perfect low carb replacement of a food I enjoyed and thought I could no longer eat.
What are your favorite pizza toppings? Share them below in the comments!