Cornmeal Pizza Crust opens up a whole new world of pizza topping possibilities! Not just another gluten-free option, this easy, no-yeast pizza crust is full of flavor and holds a load of pizza toppings!
This tasty polenta pizza crust isn't just a second-choice, gluten-free alternative. It stands up flavor-wise to traditional pizza crust, and holds up even under a mountain of toppings without crumbling.
We originally developed this no-yeast cornmeal pizza crust recipe especially for our Shrimp & Grits Pizza, although I'm admittedly taking a little creative license with corn-based food terms here. Technically, this crust is neither grits nor polenta: it's actually more of a giant Johnny Cake. But Giant Johnny Cake Shrimp Pizza just doesn't have quite the ring Shrimp & Grits Pizza does, so there you go.
Pizza Crust Ingredients
- Medium-grind cornmeal: We use Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Organic Cornmeal. Finely ground cornmeal will also work.
- Masa harina: Masa harina is the traditional flour used to make tortillas, tamales, and other Mexican dishes. You can also use all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour.
- Baking powder
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Light olive oil
- Milk: Use any dairy milk, or almond, rice, or oat milk.
- Butter: Use salted or unsalted butter.
- Egg: We use a large or extra large egg.
- Cheese: The cheese not only adds flavor, but protects the cornmeal crust from absorbing too much moisture from the pizza toppings. Use a cheese that complements your pizza toppings.
This recipe includes the following spices to complement the shrimp in our Shrimp & Grits Pizza; however, you can substitute in your favorite spice blend to go with the pizza toppings you choose.
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic salt
- Ground ginger
- Chili powder
- Ground mustard
How to Make Cornmeal Pizza Crust
NOTE: This recipe makes exactly enough pizza crust "batter" to make one 10-inch pizza. If your skillet is larger or smaller, adjust amounts accordingly.
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
Make the Batter
In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, spices, brown sugar, and salt.
In a medium saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat until tiny bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from stove and stir until butter is completely melted.
Add the hot milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Whisk in the beaten egg and thoroughly combine.
Let the batter set briefly while you prepare skillet.
Prep the Cast-Iron Skillet
(It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of cast iron cooking, and my 10.5-inch griddle is one of the pieces I use nearly every day!)
On the stovetop, heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet or round griddle over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and swirl oil to thoroughly cover pan.
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Cook the Pizza Crust
Give the cornmeal mixture one more good whisking, then carefully pour prepared cornmeal batter into hot griddle and spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake the crust in preheated oven for 8-9 minutes, or until the top is set and no longer shiny, and the bottom is beginning to brown.
Remove the crust from the oven, and carefully flip it over.
Optional: Switch oven to Broil.
Sprinkle prepared pizza crust evenly with a generous cup of shredded cheddar cheese, then place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese.
Turn off broiler.
Top your pizza:
Heat oven to 400°F (205°C).
Distribute toppings of your choice over prepared pizza crust.
Place the pizza to the oven just long enough to warm toppings and melt any topping cheese; usually about 3-7 minutes, depending on toppings.
You can change the spices in the crust to go with your pizza toppings. For example, this crust has chili powder, smoky paprika, ginger, and mustard to complement the shrimp in our Shrimp & Grits Pizza.
Substitute in your favorite spice blend for the spices listed to go with your pizza toppings, and you're good to go! For example, if you are adding classic pizza toppings, you might consider adding oregano, basil, onion powder, thyme, and/or fennel to the dough.
We make this recipe on our cast iron griddle, which is (IMHO) the best tool for the job.
Cast iron is basically nonstick - as long as you keep it well-seasoned, which is a non-issue if you cook with it regularly. (Plus, you can avoid all those all those mysterious lab-created non-stick chemicals that can become toxic and break down at high temperatures.)
Cast iron is generally relatively inexpensive, by cookware standards. Moreover, it will last you a lifetime: I've even heard of people handing their down to children or grandchildren at the end of life.
If cast iron is something you're thinking about investing in, I suggest starting with a 10-inch chef's skillet and following it up with a 10.5-inch round griddle. These are the two cast iron items I use most often, followed closely by my beautiful cast iron pie plate.
Tip: If you find a cheap second-hand pan that looks rusted and lost, grab it and run home fast! With a little elbow grease and some patience, you will have beautiful, shiny new pan in no time. (Here's a great tutorial on "Reviving Old Cast Iron.")
Cornmeal Pizza Crust can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, prepare the crust as directed and allow to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and seal in an airtight freezer bag or container.
Cornmeal pizza crust opens up a whole new world of pizza topping possibilities! It pairs especially well with Mexican, Cajun, Creole, and Puerto Rican flavors, as well as anything you might put into a tamale.
Spicy Cornmeal Pizza Crust
- 1 10-inch cast iron griddle
- 1 cup medium-grind cornmeal (I use Bob's Red Mill Medium Grind Organic Cornmeal)
- ½ cup masa harina or all-purpose flour. (I use Bob's Red Mill GF Flour)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard powder
- ¾ teaspoons brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or a little more
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cups shredded cheese Your choice!
- Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: cornmeal, masa harina, salt, baking powder, spice, brown sugar, and salt.
- In a medium saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat until tiny bubbles begin to appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from stove and stir until butter is completely melted.
- Add the hot milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Whisk in the beaten egg and thoroughly combine. Let batter set while you prepare skillet.
- Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet or round griddle over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and swirl oil to thoroughly cover pan. Give the cornmeal mixture one more good whisking, then carefully pour prepared cornmeal batter into hot griddle and spread evenly with spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8-9 minutes, or until the top is set and the bottom is beginning to brown.Remove the crust from the oven, and carefully flip it over once more.
- Optional: Switch oven to Broil.Sprinkle prepared pizza crust evenly with a generous cup of shredded cheddar cheese, then place under broiler for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese.Turn off broiler.
- Top your pizza: Heat oven to 400°F (205°C).Distribute toppings of your choice over prepared pizza crust.Place the pizza to the oven just long enough to warm toppings and melt any topping cheese; usually about 3-7 minutes, depending on toppings.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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This looks awesome! Can't wait to try it. Do you know the nutritional facts on the crust?
Create/Enjoy (@SuzannahStanley) says
Yum!! That sounds mouthwatering! I've tried the Trader Joe's cauliflower/cornmeal crust which was pretty good but I'm sure homemade is so much better!
Renée ♥ says
This is so much better than cauliflower crust!
That looks awesome and like it would stand up well to toppings. We're having to cook GF for an issue one of my kids is experiencing (or at least we're committed to cooking GF for the next 3 months or so to see if his symptoms change). I've yet to find a good GF pizza alternative. I'll test this one out and let you know! It sounds great and that it would add a nice sweetness from the corn. We shall see. Thanks 🙂
Renée ♥ says
Thanks, Mary! Adding the cheese before the toppings essentially adds a moisture barrier that keeps it from getting soggy or mushy, which is a real plus.
Erin @ Platings and Pairngs says
Love the idea to use polenta as a pizza crust! This spicy variety sounds great too!!!
I have never thought of a polenta pizza crust - and that it would be a great gluten-free alternative! I was wondering though, it this kind of pizza the kind you eat more with silverware vs being able to pick up a slice?
Renée ♥ says
Nope. I'm eating a leftover slice right now with my hands, just like regular pizza. It holds up surprisingly well.
Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama says
I love that your recipe adds flavor to the polenta pizza crust. Ones that are plain end up tasting blah and boring, but this seems like a great way to upgrade your already delicious pizza!
This is a great idea. I am so going to try this with a breakfast style pizza!
Ooh this is such a fun idea! I'm always up for making homemade pizza, and I love that this is GF!
Holy moly yes! Now the crust has flavour too! That pizza is SO loaded up and delish looking, never would have thought of shrimp as a topping but this pairs with the polenta so well and is absolutely brilliant! 🙂
Ben Myhre says
This really is a unique pizza crust alternative that I have not seen before. It looks great.
Oh my Lord! I love this! i can't wait to see what toppings you've used but I'm really liking the looks of shrimp one! Yum!