Meatza! Meatza!

How to make the best meatza (a pizza with a beef crust) using my late Italian grandfather’s meatball recipe. Very tasty!

So last night I made a meatza for the second time. For those of you who’ve not had or heard of a meatza, it’s basically a pizza you make using ground beef for the crust.

I consider myself pretty carnivorous and I love pizza (Pizza and beer are make for the one-two punch to knock me completely off the paleo bandwagon*), but I have to confess: the notion of a meatza just didn’t appeal to me at first blush. Plus, I’d made a few attempts at the almond flour crust pizza and been a bit disappointed. It’s a lot of work to make an almond flour pizza, so when the result consistently disappointed, I just gave up on a low-carb pizza solution.

It was only when a few friends mentioned they had enjoyed meatza that I decided to give it a shot. I knew Richard had made meatza based off a meatza recipe from the Healthy Cooking Coach, so that’s where I scrounged up the basic directions.

Now, making a pizza is as simple as making a crust, adding toppings, and baking it in the oven. With a meatza then, the most complicated part here is making the crust. And it’s also the part that you’ve got to get right to make sure your meat pizza is delicious!

Enter my Italian grandfather’s meatball recipe. My Pop has a fairly famous (within the family anyway) spaghetti recipe for sauce and meatballs. I’m going to skip the sauce part for now because it’s a bit more labor-intensive. In a pinch, you can just use some spaghetti sauce from the store.

Anyway, it’s the meatball recipe that really knocks the meatza crust out of the park, so without further ado, here are the ingredients:

  1. I use a 12×17 rectangular pan
  2. Get a decent sized mixing bowl to mix the meat
  3. Start pre-heating the oven to 450
  4. For ease of mixing into the beef, I go ahead and get all my seasonings out and into a little bowl (this will make more sense in a second):
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese**
    • 3 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp caraway seeds (this is the magic ingredient in my opinion)
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp garlic salt
    • 1 tsp coarse ground pepper
    • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
    • 2 lbs. ground beef (80/20 is fine)
  5. Seasonings mixed, put the beef into the mixing bowl, crack into it two eggs and mix beef and eggs first. This is because the runny egg can cause the seasonings to clump together and it just makes mixing a lot messier and less uniform if you don’t mix beef and egg first prior to adding the seasonings. Thus, the need for to pre-mix the seasonings β€” your hands are all covered in beef at this point, so you just have to pour in the seasonings!
  6. Add seasonings and Parmesan cheese and mix well! (Note: you can also do the Parmesan after the egg/beef pre-seasonings if you want)
  7. Take the mass of mixed beef and slam it onto your pan. BAM!
  8. Flatten it out: you should be able to just about cover a 12×17 pan with the beef
  9. Oven pre-heated, throw it in there for 10 minutes!

At this point, I immediately start pre-cooking certain ingredients that need a little extra attention; in my case, it’s sliced mushrooms and diced green pepper sauteeing in a cast iron skillet with some pasture butter.

Ten minutes up, take the crust out of the oven. Set the oven to Broil (it will take a few minutes to heat to this point).

You’ll now notice the crust has shrunk considerably and there’s a good bit of rendered fat in the pan. Pour the fat out of the pan. Optional step: take a paper towel and wipe up any extraneous beef “stuff” that is exterior to the crust. This is simply because it’s not part of the crust and if you leave it, it could cake to the pan and make clean-up more of a hassle.

Now, you just add your toppings. For me, I added Newman’s Sockerooni spaghetti sauce as a base, then a layer of pepperoni, then a base layer of mozarella cheese. From there, I add sliced green olives, feta cheese, the mushrooms and green peppers, more pepperoni, and top it all off with more cheese.

Broiler heated up, I throw it all back in the oven until the cheese is done. It cooks very fast at this point! Like five minutes is almost too long in our case, so make sure you keep a close eye on your meatza!

Take it out, let it sit for a minute or two, and slice and serve. I find this slices into six solid size pieces β€” I can eat a half a pizza under the right conditions, but one slice of meatza and I am good to go.


Oh one more thing: I really like this alternative pizza combination. It is downright delicious and I don’t get that “sigh this isn’t really pizza” sensation at all. I’m not sure it is pizza, really, but it is really good, so who cares!

* Beer, chips, and salsa at Mexican restaurants being right up there, too.

** Were you to make the meatballs, you’d actually use two slices of bread, wet, and torn into small pieces OR 1 cup of plain bread crumbs (you can sub almond flour if you like)

49 replies on “Meatza! Meatza!”

I make meatza at least once a week but your crust recipe sounds terrific! I’ll try that next time.

For toppings, if I might humbly suggest, I always use bacon. After I cook the bacon, I then sautee my veggies right in the bacon grease, which makes a nice flavor in every bite.

I made this last night and it was VERY good. One thing I would change is to only use about 1 tsp of salt. Otherwise it was perfect!

My mother-in-law doesn’t eat red meat, so I used ground turkey instead of ground beef (other than that I followed the recipe exactly) and it turned out awesome!

Thanks so much for this recipe it is absolutely fantastic. Now I can enjoy my pizza and not feel like crap afterwards πŸ™‚

Doing this tonight, perhaps with a mod or two on the meatball recipe. Have been anxious to try it. Gonna make the “crust in advance and let it stew a bit. Might fire it under the broiler, too.

This looks great, I am going to try it tomorrow. I would suggest putting parchment paper down first to make clean up much easier.

Wanted to thank you for this recipe, it is really awesome! As you said, you really get a sense of eating a real pizza. The spices in the meat mixture are definitely key! I did sub crushed fennel seeds for the caraway, and left out the hot spices. As far as the parchment paper, it works great as far as clean up, but you have to be careful when draining the juices as it slips right off the pan.

Thanks again for this great recipe, it will be a regular at our house.

Just finished dinner and my husband and teenage son both gave this high praise (it even filled up the teenager!). We used turkey and buffalo for the ground meat and added some olive oil to the meat. They were skeptical but are now believers.

Just wanted to say that we’ve tried this recipe a few times now, and it’s awesome! Our alterations are to lower the salt to 2 tsp and substitute garlic powder for the garlic salt, otherwise it’s just too salty for us.

We also found that using ground bison instead of ground beef (preferably free-range bison, for that much improved omega-3/omega-6 ratio) yields a crust with a better consistency and texture.

Thanks for the excellent recipe!

Found this from Free the Animal for an excellent “crust” recipe. FABULOUS!! I’ve never made meatza before, but I can’t imagine trying this without your crust recipe! This was so tasty!!

Thank you so much, I love this recipe! I spent most of my life as a vegetarian and I’m having some problems getting used to meat although I’ve tried it for about a year now. But this was just awesome. I had too much of the meat mix left because I only wanted a thin crust and so I made meatballs out of the remaining meat. Very, very small meatballs so that they would be more crispy and less meaty. Those were my first meatballs ever and they were just awesome. I ate so many of them that I couldn’t even try the meatza yet because I’m just. So I just had nothing for lunch but meat, meat and meat. This is a small revolution for me and I just wanted to thank you (and your grandfather πŸ˜‰ ) for it. So: thanks!

Killer! Just launched this guy out the oven to rave reviews. Mixed it up a bit and threw a bit of indian ‘paneer’ cheese on top with some spinach. Turned out great. In agreement with others in that next time I would back off the salt. Thanks Justin!

Sajid Reshamwala
Institute of Design

Hey, great one! Thanks for taking the time to post! I only just realised that pizza might be paleo possible. I was just going to fudge it like I do with beers but in the olden days (before I was paleo) I used to eat the topping and leave the base/crust – never liked carbs much to begin with. Now I think I will finally want to eat the whole lot! Thanks Justin and thanks Justin’s Grandpa! So romantic when family recipes go viral.

I have to jump in and say that this recipe rocked. I didn’t have caraway seeds and didn’t do the red pepper flakes but this rocked. I had fallen into a major paleo rut and was needing something fresh and different to keep me straight. Everyone in the house loved this and there are tons of left overs πŸ™‚ Yay and thank you. I will be blogging about this and sharing it on my blog as well with a link back to you πŸ™‚

Thanks again!

About how thick is the beef in the pan? I am in Australia and am going to have to convert all your measurements and not sure what the size of my tray is, so if I know the thickness before cooking I can figure out how much beef (or in my case Kangaroo) mince I will need!


I was totaly skeptical of this idea and I gotta tell you it was a huge hit at my house. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe – we really enjoyed it and will definately make it again.

Just made this and it is ridiculously delicious! I have been missing pizza since going Primal, but this hits the spot. Thinking about adding mozzarella in the crust… maybe rolling a cheese stick in the meat. Thanks so much!

I’ve tried a lot of paleo recipes in support of my fiance and once I converted the temperature to Celcius and worked out what ‘set the oven to broil’ meant I was well on my way to a delicious dinner! I too reduced the salt but otherwise followed the recipe word for word. Great midweek meal. Thanks Owen.

I found your blog and this recipe by accident and WOW am I ever glad I did! This was fabulous and I will definitely be making it again. My husband and I both just recently lost a combined 60+ pounds and I am always on the lookout for high protein, low carb recipes. Thanks for posting!

Not sure I’d pick that sauce — with the sugar content and soybean oil — but the crust is delish to be sure!

The salt in this recipe is absolutely ridiculous! I used half of the amount listed and it was way to salty!
Apart from that I liked the recipe. I’ll try it again, with way less salt πŸ™‚

[…] Meatza from the Justin Owings blog – We started with cauliflower crust pizza, then almond crust pizza. But now, this is my FAVOURITE THING EVER. I want ALL THE MEATZA. But like the hamburger buns, we can NOT, no matter how hungry we are, eat more than two pieces. Depending on how you top it, the taste will be somewhere along the pizza – lasagne continuum. You can’t go wrong with that! […]

Mmmm! Just made this and its delicious!! I cut the recipe in half– used 1 lb. of ground beef, and cut the salt, one tsp. instead of 1.5 tsp. You’re right– the caraway seeds really are the magic ingredient. Scrumptious!!!

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