Finding the greatest vegan pizza is easier than ever, thanks to national franchises and simple homemade recipes.
There is a popular belief that there is no such thing as a poor pizza. That's putting it mildly in comparison to some of the less-than-satisfying vegan pizzas we've tasted before the dairy-free cheese revolution. Vegan pizza has come a long way over the years, and it's becoming increasingly popular. Vegan burgers aren't quite there yet (national chains are sluggish about accepting vegan cheese), but many regional and local pizzerias have made vegan cheese and plant-based meats permanent additions to their menus. There's also the frozen vegan pizza segment, and there's always the make-at-home alternative. If you don't have a yearning for plant-based pizza right now, you will by the conclusion of this essay. Here are five vegan pizza recipes and where to locate the best vegan pizza.
What is vegan pizza, exactly?
A vegan pizza is equally as inventive, appealing, and varied as animal-based pizzas, with the exception that it is free of all animal products. This isn't to argue that vegan pizza isn't cheese-free. While a good slice with high-quality ingredients and great dough, or a basic marinara pie, might be delicious, many vegan pizzas contain cheese. The only difference is that vegan pizza uses dairy-free mozzarella, which comes in a variety of flavors.
Vegan pizza is still pizza in terms of nutrients. In some ways, it's “healthier” since it's free of animal products, which means it's free of trans fats, hormones, and cholesterol. However, most vegan pizzas are still baked with bread and vegan cheese, which has a higher fat content. Enjoy to your heart's content, but don't eat the entire pie daily.
Which is Pizza's best vegan cheese
We can be persuaded to have a second slice if the vegan cheese is just perfect. Vegan parmesan, creamy nut-based cheese, and genuinely melty (not rubbery) cheese all work great on pizza. The last one is the trickiest to learn. Between gooey, melty bliss and sticky, boring, and greasy is a narrow line. Both Miyoko's Creamery and NUMU produce high-quality vegan mozzarella that can withstand the heat. Miyoko's new pourable mozzarella, in particular, is ideal for handmade pies, while NUMU is available in many pizzerias around the greater New York area, as well as at Whole Foods pizza stations nationwide. To get the stretchy factor, several eateries carry Daiya, Parmela Creamery, or Follow Your Heart cheese.
Vegan pizza toppings include creamy, spreadable cheeses such as nut-based mozzarella and ricotta. You can create these nut cheeses at home with only a few ingredients and a high-powered blender. We also like restaurants that produce their own vegan cheese. It's usually a nut-based richness that's lavishly dolloped all over an artisan crust.
Don't forget the parmesan cheese. A topping of vegan parmesan, whether store-bought or homemade, gives an umami taste to tie everything together. Blitz cashews, nutritional yeast, and a pinch each of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder until a sand-like texture is achieved in less than five minutes.
All you need is a sprinkling of this cheesy pixie dust on occasion, and you're good to go—no extra cheese necessary.
Where can I get vegan pizza?
Vegan pizza can now be found almost anywhere non-vegan pizza can be found. It may be found in regional chain restaurants, independently owned eateries, grocery store hot bars, and in the freezer section. Even if a restaurant does not specifically list a plant-based pie on its menu, you can usually order one by omitting the meat and cheese and increasing the number of vegetables. Most pizza dough is inherently vegan (except for Papa John's, which contains milk for some reason), making it simple to make your own at a restaurant.
Fresh Brothers, Blaze Pizza, Mellow Mushroom, MOD, Pieology, Pizza, Picazzo's, and Brixx Wood Fired Pizza are just a few of the many restaurants that provide vegan cheese and/or plant-based meats. Even if it doesn't include dairy-free cheese or vegan meat, if it's a build-your-own idea, there's a decent chance you'll discover something gratifying.
Scan the shelves for The Pizza Plant, Daiya, Blackbird, and Wholly Veggie, or check out our best-of list if you're wandering down the freezer aisle searching for something quick to keep on hand.
We've compiled a list of foolproof vegan pizza recipes for you to try at home. If you plan on preparing pizza frequently, try a vegan pizza cookbook like Purezza Vegan Pizza.
Toppings for vegan pizza
Except for salty anchovies, any omnivorous pizza topping may be converted to a vegan pizza. After all, just because we prefer plant-based cuisine doesn't mean we don't have animal-based food desires. Stretchy cheese, spicy pepperoni, and meaty sausage—those flavors don't go away quickly, and they're considered pizza staples by many. You'll most likely discover Impossible, Beyond, or Field Roast pepperoni or sausage alternatives while ordering from an omnivorous chain. Among independent pizzerias, however, Abbot's Butcher Chick'n and Italian “Sausage” are gaining popularity.
The possibilities for toppings are endless once you get past the essentials of meat and cheese. When ordering takeout, keep the following in mind: Although the marinara sauce is typically vegan, it's always a good idea to ask just in case, as some companies use dairy in their recipe. Except for all plant-based pizza joints, pesto and cream-based sauces are frequently dairy-laden. We adore the creativity that these eateries and food trucks are bringing to the table. We've seen vegan mac and cheese pizzas, buffalo chicken pizzas, potato pizzas, and pizzas heaped high with gloriously fresh fruit. A few things don't belong as toppings on pizzas, from dessert pizzas to salad pizzas to more conventional pies.
Five vegan pizza recipes. Plus, how to make vegan pizza.
It all starts with the dough when creating vegan pizza at home. Choosing a store-bought solution is the simplest choice. Trader Joe's has three different types of refrigerated pizza dough: basic, wheat, and garlic and herb. They're all vegan. You might also purchase dough from your neighborhood pizza place. When you ask for something, you will almost always get it. Allow the dough to rise for at least 30 minutes before saucing and topping it if you bought it. The texture of the crust is greatly improved by this process. Making your own dough may be quite satisfying for those wanting a bit more hands-on effort (and a few extra hours on their hands).
Unlike pie crust, a good dough is rather simple to master. It might not be pizzaiolo-worthy, but it'll do for now. The remainder of the instructions is very self-explanatory. The only other suggestion is to avoid going overboard with the toppings. When it comes to design, sometimes less is more.
Do you require some motivation? Make the greatest pizza from the comfort of your own home with these five vegan pizza recipes.
- French Bread Pizza (Easy, Cheesy)
Some people may always associate a specific brand of microwavable French bread pizza with nostalgia, but it doesn't take much more effort to prepare it from scratch. French bread is the way to go if you don't want to fuss with dough—even store-bought dough.
1 (16-oz.) loaf French bread
1 quart pizza sauce
2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ thinly sliced bell peppers
½ thinly sliced sweet onions
1/3 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
½ teaspoon oregano, dried
How to do it:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the French bread in half horizontally and set both halves cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Use as much pizza sauce as desired to cover both pieces of bread evenly. Using both pieces of the bread, spread 1 and ¾ cup of cheese on each half. Evenly distribute the bell pepper, onion, and green olives across the top, then top with the remaining cheese and oregano.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bread, is crisp and the cheese is melted, flipping the baking sheet front to back halfway through.
- Deep-dish vegan pizza
To cut a slice of this substantial pie, you'll need a knife and a fork. This recipe doesn't call for a lot of toppings, but don't let that stop you. On top of this robust crust, a hefty handful of hearty vegan sausage, fresh basil, sliced bell peppers, or bright red onions would be delicious.
2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting.
1 teaspoon dry instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt, divided
warm water (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus more for garnish.
½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup iced water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon black pepper, plus a little extra for garnish
1 vegan mozzarella cup
How to do it:
To make the dough, add flour, yeast, and ½ teaspoon of salt to a large mixing basin and make a well in the center. Fill the well with lukewarm water, then add the oil and stir with a spoon to form a sticky ball.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface, adding flour as needed to keep it from sticking to your hands or the surface.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing basin, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside to prove for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.To remove air from the dough, gently punch it a few times and place it on a floured board. Roll out the dough into a 14-inch-diameter circle. Lightly oil a 10-inch oven-safe frying pan, then spread pizza dough over the bottom and slightly over the edges of the pan.
Add basil, tomato paste, cold water, apple cider vinegar, ½ teaspoon of salt, and pepper to a medium mixing bowl. Stir everything together, then pour it over the dough. Trim any dough that hangs over the pan's edge, then fold the edges in on themselves to form a thick crust.
Spread vegan mozzarella equally on top of the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Finish by drizzling olive oil over the pizza, seasoning with additional black pepper, and garnishing with basil leaves.
- Vegan Mac and Cheese Pizza
If a deep dish isn't enough carbs for you, this decadent pie should suffice. The mac and cheese pizza craze began a few years ago, and while it may have appeared to be a publicity gimmick at first, many people were hooked. It should only be used at big events, such as family reunions or the World Cup.
For the crust:
½ teaspoon brown sugar, light
2 ¼ teaspoons of dry yeast
1 ½ cups hot water
1 teaspoon pink sea salt
Divided into 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of olive oil,
4 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour, divided
For the mac and cheese:
1 ½ cups of dry elbow-shaped macaroni
1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons of mineral water, divided
½ cup raw cashews
1 cup vegan chicken stock
6 oz. shredded vegan mozzarella
For the potato chip topping:
1 cup potato chips, crumbled
½ tsp extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon oregano, dried
To make the crust, combine sugar, yeast, and water in a large mixing basin. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to produce little bubbles.
Combine the sea salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Continue to add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until all of the flour is mixed. Knead the dough for 3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic ball forms.
Drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a medium mixing basin. Place the dough in a bowl, cover it, and set it aside for 1 hour to rise. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes before spreading evenly on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
Cook elbow macaroni according to the package guidelines for the macaroni and cheese. Drain the water and set it aside. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup cashews. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and continue to cook for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to drain. In a food processor or blender, combine the remaining ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of water.Blend on high until a smooth consistency is achieved.
Combine the cashew mixture, broth, and cheese in a medium saucepan. Heat until the cheese has melted over medium-high heat. Cooked elbow macaroni is folded in.
To make the potato chip topping, crush potato chips into a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and top with thyme leaves. Toss to evenly coat the Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.Make a uniform layer of macaroni and cheese on top of the dough. Toss with the potato chip topping. After 20 minutes in the oven, serve warm.
- Pizza with grilled vegetables
Vegan burgers and hot dogs aren't the only things that can be grilled—pizza also has a home on the grill when the weather permits. From the vegetables to the pizza crust itself, everything is imbued with that wonderful char. If you don't want your pie to fall through the gaps, make sure you read the directions attentively.
Of the 10 white mushrooms, use Portobello for a stronger taste.
1 sliced onion
1 halved red bell pepper
3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced.
1 to 2 jalapenos, de-seeded and halved.
Cut 1 large zucchini or eggplant into bite-size pieces (optional).
Olive oil for brushing
1 thin vegan pizza crust, prebaked
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1/8 teaspoon of nutritional yeast
How to do it
On your grill, create direct (mid-heat over flame) and indirect (near but not directly over flame) heat zones. Apply oil to the mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos, and zucchini. Grill veggies until desired tenderness is reached, typically 6 to 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, using a grilling screen or a combined grilling screen, grill basket, and bare grate. While cooking the pizza crust, keep it warm.
Brush both sides of the pizza dough with olive oil. Place the crust on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the bottom is gently browned and the top is quite warm. Place the crust on the stovetop over low heat for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bottom is browned and crispy. Place the uncooked side of the crust over direct heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until gently browned. Transfer to a low-heat setting. Return the pizza to direct heat for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the desired doneness is reached, then top with grilled veggies, rosemary, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and nutritional yeast.
Grilled Pizza with Spicy “Wings”: For a little more flair, marinate sliced seitan in your favorite hot sauce for several hours to overnight. Using a grilling screen, cook the seitan for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating once or twice, while the veggies are grilling. When the veggies are put into the pizza dough, add the seitan. Drizzle more spicy sauce over the final pizza if desired.
- Pizza with Vegan Pesto
Marinara sauce isn't the only option for pizza sauce. The nutty, herbaceous taste characteristic of this pleasantly green pie requires very little elaboration. A covering of vibrant and salty pesto would be perfect for a few sundried tomatoes and a scattering of plant-based chicken.
1 frozen pre-made pizza crust
1 basil bunch, cleaned and de-seeded.
1 heaping spoonful of miso paste (white).
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons of pine nuts for garnish + 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
5 tbsp. or more of water.
How to do it:
Prep the oven according to the frozen pizza crust's instructions.
In a food processor, mix basil, miso, garlic, pine nuts, and water to make the topping. If necessary, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the pesto is smooth enough to spread on the crust.
Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of pine nuts over the pesto on the frozen crust. Bake as directed on the packet.