What to make for dinner tonight? Hawaiian pizza to the rescue! Salty, sweet, crunchy, cheesy—that’s the combination of flavors you get in this pizza, which also happens to be gluten free because it’s made with a cauliflower pizza crust!
It may seem odd to add fruit to a pizza, but ham and pineapple is an exception to the rule. Savory slices of cured Canadian bacon pair nicely with sweet and tart diced pineapple, all held together with melty mozzarella cheese.
This version of Hawaiian pizza takes on an unconventional twist. It’s made with a cauliflower pizza crust instead of the traditional wheat-based dough!
You’ll be delightfully surprised by the tender, chewy texture, similar to a thin flatbread. The crust is easy and fun to make, giving you a nutritious and lightened up pizza option.
HOW TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUST
Cauliflower has become a common cruciferous vegetable added into recipes and, if you haven’t noticed, it’s made its way into pizza. Are you ready?
This cauliflower pizza crust recipe is simple to prepare. Florets are processed with corn flour, eggs, olive oil, salt, cornstarch, and parmesan cheese. The eggs and cheese help to bind the pizza dough together for a flexible slice that’s easy to pick up.
The finely ground corn dominates the taste, providing earthy notes. It also gives the crust that irresistible chew, similar to wheat flour, but without the gluten.
Check out the step-by-step recipe: How to Make Cauliflower Pizza Crust
The neutral taste of cauliflower infuses its veggie superpowers without any undesirable flavors. Each serving has extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals that you wouldn’t get in traditional pizza recipes. It’s a versatile crust that you can expand to add any topping you’re itching for. Yes, you can have your pizza and eat it too!
Don’t feel like cauliflower crust? Swap in one of these recipes instead!
THE TOPPINGS FOR HAWAIIAN PIZZA
This is a “red sauce pie,” so use pizza sauce or fresh tomato sauce to build the base. Whatever is most convenient for you!
Look for whole balls of part-skim or whole milk mozzarella instead of the pre-grated cheese. These have the best the best melting properties.
What about the ham? I’m a big fan of Canadian bacon. Also known as back bacon or peameal bacon, it’s a leaner, cured, and fully-cooked pork ingredient compared to the American belly cut counterparts that need additional cooking.
Take your pizza to the next level by adding both Canadian bacon and smoked American bacon on top! That way you’ve got your savory and smoky bases covered. If you’ve got leftover ham from the holidays, ham steaks, or deli slices of ham that needs to be used up, they’ll work, too.
If you’ve got a fresh ripe pineapple begging to be cut up, I would recommend using that first. However, I don’t recall often being served up anything but the canned diced pieces from pizza parlors, so don’t be shy to use what’s more convenient.
I like canned products because the fruit is picked and harvested at its peak, so the taste should be consistent and balanced.
HOW TO BAKE THE PIZZA
First, par-bake the cauliflower crust without toppings for 10 minutes before adding the toppings. This ensures that the excess moisture from the cauliflower and other ingredients evaporates, and the crust sets on the bottom and edges. The worst thing is a soggy crust, and the pre-cooking stage at high oven temperatures of 475ºF will take care of that.
The crust is flexible and holds together well, but it is relatively thin and doesn’t have that extra gluten-bonding action of a regular wheat crust.
Don’t overload the ingredients on top or it can be a little tricky to hold a fully loaded slice in your hand. I’ve found that about a 1/2 cup of pizza sauce, 4 ounces of cheese, 4 to 5 slices of chopped ham, and 1/2 cup of diced pineapple gives just the right balance on an 11-inch pizza crust.
Finish off baking the pie in a blazing hot oven until the cheese is hot and bubbly and the other toppings are warmed through. Be careful to watch that the edges of the crust stay crispy but not burnt. It’s a 5-minute countdown from this point until you can devour a slice!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH YOUR PIZZA
This Hawaiian pizza recipe serves up about 8 slices, just enough for a family of four or a hungry pair. I like to have some additional sides to make it a complete meal such as a Caesar salad, wedge salad, broccoli slaw, or zucchini sticks.