Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Bowls

Upon learning you live in Houston, anyone who’s ever been to Houston will likely look at you with pity in their eyes—how do you stand the heat?

Cauliflower Pizza Bowl // The Pancake Princess

Not long ago, I was still an adoring fan of Houston weather. I’ll take perpetual warmth and sun and mild winters over rainy, foggy northern California weather any day. I spend most of my days in an air-conditioned office, adhering to the advice of my coworker put it, “newsflash! If you don’t want to be hot, don’t go outside!”

But on the weekends, it’s clear this summer feels like a different beast. A planned hike last weekend was canceled after taking two steps outside in the swampy air. Laying out is no longer an option—pool visits are instead spent hiding underwater for as long as possible before breaking for a breath. I’ve accepted that instant sweat when stepping outside is going to be a thing. And inside? It’s a battle to keep our electricity bill from skyrocketing.


Erik and I made these cauliflower pizzas the other night (both dairy-free and not) and each gooey, flavorful bite was marked by ecstasy and regret. Ecstasy because, as Erik put it, those pizzas put to unbelievable shame nearly every other pizza we’ve ever consumed for a fraction of the carbs and calories. Regret because sweat was dripping down my neck as we chowed down at the kitchen table, the smoky kitchen air practically crackling with heat.

It’s summer! Who in their right mind is still baking?! I know many of you can relate to my struggle—I want to bake! But I shouldn’t!—but okay really: I think it’s time to lay down the oven mitts. So the next night, I made cauliflower pizza again, but in a bowl. Pizza-flavored cauliflower, pizza sauce, tons of fresh veggies and that delicious thing called nutritional yeast which vegans sometimes use as a cheese substitute (easily found at Whole Foods. You can buy it in the bulk section if you just want to try it out). I think it just tastes delicious.

Four minutes of cooking required. THERE we go.

Cauliflower Pizza Bowl // The Pancake Princess

Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Bowls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: ~2 pizza bowls

Serving Size: 1.5 cups cauliflower pizza mixture (no sauce or to

Calories per serving: 76

Fat per serving: 1.9g

A fresh bowl of grated cauliflower, sauce and veggies flavored like pizza is a tasty, healthy and minimal-cook alternative to the baked stuff.


  • 3 heaping cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal (optional, adds a nuttier flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (plus more for topping)

  • ~1/2 cup tomato-based sauce (I used pasta sauce from a jar, but you can easily puree a can of diced tomatoes with a little garlic, oregano and basil. So easy!)
  • additional topping options: broccoli, corn, bell peppers, caramelized onions, zucchini, spinach, olives, pineapple, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts


Process the cauliflower in a food processor until finely ground. Place cauliflower in a pan over medium high heat with approximately ¼ cup of water and steam for about 4-5 minutes or until water is mostly absorbed. Drain excess water. (Alternatively, microwave for 4 minutes.)

Let cauliflower cool while you assemble your toppings. Stir in remaining ingredients and top with sauce, veggies and more nutritional yeast. Eat!


Adapted from here

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27 thoughts on “Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Bowls

  1. Lianna

    I like this idea. a lot. although right now I just might prefer the actual pizza version because it is getting cold up here in Canada!! but I’m actually trying to become vegetarian and a bit more vegan wherever I can so this really is a great recipe idea to save!

  2. MaryBeth

    This looks so pretty, and my mouth is watering from the description!
    I also live in Houston, and feel the irresistible urge to turn on the oven at the worst possible times. Thanks for a great idea!

  3. Grace

    This looks so good, that this morning, I ‘m going right across the street to buy some cauliflower, also need some chamomile tea for this “first day of summer- sore throat. Like the idea of making quick tomato sauce from can diced tomatoes, that is minus the sugar from the jar pasta sauces.
    Stay cool, my latest fav thing to do that is relaxing is cook up new recipes at home, like yours. Thanks for sharing.

    1. erika Post author

      Haha yes! You hit the nail on the head :) Welcome to Houston!!! Ooh I just looked at your blog and I’m liking all the raw/vegan/vegetarian stuff on it. You should try Radical Eats when you get here! It’s a vegan Tex-Mex place up in the heights and my boyfriend and I are just obsessed with the raw taco. Love! Houston is such a food mecca–it’s awesome!!

  4. Brandi

    My friend makes cauliflower pizza all the time! Cauliflower is the latest “thing” and everywhere, but I haven’t tried it yet. I never liked cauliflower plain, but I bet it’s yummy as pizza! I’m obsessed with nutritional yeast too, I eat it daily! Ths looks really delicious and healthy! Oh, and tell me about it, Houston is sooooo flippin hot OMG!

    1. erika Post author

      Yeah I feel like cauliflower had it’s hey-day and is coming back into style! Which I love, because I adore cauliflower everything. Pinch of Yum makes an amazing cauliflower sauce lasagna!!! It’s my fav.


  5. laurasmess

    What a fantastic idea Erika!! Haha… living in Western Australia we experience exactly the same thing in Summertime. I end up drenched in sweat if I attempt to put the oven on (I don’t know much about Houston weather. How hot does it get? We experience a lot of days around 40-42 degrees C / 107 degrees f in Summer). Oh, and I adore nutritional yeast. I’m using it in all my kale salads these days for extra vitamins and delicious cheesiness! Definitely trying this recipe xx

    1. erika Post author

      Oof that is hotttt!!! I’m complaining, and we probably only get up to barely over 100 degrees F for a good amount of days during summer haha. But it is super humid here, so when you breathe in that thick air…ugh it just feels like swimming. But it makes popsicles taste that much better, right? :)

      I know, I love it too! The texture is so different from “real cheese” but somehow it does impart a cheesy, delicious flavor right? Love it. Hope you like this!!

  6. Megan

    I’ve been looking for more ways to use the nutritional yeast I bought. Thanks! And good luck with the heat – I’ll be back in it when I visit family in Cleveland, Ohio!

  7. Alex @ Brain, Body, Because

    I’m sure Pittsburgh doesn’t get anywhere near as hot as Houston, but my oven turns off in May and doesn’t come back on until September. NO EFFING WAY. It’s too miserable!

    As I’m moving to the South Pacific in a few months, do you have any tips for dealing with heat and humidity? I’m thinking I might just wear a sports bra 24/7 and shower twice a day…

    1. erika Post author

      Thank god Pittsburgh isn’t as hot! Wait–is your move permanent or are you coming back eventually?? Erik and I are trying to plan some summer vacations and Pennsylvania came to mind once or twice and I was like OMG I could visit Alex in Pittsburgh?! But noo if you move away how will we ever have crazy food fests together?

      Anyway, tips: oh god. I don’t even know. The first thing that came to mind was invest in popsicles. Or a popsicle maker. I don’t know how people do it. I feel like the native Houstonians have just adapted over time and learned to stay indoors! You sound like you’re on the right track so far :)

  8. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Thank God Vancouver doesn’t get as scorching hot as it sounds in Houston! I’d die. It’s been pretty warm lately and our puppy is really feeling it – she’s panting like crazy in our apartment at night. The fact that I’ve been baking in the heat doesn’t help (poor thing). Yup, that’s right – I’m one of those insane people who will bake her way through the summer. We just roasted chicken, for God’s sake. I should give us all a break and make this dish. Wow, that’s healthy! But packed full of vibrant, refreshing, tasty ingredients. Love this!

    1. erika Post author

      Aww poor Abby! She is SUCH a cute thing! No really, I would bake my way through summer if I could. But I just CANNOT. Thanks so much lady :)

    1. erika Post author

      Argh. As much as I want to, I just can’t when it’s so hot! Which doesn’t stop me from craving pizza, oddly enough…is that weird?


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