Learn how to make Margherita pizza with eggplant and basil. This low carb pizza is both vegetarian and low in calories. So it makes a healthy weeknight dinner idea for the whole family. And, since it uses sliced eggplant as the pizza base, each family member can create their own mini eggplant pizzas with their own toppings for a kid-friendly meal. Keep reading to discover how to make your own healthy pizzas using eggplant instead of pizza crust.
Low Carb Eggplant Margherita
There’s just something special about pizza night. Pizza is one of the few foods that nearly everyone loves. With several toppings to choose from, you can create unique and delicious flavor combinations so pizza night never gets boring.
This eggplant Margherita pizza is a low carb pizza made with eggplant instead of a flour crust. It’s also low calorie, so your family can enjoy pizza night more often. This recipe is for a basic Margherita pizza with eggplant, but I also have several options for you to create your own varieties. You’ll also find cooking tips and nutrition information for this eggplant recipe below.
What is on a Pizza Margherita?
Margherita pizza is a Neopolitan pizza. This type of pizza is traditionally made with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, olive oil and salt. A pizza margherita is similar to a Caprese salad, so I buy the ingredients and make both in the same week to reduce waste.
Typically, a pizza Margherita is made with a chewy crust similar to a pizza. However, I lightened it up by making Margherita pizza with eggplant and basil instead of a flour based crust. This makes it low carb and adds more nutrients to your diet.
What Makes Eggplant Margherita Different From Pizza Margherita?
This eggplant Margherita pizza has the same toppings as a traditional pizza Margherita. The only difference is that I use sliced eggplant for the base in place of a crust.
Is Eggplant Margherita Pizza Healthy?
Yes, this Margherita pizza with eggplant and basil is healthy. Here are the reasons eggplant Margherita is a healthy alternative to traditional Margherita pizza:
- Since there’s no white flour crust, it’s lower in calories and in carbs than the traditional dish. You can use fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce like I did.
- Eggplants are nutrient dense. They only have 20 calories per cup, so they are a low calorie food. There are only 5 grams of carbs, and 3 grams are fiber. Eggplants also have 1 gram of protein per serving.
- Eggplants are a good source of folate, manganese, potassium, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. They also have small amounts of magnesium, copper and niacin. Eggplants are also a good source of antioxidants.
- Eggplants are similar to zucchini and squash in that they take on the flavor of other foods that you prepare them with. Eggplants have a mild and slightly sweet taste that makes them perfect for using as a base for low carb pizza.
Can I Eat Pizza On a Low Carb Diet?
With so many of us trying to cut carbs, the first thing to go is often bread. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat pizza on a low carb diet. By making a pizza with eggplant instead of bread for the crust, you can still enjoy pizza without having to cut out one of your favorite foods. If you follow a keto diet, then you know that the fiber from the eggplant will negate some of the carbohydrates as will the fats from the cheese.
Simply mix up the toppings on your pizza with your favorite ingredients and flavors to make the pizza your own and get the balance you are seeking.
Is Eggplant Margherita a Low Carb Pizza?
Yes, eggplant Margherita pizza is low carb. One serving of eggplant is 1 cup, which has 5 grams of carbs with 3 grams of fiber. I also used low carb foods for the toppings, including mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.
Tips for Making Margherita Pizza with Eggplant
Here are some tips for making eggplant Margherita pizza:
- These mini eggplant pizzas are quick and easy to make, making them perfect for a busy weeknight. If you are short on time in the evenings, you can meal prep them. You can cut the eggplant the day before or the morning of the day you plant to make them. Then store the slices in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Eggplant can turn brown after you cut it and it’s exposed to the air, but that doesn’t matter for this eggplant margherita pizza because you will bake the slices until they brown anyway.
- You can also blend the tomato sauce, garlic and oregano before you want to make them. Just blend as usual and place in the fridge until you are ready to make your low carb pizza.
Mini Eggplant Pizza Substitutions
This low carb pizza recipe is a base recipe, and you can definitely make it your own. Try one of these variations for Margherita pizza with eggplant:
- Use sliced fresh tomatoes for marinara sauce in place of the tomato sauce.
- Use ricotta cheese instead of mozzarella cheese.
- Add more flavor by using provolone cheese in place of the mozzarella or in addition to the mozzarella.
- Although not traditional for margherita pizza, add green peppers, mushrooms, onions or olives.
- For a non vegetarian eggplant margherita pizza, add pepperoni or cooked sausage.
- Fresh herbs will have more flavor, but you can use dried herbs if you wish.
Can You Freeze Eggplant?
You can freeze any leftover eggplant slices to make Margherita pizza with eggplant later. To freeze eggplant slices, slice them and place on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Then bake as directed in the recipe but let them cool and do not add the toppings.
When they’ve cooled completely, place the baked eggplant slices in a freezer bag separating them with wax paper so they don’t stick together. Eggplant slices will freeze for up to 6 months. Then let thaw, add toppings and finish baking as directed below.
Eggplant Margherita Ingredients
To make Margherita pizza with eggplant and basil, you will need the following ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Tomato sauce
- Garlic cloves
- Fine ground sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Mozzarella cheese
- Dried oregano leaf
- Fresh basil
How to Make Margherita Pizza With Eggplant
Follow these directions to make eggplant Margherita:
1. To make this low carb pizza, begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Next, remove the top and the bottom from each of the eggplants. Slice the ripe eggplants into ⅓ inch thick slices.
4. Then bake the eggplant slices for about 20 minutes, or until they start to soften and turn dark brown.
5. Next, place tomato sauce, garlic cloves, oregano, olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt to a blender. Blend the ingredient together for one minute until smooth.
6. Remove the eggplant from the oven once it is softened. Then top each slice with one tablespoon of the tomato sauce and one tablespoon of mozzarella cheese. Bake the mini pizzas for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If desired, the kids can also add their own fun toppings to make this a kid-friendly recipe.
7. Once the cheese melts, remove the mini eggplant pizzas from the oven. Then garnish them with fresh basil.
8. Serve your mini pizzas immediately for the best flavor.
How to Store Leftovers
You can store leftover margherita pizza with eggplant and basil in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- 2 eggplants
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, fine ground
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaf
- ¼ cup packed fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the top and the bottom of the eggplants. Slice into ⅓ inch thick slices.
- Set the eggplant slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the slices.
- Bake the eggplant slices for 20 minutes or until they start to soften and get dark brown.
- Place tomato sauce, garlic cloves, oregano, olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt to a blender. Blend for 1 minute.
- Remove the eggplant from the oven when it is softened. Top each slice with 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove the mini eggplant pizza from the oven and garnish with fresh basil.
- Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 1448mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 11gSugar: 16gProtein: 17g
This recipe originally appeared on Becca Ink.