What if I’m dairy free and need a cheeseless pizza?For most people cheese on pizza is a given. But, if you are really into clean eating or have read our Clean Cuisine book, then you know cheese is not exactly at the top of the clean eating food pyramid. Although this recipe doesn’t call for a lot of cheese, the explanation is simply that a little bit of good, real cheese goes such a long, long way to contributing so much flavor, depth and deliciousness to certain dishes (pizza would most definitely qualify!) that I have not yet been able to 100% eliminate it from my diet. However, I do use cheese sparingly and I often incorporate culinary “tricks” that help maximize every last bit of yummy cheesiness possible. If you don’t want to use cheese on your eggplant pizzas, you can substitute pine nut “crumbs” (see notes at the bottom of the recipe below) for the cheese ingredient, but we didn’t totally eliminate the cheese altogether for our recipe. Howerver, this little swap trick will still give you delicious taste and satisfaction of a cheesy pizza–without the cheese. Oh! And cold, leftover eggplant pizza is every bit as delectable as cold, leftover pizza. You can also use the leftover eggplant pizza slices to make a insanely good sandwich.
Eggplant Pizza Recipe
This delicious Eggplant Pizza Recipe (with eggplant as the crust!) is the most frequent eggplant recipe I make.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 22 minutes
- Total Time: 37 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 large eggplant (sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (keep the skins on))
- Unrefined sea salt
- 1 cup good quality prepared marinara sauce (my favorite is Rao’s)
- 1/2 cup organic mozzarella cheese or extra sharp cheddar cheese (ideally from pasture-raised cows) OR for dairy free, substitute with pine nut crumbs (see below)
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Arrange the eggplant slices on a stone baking sheet or a parchment-lined baking sheets. Season eggplant with salt, using your clean fingertips to gently press the salt into the eggplant flesh.
- Bake the eggplant for 15-18 minutes.
- Remove the eggplant from the stove and spoon a large dollop of marinara sauce on top of each eggplant slice. Use the back of a spoon to spread the sauce evenly over the surface of each eggplant slice.
- Sprinkle the cheese or “pine nut” cheese on top of the marinara sauce, add a few chopped tomatoes and scatter the shredded basil on top.
- Turn the oven broil to low and return the baking stone/sheet to the oven for 3-5 minutes. Season with pepper to taste. Serve warm.
To make pine nut crumbs place pine nuts in a mini food processor and pulse until finely ground. Pine nut crumbs can be made up to one week in advance and stored in an air-tight container in the freezer.