Pizza Challenge! (the Rachel version)

Gluten-free pizza crust…super crispy!!! No, really!

…And we’re BACK!  It’s been so busy here, but we’re back to bring you some new “food challenges”.  First up?  PIZZA!  This one could be harder than it seems.  I tend to overthink my food and sometimes it’s better to just stick with the classics instead of going so over-the-top that it’s just too pretentious and just plain crazy (maybe in a good way though, right?).  And ironically, Daniel and I ended up both using caramelized onions for our recipe.  I guess we had similar brainwaves happening as we brainstormed for this challenge!

For my pizza crust, I could have gone a few different ways.  Yes, I’m doing gluten-free, but just it’ll still taste good.  Look, I love a good, crusty gluten-laden pizza crust just like everyone else, but honestly, I FEEL so much better when I omit gluten from my eating lifestyle, but do whatever is best for you.

What did I end up doing?  Sauerkraut!

Um…excuse me?  Yes, you read that correctly.  I have a great (paleo) cookbook called “All American Paleo Table” from Caroline Potter (as you can see from the photo), and she uses drained sauerkraut in her pizza dough.  I purposely didn’t want to use cauliflower rice, or soaked quinoa (even though those come out pretty good), I wanted to do something a little out of the box, but again, staying with the pizza theme here.  I’ve made this pizza crust many times, and it’s SUPER easy to make (no crazy prepping here), just drain the sauerkraut, add a few extra ingredients, bake, add toppings and bake more and you’re done.  No waiting for the dough to proof.  No waiting for the quinoa to soak overnight.  I’ll be honest, I used store-bought sauerkraut, but by all means, use homemade if you have it!  I was never a fan of sauerkraut until recently, so maybe that’s something I end up using the fermentation kit for, who knows?

As for the toppings?  I just want to do too many things, but I just went with yummy flavors that I love.  Basil and garlic ghee (clarified butter) for the base, creamy caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, goat cheese and fresh basil from my porch garden (right before the end of their season outside).  I opted not to do a tomato sauce, or even a white sauce, for the fact that I wanted that buttery creamy goodness to come from the basil and garlic ghee, and it will melt with the caramelized onions and the goat cheese to become this unctuous savory sauce.  Maybe next time I’ll do pesto, or sun-dried tomato sauce, or even a breakfast pizza, with cashew cream cheese, smoked salmon, arugula and even a just cooked egg, with that perfectly runny yoke (#liquidgold) – because why not…everything is better if throw an egg on top of it, right?  Or is that SO 2015? 🙂

Here is the link to the gluten-free pizza crust (and believe me when I say it, it really does turn out crispy!).

5 from 1 vote
Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese GF Pizza with Basil Butter
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Servings: 1 10" round pizza
Author: Rachel Katzman
Basil butter
  • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter), or regular butter at room temp
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, freshly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Caramelized onions
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar optional (I didn't use sugar, but if you want an extra carmelization, feel free)
  • 3 tbsp goat cheese (softened, or crumbled)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
Make the pizza dough according to instructions here: httpss://
Make the caramelized onions:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onions, salt and pepper (and sugar, if using).
  2. Cook on medium-low for about 15 minutes until golden brown (but not burnt)
Make the basil butter
  1. Add the ghee (or butter), basil, salt, pepper and garlic to a bowl and mix until smooth and ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
Take hot pizza crust out of the oven and top with basil butter, caramelized onions, sliced roma tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese.
  1. Bake at 400F for 10 more minutes until crust is crispy and golden. 
  2. Cool for 10 minutes, slice and enjoy!

Check out Daniel’s take on Pizza: Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Pizza

PizzaThis pizza is one of my wife’s favorites. It does take a little bit of time to made the roasted garlic and caramelized onions, but that can be done ahead of time. Roasted garlic and caramelized onions have a million uses.  I love roasted garlic baked in to a crusty homemade loaf of bread, and caramelized onions make a great topping for hot dogs and hamburgers.

This pizza is a great way to add an adult twist to a meal that is often thought of as something for the kids.  You can use the same recipe for the crust and sauce and substitute for other vegetable (or leave them off all together) for the kiddos.


5 from 1 vote

I have to admit this recipe came from my mother-in-law, although I don't know where she got it from originally.  I like it primarily because it is easy and fast.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 3 Large Pizzas
  • 5 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Envelopes Dry Yeast
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 tbsp Kosher Salt
  1. Add all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined  and dough ball is formed.

  2. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium. Let the dough knead until it can be stretched thin enough to you can see light through it without tearing it. 

  3. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel.  Allow to rise until the dough doubles in size.

  4. Preheat your oven to 500°F.  If you have a pizza stone place it in the oven before you the oven is hot.

  5. Take a dough ball and roll it in to a thin to the size you desire and place on a pizza screen or pan. Spread on sauce, cheese, and toppings and bake until the crust is golden.

5 from 1 vote
Pizza Sauce

This is a super easy recipe,  Feel free to adjust to your particular taste.

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 Large Pizza
Author: Daniel Peikes
  • 1 8 oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Tsp Red Paper Flake Optional if you like some heat
  1. Combine all ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the spices to hydrate and the flavors to come together.

5 from 1 vote
Roasted Garlic
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 1 min
Course: Sauce
Servings: 1 Head
  • 1 Head Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

  2. Slice off the top of the head of the garlic, exposing the top of all of the garlic cloves.

  3. Put the garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Wrap the garlic in the foil and bake until the clove are golden brown and soft enough to be easily squeezed from the paper, about an hour.

5 from 1 vote
Caramelized Onions
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins

A great topping for burger, pizza, or a hot dog.  It can also be added to mayo or yogurt to make a dip.

Course: Sauce
  • 6 Large Onions Sliced
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter Substitute more olive oil for a dairy free version
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a large saute pan and place over low heat.

  2. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions are soft and a deep golden brown.  It they start to brown too fast, lower the heat.

For a healthier gluten free option check out Rachel’s take on pizza: Pizza Challenge! (the Rachel version)