How to Make the Best Vegan Pizza

This is a post about vegan pizza.

Did you just cringe? Did you imagine cardboard crust and rubbery cheese? You wouldn’t be alone. But I, a vegan of three years now with a penchant for pies, am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way! Let me start by saying that I’ve spent ages looking for the best vegan pizza. I’ve had the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve had some good vegan pizza in restaurants, but I’ve found that the key to great vegan pizza is making it at home.

Vegan pizza is something that takes a really long time to get good at making because those of us who convert to veganism as adults have preconceptions about what pizza should be like. (I think this is true of many attempts at veganizing animal-based foods in general.) I think that vegan pizza can be a lot like pizza with animal-based ingredients, but it will still be a little different. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! Check out this recipe below for a delicious vegan pizza. As the name indicates, this is super easy and made with stuff we had on hand already. No need to go all out–you can make a great pizza with stuff you have at home!

IMG_20140131_194358_382

Some of my ingredients–these are super easy to find!

Vegan Pantry Pizza

Makes 1 pizza.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 batch olive oil cornmeal crust (see link below; make it the day before to speed up your process)
  • 1/2 package sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 jar pizza sauce
  • 1/2 jar roasted red peppers
  • A sprinkling of banana peppers
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed.
  • 6 oz broccoli florets
  • 1/2 package vegan pepperoni (I used Tofurky brand)
  • 1/4-1/2 package vegan cheese (I used Daiya)
  • A smattering of pizza spice, e.g. oregano and basil.

Method:

pizza dough

As Alton Brown has said, pizza doesn’t have to be round. Isn’t this rustic?

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone (and you should!), make sure it’s in the oven.
-Make the crust. For this pizza I made an olive oil cornmeal crust (without the butter). This crust is intended for deep dish pizzas (which are awesome!) but I chose to do a regular thin crust for mine. If you made it the night before (awesome!) let it sit in a bowl on the counter for a little while to warm up so it will become more pliable. When it’s warmer, spread some flour on your counter and on the dough itself and knead, adding flour until it’s not sticky anymore. Then roll it out on top of some cornmeal on a pizza pan or large cookie sheet so it’s nice and smooth. Pick up the pan and shake it back and forth to make sure it moves–this will allow it to slide off easily either for your pizza stone or when you take it out of the oven.

-Spread your sauce. Don’t go too crazy or the dough will get sticky and soggy and fall apart.
-Sprinkle on your spices (this is optional).

vegan pizza before baking

So what if it looks like the jolly Green Giant has exploded on my counter?

-Add your veggies. Usually I have found that less is more, however I will admit that when I’m hungry and making a pizza I firmly believe that more is more.

vegan pizza 1

I never said making pizza would be pretty. Maybe you should have worn an apron.

-Add your vegan cheese. It’s better to put this on top so it melts a bit more, but you can still put it right on the sauce if you want or even do two layers of it depending on how much of it you want!
-Add the vegan pepperoni. This is generally better on top so it gets a little crispy.
-Give the pan another shake to make sure the pizza isn’t stuck. If it doesn’t move, gently lift up the crust and put some cornmeal in the sticky spots until it moves.
-Stick the pizza in the oven on your pizza stone or just on the pan.
-Cook for about 18 minutes, but check after 10 because oven temperatures can vary and you may want a different level of crispiness than I had.

vegan pizza 2

Toasty and delicious!

Enjoy! Add some Sriracha sauce on top after baking for a little kick.

Other varieties you can try

Crust: Whole wheat or white with herbs and garlic kneaded in.

Sauces: Vegan pesto, BBQ sauce, hummus, garlic olive oil.

Veggies & fruit: Onion, peppers, olives, pineapple, artichoke hearts, spinach, basil.

Vegan protein: Vegan chicken, sausage, soyrizo, and Canadian bacon.

 Also by Samantha: 5 Ways to Make the Best Vegan Chili

5 Ways to Reduce Anxiety and Stay Productive at Work

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Photo: Samantha Lester

Samantha Lester

Samantha Lester

Samantha is a vegan professional in the tech industry living in Austin, Texas with her boyfriend. Her background is in library & information science and classical studies. She loves cooking, biking, movies, reading, the science fiction & horror genres, crafting, thrifting, and the occasional video game. Check her out on Pinterest and Google+. You can also reach her at lestersn [at] gmail [dot] com.
Samantha Lester

@vivediu

GSLIS at UIUC alumna; MA in Classics from UIUC. i like technology, science fiction, and classical languages and literature.
80% done with A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin http://t.co/Ewy0xCPgH6 - 2 weeks ago
Samantha Lester

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