When most people think of pizza, they think of a wheat flour crust topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and various forms of processed meat. Perhaps with the occasional mushroom or pepper thrown in the mix.
So the phrase “vegan pizza” or “dairy-free pizza” may be met with puzzled looks. Is it just crust with tomato sauce? No way!
The ways to make a vegan pizza are only limited by your imagination. When you start thinking beyond red sauce and mozzarella cheese, you can come up with some pretty amazing combinations! Also, let’s not forget, these have no greasy cheese, processed meat, or other saturated fat and cholesterol-laden toppings!
FOLLOW THIS 6 STEP GUIDE:
STEP 1: CHOOSE A CRUST
While you can certainly go with a traditional wheat crust, there are plenty of other great options if you have gluten sensitivity, are limiting carbohydrates, or simply want to try something different.There are now some wholesome and tasty pizza crust mixes (and prepared crusts) on the market, including gluten-free options. You can also make an amazing crust out of ground sunflower seeds and beets, or use a whole grain tortilla for a lighter option. However, if you have the time and the will, we recommend getting some flour, yeast, sugar, and warm water to make your own crust!
STEP 2: ADD SOME SAUCE
A well-seasoned tomato sauce is a beautiful thing, and it’s the perfect choice for some pizza combos. But don’t limit yourself! Fig jelly is amazing paired with roasted vegetables, especially if you like sweet/savory combinations. Mashed sweet potatoes or white beans mixed with a bit of olive oil are also delicious. Not convinced? Try this Sweet Potato Tofu Pizza and it will knock your socks off!
STEP 3: CHOOSE A “CHEESE”
There are two main options for vegan or dairy-free cheese: using a commercially-available cheese substitute or making your own. Most pre-packaged vegan cheeses are made from soy, rice, almond or starch (e.g. tapioca) and here are our favorite ones. You can also make your own cheese with a few simple ingredients! Simply blend 1 cup of raw cashews, ¼ cup nutritional yeast, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1 T olive oil, and 1 t sea salt in the food processor until desired consistency is achieved. You won’t fear vegan cheese once you make this Holy Three Cheese Pizza!
There are several soy and wheat-based “meats” on the market that go well on pizza, including soy hamburger crumbles, ham, pepperoni, chik’n, and tempeh bacon — here is a great list of some good ones available in the market.You can also use any type of cooked bean that fits with your theme (black, garbanzo, navy), or top with browned, lightly seasoned tofu. Our favorite meaty meat-free pizzas are the Grilled “Cheesy Mac n’ Rib” Pizza and this beautifully delicious Thai Pizza.
STEP 5: LOAD UP ON THE VEGGIES
This is the best part! There are so many great options for veggie pizza toppings, and they do NOT have to be boring! Go with traditional options such as mushrooms, peppers, fresh tomato, or red onion, or branch out and try artichoke hearts, broccoli, or my personal favorites – roasted Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, potatoes, and roasted butternut squash. Make the Vegan Salad Pizza or this Kale and Artichoke Pizza and your tummy will thank you!
Add some olives, fresh garlic, fresh herbs, and/or capers for amazing flavor! Fresh basil, oregano and rosemary are especially tasty. This Artichoke and Olive Pizza promises to satisfy.