Pizza Bombs | Gluten-Free Cheese Puff Recipe (dairy-free option)

by | Jan 3, 2019 | 30-min meals, Appetizers, Breads, Dairy-Free, Featured, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo, Recipes, Sides, Small Bites, Snacks, Vegetarian | 6 comments

Inside Scoop: These Gluten-Free Cheese Puff (AKA pizza bombs) are absolutely grain-free, can be made dairy free, simple and oh so delicious.


Have you tried Brazilian Cheese Buns yet?

Well, if you’re new to the concept of ‘Brazilian cheese buns’ you need to test this recipe for pizza style gluten-free cheese puffs!

Also, if you’re new to the idea of cooking with tapioca flour, we have to let you know that we are HOOKED and have been using it to bake and experiment with lately, and it’s been awesome.

This little Gluten-free Cheese Puff recipe was inspired by a classic, but with a modern day twist.




Brazilian cheese buns, AKA Pão de Queijo are basically cheese breads, or cheese puffs made from a couple of incredibly simple ingredients: cheese, tapioca flour, milk, oil and salt. The way they’re created and baked leave you with these delicious balls or puffs of cheesy goodness, that are gluten-free, grain-free, and incredibly delicious.

We’ve decided to do some experimentation with these little gluten-free cheese puffs of joy to bring you an option that’s healthy and delicious, doesn’t use white flour or any refined ingredients, but instead is simple, easy and tastes just like pizza bites.




The yucca root (woody shrub native to South America and the Caribbean) is the plant that’s cultivated to extract cassava flour. This cassava flour is then refined further to extract the pulp, or tapioca. Over the past couple of years, both cassava flour and tapioca flour have risen in popularity as a lot of people are finding grains and gluten hard to digest, or cause intestinal upset. Grain-free diets are popular, and these flours are great alternatives when considering baking.

Tapioca flour is a great replacement for cornstarch, as it thickens any liquid it’s placed in. Plus, tapioca flour has been popularly used in these little cheese puffs, and due to its rise in popularity we thought we’d give it a try.

Our favourite brand of tapioca flour is Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour, which you can find on Amazon.



Totally, we have given an option and provided our favourite dairy-free and vegan shredded cheese options below, and have tested this recipe with both mozzarella and dairy-free/ vegan shredded cheese to make sure that all your cheesy puff pizza dreams are going to come true, no matter what the dietary requirement.




We have not yet tested this recipe to be vegan, but if you want to experiment, you can try using a flax egg in place of a regular egg. Get the flax egg recipe here. 




As far as nutritional value goes, tapioca flour is pretty bland. It’s low in fat, protein and calories and due to its processing, it’s been stripped of many nutrients. BUT, that doesn’t mean you can’t create healthy recipes with it.

Tapioca flour is grain-free, nut-free and gluten-free, which make it an allergy-friendly base for baking. It’s also versatile and you can add in other healthy ingredients that can vamp up the nutritional profile of what you’re cooking.

For example, you can add matcha, chia, flax, pureed sweet potato, pureed spinach, fruit, and other nutrient dense foods to these buns to create something that’s healthy and allergy-free.

These buns contain cheese, a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc and many other essential vitamins and minerals; eggs, which contain so many powerful nutrients such as choline (part of the B’s) that’s important for brain health; and with a homemade marinara you get the antioxidants from tomatoes, as well as other benefits from the sauce. All of this together you have a delicious, healthy, grain-free recipe that fits into a variety of diets.

We’re all about these cheesy buns and are excited to be whipping them up on a regular basis! If you’re a fan of pizza and ok with gluten, you can check out this amazing healthy recipe Veggie & Goat Cheese Spelt Flatbread. And if you’re looking for more Nutritionist Approved Brands, be sure to snatch up your copy of our Healthy Packaged Foods list (all brands have the Naughty Nutrition stamp of approval), you can grab the list here:

What do you think? Are you ready to start experimenting with tapioca flour? Let us know in the comments below.


5 from 1 vote

The Best Gluten-Free Cheese Puffs Ever

These pizza cheese puffs are gluten-free, grain-free and incredibly simple to make. A great bun alternative that has a cheesy flavour.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy
Keyword Gluten-free cheese puff
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 134 kcal


  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice we used unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese or vegan cheese shreds work wonders *click on cheese link for brand we love (but if you don’t have a dairy issue, you can use regular)
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce reserve 1 Tbsp to top your buns with
  • Coconut oil for muffin tray


  1. Preheat oven 400F and coat muffin liners with a layer of coconut oil.
  2. Add everything (except for marinara) in a high-powered blender, pulse or blend until fully combined *.
  3. Pour into muffin tray, about 3/4 full.
  4. Take a teaspoon and add a small dollop (about 1/4 – 1/2 of your spoon) to the top of the batter and swirl it around.
  5. Bake for 20- 25 minutes.
  6. Serve dipped in marinara.

Recipe Notes

*Blending is the most important step, we’ve made the mistake of not blending all ingredients and the recipe doesn’t fluff up as nice. This recipe also works well without adding the marinara, but we like the pizza element.

Naughty Nutrition

Naughty Nutrition


  1. Trish

    I can’t wsit to try this.

    • Naughty Nutrition

      Yay! They’re so good, even the dairy free version is delish. Let us know how it goes over (blending is key 😉 )

    • Naughty Nutrition

      You definitely do 😉

  2. Mariana Faria

    Being Brazilian, I can tell you yours looks good. BUT, these are NOT low carb. Tapioca flour (or polvilho, as we call it here) is a no-no in any low carb diet (as in my Type-1 Diabetic daugther’s).

    • Naughty Nutrition

      Hello Mariana. They are so good, if you do try them please let us know 🙂 And you are absolutely right about the carbs, we have updated it!


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