July 7, 2013

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

After the HUUUGE success I experienced with my cauliflower crust pizza marinara and cheese pizza, I felt the time was ripe to try something new involving cauliflower crust. 
As I was making up my mind, the other day - on my way back from the gym - I walked by a pizza parlor and noticed some pretty good looking calzones in the window. 
That’s when it hit me: cauliflower crust calzone! Rad.

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

First of all, let me say this: it’s not complicated at all to make these calzones. It’s also really quick, which is a nice bonus.

Cauliflower Crust Discs

As with cauliflower crust pizza what really matters is to squeeze out all the moisture from the cauliflower rice. It’s mandatory and non-negotiable to get a perfect crust.

Top with mozzarella

Once you get the cauliflower dough ready you need to shape it into three round disc. 10 minutes in the oven. And then very quickly you add the filling.

Top with tomato sauce

With the help of a spatula fold the calzones. Another 10 minutes in the oven and that’s about it.

Gently fold with the help of a spatula

Feel free to fill the calzone with whatever you like. The classic filling is mozzarella and tomato (which is what I did), but play around.

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

Cauliflower Crust Calzone                                                                                     Print this recipe!

Ingredients 
Makes three medium size calzones (feeds 3)

Crust

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield about 3 cups once processed)
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Filling

6 tablespoons thick tomato sauce
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr mozzarella cheese
pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease liberally with olive oil.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets in batches (process until evenly chopped but not pulverized). Transfer cauliflower rice to a microwave dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze out as much moisture as you can (I squeezed out more than 1 cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry. Otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy dough, not a crusty one.
Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl and add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
Using your hands, press the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into three discs (diameter should be about 5 inches).
Place in the oven and bake for 10 (no more no less, 10 minutes).
Remove from the oven and, working quickly, top the half of each disc with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Using a large spatula carefully lift the half of the disc without filling and fold it over the other part (that’s ok if the disc brakes a bit).
Use your fingers to push the edges of each calzone together and seal in the filling.
Bake in the oven for an additional 12 minutes.
Serve hot!

Nutrition facts

One cauliflower crust calzone yields 161 calories, 8.3 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein.

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72 comments:

  1. OMG Mike looks amazing, I so have to try this!

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  2. This is genius. I never even imagined it would have been possible to make a calzone with cauliflower crust. Thank you Mike for sharing this!

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  3. This week I am avoiding wheat so this idea is just PERFECT!

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    1. OMG Eduarda I'm on a gluten-free week as well, that's why I made these. Let me know how it goes!

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  4. I love calzone! This one looks really healthy too

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  5. I want to make this right now!

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  6. Amazing recipe. The pictures are great. I'm going to try a vegan version using flax seed meal instead of the egg. Hope it turns out good!

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    1. Let me know how that goes Madhuram!

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    2. HOw did the vegan version turn out? I wanted to try to make it!

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    3. How did the vegan version turn out? I want to try it!

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    4. Did you have luck with the flax egg? This looks delish and I'm vegan as well... would love to know if it worked.

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  7. This looks amazing!! I am reducing my gluten intake and was terrified of losing my Love Affair with pizza and all things Italian. Thank you!! Trying this tomorrow :-)

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  8. This are an awesome idea. A lot like my Cauliflower tortillas but with a filling!

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    1. Cauliflower tortilla? Sounds awesome. Gonna need to check those out!

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  9. These* My spelling above was dreadful.

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  10. this is such a brilliant idea

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  11. Oh Lord Yum, have mercy on me! These look soooooo, but soooooooo good, my stomach is growling like mad! Will you ship one over, please, pretty please with [no] sugar on top? Or you could bring it with you when you jog all the way to Montreal! ;)

    Now you had me wonder... you think these cauliflower crusts could be pan fried? I'll have to give that a try!

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    1. Awwww Sonia you are truly the best!
      I'll try to pan fry a cauliflower crust tomorrow as well and let you know the outcome. You might be onto something ;)

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    2. You're too kind, really! :)

      Can't wait to find out the results of your little experiment. Hope it turned out great! :)

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  12. Will this still work without the mozzarella? I can't tolerate dairy. All I have is goat cheese. Would that work in place of the mozz for the crust?

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    1. It might work, but I'm not sure. I'll definitely try in the next few days and let you know how that goes!

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    2. I make something very similar and I use milled flax seeds instead of mozzarella in the mixture as I also can't tolerate dairy. It works out great. Cauliflower is awesome!

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  13. I made this tonight, exactly as directed. I thought it was AMAZING but I forgot that I dont really like oregano. I still ate a whole calzone and dont feel full at all.
    I'm making them for my dad tomorrow, with less oregano, and I'm adding grilled onions, garlic and thinly sliced zucchini.
    So far so good. Thanks Mike!!!
    -Brooke

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    1. That's awesome Brooke, so glad you liked the calzone. And btw grilled onions + garlic + zucchini sounds like a great combo!

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    2. I did exactly that, with less oregano and a little basil. My dad LOVED it and he loves absolutely nothing. I'm thrilled.
      You are amazing. :)
      -Brooke

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    3. YOU are amazing and I'm so happy your dad loved it (winning over picky eaters means it's one solid recipe!) :)

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  14. This sounds really good, but I do not own a microwave. Is there any reason it wouldn't work to bake the cauliflower rice in a covered dish in the oven?
    Thanks,
    Annette

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    1. The best option is to boil the cauliflower rice in water for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain it in a colander lined with a tea towel, and when it has cool off a bit, squeeze out all the moisture.
      One of the readers used this procedure for making cauliflower crust pizza and was very happy with the results.
      Let me know how that goes Annette!

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    2. Thanks.
      Annette

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  15. This looks absolutely scrumptious! What a clever use of the famed cauliflower crust! I'll definitely be trying these.

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  16. I made these last night: FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

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  17. I don't have a food processor. Any ideas on how to rice the cauliflower?

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    1. You can grate the cauliflower using a hand grater or a hand-chopped, just prepare yourself because it's going to be a tad tiresome! :)

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    2. I dunno if this relevant anymore but if anybody is going through the comment section and has the same prob, an other solution would be - tear up the cauliflower into florets, add into water and cook in the microwave/stovetop until soft. Mash the soft florets into a puree. Place in a towel/cloth and wring all the excess water out.

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  18. Wow.... really wow!

    I used your crust recipe exactly as written to make pizza. My toppings were a spiced tomato sauce (Italian spices, garlic and Sriracha sauce), bar-b-qued chicken, shredded mozzarella, black olives and shredded romano.

    I thought the crust would just kinda be there to support the toppings. Not at all. That crust is so tasty I can't imagine using flour for pizza crust ever again.

    This is fantastic tasting.

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    1. That's awesome Steve, I'm happy you enjoyed it. And yes, cauliflower crust is amazing, even better than the real deal

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  19. I can't wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe. I saw you used fresh mozzarella in the calzone and was wondering if this was also the mozzarella that you used in the "crust"? Fresh seemed like it might not "glue" as well as the other. I will be so happy if this works well enough for me to give up the wheat crust. So far I have not found a suitable sub for pizza crust and just keep it as my guilty pleasure!

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    1. I used fresh mozzarella, both in the crust and in the filling when I took the pictures you see in this post. Other times I used the "dry" type and I've noticed that since it release less moisture than the fresh, it "glues" better. However, in my experience, both works.
      I really hope you'll be able to enjoy this cauliflower crust, it's really the thing!

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  20. Thanks for the reply Mike. I was hopeful that this recipe would give me the pizza that I love without the wheat bloat...and it did not disappoint!! To me pizza can not be eaten with a knife and fork...I have to be able to pick it up! I had a few struggles with this, but being an amazing cook myself, it gives me something to work with. Even though I squeezed all the moisture that I could out, and then put it all on a tray in the oven while the oven was preheating...it was dry when I mixed it up....but too moist after baking. I think my problem was that I put some olive oil on the parchment thinking it would help crisp the crust, and then the sauce I made was a bit watery. So the final product was a bit soft, but the flavor was OUTSTANDING!! We couldn't stop eating it! I was able to pick it up to eat, it was like a wheat crust that had gotten soggy.

    After eating pizza last night on a wheat crust and feeling like my whole body was going to explode...I am forever grateful for the ingenuity of this recipe!! I can't wait to experiment with it more.

    Thanks for your passion for great tasting and healthy food.

    Lisa

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  21. Also...I forgot to mention...I steamed the cauliflower and then put it in the food processor. I don't use microwaves as they destroy the nutrients in foods...they actually change the molecular structure of your food and make it energetically very "chaotic". I wish more people would learn about this and give up their microwaves. It is sad to me that people go to great lengths to eat healthy food and then destroy all its benefits in a microwave.

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  22. Mike I can't wait to try this!! Would it work if I left the "rice" out to dry for a few hours before making the crust? I love the ideas for toppings shared on here and am going to try this for sure tomorrow for supper!

    Thanks!

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    1. I'm not sure if leaving the cauliflower out to dry works. I fear that the "rice" will reabsorb the moisture and then release it when making the crust.
      There's no harm in trying though. I'm curious...

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  23. Do the nutrition facts include the cheese and tomato filling?

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  24. I made this today. I had a little trouble getting all of the liquid out of the cauliflower. The calzone had a more 'rustic' look to it, and was more moist than chewy. It still tasted wonderful, and I will attempt this recipe again. Thanks!!

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  25. This was awesome, but for some reason it stuck to the paper and I had to through the first crusts away, then I tried without the paper and the same thing, it stuck badly to the pan. I had to really use the spatula to try to get it off and fold. Is that normal? Also, I made the calzones, but I don't think the crust would be strong enough for pizza to pick up and eat like pizza. Did I do something wrong?it was still great tasting, it just stuck and wasn't too crispy. It fell apart and kind of crumbled when I would cut through it with a fork

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    1. I think it all comes down in not squeezing enough moisture out of the cauliflower rice. It's the one thing that makes a whole lot of difference. As mentioned in the recipe the cauliflower rice should be dry before making the dough.
      Hope you'll have better luck the next time!

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  26. I followed the recipe to the letter and the calzone came out AMAZING! I have no words to express how good they were.
    Definitely going to make this over and over again.

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  27. Thanks for the advice about boiling the rice mixture! As I do not use a microwave.

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  28. I made this and suggest that you heavily grease the parchment paper before you put the cauliflower on it. I only lightly greased it and it stuck like crazy. Tasted great but was a mess!

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    1. Oh gosh Tami, sorry to hear that it stuck like crazy. It never happens to me, and I make a cauliflower crust (pizza or calzone) weekly. Could be the parchment paper you're using?
      I'm going to add a note to let people know that this may happen.
      Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Made this last night for dinner: SOOOOOOO YUMMY!

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  30. Great recipe! I never would have thought to use cauliflower like this. My crust turned out perfect. I followed the instructions letter for letter with a few exceptions. I didn't have a food processor so I had to rice the cauliflower using a grater. I used cheesecloth to drain the cauliflower. I stuffed it with cheese, sauce, fajita chicken and steak, sautéed onion and mushrooms. It was wonderful!!!!

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    1. Such a great idea to stuff with fajita chicken, mushrooms, onions and salsa. I bet it was delicious!

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  31. YUM! It turned out great! I cut the recipe to just make one for myself. I think the crust tastes better than wheat/yeast crust! Definitely will make again.

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    1. That's awesome Olivia, I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

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  32. Ok, instead of mousse, I tried out this recipe and it was superlicious! I never thought Cauliflower can be this good! Thank you so much for sharing it!

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  33. I don't have microwave, what would be an alternative to heat the cauliflower rice? boiling it? thanks!

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    1. The best option is to boil the cauliflower rice in water for 3 to 4 minutes. Then drain it in a colander lined with a tea towel. When it has cool off a bit, squeeze out ALL OF the moisture (remember that this is the most important part for making a crunchy cauliflower crust!)

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  34. I don't have a food processor. Do you think it would work to use a magic bullet?

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    1. Absolutely, magic bullet works just as well. You might need to process it in batches though.

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  35. This looks so DELICIOUS and I'd love to give it a try. However I threw out my microwave years ago. I only use an oven or stove top. what would you recommend would be the next best way to cook the "rice"? I'm asking what you'd recommend because I'm embarrassed to say that I'm not much of a cook at all, so I need all the advice I can get. Lol! (I have made cauliflower rice, once a few months ago, and roasted it on a baking sheet in the oven.)

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  36. Ok never mind! Guess I should of read the other questions first. Lol! I saw that above you recommend boiling the cauliflower rice for those of us with not micro- so thank you!! :)

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  37. The carbohydrate amount listed...Is that net carbs? If not, how many grams of dietary fiber is a part of that?

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  38. Love Cauliflower crust pizza and this looks awesome- never thought to calzone it! Cheers mate!

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  39. Has anyone tried this?

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    1. Like hundreds of people. Read the comments above!

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  40. could you just leave the rice out over night to dry it out as opposed to squeezing out the moisture with a tea towel?

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  41. I made this last night for dinner. DELICIOUS! Thank you.
    Bisous from France
    Marjolaine

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  42. This looks yummy. I'm heading into a non guten,non dairy elimiation die butI' hoping I'll be able to add back dairy and make this recipe. Any thouhts on what else to use as the glue if I can't eat cheese?

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  43. As a celiac, I get giddy about "gluten alternatives" THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I cant wait to make these! I will be making them with Egg replacer as I am allergic to egg also.

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