Caramelized Onion and Shiitake Pizza

It happens. You think you’re doing great, happily enjoying your new gluten-free life. You feel better. You might even look better. You start even saying things like “I don’t even miss pizza.” And then it happens. You see someone walking past you on the street, or walking into work from lunch, holding a big, fat, cheesy slice of pizza. And just like that, you start to feel alone, left out, dejected.

Don’t worry, though, because when that moment comes, you can go online, look up this savory gluten free pizza recipe, and make it. Right away (it’s really simple to make, I promise).

Sure, this pizza is a little different than the ones we were all used to once upon a time. But that doesn’t make it any less delicious. First of all, the crust is basically a socca. If you’ve had socca before, you know how delicious it can be. I’ve been really obsessed with this socca-as-pizza idea lately. Last time I attempted it, though, I went with a buckwheat flour batter and more traditional pizza toppings. It was good. It hit the spot. But after making this tonight, I can tell you one thing. There’s a reason the French use chickpea (garbanzo) flour to make socca. There’s also a reason that French cuisine (even of the non-Parisian variety) is emulated around the world. They simply know what they’re doing.

This “socca pizza” is crisp on the edges, ever-so-slightly chewy in the middle, and perfectly savory on top. I used Follow Your Heart vegan mozarella and a little sprinkling of nutritional yeast for some nuttiness to top it all off. It’s the perfect treat to ward off those gluten-free (or perhaps vegan) blues and to remind you that you don’t have to choose between feeling better and eating well (or alternately, eating well and helping the planet).

A few notes: You will need a cast-iron (or otherwise oven-proof) skillet for this recipe. The “dough” is not really going to look like dough. It’s more of a batter, like a crepe batter. You can feel free to experiment with different toppings, but I would stay away from “wet” toppings or sauces unless you cook the crust for longer from the start, or else you might end up with a soggier middle.

Yield: 1 9″ cast-iron skillet-sized pizza

Socca (crust) batter:

1 cup garbanzo bean flour

1 cup water

3 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

~ 4 ounces (a little less than half a block) Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella cheese, grated with a microplane grater


1. Preheat oven to 450. Place a well-oiled 9″ cast-iron skillet in the oven while it preheats.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for socca batter until frothy (about 2 minutes). When skillet is hot, pour in batter and place back in preheated oven. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until edges are browned and middle is firm to the touch.

3. While crust bakes, make topping by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and onions and stir to coat with oil. Saute onions until dark brown, about 7 minutes. Add shitakes and cook for another 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and transluscent.

4. When crust is cooked, spread onion and mushroom mixture over top and sprinkle with nutritional yeast (optional) and “cheese.” Bake until cheese has melted. Serve immediately.


  1. says

    I’m so excited that I found your blog. I have food sensitivities because I have chronic migraines. I can’t wait to try a bunch of the recipes you’ve posted, they look delicious!

  2. Beth says

    Hi Cassandra! So glad you found the site as well, as I know it can be tough embracing a whole new diet. Hope you enjoy the recipes!

  3. says

    For many years I thought I didn’t like garbanzo beans, but then I found out that it’s really that my Mom doesn’t like them.

    I’ve done a sort of fried rice kind of thing with quinoa and fried chickpeas a few times, and I really like it. Just some cumin or even Old Bay on the chickpeas while frying them to crisp the outside and stir together with some cooked quinoa in a skillet. You can add whatever other fried rice goodies you like: scallions, eggs, etc.

    Now I’ll have to give this a try, too, just because.
    Thanks, Beth.

  4. says

    Hi Beth,

    I’m SO happy to have found this site. Our stories have many parallels and I just got told no gluten, no sugar, no dairy. Eggs are still in for the moment :) I also have some glucose issues so I need to limit bananas and dates (sad). Anyway. I’m an avid cook and recipe maker and your site will help SO much!

  5. Beth says

    Charlie — that sounds awesome! I am definitely gonna have to try that! I love the idea a fried rice with chickpeas. I went to a restaurant recently where they had garlic rice. We accidentally ordered it (perhaps a bit of a language barrier?) but practically ended up licking the bowls clean. The garlic was super crisp and brown in the rice, so I suspect it was cooking up nice and good in the skillet before the rice was added. Your idea sort of reminds me of that.

    Chelsea — thanks for the comment. I feel like more and more, people are finding that their allergy problems don’t come in a vacuum (i.e. just gluten). You and I are a testaement to that! I try to stay away from high sugar fruits and dried fruits as well, but I’ve been slipping a little as of late, since I can’t resist trying either in at least a few recipes. I’ll try to make sure my next few desert recipes are low glucose with you in mind.


  1. […] We contacted blogger, Beth Versical, a New Yorker who loves to cook! Upon learning about her own food sensitivities, she was determined not to have to resort to bland food and rice cakes for life, so she started cooking and sharing her recipes at Delectably Free. Here is one you are sure to love. Its her version of a “socca pizza”. For the full recipe, click here. […]

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