This Easy Pizza Casserole has all the flavor of your favorite take-out with almost none of the carbs. Crustless pizza is low carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. And it really satisfies those cravings!
Like most red-blooded people, I love pizza. I love the combination of spicy meat, pungent tomato sauce, and melty cheese. I also love that it’s infinitely variable, with so many interesting toppings and flavor options.
My keto pizza crust recipe is a reader favorite, and it stands up to all the toppings you want to throw at it. But it definitely takes some time to prep and pre-bake, so it’s not a quick recipe.
That’s where Keto Pizza Casserole steps in and fills the void. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it satisfies those pizza cravings like nothing else!
When I first created this crustless pizza, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I found I didn’t miss the crust at all. I got all the the toppings and flavors I wanted and it barely registered on my glucometer.
Why you will love this recipe
Some people give me grief over the term “crustless pizza”. But as we often do in the keto world, we adapt foods to suit our tastes and our dietary restrictions. The best parts of the pizza are still there, in my opinion. So who cares what we call it!
Not only is this keto pizza casserole easy to make, but you can make as little or as much as you like. You can make a big family-sized version, or you can make individual servings. I originally developed this recipe for my Keto For Two Cookbook, but I’ve made it both ways!
This time around, I added some shredded zucchini to lighten it and up the nutrition. The original recipe was pretty calorific and heavy for a small portion. This little addition adds bulk and makes it even healthier!
You can also cook this in the air fryer or the oven. Or even in a little countertop oven! So many wonderful ways to enjoy it.
“Made this today and it was delicious!!! It was so good I didn’t even miss the crust. When I told my husband what I was making, he was like “what in the world is a crustless pizza?” I reminded him that it was just like him eating the kids pizza and scraping everything off the crust only better because we like lots of veggies. When he took the first bite he said, “Oh my, this is amazing!!!”” –Kristen H.
“A Perfect Score!
The cheese-meat combo is chewy enough to mimick a bread crust – without being bread! I used diced Sweet Italian sausages, stewed Italian tomatoes(drained and thickened a bit with tomato paste, diced Canadian bacan and Salami with onions and peppers. Thanks for the great recipe. My husband will make the next batch – it’s that easy!” — Holly
“I’ve been Keto just over a year; lost 120 lbs. Started my 51 year old daughter on Oct. 1, 2021; lost 50 lbs. already even though she’s much more picky. She LOVES this crustless pizza!! I like to use ground turkey and it’s delicious. My new “go-to” recipe! Thank you for your site and reliable GOOD TASTING recipes.” — Kathryne
Ingredients you need
- Ground meat: I chose to use spicy Italian sausage but you could use any ground meat like mild sausage, ground beef, or ground turkey.
- Shredded zucchini: Adding some veggies to the meat on the bottom helps bulk up the base as well as adds nutrition. You could easily use cauliflower rice as well. Make sure to squeeze out the excess moisture in the zucchini.
- Marinara sauce: Read your labels and choose wisely. Look for a marinara or tomato sauce that has no more than 5 or 6g carbs per ½ cup serving. Or simply use tomato puree and add in a little garlic powder and perhaps a pinch of salt.
- Shredded mozzarella: You can use pre-shredded mozzarella or shred your own.
- Toppings: Pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers. Feel free to switch it up and add your favorites.
1. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and let drain 30 minutes, then squeeze out to remove the excess moisture. Place in a medium bowl.
2. Cook the sausage: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until cooked through, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the bowl.
3. Stir the sausage and zucchini together, then spread in a small casserole dish or in two 8-ounce ramekins.
4. Spoon the marinara sauce over the sausage and layer on the cheese and toppings. Save a little cheese to sprinkle over the toppings so that they stay in place.
5. Air fry at 350ºF for 8 to 12 minutes, or bake in a 375ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Ground meat usually comes in 1 pound packages. You can divvy it up into three portions and freeze the unused portion while it’s raw, or you can cook the whole lot and freeze half for later. I like to do the latter so I can make this Keto Pizza Casserole more easily.
You can scale the recipe up to feed 6 and use the whole pound of ground meat. I recommend baking it in a shallow casserole dish that holds at least 2 quarts.
When baked in individual ramekins, this crustless pizza is a great make-ahead lunch to take to work!
Baking in the air fryer
It is important to note is that every air fryer is different. I have the Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer, and I love it. Your cook time may be more or less than that, depending on your air fryer.
You do need to choose a dish that will fit properly into your air fryer. You can do all of the crustless pizza in one dish, as I did, or use two ceramic ramekins. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s heatproof. Ceramic is a better choice than metal for this recipe.
Baking in an oven or convection oven
You can also do this little pizza in a standard oven or even a small countertop convection oven. For a regular oven, preheat to 375ºF before baking. For convection, you will want to drop the temperature to 35º0F.
How long the crustless pizza for two takes to bake depends entirely on your oven so keep an eye on it. When the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, it’s ready.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just as the name states, this dish includes all the fabulousness of a pizza, but without a crust. Italian sausage and zucchini make the base of this recipe and it is topped with cheese, green peppers, and pepperoni. Bake it in the oven or air fryer and you have an incredible keto meal.
This crustless pizza recipe has 6.3g of carbs and 1.1g of fiber per serving. That comes to 5.2g net carbs per serving.
Store the leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also freeze it for several months. Let it thaw completely before re-warming in the oven or microwave.
Get more keto recipes for two!
I have an ebook devoted to small batch keto recipes. Check it out below!
Keto Pizza Casserole Recipe
- 1 cup packed shredded zucchini
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ lb bulk Italian sausage (hot or mild)
- ¼ cup marinara sauce (choose a low carb one like Rao's)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella (about 2 ounces)
- ½ ounce sliced pepperoni
- ⅛ medium green pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 small mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Sprinkle the zucchini with salt and let drain 30 minutes, then squeeze out to remove the excess moisture. Place in a medium bowl.
- In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until cooked through, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the bowl.
- Stir the sausage and zucchini together, then spread in a small casserole dish or in two 8-ounce ramekins.
- Spoon the marinara sauce over the sausage mixture and layer on the cheese and toppings. Save a little cheese to sprinkle over the topppings so that they stay in place.
- Air fry at 350ºF for 8 to 12 minutes, or bake in a 375ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes.