Pizza… is inherently grainy. When you think of pizza, you automatically picture a crust of some sort. It might be wheat (blech!) or it might be gluten-free, but it’s still going to be grain-filled. Okay, you can use bean flour, but then it’s legume-filled. Any way you slice it, pizza has no place on a grain-free, Primal, or Paleo diet.
Now you can make a meat crust pizza.
Oh no I didn’t! Oh yes, I did… muwahahaha!!
Yes, I went there. I dove off the mountain into meaty pizza goodness, and I’m never coming back!
Before you freak out and send the men in white coats after me, just let me tell you that I’m not the first person to come up with this idea. Type “meatza” or “meatzza” into your favorite search engine, and you’ll see a plethora of recipes out there. The recipe below is inspired by many, but is my own creation.
Gluten-Free Meatza – Meat Crust Pizza
Primal friendly, and Paleo friendly if made without dairy
1 lb ground beef
1 cup drained frozen spinach, or 1 lb fresh
Onion and garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian seasonings (optional)
If you are using raw spinach, heat a skillet to medium and sautee it in coconut oil or bacon fat until cooked. Remove from the pan, allow to cool a bit, and chop with a sharp knife, making sure there are no large chunks.
If using frozen, drained spinach, first give it a good squeeze to make sure all the excess water is out. Chop coarsely with a knife to make sure there are no large chunks.
Combine the ground beef, spinach, egg, onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings in a large bowl and mix well.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9×13 (for a thicker crust) or 10×15 (thinner crust) pan with parchment paper or coat it well with coconut oil. I used a well-seasoned stoneware pan with coconut oil, but if I were using any other pan, I’d definitely use parchment paper to keep the crust from sticking. Make sure your pan has a rim to catch any juices that cook off the meat.
Pat the meat mixture evenly into the pan, creating a rim around the edge if you wish (I didn’t). Make sure you don’t have any cracks or tears in your crust. Put it in the oven and bake it for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, take a look at it. If it’s starting to pull apart in places, you can use a spatula to gently smoosh it back together. Don’t worry about tiny cracks, the crust will hold together fine when all the toppings are on. Bake for another 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
At this point, depending on the fat content of the ground beef you are using, you may need to drain the crust. You can carefully pour off the juices, or tip the pan to one side and use a turkey baster to syphon off the extra liquid (my preferred method).
Raise the temperature of the oven to 425, and top your pizza with your choice of sauce, vegetables, and cheese (if using). Try to stay away from anything that’s too wet – the meat crust doesn’t absorb liquids the way a bread crust does. We like a combination of tomato sauce, 3 cheeses and pepperoni, as seen in the photo. Also good is zucchini, onion and garlic, sauteed until golden brown, then mixed with just enough cream to make a sauce…topped with cheddar, asiago, and parmesan, of course. Not Paleo, but damn tasty.
When you have your meatza topped to your liking, slip it back in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Pull it back out of the oven, wait for it to stop sizzling, and enjoy!
Note: This may be a little over the top for some of you. It’s absolutely delicious, and I highly recommend you try it, but…if you’ve never done something like this, it might be too much to process. So for those of you who are gluten-free, but haven’t gone completely grain-free, here are some other alternatives: