If you bake a layer of Parmesan cheese in the oven it will crackle and pop after a while, turning into a crispy, cheese cracker that’s much tastier than any pizza crust I’ve encountered.
I topped this baked cheese crisp (which is a popular dish called Frico in Italy) with pizza spices and toppings before sliding it into the oven. The results: crustless pizza! This dish is a fast & easy, low-carb, high protein way to enjoy pizza night anytime, and it travels well too. Recently, I took a batch on a flight. When I unwrapped my precious bag of “yellow gold” I’d stashed in my carry-on bag, my fellow passengers sniffed the air like dogs and stared at me jealously as the unmistakable aroma of baked cheese filled the cabin. I used a cookie sheet covered with a Silpat so that the cheese slid right off. You can also cover your cookie sheet with parchment or foil.
- 3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 4-6 oz sliced pepperoni. I used vegetarian.
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon of pizza or Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper - optional
- Sprinkling of Kernel Season's Pizza Popcorn Seasoning - optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Line a 12x18" jelly roll pan or high-sided baking sheet with a Silpat, aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Cover with a layer of shredded Parmesan cheese. You should just barely see the bottom of the pan through the cheese. (See my photograph below.)
- Sprinkle cheese with pizza flavored popcorn seasoning if you are using it.
- Top with a layer of pepperoni. Feel free to experiment by adding/substituting your favorite pizza toppings.
- Sprinkle on the fennel, pizza spice and crushed red pepper.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Monitor the progress carefully during the last few minutes. After the cheese starts to pop, it can burn quickly. You want the surface to have a nice lattice pattern and a golden brown color.
- Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch before peeling from the foil or Silpat.
- Cut into pieces and enjoy!
- Serves 4.
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