Laila Ali's cheesy cauliflower pizza recipe

Try this healthy pizza recipe!

The two-time "Chopped" winner demonstrates how to make three delicious and nutritious recipes from her new cookbook, "Food for Life."
Cook Time: min

Former professional boxer Laila Ali shared this recipe for her healthy cauliflower pizza, that is featured in her new cookbook, on "GMA" today.

"I think we can all agree that pizza is notoriously on top of the 'cheat meal' list," Ali writes in debut cookbook "Food for Life." "That’s what makes cauliflower cheese pizza so appealing to me--it’s a great fill-in for the real thing that you can enjoy much more often, even regularly if you go easy on the cheese."


  • For the crust:
  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 2 and 1/4 pounds), broken into florets and stems chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • For the Secret Red Sauce (Topping Option 1):
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes Up to
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar (optional)
  • For the Green Salsa (Topping Option 2)
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos
  • 2 or 3 fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, quartered 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste.
  • Cooking Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    To make the pizza crust: Pulse half the cauliflower in a food processor until broken down into pieces about the size of grains of rice. Spread the cauliflower out over a baking sheet in an even layer. Pulse the remaining cauliflower and spread it out over a second baking sheet in an even layer. Bake, stirring a few times, until the cauliflower is completely dried and lightly browned in some places, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

    Increase the oven temperature to 450°F and place a baking sheet turned upside down (so the pizza slides off easily after it comes out of the oven) in it to heat it up like you would a pizza stone (or use a pizza stone if you happen to have one).

    Return the cauliflower to the food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds to further break it down. Add the egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, garlic powder, and salt and process for about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the processor bowl once or twice, until a dough is formed.

    Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Form the dough into a round about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick with a rim around the sides to contain the toppings.

    Slide the parchment paper onto the preheated baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until well browned. Remove from the oven, add your choice of sauce and toppings, and bake until the toppings are heated through and the sauce is bubbling, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut into slices, and serve.


    To save time on cauliflower prep, use 2 pounds of store-bought riced cauliflower (you’ll find it in the produce aisle of some supermarkets); roast and blend as directed above.

    For the Secret Red Sauce (Topping Option 1)

    In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes, until softened and starting to color. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add the oregano, Italian seasoning, and salt and cook for about 30 seconds, until aromatic. Stir in the carrot and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes to coat them in the spices and start to soften them. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring to release any of the delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan and taste the sauce. Add a little salt if needed and some brown sugar if the sauce calls for a little sweetness. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce directly in the pan until smooth (for a silky-smooth sauce—especially for kids who would otherwise veto the veggies—transfer the sauce in batches to a standing blender and blend until smooth, then return the sauce to the pan). Cook for up to 20 minutes more (the flavors will continue to develop), or as much time as you have to get dinner to the table!

    For the Green Salsa(Topping Option 2)

    Peel off and discard the papery husks from the tomatillos; rinse them well. Coarsely chop the tomatillos and place them in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until chunky or smooth to your liking. For the Green Salsa–Poached Eggs, go for a smooth, soupy consistency; for a chip- or vegetable stick–dipping consistency, chunky is your goal. Add a little water if needed to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if needed. If you’re not using your salsa right away, pour it into a jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.


    Roasted Tomatillo Salsa: Preheat the broiler. Place the peeled and washed tomatillos, whole chiles, and garlic (unpeeled) on a broiler pan. Broil about 4 inches from the heat, turning once, until the tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, 6 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, you can roast the tomatillos on a super-hot cast-iron skillet for about the same amount of time.) Peel the garlic and transfer the contents of the pan, including any juices that the tomatillos have released, to the blender along with the cilantro and salt and blend as directed above.

    Recipe courtesy From Food for Life by Laila Ali. Copyright © 2018 by the author and reprinted by permission of St Martin’s Press.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: large cauliflower, egg, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, sea salt

    Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course

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