The Fail-Proof Trick to Making Crispy, Gluten-Free Pizza Crust

Photo: Tatiana Boncompagni

Well+Good’s recipe writer Tatiana Boncompagni is a wellness reporter, group fitness instructor, and mom of three based in New York. She’s also the co-founder of Sculptologie. She believes that truly good food nourishes both the body and the soul, and that healthy food should be easy to make and even easier to enjoy. 

Growing up, Saturday night meant pizza—the kind you had delivered to your door that came loaded with cheese and pepperoni and sometimes breadsticks on the side. Looking back, my mom might of just been too tired to cook, but for us kids, it was a treat we looked forward to all week long.

I still love a good slice, but I'm not a fan of the post-pizza carb-hangover. My spicy eggplant and arugula pizza made with a chickpea flour crust satisfies my cravings and is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. That's not even the best part: It also cooks quickly, so it's a great go-to for when you get home late and need to eat something, stat.

Chickpea or garbanzo bean flour is having a bit of a moment. Its mild flavor and nutrient profile—it's high in protein and fiber—make it an easy, nutritious swap for wheat flour in a variety of recipes. (I love using it in chocolate chip cookies.)

When it comes to toppings, I believe that pizza, like a good Saturday night, should be yours to make your own. Me? I  like to throw on a spicy homemade pizza sauce that's bursting with garlic, herbs, mushrooms, fresh arugula, and roasted eggplant. Eggplant has always been one of my fave veggies because of its meaty texture and how it soaks up flavors, but it also happens to be a good source of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant found in purple, red, and blue vegetables and fruits. So that's basically a no-brainer.

Want to try a slice of chickpea crust pizza for yourself? Keep reading for the recipe.

Chickpea flour crust pizza
Photo: Tatiana Boncompagni

Eggplant and arugula chickpea crust pizza

When making the chickpea flour crust, using a non-stick pan will help reduce the chance that your pizza sticks to the bottom of the pan. Make sure that you cook the dough long enough so that it's golden on the underside and well browned around the edges on top. The result will be a nice, tender crust with a bit of crunch—no soggy cauliflower pizza here.

Makes 1 serving

For the sauce
1 can whole organic tomatoes
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp onion powder
2 sprigs of fresh oregano, destemmed
1 cup of sliced white mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

For the eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 eggplant, sliced in 1/2 inch-thick rounds
1/2 tsp salt

For the pizza
2/3 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pizza herb mix
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided.
1/2 cup arugula, chopped

1. In a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat, add tomatoes, oil, garlic, and oregano. Cook for about ten minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for about ten minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside. (May be made in advanced and stored in refrigerator for up to five days.)

2.  Heat oven to 400° F. Pour one tablespoon of the oil on a baking sheet. Arrange eggplant rounds on oil-coated sheet. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the eggplant. Cook 30 minutes or until eggplant is soft and browning in areas. Remove from oven and set aside. (May be made in advance and stored in refrigerator for up to three days.)

3. In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, herb mix, and water. Stir until well combined. Let sit for five minutes.

4. In a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon olive oil. Pour in batter and cook for five to seven minutes or until underside of pizza crust is set and golden. Add three tablespoons of tomato mushroom sauce and several eggplant slices (or other desired toppings) and transfer pizza to oven. Bake for five to seven minutes. If desired, turn the oven broiler on and finish the pizza by broiling it for one to two minutes, watching carefully to make sure toppings do not burn.

5. Remove from oven. Top with arugula and let sit for one to two minutes before carefully transferring to a cutting board and cutting into slices. Serve hot.

Serve your pizza with this winter take on the Caesar salad and this kombucha cocktail

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