For what feels like decades, people have feuded over whether Chicago or New York style pizza reigns supreme. On the one side, there are the deep dish devotees — on the other, the thin-slice-fold-your-pizza-in-half-and-eat-on-the-go lovers from the Big Apple hold steadfast to their preference. But there’s a third contender: the Detroit-style pie.
SmartAsset’s 2017 edition of Best Cities for Pizza Lovers just awarded Detroit the number one best city to eat pizza in the country, which got us to thinking — what other iconic Detroit dishes are out there? And can we make them plant-based?
The short answer is yes — anything can be made plant-based, provided you’re willing to exercise a little creativity in the kitchen. Luckily, The Motor City is jam-packed with delicious foods for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. While we’re all about visiting the plant-based restaurant “Detroit Vegan Soul”, we also want to show you how to make four delicious Detroit-style dishes wherever you are.
1. The Iconic Detroit-Style Pizza
What is the Detroit-style pizza? Essentially, it’s a deep dish pizza, only it’s a rectangular pan pizza with a crispy crust — and it’s assembled backward.
To make a vegan Detroit-style pizza, you’ll need a dough for the crust. You can buy a vegan Sicilian-style pizza dough of your choice, or make one yourself; learn How to Make a Yeast-Free Pizza Crust! Spritz some olive oil on a rectangular baking sheet and mold your dough.
Next, generously put on as much vegan cheese straight onto the crust as you’d like. Traditionally, Detroit-style pizza uses super fatty cheese, so don’t be shy. This Cashew Mozzarella That Melts is a great choice. Throw on some of these Raw Parmesan Shards if you’re feeling extra vegan-cheesy. Bake that pie for 15-20 minutes at 450°F until your vegan cheese is bubbling, then pour your tomato sauce (check out this recipe for The Only Tomato Sauce You’ll Ever Need) on top of your creation once it’s cooled down. Voila!
The Coney Dog is traditionally a hot dog topped with a generous heap of beanless chili, chopped raw onions, and heavy mustard — in other words, this is what to order on a first date if you like to take big risks.
We suggest starting off with this recipe for Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs, because their texture and flavor is so meaty, but these Carrot Hot Dogs are interesting too. Top it with your Vegan Chili of choice, and then dice some onions, and squirt a line of mustard on your masterpiece. Check out How to Make Your Own Magnificent Mustards!
Even though Detroit was founded on French origins, Greek food is ubiquitous in The Motor City. In fact, there’s a Greektown Historic District in the heart of Downtown Detroit!
If you finish your vegan Detroit-style pizza but still want cheese, look no further than this Labneh: Greek Cheese Spread With Homemade Pita Bread. Labneh is a tangy, silky cheese spread that can be served as a dip with pita bread or smeared on a toasted bagel. The cheese can also be rolled into balls, encrusted in herbs, and preserved in olive oil.
Vegan Greek Keftedes are also a delicious option. Keftedes is a traditional Greek food. Usually fried meatballs, served with French fries and Greek salad, make the perfect comfort food. When used for parties or meze they are called Keftedakia (the ‘akia’ means small).
But most of all, you can’t miss out on this Baklava for Beginners recipe, pictured above. Anyone, regardless of their Greek cooking experience, can make these perfectly every time! No unwieldy sheets of filo dough to manage, just a few flavor-packed ingredients and all ready in less than 30 minutes with this infinitely scalable recipe – win, win, win, win (you get the idea!)
As USA Today wrote: “Detroit comes as close to corned-beef-sandwich heaven as any place in America.” Luckily, you can make hearty, texturally interesting, and flavorsome sandwich at home that rivals traditional corned beef, but is totally plant-based.
Check out the recipe for Mayim Bialik’s Reuben Sandwich, pictured above. It recreates the flavor of a classic deli reuben with ingredients and spices that mimic the original to a T. It’s packed with veggie bacon, sauerkraut, and deliciously spiced onions. Grilling the rye bread makes all the difference, so don’t skip that step!
If you’re inspired by this Detroit post and now want to learn more about different vegan pizza offered throughout America, check out this Ultimate Guide to Vegan Pizzerias in America!
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Mayim Bialik’s Reuben Sandwich