Cauliflower Crust Garlic “Breadsticks”

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Cauliflower Crust Garlic Breadsticks

Please note that there is no bread in these “breadsticks”! They just taste like bread. :)

I made this recipe a couple weeks ago and it was so good that just looking at the pictures now is making me giddy about it all over again. And I’m not really the giddy type, lol (unless I’m antique shopping for blog props…yes, really!).

Let me back up a sec…

Cauliflower Crust Garlic Breadsticks 2

Lately I’ve been seeing cauliflower crust pizza recipes pop up all over the place. It seemed like the new fad, so of course I didn’t want to make it. When it comes to food, I’m drawn to the real deal with things like pizza and breadsticks, and I didn’t see how a “crust” made out of cauliflower could be good, let alone reminiscent of a real crust.

The other day when a friend called asking if I’d tried cauliflower crust pizza and I said no, she insisted I do so in no uncertain terms…she even threatened to not make her veggie-stuffed-and-smothered chicken breasts for me again until I try it. (Her veggie-stuffed-and-smothered chicken breasts are killer, so this is huge in my world.) She was as giddy about cauliflower crust then as I am now.

I agreed to make cauliflower crust, but as breadsticks instead of pizza. (As far as I’m concerned, pizza, specifically New York-style, holds a special place in my heart and a cauliflower-crusted imposter has no place masquerading there.)

So I made the breadsticks.

Cauliflower Crust Garlic Breadsticks 3

I took my first bite and had to stop and really enjoy what I was eating. Never would I have thought that a simple mixture with cauliflower as the base ingredient could actually taste like bread. It’s mind-blowing, really. For someone who eats low-carb or can’t eat regular bread because of allergies or for any other reason, I can see this recipe being a go-to.

Mike ate his fair share too, admitting that it actually did taste like bread. (And he is one tough critic.)

Something I noticed about this recipe is that if you let it cool for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven, the crust will harden a bit so it’s easy to hold like a thin-crust pizza. Straight out of the oven it’s delicious too, just much softer.

In random order, here are some recipes from around the web for more cauliflower crust inspiration:

Cauliflower Crust Hawaiian Pizza by Recipe Girl

Cauliflower Pizza Crust by One Good Thing by Jillee

Cauliflower Bread Sticks by Sandy’s Kitchen

Cauliflower Crust Pizza by Stick a Fork in It

Cauliflower-Crust Vegetarian Pizza with Mushrooms and Olives by Kalyn’s Kitchen

Cauliflower Crust Garlic Breadsticks 4

Cauliflower Crust Garlic “Breadsticks”
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ of a large fresh head of cauliflower (about 5½ oz/160 g)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz (115 g) mozzarella cheese, freshly grated and divided (low-fat cheese is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning, divided
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper
  • Marinara sauce, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so that the excess paper hangs over the sides; lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. To “rice” the cauliflower, grate it on a cheese grater; you should have about 1½ cups (lightly packed) of riced cauliflower. Put the riced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave (uncovered) until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally (don’t add water or anything else); cool slightly.
  3. While the cauliflower cooks, heat the oil in a small skillet over low heat; add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly; cool slightly.
  4. To the bowl with the softened cauliflower, add the garlic, egg, ¾ of the cheese (reserving ¼ for topping later), ¼ teaspoon of the dried Italian herb seasoning (reserving ¼ teaspoon for topping later), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and then spread in the prepared loaf pan.
  5. Bake until the loaf is set and starting to turn golden, about 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper; use the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the loaf pan and carefully flip it over onto the lined baking sheet (so the bottom is on top). Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat the broiler. Cut the loaf cross-wise into 8 pieces. Slightly separate the pieces and sprinkle the remaining ¼ of the cheese on top, along with the remaining ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning.
  7. Broil a couple minutes until the cheese is melted and golden in spots. Serve hot or warm. (Note that if you let it cool for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven, the crust will harden a bit so it’s easy to hold like a thin-crust pizza.)
Notes
Nutrition Information for This Recipe: After receiving many emails asking about the nutrition info for this recipe, I calculated it using the values on the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. However, please note that I am not a nutritionist and I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given. Also, please note that I calculated the nutritional information without the dried Italian herb seasoning, salt, pepper, cooking spray, and marinara sauce. Lastly, I calculated the recipe using low-fat mozzarella cheese.

Nutrition info for 1 serving (1/4 of recipe): 58.25 calories, 4.16g protein, 3.56g fat, 2.79g carbs, 0.83g fiber, 0.91g sugar

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Comments

  1. says

    HI Faith, Just wanted to let you know I’m trying this breadstick recipe tonight. I hope you don’t mind if I link back to this post when I talk about it on my blog. http://weightingfor50.com (want to give you credit for this) I’m excited to try it!!! Thanks too for your fantastic site. Just found it today via a google search for cauliflower crust. Can’t wait to check out more of your posts, and big congrats on your book. All the best from Vancouver. Roz

    • says

      Kristie, No, mine didn’t stick at all. There are a couple things I wanted to mention: 1) be sure you’re using parchment paper instead of wax paper – although they look similar, wax paper won’t work here; and 2) like the recipe says, be sure to lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Hope this helps!

  2. lauren says

    HI,
    I made these tonight and they were really yummy. I riced my cauliflower in a food processor and since I don’t have a microwave I baked it at 350 for about 6 minutes after ricing it. I was not mushy but I would have liked it a but crispier, next time I would bake it a little longer.
    Thanks!

  3. L.K. says

    Is there a way to make this recipe without microwaving the cauliflower? I hate nuking stuff because it is so bad for you.

  4. Kate says

    Is it possible to make this dairy-free? I suppose some sort of vegan mozzarella would work. Any suggestions?

  5. Ticia says

    These are delicious! I’m sensitive to gluten so after making a test batch, then a 3x batch to bring to work tomorrow I can see myself making this “crust” weekly at least to use as a sandwich base. Thanks for sharing!

  6. says

    Saw this on Pinterest and HAD to come see the recipe it looked SO good. I have ‘pinterested’ it for now, but will surely have to make an eggless version of this.. one of these days.

    Thanks for sharing your recipe as well as the other sites for more ideas!

  7. Jackie says

    Hey everyone!

    What a great recipe! My family and I are doing Weight Watchers, Points Plus Program, and with our calculations and a little bit of changing we got the recipe to 2 points a serving, without marinara sauce. We also got about 2 sticks a serving.

    We changed the eggs to egg whites which worked just fine. We also cut the cheese down to 3 oz instead of four. This brought each serving down to the 2 points instead of 3.

    Use your favorite low marinara sauce and you can stick to two points. Enjoy!

    • says

      Jill, I haven’t tried it with frozen cauliflower, so I can’t say for sure; I think the biggest issue would be that frozen cauliflower has quite a bit more liquid than fresh so it might cause the breadsticks to be soggy. You could try wringing out the frozen (and thawed) cauliflower in a kitchen towel or pressing it down in a fine mesh to remove excess liquid, and it might work that way. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!

  8. Renzo says

    Making these tomorrow. Wondering if you can skip the loaf pan and go right to baking on a cookie sheet?

    • says

      Renzo, I found that the loaf pan helped shape it, but baking it on a cookie sheet may work just fine. Let me know if you try it!

    • Karen says

      I tried making this before without a baking sheet, and it just wasn’t coming out right… The loaf pan made it perfect!!! I can’t wait to make this again. It’s all about the loaf pan and the final cut/browning step. Also, to make this dairy free: http://www.daiyafoods.com/ (dairy free cheeses)

  9. says

    Thanks. I did some googling and I think I’m going to use your recipe but bake it on a parchment lined pizza stone instead. I’ll let you know how it turns out. We’re excited to try it. My wife and I are on a “diet” and are cutting white flour etc so this seems very tasty!

    • says

      Hi Sofia, Without being in the kitchen with you it’s hard to know, but I can try to help troubleshoot. Did you make sure to follow the recipe exactly, especially where it says not to add water to the cauliflower when you’re pre-cooking it, and to flip the loaf over and bake for 10 minutes more? Also, like the recipe says, if you let the breadsticks cool for about 10 minutes before eating, they will crisp up a bit. Ingredients may have also been the cause – did you use fresh cauliflower? (Frozen cauliflower may have too high a liquid content for this recipe.) I hope this helps a bit with troubleshooting!

  10. Sofia says

    Thank you for taking the time to troubleshoot. I’m going to try again – regardless, my family loved them!

  11. Kellady says

    The original cauliflower crust (and breadstick) recipe was created by Jamie Van Eaton (aka Cleochatra) of YourLighterSide.com. Just thought I’d give credit where it is due. :)

    • says

      Kellady, Thanks for the info! I actually didn’t hear of the cauliflower crust recipe from that website, otherwise I would have included a link. You probably noticed in my post above, I didn’t take credit for the original recipe; I mentioned that it seemed like a new fad and recipes for it are popping up all over the place. :)

  12. Caryn Webb says

    Faith,

    A friend of mine posted this on facebook and it looked wonderful. I made it today and could not believe how wonderful this was! I did not have parchment paper so I used non-sick foil and that worked fine.
    Thanks for posting this!

  13. Mara Mann says

    Did this tonight with a whole head of cauliflower. I added an onion and used the food processor to grate the cauliflower, onion and garlic. I’m not big on the micro – so I sautéed these three things in a pan with the olive oil. Then I added the rest of the ingredients (quadrupled). I then spread the mixture in a thick layer on two silpat lined cookie sheets and baked, flipped with the assistance of two additional silpats and proceeded. I cut into large pieces before broiling, topped with sautéed mushrooms and a homemade marinara. Coupled with roasted brussel sprouts and a glass of red and this was absolutely heaven. Thank you!!!!!

  14. says

    Just found this on Pinterest – it looks amazing. I bet I could fake my cauliflower hating husband out with this, not to mention getting my picky eater to eat it. I’ll just tell him it’s homemade pizza. ;)

    • says

      Hi Abby,

      Thank you so much for letting me know…I really, really appreciate it! I’ve contacted the owner of the Facebook page. It’s always so disheartening to see people doing things like this. Anyway, thanks again.

      Faith

  15. Donna says

    This looks like my perfection aperitif!

    Could I possibly use nutritional yeast instead of cheese ?…Wish I could digest dairy better!

    • says

      Donna, I haven’t tried this recipe with nutritional yeast instead of cheese. Along with the egg, cheese is needed for a binder in this recipe, so in order for it to turn out properly you might need to replace the cheese with something else that is just as good a binder. Keeping it grain-free might be hard to do if the cheese is removed. If you decide to try it with nutritional yeast instead of cheese, let me know how it turns out!

  16. Louanne says

    First, congratulations on the move – how exciting! Secondly, these were amazing! I brought them to work as a test taste – no one guessed they were made with cauliflower. I’ve seen the recipe floating around Pinterest, but until I saw your post, I had no real interest in making it. So good!

    • says

      Debbie, I haven’t tried this recipe using silpat instead of parchment. The parchment is there not only to coat the bottom of the pan, but also the sides, not only to prevent sticking on the sides, but also so that the parchment can be used to easily flip the breadsticks over. It might work with silpat if you have a silpat liner that fits nicely into a loaf pan and you take care to grease the sides well (since they’ll be in direct contact with the pan). Hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy it if you make it!

  17. Bobbi says

    I’m making the family pizza tonight but I’m gluten free. Do you think this would work for my pizza crust? I was thinking of adding the toppings after flipping the bread. What do you thing?

  18. Liz says

    Hi there, thanks so much for this lovely recipe. I made it, but I confess that I cannot just follow a recipe too religiously and inevitable add to it. I made it once as per your recipe and the second time I added 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp mustard powder. Fabulous either way. :-)

  19. Bonnie says

    Tastes great! I may have rolled it too thin, and I used wax paper instead of parchment ….( I read that you shouldn’t after I put it in the oven) After about 15 min., I flipped it, because I noticed the ends browning, it stuck pretty bad to the paper, but I was able to salvage most of it ; ) I used pepper jack cheese instead of mozzarella….I will defiantly make it again, fixing my mistakes next time ;)

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