Cauliflower Pepperoni Bread Sticks

Perfectly pleasing in every way, get your pepperoni on this week.

You won’t even notice it’s made from (gasp) cauliflower. As a matter of fact, the last time my son had a friend over, they noshed these bread sticks. My son came to me and he said, “Don’t worry; I didn’t tell him they were made from cauliflower.”

Now me, I tend to fly my cauliflower banner high. I’m proud of this gluten-free, low-carb substitute for bread–and the fact that people have no idea it’s made from cauliflower? Pretty incredible.

I love how simple and quick these are to make. Much less fussy than actual bread sticks. To boot, you can even make these ahead and freeze some for later.


Ready? Let’s kick pizza night up a notch.


 Cauliflower Pepperoni Breadsticks

Full of Italian flavor and fresh vegetables, this gold standard of gluten-free pizzas remains nearly unchanged, even after four years. The cheese and cauliflower crust set up beautifully when allowed to cool, forming a tasty, hand-holdable crust (especially the next day) that also lends itself to bread sticks and other recipes on this site.

Serves 8

1 cup riced, fresh cauliflower (not cooked)
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
10 slices pepperoni, chopped
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
mozzarella cheese
garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2.Combine all ingredients in a bowl. In a greased bread pan (9×5), press about 1-1/2″ deep cauliflower pizza dough.
3. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until set.
4. With a spatula loosen the dough around the edges carefully, and remove the square of dough to a greased cookie sheet.
5. With a pizza cutter, slice strips through the set dough ( slice along the width and not the length for normal bread sticks).
6. Separate slightly. Sprinkle with garlic salt and/or extra mozzarella cheese.
7. Bake at 450 degrees until the top browns.

Once the oven is preheated to 450 degrees, it is easy to pop in a couple of pizza crusts as well.

Serve with marinara sauce (optional).

NOTES: Crust can be frozen without the toppings after the first baking. Simply thaw, top and then bake for 12-15 minutes in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven.
Crust can be doubled, but extend baking time.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER SERVING: Calories: 264, Carbohydrates: 7.4 grams, Fiber: 2.1 grams, Net Carbohydrates: 5.5 grams, Protein: 19 grams, Fat: 18 g


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  1. What is a non dairy substitute for the cheese?
    Thanks, Jamie!

  2. What size casserole? 9×13? Does it take more than one recipe for a 12 inch round pizza?
    Adore your site! Kudos for your weight loss!

  3. Jamie Girl…
    I see it serves 8 but how many does it make for each serving?? 1-2-4 ?? cut into sticks….
    I know the crust is the very best…and want to try these out but.. being only 1.. how big
    of a casserole dish???.. cause looks like if i was not careful i could eat the whole thing…hehehe
    or am I just slow this Am and need to make a whole pizza remove it,, and then cut into sticks. I have not had near enough Caffine yet this am… sorry for the denseness………..Have a Super Day..

  4. Have to try these for Superbowl Sunday!

  5. What is the easiest way to rice the cauliflower without a ricer?

  6. Janice Freeman says

    Jaime, I might need more directions for mixing up the crust. Do I just follow the directions for making pizza crust?

    • You just combine the ingredients and press into the bread pan. It’s really a simple recipe. If anything doesn’t make sense, please let me know and I’ll be happy to clarify!

  7. is the cauliflower cooked b4 u add the other ingredients to make to dough? and is the pepperoni also put into the dough b4 1st baking?

  8. I can’t wait to make these. They sound awesome!

  9. Lori Lundy says

    Can you use a blender to “rice” (first time I have ever heard that term) the cauliflower or will that just be too pureed to use? Sorry, I’m a novice at chef terms… 🙂

    • Hi, Lori! If you want to rice with a blender, fill the blender with water and cauliflower florets. Then drain. You’ll have the riced cauliflower left after draining off the liquids.

  10. These look SO GOOD! also, I have another question- how can we see the private Facebook site? Or maybe it’s a secret? I’d love to be able to view it! Thanks Jamie!

    • Hi, Hayley! Here is the secret FB group. It’s only secret because FB has an eerie way of making private/closed posts show up on walls occasionally, so we had to up the page to “secret”.

      • So how do I join the ‘ secret group” …a mesage on FB says I need permission to join the page……..I thought I was already in the original group but I must have been booted out due to inactivity lmao

        • Hi there! No one has been booted unless Zuckerberg did the booting. Facebook is too touchy for my tastes. I didn’t even want to set the group to secret, but when a glitch appeared to lessen the security of a “private” group, I just had no choice but to protect the members. Friend me on FB, message me, and I’ll be able to invite you in that way.

          • ok Cool…thanks hun

          • ok Jamie, I sent you a message since earlier today and I now came back from the gym to see a message attached to my earlier message that your privacy settings are preventing me messaging you and that I have to friend you on FB first…..Wow Girl! locked down tighter than Alcatraz ahahahaha….anyways look out for my request now k

          • I definitely added you as a friend and will get you to the group next. Thanks for messaging me to let me know.

  11. This looks great! I’m dying to make it. But, I’m unsure of which ingredients are considered the crust and which are the toppings. Do I mix in the pepperoni, cheese, etc.? Thanks for all your great recipes!

  12. Like Ya!…hahahaha

  13. have you tried to make it as a Breakfast Pizza?

  14. Oooooh can’t wait! Let me know if you need taste testing – I’m in Boulder too!

  15. Adele Hite, MPH RD says

    Made the cauliflower pepperoni breadsticks! I think I used too big of a pan as they are not as “fluffy” looking as yours, but they were delicious and are all gone. Bonus: this recipe is super easy. Here’s my question–since it’s got cauliflower in it, can I pass this off as a vegetable, so I can pretend I’m a good mom who feeds her kids veggies at every opportunity?

    • Adele! *swoon**fans self*

      Bread pans definitely vary. Might be slim…or maybe the black oven makes them look slimmer (black is slimming. Than again, so is darkness.)

      You are a great mom! And verrrry clever like a Ninja. If you asked a typical kid if he/she wanted to eat cauliflower, egg, and pepperoni and cheese, you’d get the mother of all stink eyes (well, I would). If you’re not telling, I’m not telling.

      • Adele Hite, MPH RD says

        I’m not telling–as Ninja mom, I’ll swear a vow of secrecy, plus I’ll look great already and can have extra helpings.

  16. Love your website. Cant wait to try this recipe! Can i substitute anything for the fennel?

  17. would using frozen cauliflower be sacrilegious?

  18. Hi Lisa – just tried these and although mine don’t look like your pic (nothing new for me there lol) they are delish! I took them out of the oven after 20 mins but think I need to leave them the whole 30 mins because they fell apart – but that just means I have to make them again soon, what a shame 🙂

  19. Definitely going to try these! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  20. I made these last week. I have one thing to say….I am never ever making these ever again…I ate the whole darn thing in two days. They were too good to be in my house.

  21. These were surprisingly good! I would have NEVER guessed they had cauliflower in them if I hadn’t made them myself!

  22. I am totally wondering how riced cauliflower would taste covered in mozzerella sticks and deep fried. I just got the idea while reading this post!

  23. I feel getting the cauliflower to stick on the mozz sticks would be the hard part…….hmmm you have me now thinking to try grated mozzerella, riced cauliflower & an egg mixed togetther (with some spices & seasoning) and then fried by the spoonful……yum yum if they come out crispy 😉 lol

  24. hi, these look scrumptious! love your site – protein pancakes are a quick go-to staple in my house. anyway, is it ok to use frozen thawed cauliflower?

  25. I used a 9 x 9 cassarole pan. Mine came out very thin… but holy moly, are they awesome or what!?! I thought I’d be tempted to eat them all, but just a couple and I was pleasantly satisfied. I cut them into 12 pieces, each about 3″ long x 1″ wide. The best snack to have at work too!

  26. thanks for the recipe! just wanted to let you know how i made mine—one big head of cauliflower = 5 cups riced for me. so i quintupled (5x) the entire recipe. it made up well (pressed 1.5″ deep like she says) in a 9×13 glass dish, made about 14 breadsticks how i cut them. the first baking took 45 min though, since it was bigger, and that was here at 5500 ft. may take longer at lower sea level. hope that helps someone 🙂 thanks again!

  27. Daya brand cheese, is non dairy and non soy!

  28. Hi Jamie –
    I’m new to your site, but I have spent a couple of hours browsing and choosing recipes to print and try – I’m so excited and THANKFUL for your creative experimenting! I just made this bread stick recipe for the first time – was in a dilemma about what size “casserole” pan to try – the dough was far too little to even cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 – what I think is the most common size casserole, so then I wondered about using an 8 x 8 – but your instrucctions talked about cutting across the width not length, so it couldn’t be referring to a square pan. So – I left it in the 9 x 13 – all pushed over to one side. While it is baking I sat down here to read through all the comments thinking someone else must have had the same question, and sure enough – the question has been asked and answered : use a 9 x 5 loaf pan – or as you said “bread pan.” So … my thought – as I sit here salivating over the bread sticks soon to appear from the oven … maybe it would be helpful if you could change the directions to say loaf pan or 9 x 5 instead of using the term “casserole dish?” Just a thought …..

    • Sure thing! I think you rock. Thank you for letting m know your experience, Robin. I appreciate it!

      • WELL !! ……. My husband got the first piece out of the oven- he who hardly notices what he eats most of the time, and he paused and looked up and said with emphasis – “that was REALLY good.” Then he got up and came over to look at the plate where slices were being placed out of the baking dish, and said “can I have another?” After that one was gone and he was offered the plate with the rest of the breadsticks on it, he said “is it really ok for me to just keep eating them?” I had to laugh with some chagrin – he has celiac disease – a BAD case-and when I think of all the times I have spent lengthy amounts of time and tracked down 16 different hard to find flours and all kinds of gums and powders and substitutes – only to have him eat one piece of the recipe and never go back for more – and now this ridiculously simple concoction had him eating the whole plateful – I’m overjoyed!!! I tried the recipe after discovering your site in the course of looking for help with my return to lo carb dieting after a disastrous hiatus of 24 years. Jamie you are absolutely brilliant. I can see why this recipe works – the cauliflower’s blandness doesn’t compete with other flavorings, and it adds lo-carb bulk to what is essentially baked cheese — it is soooo good! And no one else came up with this combination until you did – oh creative pioneer that you are!!!
        PS: I have to tell you that after making that first batch last Saturday night, I came home after church on Easter Sunday and made a triple batch which was completely consumed by the two of us by Tuesday night. What an amazing recipe. THANK YOU – to have something so simple that works for both of our dietary needs – this is an incredible blessing. Thank you , thank you.

        • Best comment ever. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I am so thrilled! It’s so nice to be able to help. It’s why I love doing what I do.

          • hi…just made these and the bottom was soggy what did i do wrong should i cook them on the bottom rack next time also, i sprayed the pan with pam does that make a difference

          • Your Lighter Side says

            Hi! If you cooked and the bottom was soggy even after the second baking after they’ve been sliced apart, I’d see how they set up once cooled. If they’re still a mess, I’d coat the bottoms with grated Parmesan cheese and bake one last time for about 10 minutes.

  29. So do you wring out the excess water of the cauliflower before u mix it to the other ingredients?

  30. How do you rice fresh cauliflower? Wouldn’t it be as hard as a rock? Do you mean grate it?

  31. Can you use previously frozen cauliflower rice? I froze a bunch of cauliflower, already riced but not cooked, and I am wondering if I could use that. Thanks. It looks like a fabulous recipe, but fresh cauliflower is expensive right now.

  32. These were just fabulous, awesome, yummy. I was so scared. All my attempts at some kind of cauliflower pizza failed. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t get them, but they held up!!!! I’m not ever trying another one. This will be my go to. It’s even kid approved. My 10 year old cant stand cauliflower. He even kinda imagined and asked if the sticks had any cauliflower. I just shut my mouth and afterwards told him, these are cheese sticks. Aren’t they great??!! He agreed. I’m making a 2nd batch. And I’m sharing on my page if you don’t mind. Thanks so much!!!!

  33. I love your site and your recipes, but I’m a little confused with this one. I think your nutritional breakdown for this recipe is way off. According to your calculations, a 9×5 inch loaf pan makes 8 servings, which means that 1 serving is 1 stick that’s only about 1×5 inches. A piece that small can’t possibly have 264 calories and 5.5 g net carbs! I used the Atkins Carb Gram Counter and counted the whole recipe as having only 12 g net carbs. Is it possible that the nutritional breakdown you gave was for something else, like a slice of cauliflower crust pizza with toppings or something?

  34. I just finished making these and I must have done something wrong. They did not turn out at all like the picture. The picture looks like it’s actual bread. I cooked my 1″ cauliflower pizza dough in a 9×5 bread pan for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Took it out and it seemed mushy. I thought maybe when I put it back in the oven for the 450 degrees it would get more solid. That didn’t really happen.
    You could really taste that they were made out of cauliflower and they couldn’t really hold themselves together. I double checked and I didn’t miss an ingredient or step in the recipe.
    Any suggestions on what happened?

  35. I have an egg allergy. Has anyone tried this recipe with Egg Replacer (or similar egg substitute)?

  36. Are these meant to be firm? Very tasty but they don’t pass the pick up test and aren’t firm enough for dipping. Followed the recipe to a T.


  1. […] The original version of these bread sticks has 8 servings at 175 calories per serving (per breadstick). That is a whopping 1400 calories if you eat all 8 servings. My version has 393 calories for the whole dog gone recipe or 49 calores (per breadstick). You know what I am gonna do? I am gonna eat all 8 breadsticks by myself and not give my skinny husband Todd any. Nom nom nom nom.  Oh and because I also think the orignal recipe is brilliant I am adding a link to it here. […]

  2. […] across the Lighter Side blog, some yummy sounding recipes – this is in the oven as we speak –…-bread-sticks/ And she does a deep pan pizza made from chicken…and check out the low carb chocolate cake…. […]

  3. […]  This next recipe is adapted from the great Jamie of’s recipe for Cauliflower Pepperoni Breadsticks.   I loved her recipe and my husband who does not eat keto was impressed with this recipe as well. […]

  4. […] Diet: Low carbHeight: 5ft3inStart Date: 25 Feb 2012Start Weight: 327.4lbCurrent Weight: 318lbGoal Weight: 196lbBMI Information:Start BMI: 58Current BMI: 56.3Goal BMI: 34.7Statistics:Total Weight Loss: 9.4lbWeight to Lose: 122lb% Lost 2.87% I love it – am also going to try courgette hash browns, and might even try it as an alternative to cauliflower for a pizza base. Oh, speaking of cauliflower, it's worth going back on low carb just for this recipe – which is so seriously delish I had real trouble stopping myself from eating them all – like Lord Byron, they are mad, bad and dangerous to know – but also cheesy, chewy and yummy! Cauliflower Pepperoni Bread Sticks | Your Lighter Side […]

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