Grain-Free Sweet Potato Pizza Bake
Seriously, who doesn't love pizza?
As an ongoing goal to make incredibly delicious meals remarkably healthier, I bring you this super tasty grain-free sweet potato pizza bake!
Now personally, pizza and I have a love-hate relationship. I went for years (nearly 10??) without touching a piece of pizza because I knew, deeply and painfully, how many calories (gasp) and how much guilt would be associated with each greasy [wonderful] slice. Even when I tried to mentally separate my own enjoyment from the calorie content of this food I just couldn't bring myself to consume it because it was loaded with every type of ingredient I actively tried to avoid. Making pizza at home is, of course, going to provide you more control when it comes to the quality and type of ingredients used, and it is kind of fun experience especially if you have little ones.
As a personal preference, I choose not to eat grains on a regular basis because they don't make me feel well, and I think grains displace more nutritionally dense foods in the diet. With that being said, I am going to marry a man who might possibly love pizza more than he loves me. And, that is totally okay. Priorities. I realized several years ago that I was going to have to make peace with pizza in order to find some middle ground in our household. Even after removing the morality I associated with eating pizza, I still craved creating a healthier pizza-like meal that could be eaten more regularly. During the early days of our dating history, Kevin and I tried a handful of veggie pizza crust recipes (i.e. zucchini crust, cauliflower, sweet potato crust) and found them delicious but incredibly finicky. This grain-free sweet potato pizza solves that problem. This dish pairs taste with simplicity. I am proud to say that this sweet potato pizza bake has achieved the highest of all pizza-related achievements: approval from the #1 pizza enthusiast that it "actually taste like pizza". Woah. Words cannot describe the pride I felt when Kevin told me that my healthy pizza creation actually tasted like pizza. I may have shed a single tear.
What to expect.
This sweet potato pizza bake is easy in the sense that it requires minimal effort and cooking skill, but the sweet potatoes do need to microwave the sweet potatoes, and then the sweet potato mixture needs to cook for another 30 minutes. So this recipe is somewhat time consuming, but the beauty of this recipe is that it is the perfect make-ahead recipe for a weeknight dinner. You can make the sweet potato dough base ahead of time and store in the fridge until your ready to cook. The sweet potato pizza bake reheats really well. You also actually can cook it fully, refrigerate (covered) for a few days, and reheat (@400 F for about 20 minutes) and it tastes as good as it does when it was first made. It is important to note that this dish is more of a casserole and will be eaten with a fork not fingers. Although it has all the flavor of pizza, it will require a spatula to scoop and serve.
The process is simple.
Step 1: Puncture the sweet potatoes and microwave until soft. Time will vary on your microwave wattage.
Step 2: Peel the skin from the soft sweet potatoes and prepare the sweet potato mixture.
Step 3: Coat the skillet or pan with a drizzle of oil, then spread the mixture evenly and bake for 30 minutes at 400 F.
Step 4: Add sauce and toppings and bake for another 10 minutes at 400 F or broil for 5 minutes.
Why this recipe is healthier than traditional pizza.
- Grain-Free. Grains can be loaded with inflammatory omega-6 oils, cause irritation and inflammation to the lining of the gut, and, due to the presence of phytates, can actually cause the elimination of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the body!
- No seed oils! Seed oils (canola, soybean, corn etc.) throw off the ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid in the body because they have a higher amount of the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. Because omega-6 oils are very easy to get in the standard american diet, and we need much less than we conventionally consume, it is best to avoid foods that have elevated levels of omega-6's (grains and oils made from grains and seeds because they concentrate these types fatty acids). By choosing healthier oils (olive or avocado oil) we are removing the inflammatory effects of the seeds oils and promoting both cardiovascular and neurological health. Hey, win!
- Toppings of your choice. Whether you choose to omit the cheese, add only grass-fed meats, top your sweet bake with only veggies, or choose turkey pepperoni/sausage to lower the calorie count, you are in charge! Whatever your nutrition priorities are, your pizza can reflect that. I like to add artichokes, basil, spinach, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes or pineapple, plus whatever meat we are feeling at the moment.
Grain-Free Sweet Potato Pizza Bake
Sweet Potato Mixture
- 2 large sweet potatoes about 700g, or 4 heaped cups cubed
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt optional
- 1 tsp black pepper coarse ground
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 cup cheese mozzarella or mozzarella plus Parmesan
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- toppings of choice
- Begin by puncturing the sweet potatoes with a fork or knife. Microwave on a plate until soft. You will likely want to flip the potato a few times to allow even cooking. Depending on your microwave and size of your potatoes this could take 5-10 minutes per sweet potato.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the microwave and allow to cool a little. Once cool enough to touch, begin peeling the skin off.
- Add potatoes to a large blender, along with egg, almond flour, apple cider vinegar and spices. Blend fully, scraping sides, until mixture becomes smooth. You can also mix with a whisk in a bowl if you don't have a blender but it comes out smoother in a blender.
- Drizzle a cast iron skillet or casserole dish with olive oil. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly using a spatula.
- Place in preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Once cooked, you should be able to pierce with a fork and it will come out clean.
- Spread on sauce and add toppings/cheese. Cook for another 10-15 minutes at 400 F or broil for 5 minutes.
- Remove, serve and rejoice!
- Choose a pizza sauce that is low in sugar and has simple ingredient or try making some yourself.
- If you are trying to create a lighter dish, go lighter on the cheese and opt for low fat meat options like Canadian bacon or turkey sausage or go meat-free!
- Calories are calculator using cheese and sauce only.