My husband has celiac disease, which means he cannot eat gluten. But he loves pizza.
So he can still enjoy this classic comfort food, we try to make it at home once in a while, with a gluten-free crust.
After a bit of experimentation my crust recipe works well, and we use it as a base for all kinds of toppings, depending on what’s in season and what we have on hand at the moment.
Since there are still plenty of zucchini hanging around during the late summer and early fall, just begging to be eaten, we’ve been trying to use it in almost everything. Today, it’s the featured ingredient on top of our pizza.
Yep, you heard right. Trust me, you’re going to enjoy this one, no matter how untraditional it sounds.
Zucchini are a particularly watery vegetable, so this will also give them some time to drain. After all, nobody likes a soggy pizza!
Caramelizing onions is also best accomplished through low and slow cooking, so both of these selections are really excellent choices for prepping while you wait for that dough to rise.
Whether you recruit a few friends or family members to help, or you’re looking forward to chilling solo for an evening cooking session with your favorite podcast bumping on the speakers, trust me – your work here is going to pay off, in such a delicious way.
Want to join me for some homemade pizza tonight? Let’s go straight to the recipe right now!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare the Ingredients
Measure the yeast, warm water, sugar, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, salt, and vegetable oil needed.
Set out the zucchini, garlic, onions, and chives required. Prep the mozzarella cheese, if you didn’t buy it pre-sliced or shredded.
For a dairy-free alternative, try a vegan mozzarella-style cheese substitute like Daiya. The shredded version of whatever brand you choose is best, since it’s meant for melting.
Step 2 – Activate the Yeast
In a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Mix well. Then, let it sit in a warm place until it becomes foamy.
Step 3- Combine the Flours and Starches
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sorghum flour, brown rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and salt with a spoon or whisk.
Step 4 – Combine and Mix
Pour the activated yeast mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and add the vegetable oil. Use a wooden spoon to stir it all together until you get a wet and homogenous dough.
This will not look like regular pizza dough – it will be sticky and shaggy, and this is exactly how it should look.
Spread the dough out to 2-inch thickness in a greased round baking pan or pizza pan, and let it sit in a warm place away from any drafts.
I usually put the dough in an oven that’s not in use, and you can turn the oven light on to warm it up a bit if you like. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
Step 5 – Slice the Zucchini
While the dough is rising, cut the zucchini into quarters lengthwise and then further slice them into quarter moons.
Toss the sliced vegetables with salt and then arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet or cutting board lined with paper towels. Let them sit like this while you complete the rest of your prep, to drain any excess water.
Step 6 – Saute the Onions and Garlic
Peel and slice the onions as thinly as possible. Mince the garlic as finely as you can.
In a large skillet, heat up a little oil and sauté the sliced onions, slowly on low heat, until they are caramelized.
Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds to a minute more until fragrant, being careful not to brown or burn the garlic.
Step 7 – Bake
Preheat the oven to 350°F and pre-bake the pizza dough for 30 minutes until it is dry to the touch on top.
Place the sliced or shredded cheese in a single layer on the pre-cooked pizza crust, top with the caramelized onions and garlic, and finally add the zucchini pieces on top.
Return the pizza to the oven and bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. Top with freshly chopped chives and serve!
A Delicious and Healthy Fiber-Rich Vegetarian Pizza
If you’re a lover of pizza and enjoy a vegetarian option once in a while, I know you’ll enjoy this gluten-free version topped with zucchini and caramelized onions. Tasty, yet filled with fiber and vegetables, it’ll make the perfect Meatless Monday dinner option!
Once you’ve mastered the crust, feel free to branch out. Try experimenting with your favorite veggie toppings, fresh pesto, and sauces.
Have you eaten zucchini on pizza before? How do you like it? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!
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Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Felicia Lim
Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.