Grubhub calls cauliflower pizza the No. 1 food of 2019 — and you can save $18 making it at home

Vegan cauliflower pizza.

If you needed proof that plant-based foods are exploding in popularity, here it is. Cauliflower pizza was the number one food of 2019, according to the mobile food ordering platform Grubhub, which collected data from more than 21 million orders on its platform. 

The pizza alternative rose in popularity by 650% this year. Four of Grubhub's top five foods were also vegetarian, including spicy Brussels sprouts, portobello empanadas, and black bean sweet potato tacos.

A 20-inch personal cauliflower pizza can cost up to $20, not including delivery fees and tip. But instead of shelling out all that dough for your dough alternative, you can easily make a cauliflower pizza at home for less than $2 a serving.

"When cauliflower pizza is homemade, it's not only made with fresh ingredients but it serves more than store-bought pizza," says Bethany Kramer, creator of the food blog A Simple Palate.

Kramer shared with us her homemade cauliflower pizza recipe, which takes less time to make than it does to order one. She also told us some of her kitchen and shopping tips for saving.

You can freeze cauliflower pizza for months

Cauliflower pizza is fast and simple to make, and you can make it last longer by freezing a few pies to have on hand.

"Freeze it after its baked and cooled. Then bake it with your desired toppings whenever you want to enjoy it!" Kramer says.

When I began limiting meat in my diet a few years ago, I was shocked to notice how much money I saved by buying mostly plant-based ingredients.
Bethany Kramer
A Simple Palate

And you don't have to feel as guilty about eating it as you might about regular pizza, Kramer says. "Whenever I'm in the mood for pizza without the carbs, I love making my homemade cauliflower pizza crust. You can use a whole cauliflower for this recipe or pre-made cauliflower 'rice' to make the prep faster and easier."

For parents, cauliflower pizza can be a game changer, Kramer says: "You can use it in so many different variations and that can always be helpful for getting more veggies in for picky eaters."

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Plant-based recipes save money

Cauliflower pizza is just one of the many plant-based recipes Kramer leans on to save money on food. "When I began limiting meat in my diet a few years ago I was shocked to notice how much money I saved by buying mostly plant-based ingredients. Fresh produce, legumes, beans, and grains are not that expensive, and are fantastic to implement even in moderation if you need a budget-friendly meal plan."

You can save by limiting meat, and you won't be missing too much protein by using plant-based substitutes. A half cup of lentils contains 26 grams of protein, which is slightly less than the 33 grams of protein you would get in a four-ounce ground beef patty. And the savings are substantial: A pound of ground beef will set you back $7, while a pound of lentils costs $2.50.

When you're incorporating more veggies into your diet, you can save by steering clear of jars or cans, Kramer says. "I prefer making my own pasta sauce, I make it in bulk and freeze it for future meals. The cost up front for the ingredients to make my sauce is definitely more than a cheap pasta sauce from the store, but you can stretch it further and it's way tastier. ... Buying high-quality ingredients isn't cheap, but you can save money over time."

And you can always reuse fresh ingredients for a second dish to save money. "Eating out for one is usually around the same price as making a homemade meal that has four plus servings versus one serving when eating out. Plus, you likely will have ingredients leftover and those can be used to stretch your money even further!"

Cold peanut noodle salad
Beth Moncel
30 min. 4 servings
per serving
Prices based on national averages.
  • 1 medium-size cauliflower (or 3 cups pre-made cauliflower rice) $1.50
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese $1.98
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese $0.84
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano $0.51
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder $0.20
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten $0.10
  • ⅓ cup pizza sauce $0.72
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • If using whole cauliflower, chop into large pieces. Use food processor or high powered blender, and chop cauliflower on high until it becomes very fine pieces.
  • Place cauliflower in thin dish towel and completely ring out extra moisture from cauliflower. This is easier to do in small batches.
  • Add cauliflower, egg, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese to bowl, and mix.
  • Shape pizza by laying parchment paper on a pan, or use cooking spray to prevent pizza from sticking to pan’s surface. Place cauliflower dough on top and press down to form circle, making sure crust is thin.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and add sauce, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, and any other desired toppings. Bake for additional 10 minutes. Let cool for several minutes before serving.
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