Delicious vegan pizza, that unicorn of vegan cuisine, is something I crave even more in the warmer months. This is inconvenient as it requires me to turn on my oven and heat up my apartment which is already warm enough! But the heart wants what it wants, so here’s a delicious and easy pizza recipe that you can whip up with minimal effort. Just turn up the AC a little bit. This recipe is extra special because I use a cast iron pan to make the crust extra crispy on the bottom.
Vegan Chicken, Bacon and Brussels Sprout Pizza
Makes 2 approximately 12″ pizzas.
1 batch cornmeal olive-oil pizza dough (see below)
About 1/2 jar pizza sauce (enough to cover the crust without saturating it)
1/2 bag Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella
1/2 package vegan bacon (I used Upton’s Naturals), cut into small pieces
A few pieces of vegan chicken (I used Beyond Meat’s Lightly Seasoned variety)
1/2 lb brussels sprouts, rinsed and quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
Dough (recipe courtesy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day, by Hertzberg and Francois)
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 tbsp active yeast
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp agave syrup or sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp yellow cornmeal
In a large bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, water, and oil. Add in the flour, salt, and cornmeal, and beat with a paddle (electric mixer) or with a spatula. Cover and rest in room temperature for at least 2 hours. Refrigerate until ready to use.
1. Make the dough the day before or early that morning and refrigerate it. It’s very important that the dough not be too moist, otherwise it will be hard to handle! Add more flour to it if it’s sticky.
2. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Prepare your cast iron skillet by rubbing a fresh coat of olive oil on it and sprinkling cornmeal across the surface (so the dough won’t stick or burn).
4. Cook the veggies: Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a thick-bottom skillet on medium heat and add in the onions. Saute them for a few minutes until they start to become translucent and then add in the Brussels sprouts. Saute until they’re all soft and add in the vegan bacon and stir it for a minute. Remove from heat.
5. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface or toss it in the air (if you’re an expert, which I’m not!) until your dough is about 12″. To keep the dough from sticking to your surface you can roll it out on cornmeal but try not to get any cornmeal on the top or the dough will have a grainy texture.
6. Transfer the dough to your prepared cast iron skillet and begin adding your toppings: sauce first, then the veggie & bacon mixture, then the vegan chicken, and then the vegan cheese. Try not to overload your pizza or you’ll have a sticky and ungainly mess!
7. Place the pizza on its cast iron skillet in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes on a middle/bottom rack. If you want your cheese to get crispy, after the initial cooking time, move the pan to the top rack and put the oven on broil for about 2 minutes.
8. When the pizza is done baking you should be able to transfer it pretty easily to a cookie sheet or another surface where you can cut it. You can do this using a couple of spatulas–just be careful you don’t drop it!
This is great with some sriracha and nutritional yeast on top! And maybe with a beer in hand, too. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Related: How to Make the Best Vegan Pizza
Also by Samantha: Spiced Blueberry and Peach Hand Pies
Photo: Samantha Lester