Primal Recipe Video Contest – Primal Pizza


This is the video I am entering into the Primal Recipe Video Contest at Mark’s Daily Apple. As I discussed in my previous primal pizza post, I spent a long time developing this surprisingly simple recipe. I love pizza and was dissatisfied with my pizza options after I made the switch to primal eating. I wanted a good-tasting, firm crust that wasn’t a treat but something I could eat on a regular basis. Here’s what I came up with.

If you dont eat dairy or do not tolerate cheese, my apologies in advance. I have made this pizza crust without the parmesan cheese but it was not as firm as it is otherwise. I welcome you to give it a shot, though, and see what you think. I have also made this recipe using zucchini instead of the eggplant. If you do this, just make sure you salt the shredded zucchini and squeeze out the excess moisture. Also, make sure you end up with a pound of shredded zucchini before you add the other ingredients. If youre not sure how to get the water out of shredded zucchini, take a look at my recipe video from last year.

I hope this recipe is as useful to you as it has been for me. As I mention in the video, half of this crust, which I consider to be one serving, has about 330 calories. Not too shabby! Wishing you many years of delicious primal pizzas!

The Perfect Primal Pizza

1 lb shredded fresh eggplant
cup (60 grams shredded parmesan cheese
cup almond flour
1 egg white
oil or butter (to grease the parchment and baking sheet
your favorite primal pizza toppings

1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl.

2. Transfer mixture to a baking sheet lined with a large sheet of greased parchment paper.

3. Use your hands to pat and form the dough until it is approximately inch thick and your desired shape. I like to make either one large round pizza or two smaller individual pizzas.

4. Bake crust at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

5. As you hold the parchment, flip the pizza crust over onto the greased or non-stick baking sheet. Discard the parchment and return the crust to the oven for 5 more minutes.

6. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

7. Top the crust with your favorite toppings and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until toppings are melted and or heated to your taste.

Serves 2. Enjoy!!

53 Responses to “Primal Recipe Video Contest – Primal Pizza”

  1. Grok says:

    Oh man… You know I was waiting for this! 🙂

    Another for the arsenal. Thank you.

  2. Grok says:

    “don’t eat dairy or do not tolerate cheese, my apologies in advance”

    I’ve made them with almond cheese. It’s pretty good, but expensive.

  3. The flipping over process might be easier with a second pan. Cover with the pan and turn them both over.

    Not sure how much trickier it is to do with just the parchment, as you pointed out it is stuck to the paper.

    Also using a new pan, means it won’t be warm, so you might need to cook it longer than 5?

    Anyhow. Looks good and yummy either way!

  4. Sarah says:

    I made this for dinner tonight. My dough was very wet despite adding a little extra almond meal and it wasn’t firm enough to pick up a slice (it was more like a “pile” of pizza on a plate) but it was very tasty and I will try it again! I think next time I’ll try drawing the moisture from the eggplant first.
    Thanks for your hard work!

  5. shelley says:

    Sarah – I am sorry to hear your pizza turned out floppy. It is true that with a recipe like this there are a lot of variables which can be frustrating. The dough is fairly wet normally but it could be that your eggplant was more ‘moist’ than mine. Or perhaps you were using a thicker baking sheet or your oven wasn’t as hot? If you try again, I would suggest using the recipe as a guide but use your instincts as to whether it needs to cook longer, hotter, or have less moisture (as you mentioned). Another idea to consider is to make 2 smaller, individual pizzas as they are easier to flip over and tend to be firmer.

  6. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the tips, Shelley. As it turned out, there were a few slices left on the sheet when the smell attracted my teenage son. He managed to pick them up with no problem so maybe the secret is to let the cheese cool a little and firm up before serving?
    He gave it the thumbs up, we’ll definately be making it again!

  7. Annie says:

    I love the addition of eggplant! I’ve never seen that before…I’ll definitely be trying this!

  8. Mindy says:

    Thanks, Shelley. I was feeling totally uninspired for dinner last night when I saw your video in my feed reader. I had eggplant in the refrigerator (which my children will not normally eat), so decided to give it a go. I think I under-baked just a tad – you could only pick up small pieces, but taste wise it was a big hit. My kids kept asking for more and more, so it will definitely be a keeper around here. Thanks!

  9. I saw this video on MDA and was instantly intrigued. Was going to make my regular rotation eggplant lasagna tomorrow night, but now methinks those eggplants in the fridge might end up in my first go at making your crust!! I know my husband and preschooler would be grateful if I could churn out some primal pizzas.

    How does it reheat/reconstitute for the next day? Can you get away with microwave-warming or oven-warming it, or should folks stick to eating leftovers cold? (I’m thinking about packing leftovers for lunches…)

    Thanks so much for your time invested in perfecting and filming!

  10. Casey says:

    I tried this tonight (09-29-2010) one word…AWESOME!!!!!!

    I was alittle concerned about it since my eggplant had ALOT of seeds in it. After squeezing alot of water out of it I only had 8oz of eggplant but it made a good crush. Nice and crunchy. Will definately do again. I didn’t have almond flour so I chopped almonds up in my little food chopper. I took a picture and will send it your way.

  11. Nancy York says:

    I found you wonderful blog by way of Mark’s when you entered your eggplant pizza crust in the contest. I’ve been making an eggplant pizza I found on line but it’s slicing the eggplant and coating in egg and almond meal, baking then adding the toppings and baking again. I love your idea of grating the eggplant and will try it tomorrow. Thanks Nan

  12. Sue says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    You really have a point about the calories. A lot of the paleo-type pizza crust recipes are too calorie dense, plus if you like pepperoni it can all add up.

  13. shelley says:

    @Grok: Hmm.. almond cheese. I’ve actually never heard of that. Sounds fascinating, though.

    @Keith: Nice idea. I haven’t tried that but I would guess there’s probably an easier way to flip the thing over than my peel-off-the-parchment method.

    @Sarah: I’ve also noticed it becomes more firm after cooling. You “should” be able to at least pick up a slice and eat with your hand, though, not long after removing it from the oven.

    @ Mindy: The outer 2 inches or so are the firmest but just like with a regular pizza, the interior is less firm straight from the oven. It also depends on how heavily you load the toppings. Glad your kids liked it!

    @familygrok: We have yet to have any leftovers! I have made the crust in advance, though and just stored it between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. I would think that oven reheating would work best as the microwave may make it mushy. Cold would work, too, as it tends to firm up even more when it cools.

    @Casey – got your pic – love it! Squeezing the water out of the eggplant is a great idea. I’m just lazy. 🙂

  14. shelley says:

    @ Nancy – Your slices method is sort of how I got the idea. I used to sautee cubes of eggplant and then put them in the oven topped with tomato sauce, ground beef and cheese – so good!

  15. anna says:

    Oh can’t wait to try this… but first after the 30 day primal challenge is over. Now i’m not eating dairy at all but I will start after the challenge to introduce it slowly and see if I can handle it. I hope it will work!

  16. Primal Nini says:

    This looks awesome..can’t wait to try it. I have a perforated pizza pan, so I may not even need to flip it…maybe I”ll just try it on the heavily greased perforated pan! I’ll let you know how it turns out after I try it! I love eggplant…I am excited about this!

  17. John Gallant says:

    @Primal Nini: I’ve used perforated pans before with homemade dough and I would highly recommend using parchment paper on the pan as I suspect the results otherwise would be the dough oozing through the holes.

  18. Sue says:

    I tried to grate the eggplant and just ended up with mess. My hand grater must be blunt!

  19. Nitha says:

    I made these yesterday and they were the best pseudo pizza crust i have ever had, the whole pizza tastes as close to the real one as possible.
    Loved it . Thanks for your recipe

  20. Jane says:

    Shelley, thanks SO much! My first attempt just went into the oven; can’t wait to see how it turns out. A quick question in the meantime: would it work to do the shredding and mixing in a food processor, using the chopping blade? I hunted for my shredding disc but couldn’t find it, so just went ahead and shredded with a box grater. If I could just chunk the eggplant and dump it in the food processor with the other ingredients, though, that would greatly speed up the process. (Of course, there is a certain primal beauty about the hand grating!) Anyway, just wondered if you thought that would work. Thanks again!

  21. Vicki says:

    I was so excited to come across this!! Since going Primal, pizza was something I missed terribly. This will be dinner tomorrow night- thank you so much for posting. “)

  22. Jane says:

    Update: my crust is delicious–bready and just a little sweet. I love it. BUT: it didn’t turn out so well. I think I know why. I bought an eggplant that weighed exactly one pound, but by the time I’d trimmed the top and peeled it (in a misguided attempt to have a paler crust . . . of course, it darkened once grated!), it came to about 14 ounces. I tried to compensate by using a tablespoon less of almond flour and adding a tablespoon of coconut flour to take up the extra moisture from the egg white. And then I spread it too thin on my greased, foil-lined round pizza pan, so that, by the time it had cooked sufficiently, it was almost lacy, full of holes. And, it won’t release from the foil easily. I suspect it was this, spreading it too thin, that’s most of the problem.

    Onward tomorrow! And in the meantime, feasting on the closest thing I’ve had to bread in a looooong time.

  23. shelley says:

    @Primal Nini – I’ll be interested to hear about that. I do not own one of those pans but I was wondering myself if something like that would work.

    @Sue: Do you have food processor with a grater attachment?

    @Nitha: Thanks so much. I am so glad you liked it.

    @Jane: My only hesitation is that it could create kind of a soup that wouldn’t spread right. Also, by really chopping up the eggplant with the blade, you release even more of its moisture, and moisture leads to a soggy crust. If you decide to try it, let us know how it goes.

    Yeah, it sounds like it was just too thin. A few ounces less eggplant shouldn’t matter much – it might actually make the crust even firmer.

    I love primal cooking. Sometimes it reminds me more of a science experiment.

  24. Jane says:

    Thanks, Shelley. I’ll stick to the primal box grater and spread thicker next time (tomorrow).

    Yes, primal cooking is the best combination of science experiment and heritage cookery. I now have a stoneware grease keeper that my grandmother would have killed for.

  25. Keath Cole says:

    Floppy fall-apart pizza fail. A messed up kitchen with nothing to show for it. Well, except for “crustless pizza in a bowl” — which wasn’t half bad.

    I can’t tell if thinner or thicker would be better. I have an idea to fry it in a skillet like a pancake/hashbrown thing to really crisp up the outside. Going to try that soon, but first I have a lot of kitchen damage to undo before the girlfriend and roommates come home.

  26. Nancy says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It reminded me of the texture of whole wheat pasta, and tasted like real crust! Our first attempt didn’t turn out crispy, but our oven typically takes twice as long to cook anything as the recipe says, so hopefully that will fix the problem.

  27. Lindsay says:

    Hi Shelley, this recipe looks great! I am not a fan of eggplant, but I think I’m going to give this a try anyway. We make cauliflower crust pizza at our house, but I would love a recipe that firms up enough to actually pick it up and eat it.

    One question- why do you use just the egg white? Would it throw the recipe off too much to use a whole egg?


  28. sheris says:

    This is the best recipe! I saw it on MDA and was a little skeptical since I don’t like eggplant. But the one thing I totally miss since going primal is pizza… I’ve made it twice now and can’t thank you enough for such a great recipe.

  29. Jessica Jones says:

    We followed the recipe exactly– watched the video like 5 times while we made it– but it did not work at all. Our eggplant mixture seemed a lot wetter than in the video. We cooked it for more than 25 minutes during the first bake and it still fell apart when we tried to flip it. Kept cooking it and still it did not firm up. Our kids are hungry and waiting for dinner still… I’m pretty disappointed.

  30. Steve says:

    I’ve been making some of the recipes from MDA recently, each time I make one I wonder why I didn’t make it sooner.

    I’ve been looking forward to making your pizza since I saw the video (I’ve been trying to get over an addiction to Ben’s :]), and tonight I’ll finally give it a go.

  31. Steve says:

    Just made it. Damn it is good! Not crispy but I like the moisture.

  32. Dana Zia says:

    yippee!!! You are my new favorite person. First sandwich bread now pizza crust!! I will follow you anywhere!

  33. Kristen says:

    I tried this the other week and it has an amazing flavor. I did flip the crust successfully but found the edges didn’t stay together so well and the center didn’t get as crispy as the edges. Next time I’ll definitley do at least two smaller crusts as I think that will dry out better. Also thought it would be really cool to make lasagne noodle shaped crusts, maybe a little thinner, and then make lasgne with the crust instead of noodles. I think it would taste awesome! I felt like the shredded eggplant gives a more eggplant like flavor than just a slice of eggplant. LOVE THIS RECIPE!

  34. fable says:

    Shelley, thank you so much! You just gave me fresh inspiration to get back to good, primal habits. Made the pizza tonight, and it was awsome! Will make it on a regular basis. Although the grating was a bit tedious, and I will try to drain the grated aubergine a bit next time, since my dough got a bit too runny compared to your video.

    I will also try to make a wrap or cold pizza roll to bring for lunch.

    Again, thank you so much, please keep your delicious recipes coming!

  35. Jenn says:

    Can the do be frozen? I’m wondering if I can make a big batch and freeze some and use it for another time.

  36. Kelly says:

    I made this last night! I am a pizza lover so it was so nice to find an alternative to my greasy take out pizza. My crust was not crispy like yours. It was more like a cookie. Maybe my dough was too thick. I ate it with a fork and it tasted great. It was just yummy enough to fill me but it wasn’t scrumptious so I didn’t keep going back for more so it was perfect.So many people turn their noses up at a primal lifestyle. If the only knew how well we really eat. Thank you!

  37. Rob Umfress says:

    So we’ve made your crust twice now. The first time it was a little more soggy. We used the grater attachment of the processor the first time and cooked it per your instructions. The second time, I modified it a little to better suit us. I used half almond meal half coconut flour to absorb more of the water. Also, we used a mandolin slicer with the julianne attachment to grate the egg plant into larger strips that last time.

    When cooking, we use the reynold’s nonstick foil. It works wonderfully. To make it a little more crispy, we sprinkle a light dusting of cheese on the crust before baking and it comes out golden brown. We also cooked it 10 minutes longer on the other side than you suggest.

    The pizza still does not hold together very well 5 minutes out of the oven but after 10 minutes the pizza is still warm and can be held without breaking.

    I was skeptical at first to try this but I think its great now. Its our go to choice for pizza. I think I may add some seasoning in next time though, to give the crust more herby flavor.

  38. Jessica Jones says:

    Tried it again. This time I salted the eggplant shreds and let them sit for a few minutes, then squeezed the water out of it. It reduces the amount of eggplant I had to work with, but the crust came out just like in the video.

  39. Jen says:

    Little bit soggy but a whole lot delicious. I look forward to tweaking this to my own brand of perfection. Thanks so much for the awesome start!

  40. Primal Nini says:

    I made this last night. I had the moisture problem too, so will cut my eggplants into rounds, salt them, let them sit for a while, then shred them and try to squeeze the water out after shredding. The taste was fantastic, and I used shaved and grated fresh parmagiano reggiano, not hte powerdered kind, so wondered if I should then add some extra almond flour? I did use my holy pan without parchment…big mistake…it did ooze through, so won’t make that mistake again!! (I know, I know, the reader above already warned me not to do that!!) So, all in all, I will try again to make a drier crust, as the taste was very good!!

  41. cara says:

    WOW! This is great. The taste of the eggplant really works with the meats I used.

    I love pizza, but my stomach can’t really deal with eating cups and cups of almonds. Thanks for creating this crust!

  42. Austin Girl says:

    Made it last night! Fabulous! I hand-shredded the eggplant and squeezed the moisture from it. I even left a bit for my husband (a skeptic about anything that’s Primal and doesn’t taste awesome)to try and he said that it was great! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!

  43. Sean says:

    Just finished eating this and it was awesome! For the people that said it was soggy, you definitely have to squeeze the excess moisture out of the eggplant. I did and it came out perfect. I used chicken andoulle sausage, portabella mushrooms and jalepenos as my topping. One question. Any idea on the nutritional values of your recipe? I know it would be ballpark due to the variables but a guesstimat would be appreciated. I could eat my weight it this!

  44. Stacy W says:

    I’ve made this twice and it’s delicious! When I make the crust I add some italian herbs to it as well. I am so stoked that I can eat pizza again!! Thanks for the recipe!

  45. Amanda says:

    This was delicious, like a perfect marriage of eggplant parm & pizza, 2 of my favorite foods that I have not had since going primal last summer! I will try squeezing the moisture out of the eggplant next time, b/c it was more like a fork and knife pizza, but the taste of the crust was super.

  46. Jennifer says:

    Ugh I tried this tonight and it was an absolute mess!! Totally wet even with a little extra baking and a little extra almond flour. I’ve made crusts like this before and drying out the eggplant in some way is a must, so I was wondering why this one would be different. Found out it’s not. Total mush of warm eggplant is what I got. Bummer!

  47. Jamie says:

    I made this tonight and it came out wonderful. I let the eggplant stand about 10 minutes after grating and pressed it with paper towel to remove some of the moisture. I also cooked the first side for 5 extra minutes. I topped it with garlic and herb pork sausage, olives, spinach and artichokes. Pix to come on my FB page, which Dave can see.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  48. Erica says:

    I can’t find almond meal or almond flour, but I do have flax meal. Could I use that instead?

  49. Jessica says:

    We just discovered Mark Sission and primal living about two weeks ago and we came across your recipe. We made it for dinner tonight and it was A-mazing! Thank you! It was a little wetter than we expected and we did have to cook it a little longer but it turned out awesome. We are so excited about our new lifestyle and thanks to recipes like yours we don’t feel like we are depriving ourselves of anything. Grok on! 🙂


  1. Great links for the weekend! - [...] from This Primal Life entered an excellent primal pizza crust to a recent competition on Mark’s Daily Apple.  I…

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