If you thought my bunless Burger Bowls were a good idea then you are definitely going to love this Pizza Bowl recipe too! It is essentially a crustless pizza with all of your favorite pizza toppings baked up into a cheesy low-carb dinner! Only 10 grams net carbs per serving!
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Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Pizza Bowl Recipe
In a recent reader survey, a large percentage of you told me you were interested in more low carb, keto and diabetic friendly dinner recipes, so when I saw a recent ad for Papa John’s Pizza Bowls, my ears pricked right up.
Turns out these crustless pizza bowls are a popular pizza alternative sold at several pizza restaurants like Marco’s Pizza. Even Olive Garden has a version of the idea. And apparently (I would know if I spent enough time on Tiktok) they’re already taking the world by storm in home kitchens too. Pizza night is forever changed and I didn’t get the memo!
Well, I may be late to the (pizza) party but I am here for it my friends. Here is my Healthy Seasonal Recipes take on this idea that I have been testing over the last few weeks. My version uses hot Italian turkey sausage, pepperoni, green pepper and onion along with plenty of sauce and cheese all baked up in individual bowls just like the take-out versions the pizza chains make.
Ingredients For Low-Carb Crustless Pizza Bowls
Full measurements are in our recipe card at the bottom of the post, and make sure to check out our list of variations and substitutions too.
- Sausage: To keep this recipe leaner and lower in calories, I used Italian turkey sausage links but pork sausage is also great in pizza bowls. Choose hot Italian or sweet sausage depending on your taste preference. If your sausage is not sold in bulk, slice the casings and remove them before cooking.
- Onion: To keep the carbs in check I only used a half of an onion. If you are not on a strict keto diet, you can increase this to a whole onion.
- Green pepper: I love the classic taste of green bell peppers in these pizza bowls, but you can also use red pepper (or yellow or orange for that matter!)
- Pizza Bowl Seasoning: Dried oregano, Pinch each garlic powder and crushed red pepper for classic pizza restaurant taste! You can use Italian seasoning blend too.
- Cheese: For topping the bowls you’ll need 2 cups shredded cheese. I used a mix of Italian cheeses which is sometimes labeled as Pizza blend. You can also use any combination of shredded mozzarella cheese, Provolone and Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano if you like.
- Marinara sauce: I used my favorite jarred marinara sauce to keep this pizza bowl recipe easy. Make sure your sauce is low in carbs if you are on a low-carb diet. Pizza sauce, plain tomato sauce or another of your favorite signature sauces for pizza will further customize these bowls to your liking. I even think jarred alfredo sauce would be fun to try!
- Turkey pepperoni: To top off the bowls I added on a few sliced of turkey pepperoni, but you can use regular pepperoni if you like.
- Cooking Spray: To coat the non-stick skillet before cooking the sausage and for the oven-proof bowls you’ll need cooking spray. You can also use a little olive oil instead.
Step By Step Instructions and Photos
Step 1: Make Sausage Filling
Meanwhile, coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray, or brush with some olive oil, and set it on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Crumble in the turkey sausage. Add in onion and pepper and cook, breaking up the sausage until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in oregano, garlic powder and red pepper and remove from the heat.
Step 2: Layer Pizza Bowls
Divide half of the sauce among the four baking dishes, spreading out in an even layer. Top with the sausage mixture, dividing among the four dishes evenly.
Tip: If they will fit, side-by-side, place your ramekins or baking dishes on a baking sheet to make it easier to place in the oven and catch any drips. Line it with foil for easy clean-up!
Step 3: Add Cheese and Topping
Top with the remaining sauce. Top with cheese and arrange pepperoni slices on top.
Step 4: Bake
Bake until bubbling hot, about 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving because those melty cheeses are notorious for burning the roof of the mouth.
FAQs and Expert Tips
At this time Marcos, Papa Johns and Olive Garden make their own versions of pizza bowls. The one at Olive Garden comes in a pizza crust bread bowl like this Copycat Olive Garden Pizza Bowl. Domino’s has a Pizza Rice Bowl too. There are other regional chains that make them, probably the most famous of which are Johnny’s Pizza Bowls. But LaRosa’s and Pizza Hut do not make them and/or are currently not advertising them on their website.
In addition to the above-mentioned restaurant chains and regional pizza shops, there are frozen pizza bowls on the market such as one from Real Good this vegan cauliflower pizza bowl from Tattooed Chef and this Meatlovers Cauliflower Pizza Bowl from Life Cuisine.
Leftovers last up to two days. Keep covered with plastic wrap or foil in the fridge.
These do not reheat in the microwave well so I do not recommend it. They pop and splatter and heat unevenly. I had great luck reheating them in the oven and I also used my Omni Air Fryer to do so using it like a toaster oven on the “bake” setting. I tested reheating with or without foil on top and the texture of the cheese was better with the foil on, just try not to let the foil touch the cheese or it can get stuck together. It takes about 25 minutes to heat them through on 350 degrees F. Times will vary depending on how deep your bowls are. Wider bowls will heat through more rapidly. Test with an instant-read thermometer and make sure the center of the bowl is at least 165 degrees F before taking it out of the oven.
These easy pizza bowls make a great meal prep dinner or lunch when made ahead. You can build these (though step 3) and then do not bake them. Cover and refrigerate up to two days in advance. Bake uncovered at 250 degrees F until hot all the way through (test with a digital thermometer) for about 25 minutes.
If you do not have oven-safe bowls that would work for this recipe, no problem! Many of the Tiktok versions of this concept are made in disposable aluminum pans like this one and that should work well. You could also use a deep dish pie pan or an 8 by 8 inch baking dish. Make sure to coat it with non-stick cooking spray so that it is easier to clean up!
Substitutions and Variations To Try
Mix up this crustless pizza bowl recipe with your favorite traditional pizza toppings!
- Make these meatless by using sauteed mushrooms instead of sausage and skip the pepperoni on top for a vegetarian version of this recipe.
- Use a spicy arrabbiata sauce, bolognese sauce or puttanesca sauce instead of jarred pizza sauce.
- If you do not like green peppers and onions, use another low-carb veggie combination (my roasted zucchini and eggplant would be amazing in them!)
- Instead of ground sausage use chicken, baked meatballs or ground beef!
- Several of the TikTok Pizza Bowls I saw had sliced black olives on top. I am definitely doing that the next time I have a pizza craving since black olives are one of my family’s favorite toppings!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
If you are on a low-carb or keto diet then you will love this Pizza Bowl recipe! It is essentially a crustless pizza with all of your favorite pizza toppings baked up into a cheesy low-carb dinner! Only 10 grams net carbs per serving!
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed (hot or sweet)
- ½ onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch each garlic powder and crushed red pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheese, preferably Italian or Pizza blend
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 12 slices turkey pepperoni or regular pepperoni
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat 4 individual-sized (2 cup) oven-proof baking dishes with cooking spray. Meanwhile, coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Crumble in turkey sausage. Add in onion and pepper and cook, breaking up the sausage until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in oregano, garlic powder and red pepper and remove from the heat.
- Divide half of the sauce among the four baking dishes, spreading out in an even layer. Top with the sausage mixture, dividing among the four dishes evenly.
- Top with the remaining sauce. Top with cheese and arrange pepperoni on top.
- Bake until bubbling hot, about 12 to 18 minutes depending on how wide the bowls are. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Reheat in oven set at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until steaming hot and an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F in the center of each bowl. FOr best results reheat covered with foil but do not let the foil touch the cheese or it will stick.
To Make Ahead
Prepare through step 3 up to 2 days in advance. Keep covered and refrigerated. Bake as directed, uncovered but allow extra time to accommodate for the fact that they are cold. It can take up to 25 minutes to heat through depending on the depth of the bowls you use. Deeper and narrower bowls take longer than wide bowls.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 505
- Sugar: 5 g
- Fat: 30 g
- Carbohydrates: 12 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 39 g
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