If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, brown cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered. I topped this baked cheese crisp  (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza!

This dish is a fast & easy, low-carb, high protein way to enjoy pizza night anytime, and it travels well too. Recently, I took a batch on a flight. When I unwrapped my precious bag of “yellow gold” I’d stashed in my carry-on bag, my fellow passengers sniffed the air like dogs and stared at me jealously as the unmistakable aroma of baked cheese filled the cabin. This was quite a different response than the time I brought a Greek salad on board and was met with glares of disgust as the smell of onions drifted by.

I used a cookie sheet covered with a Silpat so that the cheese slid right off. You can also cover your cookie sheet with parchment or foil.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups/8 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4-6 oz sliced pepperoni. I used vegetarian.
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of pizza or Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper - optional
  • Sprinkling of Kernel Season's Pizza Popcorn Seasoning - optional

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.
  • Line a 12x18" jelly roll pan or high-sided baking sheet with a Silpat, aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Cover with a layer of shredded Parmesan cheese. You should just barely see the bottom of the pan through the cheese. (See my photograph below.)
  • Sprinkle cheese with pizza flavored popcorn seasoning if you are using it.
  • Top with a layer of pepperoni. Feel free to experiment by adding/substituting your favorite pizza toppings.
  • Sprinkle on the fennel, pizza spice and crushed red pepper.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Monitor the progress carefully during the last few minutes. After the cheese starts to pop, it can burn quickly. You want the surface to have a nice lattice pattern and a golden brown color.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch before peeling from the foil or Silpat.
  • Cut into pieces and enjoy!
  • Serves 4.
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All of the ingredients on a Silpat lined baking sheet:

crustless-pizza-prep-jackie-alpers

The pizza after it’s been cooled to the touch, removed from the baking sheet, and is ready for slicing.

crispy parmesan low carb crustless pizza whole

Special note: this pizza is suitable for Atkins Induction and Atkins Phase 1-3 for both meat eaters and vegetarians.

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