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.
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.
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