When my husband and I were dating, I knew how to make two things, macaroni casserole and a version of this veggie pizza. He used to say that it was after trying my veggie pizza that he decided that maybe I was marriage material after all!
The original version of this called for two blocks of cream cheese and a packet of dry Ranch dressing and had a generous sprinkling of cheese over the whole thing. It was like a zillion calories and too rich to eat more than a couple. I’ve played around with the recipe a lot over the years. It began as my cousin’s recipe but my aunt started making something similar and I merged the two and then I took almost twenty years of tweaking it to come up with this version that tastes just as good but has less than half the calories.
I wouldn’t exactly call it diet food, but I would call it delicious!
One of the nicest things about this appetizer is that you can really customize it by using your favourite veggies. I have some that I use every time I make it but I can also add whatever I have on hand and that changes the flavours.
Start by spreading your croissant rolls onto a baking sheet. It’s a bit like putting a puzzle together. I have different methods for different sizes of cookie sheet. Once you have the sheet covered, press together the edges of the croissant rolls or use a pastry roller to smooth them out. Put that into the oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
Next, mix together one softened pack of cream cheese, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2 tsp. parsley, 1/2 tsp. chives, 1 tsp. onion powder or dry onion, 1/4 tsp. dill, salt and pepper. You can mix this by hand, but I prefer to use a hand mixer.
Let the base cool. Don’t do what I have done more times than I can count and try to spread the mixture on the base when it is still warm because pieces of the base will lift and mix in with cream cheese mixture. It will still taste the same but it will be uglier and more frustrating to work with, so just let your base chill while you chill (!) and then get back to it later.
When your base has really cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture on top. Now comes the secret to the whole thing…sprinkle lemon pepper over the top of all of it. You can use regular lemon pepper but it has quite a high sodium content (who knew?!) so I grind a brand that actually just contains peppercorns and lemon rind. I went a bit too lemon pepper happy in the picture below but it will at least give you a general idea:
Now it’s ready for your veggies. I always use yellow pepper, zucchini, either green or purple onion, and grated carrots. I love the fresh flavours and the colours. The key here is to press the veggies in a bit so that when you slice this, they stay on the “pizza”. Other vegetables that work well on this are jalapeños, red and green bell peppers, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, black olives, and celery.
Cut into squares (I find that a large pizza cutter works best) and serve.
This can be made up to a day or two ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It’s really delicious. It’s one of the recipes I get asked for the most.
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- 2 cans refrigerated croissant dough
- block of cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp. parsley
- 1/2 tsp. chives
- 1 tsp. onion powder or dry onion
- 1/4 tsp. dill
- salt and pepper
- lemon pepper
- vegetables of your choice
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Spread croissant dough on baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Mix together the cream cheese, mayo and spices (except for the lemon pepper).
- Spread cream cheese mixture over the base.
- Sprinkle with lemon pepper.
- Top with chopped vegetables.
- Cut into squares.
- Chill until ready to serve.