The Real Food Guide

Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Pizza!


Autoimmune Protocol Paleo PizzaThe Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is an eating plan to help deal with inflammation & chronic illness – it’s great that there’s a dietary approach to help lessen symptoms of many common conditions. I’ve personally found it very successful in addressing my various health issues including eczema, leaky gut, food intolerances and more, but it does involve the elimination of common inflammatory foods, such as grains, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds & seed-spices, and nightshades (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes). So, when it comes to a food like pizza, you’ve generally got layers of NOPE when you’re eating according to the AIP, since you can’t do a grain-based crust, no tomato sauce, or cheese.

Autoimmune Protocol Paleo PizzaAIP Pizza starts with a good AIP Pizza Crust

So then, how is this delicious-looking pizza even possible? It all started when I saw The Domestic Man’s AIP flatbread recipe. This flatbread is savory and mouth-watering and gets its cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast, so it’s dairy-free. It makes for the perfect pizza crust because it’s got the crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the inside texture too. Now, I’ve done a few variations on this flatbread depending on what I’ve got on hand. Sometimes, I’ll throw in some chopped onion or garlic, or both, and instead of a rosemary/oregano mix, I’ll throw in two teaspoons of Italian seasoning mix instead (if you’re following AIP, make sure your seasoning mix is free of seed spices & nightshades). Really, you can experiment with the seasonings here and get some great flavors going.

An important note about tapioca flour: tapioca is derived from yuca and thanks to  The Curious Coconut’s Plantain Stew Recipe, I now know that tapioca may be cross-reactive with gluten for some people. If you’re celiac or gluten-sensitive, I suggest you go over and read Amanda’s “Important Note about Yuca” (and while you’re at it, bookmark her AIP stew recipe for later). Update: If you are sensitive to tapioca, substitute the tapioca flour for arrowroot flour. The result is pretty much the same, though using arrowroot flour seems just a touch less stretchy to me.

AIP Pizza Sauce: Tomato-less Pizza Sauce!

Inspiration for this autoimmune protocol pizza struck when faced with some leftover roasted sweet potatoes – when blended, it’s got the right consistency for a sauce. Add some garlic, salt & seasoning, et voilà: a tomato-less pizza sauce. I’ll admit that the sweet potato sauce is a bit, well, sweet, so I’ve since found that canned pumpkin purée or roasted squash also works well, without being as sweet.

 AIP Pizza Toppings: Go wild within what you can eat ;)

Really, this is where leftovers are great! For this particular pizza, I used up a lot of what I had in the fridge, including the roasted sweet potatoes for the sauce. This pizza was topped with a few leaves of spinach, sliced mushrooms, red onions, roasted chicken, and bacon. With leftovers, you can pretty much expect to have a pizza dinner on the table in under an hour. It’s not as fast as delivery, but you’ll know exactly what went into it, and your body will thank you when you avoid the symptoms you may be prone to when indulging in regular pizza.

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Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)-friendly Pizza topped with spinach, onion, roasted chicken and bacon

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: One 8" pizza

Serving Size: Serves 2

Autoimmune Protocol (AIP)-friendly Pizza topped with spinach, onion, roasted chicken and bacon



    Pizza sauce:
  1. If you don't have leftover roasted sweet potato on hand, you can take one large sweet potato and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave on high for seven minutes, covered with a moistened paper towel or damp cloth. Scrape the sweet potato away from the skin. For roasted squash, cube your squash and roast at 400F for 25-30 minutes. Blend the sweet potato or squash with a hand blender until you get a consistency similar to tomato sauce.
  2. To your one cup of roasted sweet potato, squash or canned pumpkin purée, add 1/4 tsp of sea salt, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and minced garlic until well mixed. Set aside your pizza sauce until you are ready to assemble your pizza.
  3. Pizza toppings:
  4. Make sure all your toppings are ready before you start your crust. Slice or chop your raw ingredients (mushrooms, onions), and wash and dry your spinach and set aside. Pre-cook & chop your bacon and use leftover roasted chicken.
  5. Pizza crust (The pizza crust is the same recipe as The Domestic Man's Grain-Free Flatbread recipe, for ease of instructions, I've included a slightly modified method below):
  6. Place your cast iron skillet or pizza stone in the oven and heat it to 500F while you prepare your dough.
  7. Set aside tapioca starch in a mixing bowl.
  8. In a small pot, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt and heat on medium until steaming. Add this to the tapioca starch and mix together.
  9. Add the nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp of onion, chopped garlic and Italian seasoning and knead together until seasonings are well-mixed and a dough forms.
  10. Be very careful not to burn yourself on the cast iron pan or on a pizza stone! Spread your dough to about 1/4" thickness. Your pizza is now ready for toppings.
  11. Assemble your pizza:
  12. Dollop your pizza sauce on the prepared crust and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
  13. Top your pizza with raw spinach, raw mushrooms, and roasted chicken. Sprinkle chopped red onion and cooked chopped bacon. Feel free to use your favorite toppings instead! Leftovers make for interesting pizza toppings.
  14. Bake at 500F for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Vivian is the founder of the Real Food Guide and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) who believes that each individual needs to go on their own Real Food Journey to find what works. While she herself eats a diet of real food (aka a paleo diet), some people may find that they can flourish on a vegetarian diet instead. However, universal to optimal health and well-being is good quality, nutrient-dense, Real Food.

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April 9 |

47 thoughts on “Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Pizza!

  1. Jennifer says:

    This looks so delicious! I am going to make this for the family on Friday! Thanks for the share!

  2. Finally, pizza I can eat ♥ thank you!

  3. Kara says:

    Can you leave out the nutritional yeast?

  4. Neato Vivian!!! Pinning.

  5. Hi Vivian. This is the featured reader favorite at the AIP Recipe Roundtable. Thanks for linking up!

  6. So excited to find this! Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to have some pizza :)

  7. Allison says:

    I made this tonight, and while the flavors were all great, the crust didn’t cook through under the sauce. Is the heated pizza stone meant to help that? My pan was just a simple aluminum pan covered in baking paper. Should I bake the crust first next time?

    • Hi Allison, pre-heating the pizza stone or cast iron pan to 500F allows the crust to cook from the bottom as soon as you get the dough in there. Aluminum really doesn’t retain the heat like cast iron or a stone would, so I’m not surprised that it wouldn’t cook through in your pan. I would suggest trying to bake the crust first, but I haven’t tried it myself – if you try this, please let me know how it works out for you.

  8. Kbest says:

    What is the recipe carb content please.

  9. Debra says:

    I had planned on using the same base recipe for the crust you did, after making it to go with my no-mato marinara sauce a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad you beat me to it! My cast iron worked very well. I used my marinara sauce on one half, and a creamy garlic sauce on the other half. I also used fresh basil, olives, mushrooms, red onions, and meatballs broken up, as my toppings. The crust was perfect, crispy on the bottom, and just chewy enough under the goodies. Held up just like a regular pizza crust.

    Well done, Vivian! This is my “go to” AIP friendly pizza crust now. I’ll have to try it with your toppings next. ;o)

  10. Debra says:

    Hi again, Vivian. Quick question, have you tried using arrowroot instead of tapioca starch? I’m thinking the starch may be having a gluten cross reaction with me. *sigh* Arrowroot doesn’t seem to be on the list of potential gluten cross reactive foods. So, I’m wondering if you’ve tried arrowroot, or what your thoughts might be on using it instead. I haven’t used arrowroot for anything, so I don’t know if it plays well in the kitchen for these types of recipes yet.

    • Sadness! Unfortunately, I haven’t played with arrowroot flour yet. I’m not 100% sure that I’m not having a reaction to tapioca, so it’s been on my ‘to try’ list. From what I’ve seen though, a lot of recipes seem to interchange tapioca with arrowroot. It’s certainly worth a try – it would have been my suggestion to try if you hadn’t have mentioned it. If you try it before I do, let me know how it works out.

      • Debra says:

        I certainly will let you know, after I experiment a bit. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that the nutritional yeast may be a problem for me too, since it is also on the list. So yes, much sadness! Maybe once my gut is healed, they can be re-introduced successfully. I’ll need to find another flavor to replace the cheesy goodness of the nutritional yeast, maybe a strong flavor like fresh oregano or basil.

  11. Karen says:

    I’m new to the AIP diet (only 3 day so far) but have been paleo a while. This recipe looks to be a godsend but the coconut milk you recommend (that I do have in the pantry) contains guar gum. Isn’t that a no-no on AIP? Thanks!

    • Hi Karen – thanks for letting me know, re: coconut milk link. I’ve updated the link to a canned coconut milk that should be just coconut milk as the ingredient in a BPA-free can. I would stay away from the guar gum especially if you’re on AIP.

  12. Tasha says:

    I just tried the crust recipe with arrowroot and baked it on a pizza stone without any pizza toppings for 10 min at 500F. The top and bottom of the crust were crispy, but the middle was sort of translucent, like uncooked dough. Is the middle supposed to be like this or did I not roll the dough out thin enough? Many thanks!

    • How thin was your dough? Usually when I make it with either tapioca or arrowroot it’s about 1/4″ – 3/8″ and it can be a little bit doughy in the middle.

      • Tasha says:

        Thanks for the quick reply! Really appreciate it!

        My dough was about 1/4″ thick. The taste was good, but when we chewed it, it was kind of hard and almost seemed to make our teeth squeak!

        Making AIP treats & breads has been a challenge as I’m finding that the middle is often doughy or too moist….almost like it never cooks right though. Oh well…I’ll try the crust again another time, but maybe roll it out thinner to see if I can get it to cook through better.

  13. Paleo Moxie says:

    if you haven’t made this yet, what are you waiting for???? Get on board!!!! This is so good!! I used arrowroot. The sweet undertone threw me off slightly (coconut oil) but pumpkin.. Thought it would be weird but it wasn’t! Remember. Pumpkin isn’t sweet! Making this again right now in fact.

  14. Kristi says:

    My son has a peanut allergy. Do yiu think soy milk would work?? I am not sure if he would react to coconut milk.

    • I’m not a big fan of soy milk because of the high amount of phytoestrogens and its potential for being an endocrine disruptor. You’re welcome to try it though. Coconut is not classified the same as a tree nut, though there are people who have coconut allergies (much less than those who react to peanuts and tree nuts though).

    • Jazz says:

      I have a slight nut allergy….I’m currently drinking hemp milk as advised by my naturopath. I was drinking organic rice milk before and she immediately took me off it. I’m on a modified version of the AIP diet though as I have quite a few food allergies which are pesky.

  15. Holly says:

    I have a 12 inch cast iron skillet, will that work too? Or how would I adjust the ingredients to make a 12 inch?

  16. Cheryl says:

    Vivian, this pizza was the bomb! I was just telling my daughter that the food I missed most was pizza and voila, I see this recipe in your newsletter. We used half arrowroot and half coconut flour. It was a little crumbly but held together after pressed onto the pizza stone and baked. We also used arugula instead of spinach. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

  17. Robin says:

    Can this pizza be frozen to eat later? If so, what would be the best way to do this?

    • I haven’t tried freezing this pizza since every time we’ve made it, strangely enough, it all gets eaten. ;) The crust is quite dry and hard if not eaten right away, so I’m sure it could freeze okay, but you’ll want to heat it up in a toaster oven or oven for best results.

  18. Anne says:

    looks yummy but I was sure that mushrooms are considered a night shade veg.

    • No – mushrooms are not nightshades. Nightshade vegetables are from the family Soalnaceae, and they include white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, but NOT mushrooms.

  19. Minaz says:

    I’d love to try this recipe but I don’t have a cast iron skillet nor do I have a Pizza stone. Do you think a regular oven baking tray lined with a baking sheet or coconut oil, would work and if so should I bake the crust first and for how long/what temperature? Thanks :)

    • You’ll have to give it a try and see. The cast iron skillet or pizza stone retains a lot of heat, so with a regular baking tray, it might not cook as well on the bottom.

      • Minaz says:

        Thanks. Ok to update you… we used our stainless steel WMF skillet and pre-heated it in the oven at 500 F. Then we spread the pizza dough- just the dough but dipping our spatula in a little coconut oil to help spread it easily- and baked it first for 10 minutes at 500 F. Then we pulled it out and added toppings and slipped it back into the oven where it baked for 5 minutes at 500 F and then another 5 minutes to 320 F. Turned out beautiful. Hope this helps those, who may not have the cast iron skillet/pizza stone :)

  20. Marsha says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I made this for dinner tonight, but substituted sweet potato starch (found on Amazon) for the tapioca (tapioca possibly mimics gluten for me, with Hashimoto’s; arrowroot causes me severe gastro disturbances). I followed your instructions to a “T”. It turned out really good, although the crust didn’t really crisp on the bottom (even though I used preheated stoneware). Perhaps next time I will cook it just a little longer. But the texture was interesting, and the taste was awesome! Hubby loved it too! We like our pizza “naked”, aka no sauce, just some olive oil, Italian sausage (home made), onions, mushrooms, and (just on hubby’s side) cheese.

  21. Karyn says:

    This is the best pizza/flatbread crust recipe that contains no ingredients that my son is allergic too. The whole family enjoys it and it is quick to make. Thank you. I look forward to trying your other recipes.

  22. Janelle says:

    So I’ve been experimenting with this recipe because I didn’t care for the gooey texture of the tapioca starch. I’m on the AIP diet and absolutely can’t give up pizza.. I love the idea of using sweet potato for the sauce!
    Tonight I think I finally mastered the crust, so I’ll share what I did to make it a little more crispy and not so gooey in the middle!

    I used 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, and 1/2 cup of arrowroot flour. Then, I doubled the liquid mixture (bc the coconut flour absorbs liquid super fast). Next, I used the same amount of seasoning and stirred the ingredients until dough formed. I was actually able to divide the dough in thirds (I was using a smaller skillet) and freeze the other 2 batches! I cooked the crust in the skillet at 500 like the recipe suggests, for 15 mins. It browned very nicely! Finally, I added the toppings, decreesed the temp to 425, and baked it for another 12-15 mins. The result… AMAZING AIP PIZZA!!

  23. Marian says:

    A-MAZING!!!! On my third week of AIP and really wanted something more, something different. Came across this recipe and it was great. Used a pizza stone and I do think that’s crucial. Had caramelized onions on hand so used that and kale and it was super tasty. My husband who’s not doing AIP liked it too. Crust is crisp, very crisp and the longer it sat out the harder it was to cut with a knife, but c’mon — it’s pizza. Used arrowroot flour and overall I found this recipe to be fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing.

  24. Hannah says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it twice now, and both were delicious! This is such a treat to have on the AIP diet. I don’t like I am missing out on pizza night anymore! ?

  25. Jill Klausen says:

    This crust recipe is divine. I not only use it for pizza, but I also use it for open-faced sandwiches, and “bagels” & lox with guacamole filling the role of the cream cheese. It’s good enough to just tear apart and eat on its own, or dip into soups. Really, really good. Thank you for creating and sharing it.

    Oh, I cook mine in a cast iron skillet directly on the stove top. Starting with a scalding-hot pan over a high heat, I crisp one side first, then flip, turn the heat down, then put a lid on it so it “bakes” in the pan as the second side browns. It comes out perfect every time!

  26. Andrea says:

    Looking forward to trying this! We are coconut free-do you think hemp milk would work instead? And avocado oil? I’m not much of a baker so I’m not sure how these things work. Thank you!

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