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by Kelly Bejelly

When you’re eating a gluten-free or Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet, it easy to miss your favorite foods, and it feels like gluten-heavy foods such as pizza and bread are at the top of most people’s ‘List of Foods They Miss Most’.

I mean, who doesn’t love the savory sweetness and melted cheesiness of a good slice of pizza?

To add insult to injury, merely switching to a gluten-free crust isn’t enough to solve the problem. For those living a strict AIP lifestyle, cheese and tomatoes – pizza’s two other main ingredients – are also off-limits. That makes a good AIP pizza tough all around!

But as the Girl Worth Saving always show us, there are many ways to make delicious and healthy pizza that fits your lifestyle. With a bit of creativity and a few minutes in the kitchen, you can substitute the usual ingredients for friendlier alternatives. Our personal favorite recipe is for this AIP-friendly Pesto Pizza.

This recipe checks all the AIP boxes and knocks out some of the many issues a conventional pizza poses for AIP eaters: it substitutes a cassava flour crust for traditional flour, a nightshade-free and zesty pesto for the traditional tomato sauce, and delicious fresh vegetables for melted cheese.

The result is a lively, fun and gourmet dish that satisfies by capturing pizza’s true essence, while being completely healthy and food sensitivity-friendly!

AIP Pesto and Veggies Pizza Recipe
Makes: 2-3 Mini Pizzas
Prep Time: 15 Min
Bake Time: 15 Min

Ingredients:

Cassava Flour Pizza Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups Cassava Flour (we like Otto’s)
  • 1/4cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1/2 cupWater
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

AIP Pesto

2 cups Fresh Basil
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 clove Chopped Garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons Fresh Oregano
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tablespoonFresh Lemon Juice
Salt (to taste)

Pizza Toppings

1 Red Onion (chopped)
Handful of Vegan Cheese (of your choice)
Greek Olives (sliced)
Baby Spinach or Fresh Arugula and Greens

For The Pesto:

Put all the ingredients into a food processor. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. You can add a dash of water if it gets too thick and be sure to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula or wooden spoon so everything is evenly blended.

For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, add cassava flour, salt and baking soda and mix together thoroughly. Add olive oil and water and continue mixing thoroughly with a spoon.If needed, you can also knead it with your hands until a thick and doughy pizza dough has formed.

Lightly coat your hands and rolling pin with a bit of cassava flour. Take half the dough and place it into a large cutting board and then stretch and roll it into a round pizza shape. With floured hands, pick up the pizza and transfer onto a quality steel or stone.

Repeat with the other half of the dough to make a second pizza.

Place the pizzas in the oven and bake for roughly 4-5 minutes. Once they’re par-baked, remove from the oven and spread the pesto evenly on top, and then add your preferred toppings. Place them back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes.

At this point, the dough should be thoroughly cooked in the center, and taken on a slight golden color; cassava flour won’t brown or blacken the way regular flour does.

Cut into slices and enjoy!

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