How to Make Homemade Vegan Pizza

Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors

Introduction

Do you love pizza? Who doesn't! But if you're vegan, is it off limits to you? The answer is no. You can make great tasting vegan homemade pizza that will surprise your taste buds with a new twist on an old favorite. Read on for a vegan pizza recipe and more information about this delicious meal.

Watch this video on how to make vegan pizza

Ingredients

  • Semolina flour, water, salt, and yeast for the pizza dough
  • Vegan cheese
  • Tomato sauce
  • Oregano or basil to taste
  • Garlic powder / chopped garlic cloves to taste
  • Olive oil spray (or regular) as desired for cooking crusts. You can also use a brush if you prefer not to cook them in the pan with all of your toppings on it. It's up to you!
  • Any toppings and fresh vegetables you want to add! I added mushrooms, green pepper, red onion and spinach

Notes about preparation

Use a pizza stone or cooking sheet if available for the crusts; it will make them brown nicely on one side before flipping over with your toppings cooked in as well. You can also use an ovenproof pan - just be sure to spray some olive oil on either of these surfaces prior to baking so that the dough doesn't stick while cooking (also preheat both surface beforehand). If you do not have access to anything like this then feel free to cook it directly in the frying pan without having a separate piece underneath at all. It's up to you. Just keep an eye on it to make sure not too much of the crust burns while cooking.

Make your cheese slices from a vegan block (you can find these at most grocery stores or even places like Target) and cook them in an oven until they turn golden brown on one side before flipping them over for the other side to be cooked as well. I found this helped with my cheddar style Daiya slices which were just coming out of their package so that's why I did it! This is optional but definitely worth doing if you're going for more than just pepperoni pizza - it gives some added texture.

Notes about ingredients

Flour, water, salt and yeast are needed for the crusts; all four of those ingredients should be found in the same aisle at your grocery store

Tomato sauce or pizza sauce or marinara sauce or tomato paste can be found on a shelf or next to other canned goods and spices. It should have already been cooked before you purchase it so there's no need for any additional stove time

Daiya is vegan cheese that comes in slices, blocks, shredded and also mozzarella style (the best option for this recipe); I've seen it everywhere from Walmart/Target to Trader Joe's since they come out with new flavours all of the time! Be sure not to confuse with regular cheddar cheese which usually says "made from cow milk" like mine does. There are many different brands too - some people swear by Follow Your Heart while others prefer Vegan Gourmet Cheese Slices. The choice is yours!

I used oregano for this recipe but basil can be substituted in without any added changes to the ingredients list.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast and warm water until it’s creamy. Let sit for about five minutes or until frothy on top.
  3. Combine flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and dried oregano in a large bowl; when well combined add yeast mixture and olive oil, and mix again until dough is evenly moistened but not too wet/sticky. Knead by hand (or use a stand mixer) for about two minutes around your kitchen countertop - just enough time to get air bubbles into the dough! We want this pizza crust light as air so don't over knead! The dough will still be a little sticky but when you press it in your hand, it shouldn't stick to your fingers.
  4. Transfer dough onto the prepared baking sheet and use wet hands or kitchen towel (to keep from sticking) to form into a round crust shape about two inches high around pizza pan edges (can also use a rolling pin, but be sure to coat with flour). Make sure there are no holes/cracks in dough so that air doesn’t escape while cooking! You can also transfer this ball of dough to parchment paper with more flour on top before transferring to the oven - just make sure you have enough for each time you need it. Cover with plastic wrap or foil then set aside for 20 minutes as yeast proofs and does its work rising up again.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare desired toppings (I used vegan cheese cubes, fresh tomatoes, black olives and mushrooms).
  6. After dough has risen for 20 minutes remove cover then use a pastry brush or your hands to spread the olive oil on top/bottom of crust. Then gently place sauce and desired toppings in an even layer. You can add any vegetables you want including onions, peppers, zucchini...or if you have it on hand try adding tempeh bacon slices too! I also like to drizzle about one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over my finished pizzas before they go into the oven.
  7. Bake pizza in the oven for about 12 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese has melted.
  8. Remove from oven then slice with a sharp knife, serve hot!

I hope this recipe inspires you to make your own vegan pizzas at home - I was blown away by how delicious it turned out! But don't limit yourself to just these toppings.

Tips and tricks for making vegan pizza

  • Use organic ingredients to make sure you don't have any added pesticides. You can also use ethically sourced ingredients for a cost effective and sustainable alternative, such as beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa Valley.
  • Try different combinations of vegetables - mushrooms, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, caramelized onions, sweet potato, bell peppers, spinach all taste delicious on vegan pizzas! If you love vegan pepperoni like we do at our house then add some before putting your toppings on top for one more amazing flavor profile. Tempeh is fermented soybeans so it's extra healthy too!
  • Vegan mozzarella melts just like dairy cheese but I recommend using Daiya cheese sticks for an even better cheese pizza melting experience. Cashew mozzarella is another option.
  • You can also use a vegan cream cheese to make dairy free pizzas creamy and delicious! Trader Joe's has one that is made from organic tofu with no soy or palm oil which I recommend because it doesn't have any added ingredients you don't want like GMO's, hormones, antibiotics, artificial flavors or colors.
  • Look in the freezer section of your grocery store for prebaked pizza crusts - they are vegetarian but there might be some milk used as a preservative so check out the label before buying them if you're not sure (I always do!). We like using Boboli brand frozen dough since it tastes amazing too! And just remember this tip: thaw the crust in the fridge before you bake it so that it doesn't get soggy!
  • If possible, use a pizza stone to make your vegan pizzas. The stones absorb heat from the oven and transfer it evenly giving your vegan pizzas crispy crusts with chewy centers - just like they would if you were using dairy cheese or eggs. Plus, baking on a stone helps brown the bottom of your crust which means more flavor for everyone! You can order one online at Amazon or find them at most kitchen supply stores near where you live.

Recipe variations

Balsamic vinegar and oil with oregano, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder. Drizzle over the top of your pizza before it's cooked to get a nice crispy crust. The balsamic will also add some more flavor in addition to making it crispier. This is great for topping salads as well!

Basil pesto sauce: combine about one handful each fresh basil leaves and pine nuts (or walnuts). Slowly pour in olive oil while continuing to stir until you have an emulsified paste that is smooth and creamy but not too liquidy. Season with sea salt or kosher salt if desired; set aside while you prepare the rest of your dough so that the flavors can blend together nicely. When the dough is ready, spread a thin layer of pesto over the top and then enjoy.

Garlic oil: combine minced garlic with enough olive oil to make an emulsified paste that has a consistency similar to mayonnaise (just thinner). Spread this on your pizza crust before adding any other toppings for some rich flavor. You can also brush it onto raw breadsticks or use as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables! It makes everything taste so much better without being too overpowering; just be sure not to cook it at high heat since you'll quickly lose the fresh flavor. And if you happen to have leftover basil in the fridge, feel free to add it near the end while cooking since that would provide extra depth of flavor as well.

Fresh chopped herbs: basil, oregano, thyme and parsley all go great with pizza crusts! When you're ready to put the toppings on your dough (or breadsticks), sprinkle some of these fresh herbs over it for a wonderful flavor that goes perfectly with tomato sauce or pesto. Can also try lemon juice for a citrusy kick.

Final thoughts on vegan pizza

Hope you enjoyed this article about vegan pizza!

Looking for more on Vegan Pizza and other similar content? Try these:

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Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors