Sunday, August 29, 2010

Recipe for Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices

Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices
This is a healthier pizza option, which just might satisfy that pizza craving!

This idea of grilled zucchini used as a base for pizza toppings is one of those cooking ideas that swirl around in my head, and sometimes I'm never sure if I thought of it or saw it somewhere else. I kept wondering how it would work to arrange a marriage between Grilled Zucchini and Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini Rounds with Cheese, with the offspring having a little pizza personality, and when I saw Alea's Eggplant Pizza Bites on $5 Dinners, it convinced me to try it.

Even so, this is only a recipe in the very loosest sense of the word, because anything you like on pizza could be cooked on top of a thick slice of grilled or broiled zucchini. I'm a pepperoni girl, so of course I had to have that, but the topping options are endless here. Admittedly, this is not a pizza in the truest sense of the word, but if you'd like pizza flavors with a "crust" that's gluten-free, low-glycemic, and low-carb, this is an idea you may end up liking just as much as I did!

I used an over-sized 8-Ball zucchini to make my pizza, but any large zucchini could be used here. You may want to slice it lengthwise if it's a long zucchini. (I wouldn't use the enormous zucchinis that are mostly seeds inside.) In an earlier post I shared the types of sauce, pepperoni, and cheese I use to make South Beach Diet Friendly Flatbread Pizza. I do like the Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce I used in that recipe, but this time I didn't want to drive to Whole Foods, so I was pleased to discover that this sauce from my neighborhood grocer also only had 3 grams of sugar per 1/4 cup.

Cut slices of zucchini about 3/4 inch thick, then brush both sides lightly with olive oil.

Grill the zucchini slices on one side for about 7-8 minutes, or until there are some grill marks and the zucchini is starting to get tender. (If the slice has one side that's larger, grill that side first so it's the top of the pizza.) If you don't have a grill, this could definitely be cooked under the broiler.

Remove the zucchini slices from the grill and put on a cutting board with grilled side up so you can carry them into the kitchen to add the toppings.

I put about 1 T pizza sauce on the top of each zucchini slice, but the amount will depend on how big your slices of zucchini are. You can heat the sauce if you'd like, but next time I might not bother. (I think Basil Pesto or some type of white sauce would also taste great on this.)

Then put other toppings as desired on top of the sauce. I added a pinch of pizza cheese, a few slices of turkey pepperoni, and then a slight sprinkle of additional cheese. (I used to laugh when Emeril said on TV "We're really cooking here," but you can see there was no food stylist for this shot. Sorry about the messy photo, but you get the idea.)

Then put the topped pizzas back on the grill (or under the broiler) and cook for 7-8 minutes more (or probably less time for broiling.)

Remove pizza from the grill and serve hot! This pizza will be a hit with zucchini-loving adults who like pizza. I'm not sure if kids who were real picky about veggies would eat this, but I'm guessing quite a few kids would like it.

Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices
(This "recipe" is just a guideline, adjust amounts to make as many pizzas as you'd like. I thought about using grilled zucchini as a base for pizza for a while, but Alea's Eggplant Pizza Bites at $5 Dinners were what motivated me to try it.)

--large zucchini slices, cut 3/4 inch thick (see recipe notes)
--olive oil, for lightly brushing both sides of pizza and oiling grill grate
--pizza sauce of your choice (I used canned red sauce, but you could also use Basil Pesto or white sauce. Extra sauce can be frozen for later. Choose sauce with the lowest grams of sugar for the South Beach Diet.)
--grated cheese (I used a blend of low-fat cheese called "pizza cheese," but you can use any cheese you'd enjoy on pizza.
--pizza toppings of your choice (I used low-fat turkey pepperoni, but you can also use sauteed mushrooms, Canadian bacon, cooked sausage, caramelized onions, sliced olives, anchovies, sauteed bell peppers, or any other toppings you'd like on pizza.)

Oil the grill grates (I use a bit of oil on a paper towel), then preheat grill to medium-high. (If using a broiler, it should be reheated as well.)

Cut zucchini into thick slices about 3/4 inch thick. (I used 8-Ball zucchini, which made lovely round slices, but you can cut the zucchini into round slices or lengthwise slices, depending on what shape the zucchini is. I wouldn't use enormous zucchini with large seeds for this recipe.)

Grill the zucchini 7-8 minutes, or until there are some grill marks and it's starting to be tender. (If the zucchini has a side that's slightly larger, grill that first so it will be the "top.") If desired, you can heat the sauce while the zucchini grills. (I did, but next time I might not bother.)

Remove zucchini from the grill, putting them grilled-side up on a cutting board you can use to take them to the kitchen. Add sauce, cheese, and other toppings as desired. (I spread each slice of zucchini with about 1 T red pizza sauce, then sprinkled each piece with a generous pinch of pizza cheese, added 4-5 slices of turkey pepperoni, and sprinkled over a tiny bit more cheese.)

Put loaded zucchini slices back on the grill and cook 7-8 minutes more with the grill lid closed. (Check them every few minutes to see when the cheese is melted and the toppings are lightly browned, especially if you're using a broiler. If you have a gas grill where you can regulate the heat, I turned it to high when I put the pizza back on.)

Remove zucchini pizzas from grill and serve hot. (I doubt this would reheat that well, but if anyone has leftovers and tries reheating it I'd love to hear how it works.)

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Using grilled zucchini instead of a crust makes this a more low-glycemic pizza option for the South Beach Diet, but you still need to use toppings that aren't too high in fat. I talk more about reduced-fat pizza toppings in the recipe for South Beach Diet Friendly Flatbread Pizza.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Ideas for Zucchini with Pizza or Cheesy Flavors:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn's Kitchen
Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley from Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Pizza Bites from Green Lite Bites
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Bites from Skinnytaste
Zucchini Crust Gluten-Free Pizza from A Gluten-Free Guide
Stuffed Zucchini Pizza Style from Green Lite Bites
Passover Zucchini-Matzoh Meal Pizza from Blog Appetit
Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbed Goat Cheese and Kalamata Olives from Cookin' Canuck
Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan from Former Chef
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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123 comments:

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Those are absolutely adorable, and perfect for the eight ball zucchini. I'd substitute mushrooms for the pepperoni to make my own favorite "pizza" topping.

Beth M said...

Those are so cute!! What a fantastic idea :D

Kalyn said...

Lydia, it was a good way to use those 8-Ball zucchinis that got a big larger than I wanted!

Thanks Beth, it satisfied my pizza craving very well!

Bron said...

Awesome Kalyn, they almost make me look forward to my zucchini glut ;-)
We're soooo ready for summer down here, let me tell you!
My girls will love these, such a fantastic idea.

Kalyn said...

Thanks Bron. I am enjoying the cooler weather here, but not ready for winter! Hope the girls like the zucchini pizza!

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a fun idea! I think that these would get my kids excited about zucchini. Those grill marks are perfect.

Kalyn said...

Thanks Dara! The new grill gets so hot, it makes good grill marks. I hope your kids like it if you try it.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I love this idea. It's one of those perfectly simple dishes that make me wonder why I never thought of that.

princessaioli said...

What a smart idea! Do you think any other squash would work? Acorn squash came to mind...

Kalyn said...

WC, thanks (I know just what you mean; I feel that way all the time when I see things people have come up with!)

Princess Aioli, I'm having a hard time imagining this with acorn squash, since you can't eat the skin, but yellow squash and other types of summer squash would work for sure.

The Italian Dish said...

This makes so much sense. Brilliant.

Laura Lee Drum said...

This is an amazing idea! I'm constantly blown away by your ideas! I have no idea where I would be without your blog!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Elaine! Your dinner sounded brilliant on Twitter. Wish I had been there.

Laura, thank you! You are too kind. Sometimes I have no idea where these ideas come from.

Barbara said...

Kalyn this is such a great idea.So much healthier than the usual pizza.

BTW I loved your voice on my birthday video from Sam. hope we get to meet someday.

Joanne said...

Healthiest pizza slices ever! These are so cute and would work so well to satisfy pizza cravings without breaking the calorie bank. Love it.

Saee Koranne-Khandekar said...

They look perfect! They'd make great appetizers or cocktail snacks!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Brilliant!

Kalyn said...

Barbara, we will meet someday, I just know it. I really want to come to Australia.

Joanne, it did the trick for me. I especially like using turkey pepperoni in this (love the turkey pepperoni!)

Saee, they would be snack sized if you sliced a long zucchini into rounds. Mine were about the size of a piece of bread.

Susan, thanks!

CJ said...

Great idea! They look sooo tasty too!

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Oh, how appetizing and what a brilliant idea, Kalyn! Healthy pizza bites and another way to use zucchini. :-) Now I want to get a zucchini just to try this recipe/concept! ;-)

Shirley

Kalyn said...

Thanks CJ. And they were definitely tasty!

Shirley, so perfect for gluten-free pizza. Hope you like it!

Maria said...

Genius idea! I can't wait to make a zucchini pizza.

Jessica@tastyandtrim said...

Zucchini pizza is such a great idea! I bet it would taste yummy with eggplant as a base too :)

Kalyn said...

Thanks Maria! Hope you like it.

Kim @ Two Good Cookies said...

This is ingenious! I can't wait to try it! The last thing I need is another reason to get grilling!

Kalyn said...

Jessica, Blogger is messing me up again, sending the comments slowly. Didn't mean to reply to Maria and not you. I agree, I think eggplant would be very good.

Kim, so many grilling recipes, so little time, huh?

danasfoodforthought said...

This sounds great! I've had "portabella pizzas," but have never used zucchini as crust. I'll have to try it!

Carolyn said...

Great idea! I've seen zucchini used in a pizza crust, all grated and made with eggs and such, but this simplifies the whole thing immensely. And eggplant would be gorgeous in it too. I used eggplant as a burger bun this summer, just impromptu, and it got me thinking about some great uses for eggplant.

Cynthia said...

Who needs pizza when they can have these! Oh gosh, zucchini never looked this good!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

What a fun idea! I've got to tell my SIL about this. It might just pass the lips of my ever-so-picky niece! If not, my SIL and brother would love them.

Kalyn said...

Dana, I love the idea of a portobello pizza too! I need to try that!

Carolyn, great idea to use eggplant as a burger bun! I did run across some recipes for pizza crust with grated zucchini, and I thought that sounded interesting too.

Cynthia, thanks! I have to say, it was really good.

Susan, hope they can get the niece to eat it!

FabFrugalFood said...

Once again, your culinary genius is inspiring. Such a brilliant idea!

When can I come over for dinner?

Kalyn said...

Donna, I'm blushing here. And come over any time for dinner!

Karina Allrich said...

What a clever idea! I love it. And it's a fun treat for gluten-free folks. You rock. xox

Kalyn said...

Thanks Karina. (You rock too!)

Vanessa said...

Great idea! Pizza in any form get's me everytime!! It's my absolute favorite.

Kalyn said...

Vanessa, thanks! Glad you like the idea.

sarahp said...

I am so serving these as appetizers next time I have drinks. What an ace idea!

Marlis said...

Fab idea but Chef B as a sauce??? I'll substitute but I'll definitely try your idea. I've never met a zucchini I didn't like and this is awesome indeed!

Christine said...

I do this with roasted eggplant as a base, which is tasty, but I really like your recipe better!

Kalyn said...

Sarah, glad you like it. Regular zucchini slices would make great appetizers.

Marlis, I usually buy Muir Glen Organic pizza sauce, but I made this on impulse, and my regular store didn't have that. Actually I was surprised how tasty the Chef Boyardee sauce was, lol!

Christine, I have to try it with eggplant!

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

Wow! I love this idea. Very cute and great use of veggies and alternate pizzas! LOVE IT.

Thanks for sharing
Erin @ EKat's Kitchen

Kalyn said...

Thanks Erin. Glad you like the idea.

Carrie said...

What a fantastic idea! I'm always trying to think of low carb pizza-like ideas. And anything with pepperoni and I'm in :) They look great.

Kalyn said...

Carrie, thanks! I'm a big pepperoni fan too, so I loved using it like this.

tryityoumightlikeit said...

This is incredibly brilliant! Sometimes I buy the mini pepperoni and that would be so cute on these.

Kalyn said...

Oooh, now I want some mini-pepperoni. I haven't seen that!

Cara said...

As a lover of grilled veggies and anything with sauce and cheese, this sounds great to me :)

Kalyn said...

Cara, you could have been describing me as well!

katiez said...

I had an 8-ball get to basketball size (it was buried under the leaves). These looks sinfully delicious and not at all veggie like!

Kalyn said...

Katie, they were very tasty, although I don't think I'd use a zucchini quite that big!

Ann said...

Wow that's like the best idea ever! I had huge influx of zucchini recently, and I wish I had known about this. Great concept, well executed. : )

Kalyn said...

Thanks Ann. Hopefully you will have more zucchini soon.

nic said...

Yummm, these look great!

Kalyn said...

Thanks nic! Hope you will try it.

Paula said...

I looove that idea! I`m going to make this soon :)

Kalyn said...

Paula, it was definitely good!

Debs said...

I've made a similar recipe using aubergine (eggplant) as a base.
That was yummy too!

Kalyn said...

Debs, I must try with eggplant. Unfortunately my eggplant isn't growing well at all this year.

Kevin said...

I like the sound of a zucchini pizza!

Kalyn said...

Kevin, thanks! It was definitely tasty.

FJK said...

A belated thank you for the link.
By the way, although the zuke pizza you link to is made with matzoh meal, it can easily be adapted to cornmeal or flour.
thanks again.
Faith

Kalyn said...

Faith, thanks for that info, even better!

Katie said...

I made this with Eggplant instead of Zucchini's because of the abundance of it we have been getting from our farm share. It is fantastic! My husband loves it too. A co-worker tried it with the eggplant and loved it. She also replaced the eggplant/zucchini with a portabella mushroom and said it gave a larger surface and was delicious. Thank you for all of your SB phase 1 recipies. It has been helping us for weeks!!!!!!!!

Kalyn said...

Katie, love the sound of this with eggplant and portabellos both, and so glad the recipes are helpful.

Campbell said...

I just made these and they were so delicious! What a great idea! They didn't have the eight ball zucchini at my grocery so I just used zucchini squash and made mini pizzas. Absolutely loved them, thanks so much!

Kalyn said...

Campbell, so glad you liked them!

Barbara Bakes said...

This recipe makes me want to plant 8 ball zucchini next year. It sounds fabulous!

Kalyn said...

Barbara, you can make this with larger zucchini cut in slices, but the 8-ball zucchini are really perfect and the flesh is firmer (not like the big zucchini with a lot of seeds in the middle. And they're great for plain grilled zucchini too.

Anonymous said...

These look awesome. I found a very low carb option for the sauce... Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette from Kroger. Tastes awesome and is a great tomato sauce substitute.

Kelly said...

I just made these - best pizzas ever! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe. :D

Kalyn said...

Kelly, so glad you liked it!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Kalyn,
Our Zucchini in our garden is blooming. I can't wait to use some of it for your wonderful pizza slices recipe. What a great idea, it looks delicious! Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

Kalyn said...

Helen, lucky you to have zucchini this early. Still months away here. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

Jackie said...

Oh my. They look delish! Must try...

Kalyn said...

Thanks Jackie!

Quiddity said...

Just gave this a shot with eggplant, three boys aged 15, 12 and 4 all had seconds. Total hit! Love it! I like the idea of trying it with portobellos ....

Kalyn said...

I love the idea of making this with eggplant (or portobellos too, that would be a wow for me!) So glad it is kid approved!

Kristen said...

I am totally making this this weekend. What a great idea!

Kalyn said...

Kristen, hope you like it!

Kyle and Ali said...

On day 3 of SBD and made these tonight. DELICIOUS!! Added some red bell pepper and some romano cheese for flavor. Even my 2 year old son was excited for his "pee-puhs" for dinner! :) Thanks for the recipe and for this blog! Love it :)

Kalyn said...

You're so welcome; so glad you liked it and that it was a hit with the little one too.

Sarah S said...

As always, I love your recipes! Tried these tonight with 2 versions. One set I did the pepperoni kind, the other I did pesto sauce, six-blend shredded italian cheese and sun dried tomato. I couldn't pick a favorite, they were both so delicious! Additionally I did 2 large portabella mushrooms of each version... the mushrooms were awesome, but the zucchini knocked it outta the ballpark!

Kalyn said...

Sarah, so glad you liked it, and I love the sound of your version with pesto too.

Jess said...

Kalyn - I found this on Pinterest and we just had them tonight - EXCELLENT! I'm not much of a plain zucchini fan, so this was perfect for me - thanks!

Kalyn said...

Jess, so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Garrett and Denise Stone said...

Can I do this same recipe with eggplant?

Kalyn said...

I haven't tried it with eggplant, but there is a comment from someone here who made it with eggplant and said it worked well. I think eggplant is a bit softer after it's grilled so I might cut it a bit thicker and maybe cook a slightly shorter time.

Quiddity said...

It is totally delish with eggplant, just make sure to peel it, and even better with portobellos. My Italian husband was speechless at the mushroom pizza ...

Kalyn said...

Thanks for sharing your experiments with eggplant and portobellas. They both sound great to me.

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

These are so cool! I definitely would like to try to see if I can get my otherwise vegetable-avoiding toddler to try them (he just might!).

Kalyn said...

Kathy, that would be so cool! I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

KirstyWrites said...

I also found this on Pinterest and it looks great! I'm going to be cooking this tonight but am swapping the zucchini for pumpkin (I love roasted pumpkin skin so I think it will be a nice alternative, I hope!).

Kalyn said...

Kirsty, interesting idea. You will have to let us know how it turns out with roasted pumpkin.

Traveler Kate said...

I'm always looking for some great gluten free options that aren't always sub regular flour for GF flour. This is a legitimate change, that I think my gluten-eating husband would like too!

Kalyn said...

Kate, so glad it works for you!

Jessy (squeezetheday) said...

Great idea! I love zucchini, it's such a versatile vegetable.

Kalyn said...

Jessy, so glad you liked it!

Tasha said...

I had this the other night and OMG it was delicious!!!
Kalyn, what a wonderful idea and the dish came out fantastic.

Kalyn said...

Thanks Tasha. Glad to hear you liked it.

Emm said...

Kalyn, I was wondering if these were made in the oven (broiling them), which side would you put the toppings on? I see that when you grill them you put the toppings on the grilled side, would the oven be the same?

Kalyn said...

Emm, if using a broiler I'd broil one side for a little shorter time than in the recipe, then turn it over and broil the other side, then put the toppings on one of the broiled sides. I'd watch it carefully in the broiler and maybe not put it too close to the heat when you do the final broiling with the toppings on.

Elle said...

Just made these yesterday for the first time - these are so great! everybody loved them - including the kids who don't usually eat zuccini.
THANKS FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE!

Kalyn said...

Elle, you're welcome. And if this recipe gets the kids to eat zucchini, I'd say that's a good thing!

Little Mommy said...

What a fantastic idea!

thenotoriousmrspye said...

What a super great idea! I think I may make these as hour'dourves for my next party. Maybe use all three, eggplant, zucchini and the yellow squash for variety and color on a tray. How cool is this? Thanks for the great suggestion.

Kalyn said...

Glad you like it!

Terry said...

Enjoyed these tonight. Couldn't find 8-ball zucchini, so just used regular zucchini. I sliced them in half and took off a bit on each underside so they would sit on the pan. Since it's winter-time I broiled them... they turned out really yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I will make them again!

Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

I am so excited by this idea... what a great recipe!

Jamie said...

Thanks for this fabulous recipe! My family loves it! Would you mind if I feature this on our recipe blog @ MormonMavens?

Jamie said...

Thanks so much for the great recipe! My family loves it! Would you mind if I featured it @ Mormon Mavens?

Kalyn said...

Jamie, I can't allow my recipes to be reposted in other places on the web, because that interferes with my google search results. However, you can make the recipe, rewrite it in your own words and share it with your own photos if you credit me as the original source. I also don't mind if you use my photo and share it with a link to the recipe on my site, as long as you don't reprint the recipe.

Bonnie said...

After looking at endless pizza-type recipes tonight that I can't eat as I can't have the crust, it was such a relief to stumble upon this recipe! Can't wait to try it... thank you!

Kalyn said...

Bonnie, so glad this can feed your urge for pizza!

Heather said...

I made this today, but I made layers of the grilled zucchini with polenta, fresh mozzarella cheese and marinara. De-LISH-ous.

Kalyn said...

Heather, the polenta would not be SBD friendly for me, but it does sound delicious!

Aurelia Lusitan said...

Wonderful low-carb pizza. Must try this one tonight. Will be wonderful with mushrooms and garlic instead of salami and a nice pesto!

Midori said...

That looks so delicious! I will try it today for dinner! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

momsterto2 said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Great alternative to the traditional!!!

Alicia said...

We made these tonight on the grill and we were pretty disappointed. My gluten free 6 y/o tried to just eat the pepperoni off them and then decided to just eat his potatoes instead. My 10 y/o ate two and asked to not have any more. My 15 y/o ate four but said the taste was too much zucchini and thought maybe if they were super thin they wouldn't dominate. My husband liked them okay but he's pretty easy. :) I ate a few but I don't think I'll make them again. This is a fine idea if you really like the taste of zucchini but if you have a pizza craving it's just not going to do the trick for some folks, I'm afraid.

Kalyn Denny said...

Alicia, seems obvious to me that if you don't like zucchini you're not going to like this. Sorry you were disappointed.

Shari Cole said...

What an amazing idea! I bet you can make this on potato slices, as well.

Kalyn Denny said...

Shari my goal is to make it lower in carbs, so potatoes won't work for that. But if you don't care about that it might taste good.

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