The Ultimate Vegan Pizza Recipe: All you Need to Know to Make the Best Vegan Pizza Made from ScratchOct 11, 2022
We've all been there, those pre-vegan days in which you were so motivated to make changes towards a plant based diet and suddenly you remember your favorite Friday night pizza tradition, the stretchy cheese, the perfect tomato sauce, all your favorite toppings enclosed by the perfect thick crust, or thin crust or deep dish crust (to each their own!). The good news is that you do not have to say goodbye to any of your favorites when starting a vegan diet, you can start seeing this change that oftentimes seems massive, to its very simple reality:
A vegan diet can consist of all your favorite meals, dishes and recipes, only made with plant-based ingredients as opposed to animal-based ingredients.
Today's post will help give you all the basics to make the best vegan pizza at home (including full recipes), as well as tips when finding vegan pizza options nearby, and what to do when options aren't as easy to find where you live. I'll also share some of the best brands out there for everything from vegan cheese, vegan pepperoni, Italian sausage and more.
How to Make Vegan Pizza at Home
To make vegan pizza you can go through a simplified route:
- Buy a store-bought pizza dough and a store-bought sauce and simply assemble your pizzas and bake them in the oven
- Make a pizza entirely from scratch and start by making the dough and letting it rise, and while that's happening, make a delicious Italian tomato sauce, then assembling and baking your pizzas.
How to Make Homemade Vegan Pizza Dough (Recipe)
Yield: Dough for 2 pizzas | Prep time: 20 minutes | Rising time: 1 hour and 20 minutes | Cook time: 8-10 minutes per pizza
One 25 gram (0.8 oz) cube of fresh yeast (approximately 6 teaspoons) - optional substitution: 2 teaspoons instant rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for shaping the dough
2 teaspoons salt
2 & 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit extra for the rising bowl and to drizzle over your pizzas
1 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water
For assembling your pizzas: Your favorite pizza sauce (recipe below), vegan cheese shreds (recommendations below), toppings and some olive oil and dried oregano.
Developing the yeast:
1. To prepare the dough, whisk together the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water. Let it rest for 5 minutes, you should see some change in the surface of the liquid in the form of growth or bubbles to know that your yeast is activating.
Mixing the dough and kneading:
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (you may also do this by hand in a bowl), add most of the flour (reserving a bit on the side), salt, olive oil, the remaining warm water (1/2 a cup + 1 tablespoon), and your developed yeast mixture. Turn on your mixer to medium-high speed using the dough hook attachment, and let the machine incorporate the ingredients until you have a sticky dough. Add the bit of flour you reserved and knead the dough for 10-12 minutes, alternating every two minutes between the medium and high setting in your mixer.
Letting the dough rise:
3. Once the 10-12 minutes of kneading have passed and you have a smooth ball of dough that is elastic, place it in a large bowl. coat it with a bit of olive oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour in the warmest part of your house until roughly doubled in size. You may also make the dough the night before and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.
4. While your dough rises, prepare your toppings, grate the cheese and prepare your sauce (see recipe for a killer and super easy pizza sauce below).
5. Once your dough has risen, punch it down, divide it in half, and place the two parts of dough on a floured piece of parchment paper.
Stretching the dough:
6. Using your fingers, stretch a bit of the dough out in front of you and pull it towards the center of the dough as if closing an envelope. Turn the dough slightly and repeat the process. Continue doing this all around your dough until you have a round shape with tension on its surface. Flip the ball so that the bottom is now the top and repeat the process with your second section of dough.
7. Cover the two balls of dough with some parchment paper and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
8. While this time passes, pre-heat your oven to 480ºF (about 250ºC).
Baking your pizzas:
9. Prepare 2 pizza pans by dusting them with flour and / or corn flour.
10. As soon as the 20 minutes are up, stretch your dough using your fingers as shown in the video and transfer them to your two pans.
11. Top with some of the sauce, cheese shreds, your favorite topping combinations, a drizzle of olive oil, some dried oregano, and bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes per pizza or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
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Can Pizza Dough be Made in Advance and Frozen?
Yes! pizza dough can also be frozen for later use. Store it in freezer friendly baggies and just thaw it completely until it is at room temperature before using.
How to Make Homestyle Classic Italian Vegan Pizza Sauce or Marinara (Recipe)
Yield: 4 servings | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes for the flash version, or 1-2 hours for the slow cooked version
1 large 800 gr (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, or if you have the time, whole tomatoes, removing the seeds and crushing the tomatoes with your fingers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
A pinch of chili flakes or red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
A small handful fresh parsley, chopped
A few basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a pot on high, then lower the heat to medium low and add the olive oil. Add the diced onion, sliced garlic, the pinch of chili flakes and a pinch of salt and let them sweat on low for 10 minutes (you should hear a very soft sizzle and the garlic should never brown).
2. Add the oregano and parsley and stir, then add your tomatoes, juice and all.
3. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and stir.
4. Once the sauce starts bubbling, cover with a lid slightly ajar to allow for evaporation and if doing the flash version, lower the heat only slightly, to medium high heat, and cook stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. If doing the slow cooked version, once it bubbles, lower the heat to low instead of medium high, and let the sauce cook slowly for one to two hours, stirring from time to time. If at any point you feel the sauce has gotten too dry, you can add a bit of water and continue cooking.
5. Whichever version you've made, you may decide to leave the sauce chunky as it is, blend it partially using an immersion blender, or blend it until completely smooth either with the immersion blender or in a regular blender.
6. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper as needed, and tear your basil leaves by hand and add them to your sauce. Serve over pasta, in lasagna, on a pizza, or in your favorite dishes. Freeze extra batches if desired and enjoy!
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How to Choose the Perfect Vegan Cheese for your Pizza
Our favorite brands of vegan mozzarella cheese that melts and is perfect for pizza (no affiliation!):
- For almost any pizza: Violife mozzarella cheese shreds
- For almost any pizza: Sheese mozzarella style
- For a vegan pepperoni pizza or when using chilies or anything meaty and/or spicy: Sheese vegan strong cheddar style block or shreds (it sounds weird to use cheddar on a pizza, but trust me with this one, it works! Especially with spicy vegan pepperoni.
- Other recommended brands:
A List of the Best Vegan Pizza Toppings
- Green Peppers
- Roasted red or yellow peppers
- Artichoke hearts
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Cherry tomatoes
- Crispy fried leeks
- Caramelized onions
- Grilled corn
- Grilled fennel
- Grilled zucchini
- Grilled eggplant
- Vegan pepperoni
- Vegan sausage
- Vegan no-chicken bites
- Vegan bacon
- Smoky tempeh bacon
- Vegan ham style deli slices like Tofurky
- Truffles or a drizzle of truffle oil
- Dollops of vegan pesto sauce
- Olive oil
- Chili flakes or red pepper flakes
- Anything else you might love on a pizza!
How to Make Homemade Pizza without Meat but still have it be Hearty and Meaty
As briefly mentioned above, there are so many options for delicious vegan meat toppings. We're including some of our favorite store-bought brands and recipes for homemade options below (no affiliation with these brands!):
- Vegan pepperoni: Our favorites are Verdino plan-based pepperoni, Field Roast Classic Pizzeria Plant-Based Pepperoni, Yves Veggie Pepperoni
- Vegan sausage: Our favorites are Beyond Sausage Brat Originals, Tofurky Italian Sausage and Field Roast sausages
- Homemade recipe for vegan sausages: Make our Homemade Vegan Chipotle Sausages or the Garlicky Marsala Sausages from our FREE vegan online course on breakfast and brunch classics
- Vegan no-chicken bites: Our favorites are Heura Foods Chunks Original
- Vegan bacon: Our favorites are Next! Bacon Style Strips and Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon (made with tempeh)
- Recipe for Smoky homemade tempeh bacon: Try our delicious recipe for the smokiest tempeh bacon, perfect for pizza, pasta and BLT'S
- Vegan ham style deli slices: Our favorites are Tofurky Smoked Ham Style Slices and Hickory Smoked Slices
At What Temperature Should you Bake your Pizza at?
Pizza requires a very hot oven. Pre-heat your oven at 480ºF (about 250ºC).
For How Long should you Bake your Vegan Pizza in the Oven?
Bake in your pre-heated oven [480ºF (about 250ºC)] for about 8-10 minutes per pizza or until the dough is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
Finding Vegan Pizza Options when Eating Out
Do a google search with the words "vegan pizza near me", and see what comes up, or use Happycow.net to help you find fully vegan pizza restaurants in your area, or vegan options at pizza chains or restaurants that also have standard pizzas for non-vegan friends and family.
What if I can't Find Vegan Pizza Delivery or Takeaway Near Me?
Option 1: Go to your favorite pizza spot and ask for your favorite pizza without cheese (I've never encountered a restaurant that wouldn't happily do this, in fact it's quite common as many people ask for pizzas without cheese due to an allergy or intolerance or due to dietary preferences, plus, the traditional Italian Neapolitan Pizza "pizza marinara" has always been made without cheese, so ask for your dairy free pizza with confidence. Pile on the vegetables add some olive oil and oregano and enjoy as is,
Option 2: Bring the pizza without cheese you just bought in option 1 home with you, and add your favorite vegan / dairy free cheese on top, and bake it under the broiler for just a few minutes until the cheese melts.
There are so many options when it comes to either finding delicious restaurants or takeout pizza options near you, or making your own delicious pizzas at home. Long gone are the days of vegans not being able to enjoy delicious, melty, hearty, meaty, freshly baked pizzas.
Need more support and tips when it comes to vegan cooking?
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