The Keto Files: Pizza Time!

(Source: Kristina Paukshtite/Pexels)

Welcome back to the Keto Files, a series where you can find some new foods to try out to spice up your quarantine or helpful tips to start on your keto journey.

Pizza is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but it isn’t necessarily legal on most diets. Unless you know the secret to making your own crust and having the right, keto-friendly ingredients.

So put down the phone and cancel that Dominos order, cause it’s time to make your own pizza, keto style.

(Source: Juan Manuel Nunez Mendez/ Unsplash)

There are two different ways to make a compliant crust, and we’ll start with the easier method, cheese. As we’ve established, cheese is the secret weapon to this diet as it can be a substitute for most carb-filled grains we usually eat. The other option is using ground chicken to form the crust.

Cheese Crust Recipe (Courtesy of Kirbie Cravings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup  mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½  cup  cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼  cup  parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ½  cups  mozzarella, shredded (for topping the pizza)
  • Whatever other toppings you prefer on pizza.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Line parchment paper inside a 9-inch round pie pan. You should cut the parchment paper into a circle that fits and completely covers the bottom of your pie pan, with a little extra leftover on two opposite sides so that you will be able to grip the parchment paper to help easily remove the pizza crust later.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the wet mixture into your pie dish. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom. Place into the middle section of your oven and bake for about 20 minutes until all of the crust is a light brown. It should be firm to the touch when finished.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Let the crust cool for a few minutes and carefully remove out of the pan by gripping the leftover parchment paper edges. Take off the parchment paper and place the crust onto a pie pan. Spread tomato sauce across the crust, leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges untouched. Spread cheese on top of tomato sauce. Add any other toppings at this time.
  5. Place pizza back into the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Chicken Crust Recipe (Via Hey Keto Mama)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken thigh (more flavor/fat than ground chicken breast)
  • ½-¾  cup  powdered Parmesan cheese
  • ½  cup   Parmesan or Mozzarella, shredded
  • ¼  cup  frozen spinach (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl mix ground chicken thigh, cheese and seasoning. Thaw spinach and remove excess water with a paper towel or cheesecloth, then add to the mixture.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press chicken mixture into an even thin layer.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and top with desired toppings (onions, bacon, cheese and sugar-free BBQ sauce can make a delicious concoction, but feel free to try something different).
  6. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and brown.

Now you have a savory pizza pie that you can eat without feeling guilty. I enjoy both recipes, but they have some differences. The chicken crust has zero net carbs, while the cheese can range from 2-3 depending on the mixture. 

The chicken crust is solid enough to hold up in the air like a normal slice of pizza, but don’t expect it to taste like a regular crust. It’s an acquired taste, but it’s very filling due to the high protein content and allows for some experimentation since chicken is your base.

The cheese crust gets a lot closer to the classic crust taste, but it won’t be as crunchy as you would expect. It can also be on the greasy side and some slices can be flimsy and fall apart if you’re not careful.

Both crusts can be premade and stored in the freezer for later use, which is a huge plus. Overall, alternative pizzas such as this have helped me stay on track with my diet during this challenging time in our history. Give it a shot!

(Source: Andrea Piacquadio/ Pexels)

Henry Wolski
Contributing Writer

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