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Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza. Homemade pizza dough topped with sauce, cheese, and crispy homemade vegetarian cauliflower “pepperoni”. If you love a cheesy pepperoni pizza, this is a considerably healthier, yet still a super yummy, option. And in my book, the cauliflower “pepperoni” is even better than the original. Serve this cheesy pizza warm for a truly simple dinner that everyone will love. There never seem to be enough slices to go around! 

Cauliflower Pepperoni Cheese Pizza  with large slices cute from pizza and wine in glas

Hands down, this has to be one of my favorite pizzas to date. Just like most of us out there, I LOVE a pepperoni cheese pizza. Probably more than a fancy pizza with fun toppings. It’s just hard to beat a pep pizza! 

As a kid, we’d rarely order pizza out or go even out for pizza. So when we did it was such a treat. We had three types of pizzas we’d order. Classic cheese with pepperoncini (we’d always get extra pepperoncini on the side, so delicious), pepperoni, and then another favorite was buffalo chicken. Nothing fancy at all – but pizza really shouldn’t be! 

Pepperoni spices on plate

While I love pepperoni and dishes with pepperoni, it’s one of the most processed meats you can enjoy. So it’s obviously not the best for us. But of course, we all still love it!

So I started to think about how I could recreate pepperoni in a healthier way. And then it occurred to me that I could just create my own mix of the spices used to make pepperoni…but toss them together with cauliflower. 

I knew it wouldn’t be exactly the same, but I knew it would be good! 

Cauliflower on baking sheet before roasting

Here are the details 

You want to begin with the cauliflower. You’ll need to pre-roast it since it needs a little time to cook before adding it to our pizza. 

The spices are essential here as they are what’s adding our “pepperoni” flavor! Smoked paprika, chili flakes, fennel, mustard seed, garlic, and onion. Toss this mix with the cauliflower, plus I like to add a couple of shallots. Roast everything up until the cauliflower is just beginning to get crisp, but not actually crispy. 

The cauliflower can finish cooking atop the pizza. 

uncooked pizza before baking

While the cauliflower roasts, I like to push out my dough. I used the pizza dough recipe that I have in the HBH Every Day cookbook. But of course, you can also use store-bought! Just make sure your dough is at room temperature. This will make shaping your pizzas much easier. 

Push the dough out, then spread on your favorite pizza sauce. I love to use Rao’s calabrian chili marinara.  Then, add lots of cheese…a mix of mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan is our favorite mix. 

Grab the cauliflower from the oven, then top your pizza with your “pepperoni”! Throw the pizza back in the oven and cook until the cheese is bubbling up and those “pepperoni” are crisp on the edges. 

overhead, zoomed in photo of pizza

And that’s it. Top with lots of fresh basil, extra parmesan, slice, eat, and enjoy!! Pepperoncini on top are a great addition too! 

One of our very favorite pizzas! Even my brothers, who LOVE real pepperoni, enjoyed this pizza. I’ve made it a few times recently and it’s always a hit! 

close up, overhead photo of Cauliflower Pepperoni Cheese Pizza slice

Looking for other pizza recipes? Here are some favorites:

Pull Apart Roasted Garlic Pizza Dip Sliders

Pesto Pizza with Feta Stuffed Crust

Sheet Pan Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Easy Sheet Pan Tomato Herb Pizza

Pesto Potato Burrata Pizza with Spicy Arugula

Lastly, if you make this Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Cauliflower “Pepperoni” Cheese Pizza

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 353 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. On a baking sheet, toss together the olive oil, cauliflower, paprika, chili flakes, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. Add the shallots. Toss well to evenly coat. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.
    2. Rub a large baking sheet with olive oil. Increase the oven temp to 450° F.
    3. On a lightly floured surface, push the dough out until it's pretty thin (about a 10-12 inch circle). Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Spread on the marinara sauce, add the cheeses, then arrange the shallots and cauliflower "pepperoni" over the cheese.
    4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cauliflower is crisp. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil. Slice and enjoy!
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  1. 5 stars
    I used flatbread crust to save time but the cauliflower is absolutely delicious and the addition of shallots gave it that extra something! Will definitely be making again—even my meat-loving husband enjoyed it!

    1. Hey Erin,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have a great week! 🌺xxT

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious! I made the sauce from another recipe but otherwise made as written. Plan to make it a staple.

    1. Hi Steve,
      Wonderful!! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed. Have a great week! 🌺xxT

  3. 5 stars
    Oh! This is good! As soon as you get the spices together you know it’s pepperoni. I should have done more shallots too. And the cauliflower that didn’t end up on the pizza is definitely getting used in eggs in the morning. If we don’t finish it with a fork.

    1. Hey Sera,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xx

    1. Hi Mary,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xx

  4. Every time I’ve tried a “crispy” recipe for cauliflower it’s…not. not really. I’ve tried waiting longer, and I’ve gotten charred, or maybe just burned. But not crispy. Any suggestions? Is crispy a relative term?

    1. Hi Jan,
      Keep in mind, as crispy as cauliflower will get:) It’s never going to be as crispy as a chip for example. I hope this helps! xTieghan

    1. Hey Christine,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx

  5. any other vegetables that you think might be good to season as the “pepperoni?” we don’t have cauliflower on hand 🙁 but thought maybe mushrooms or zucchini?

    1. Hey Kayla,
      Sure, mushrooms would be a great option!! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, let me know if you give it a try! xx

    1. Hi Amy,
      Sure, that will work well for you! Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

        1. Hey Nima,
          You will want to use ground mustard seeds for this recipe. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  6. This looks incredible! I’m going to try and make this, even though I told myself I was giving up on making my own pizza. I’m not sure why, whatever I do, my crust still comes out doughy on the bottom. Any suggestions are welcome, from anyone!

    1. Hi Jenn,

      I highly recommend Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe- you can google it- it’s on the food network site!

    2. Jenn, I have had the same problem. I got a special pizza pan that helps the air circulate through the crust while it’s cooking and that helps. It’s called a USA pizza pan. It’s got kind of a wavy bottom. You can buy it from Amazon or the King Arthur Flour website. I also pre-cook the crust till it’s a little crispy before I put any sauce or toppings on it. These 2 tips seem to help in my experience anyway. Good luck!

      1. Hi Pamela, thanks so much for your feedback! I did try pre cooking the crust last time but I cooked it for too long. Will definitely try this again, for less time. I’ll check out that pan, too. Really appreciate the response, Pamela!

        1. I used to have same problem. Practice makes perfect. I use the Roberta’s pizza dough recipe found on NYT cooking, and use a pizza stone and oven as hot as it’ll go. Crust issues solved!

    3. Hi Jenn,
      I hope you love the recipe!! I would say your dough might not be thin enough, but try following this recipe and let me know how it turns out!

  7. cant wait to make this soon for me can i use vegan cheeses i never had cauliflower pepperoni cheese pizza before i love pizza sooooooooooooooooo much perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

  8. I’m excited to try this! I always LOVED pepperoni and have been pescatarian for a really long time and have missed it. What a great idea to just season something like pepperoni!