When pizza is calling….these delicious vegan zucchini pizza bites will satisfy! A low-carb, delicious healthier alternative to traditional pizza…..and you can make them in under 20 minutes! Zucchini rounds shmeared with marinara sauce or pesto and topped with veggies and fresh herbs, baked to perfection!
This post has been updated from the original that was published on December 14, 2014.
If you love pizza, you’re going to adore these low carb, low calorie Vegan Zucchini Pizza Bites. These scrumptious little appetizers have the flavor burst of pizza…and satisfy like pizza…but they’re also the healthy comfort food you’re actually looking for. A winner in my book, for sure!
Satisfy your pizza cravings with this delicious zucchini pizza recipe! You can thank me later…leave a 5 star review in the comments!
Why you will love these
- Start to finish in under 20 minutes!
- Low on the glycemic index
- A healthy way to satisfy your pizza cravings.
- FUN, FUN, FUN….healthy food doesn’t have to be boring!
- Perfect for any occasion. Great for an easy afternoon snack, a healthy appetizer or even a vegetable side dish.
- Loaded with nutrition…..but light in calories and carbs.
- Make ahead….yes, they’re totally meal prep friendly.
- Get the kids involved….they LOVE decorating the mini pizzas.
- EVERYONE can enjoy these zucchini pizza bites. They’re compliant for Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten and Grain-free, dairy-free….made with just a few simple, wholesome fresh ingredients.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Zucchini: The perfect low carb “crust” for these appetizer pizzas. Zucchini is low in calories and carbs and high in nutrition. It has good amounts of fiber, it’s rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Yellow summer squash is an ok substitution, but they tend to have more seeds and contain more water.
- Marinara sauce: Use your favorite brand. Look for a short ingredient list with no added sugar or oil. If you don’t eat tomato products, use vegan basil pesto, cauliflower hummus, vegan ricotta, or thinned out romesco.
- Pesto: It’s super easy to make your own vegan pesto that is delicious. Use this carrot top pesto recipe or this arugula spinach pesto recipe.
- Vegan parmesan: This easy recipe uses hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and spices for a tasty vegan parmesan with just the right texture. I use my spice grinder and it literally takes less than 2 minutes to make. I’ve seen recipes that use cashews, but I prefer the nutritional profile of the hemp seeds.
- Toppings: Use your favorite pizza toppings. Just remember these are bite sized, appetizer pizzas, so chop your toppings to fit. I used olives, bell peppers, roasted red peppers and fresh herbs (basil and oregano). I like to use what’s in season, so in the summer I’ll use fresh tomatoes, roasted eggplant or spring onions. Other great choices include caramelized onions or shallots, roasted garlic, crushed red pepper, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, arugula, capers, your favorite veggies.
How to buy and store Zucchini
- Size: Look for small, firm zucchini at your local farmers market or at the grocery store. Zucchini should feel heavy for its size. Larger zucchini have more seeds, tend to be bitter and have tougher skin.
- Color: Zucchini should be dark green, smooth and blemish free. If the skin is shriveled, it’s not fresh.
- Do not wash zucchini until ready to use.
- Store zucchini in your crisper drawer in a paper or plastic bag that is open to encourage air circulation.
- Zucchini will last 1-2 weeks, properly stored in the fridge.
- If left on the counter at room temp, expect the zucchini to last about 3 days before becoming soft and shriveled.
How to make this zucchini appetizer recipe
10 minutes and three easy steps and you’ll have these pizza bites into the preheated 450 degree oven.
Step 1: prep the zucchini. Wash and gently scrape off any dirt. Cut off the ends and then slice into ¼″ discs. If your zucchini are particularly small, or if you want a bit of a larger zucchini bite, cut them on a diagonal, but stick to ¼″ thick so they will cook all the way through.
Step 2: Make the vegan parmesan using a spice grinder, coffee grinder or small processor/blender. Fill with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, dried oregano, garlic powder and sea salt.
Step 3: Grind until uniform in texture and all ingredients are fully blended.
Step 4: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Lay the zucchini rounds in a single layer onto the prepared pan. Spoon on your sauce of choice. Can’t decide between marinara and pesto? Make some of each!
Step 5: Ok. Now is when the fun begins! Choose your toppings and load them up. Have fun with it and make sure to include some fresh herbs. Dust with vegan parmesan (see recipe card for ingredients and instructions),and they’re ready to pop into the preheated 450 degree oven.
Step 6: Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness, until the zucchini is shriveled and tender.
Meal Prep and Storage
- Prep ahead: Make or buy marinara or pesto. Make the vegan parmesan and store in airtight container. Chop toppings and store covered in the fridge.
- Store: Leftover pizza bites can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Freeze: Flash freeze in a single layer and then transfer to freezer safe zip top bag. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet to defrost. They’ll be a bit more watery than when fresh, so reheat as directed below but turn the oven to 475 instead of 450.
- Reheat: Reheat on parchment lined baking sheet in a preheated 400 oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Make a double or triple batch of vegan parmesan. It won’t take any additional time and I promise you’ll find so many great things to sprinkle it on. Plus it stays good in the fridge for weeks!
- MAKE AHEAD…totally meal prep friendly. Bring to room temp and then reheat in the broiler for 3 minutes.
- REPURPOSE: Cut leftovers into 4s. Heat in marinara sauce with a pinch of crush red pepper….OMG so delish! Hubby likes this with pasta underneath for an insanely good pasta primavera. Throw in your leftover roasted veggies too.
- Cut your zucchini on the diagonal for a larger bite.
- Be generous with the parmesan sprinkle before baking….trust me on this one.
Zucchini Pizza Bites FAQs
Yes…zucchini is low in calories and carbohydrates and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Nope. Zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch rounds works really well as a base for a low carb pizza bite. It’s nutritious, delicious and easy to use.
Still have more zucchini? Try these tasty recipes
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Zucchini Pizza Bites
- 2 large zucchini
- ¼ cup marinara sauce*
- ¼ cup pesto
- 2 Tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450. Line rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
- MAKE THE VEGAN PARMESAN: Put hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, oregano, garlic powder and sea salt into spice grinder. Pulse until well combined. You could also use a small food processor or blender.
- Slice zucchini into ¼" thick rounds and arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Top zucchini slices with sauce of choice and your favorite pizza toppings. Sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake 10-15 minutes until zucchini tender.