While we are not vegan, we appreciate trying new things and have taken up the meatless Monday challenge. We don’t always do it on Mondays, but we do eat meat-free on one day of the week. And we thought we should explore the world of homemade vegan pizza.
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What is Vegan, exactly?
Vegan is a way of eating without any animal products. So unlike vegetarianism, which is an eating style that doesn’t include meat and fish. Vegan means not eating any animal product, including meat, fish, dairy, honey, gelatin, and basically anything that is made with animals.
So, Why Eat Vegan?
Eating vegan has become more widely spread in the last few years, with plant-based meats hitting the scene in restaurants and grocery stores. Many celebrities tout the benefits of a vegan diet on their health.
Some people eat vegan for weight loss and health, and others because they love animals and can’t bear to eat them. And others for the health of the planet, cows take up a lot of space where veggies can be grown. But we are not here to convince you of anything.
We just want to share some fun ways to make homemade vegan pizza if you decide to go vegan one day a week. Plus, eating vegan one day a week for us has been a way to get more creative in the kitchen, and we love anything that takes our kitchen skills, especially pizzaiolo skills, to the next level.
We are not doctors, obviously, so if you decide to try eating vegan, always check with your doctor before making any big changes.
Homemade Vegan Pizza
Vegan Pizza Dough
Pizza dough is naturally vegan. It is just water, flour, salt, and yeast. Some pizza dough recipes add olive oil, too. The only time a pizza dough isn’t vegan is when it has lard. Lard in pizza crust gives it a flaky crust, but most traditional pizzerias do not use lard.
But if you are eating out, always ask to be sure. And at home, try making basic homemade pizza dough or other variations like sourdough pizza dough, whole wheat pizza dough, or yeast-free pizza dough.
Vegan Pizza Sauce
Again always ask if you are out, but at home, any marinara sauce will be vegan. And if you have some time and tomatoes, you can just make your own tomato sauce and tomato paste for an amazing and simple pizza sauce.
White pizza sauce or Alfredo sauce is not vegan, but there are vegan versions available. And you can always make a homemade vegan white sauce and Alfredo sauce.
Pesto can also be made vegan. Traditionally pesto is basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. But you can eliminate the cheese and make a vegan version for a delicious homemade pizza.
Other ways to cover your pie include mashed avocado, hummus, chili, peanut sauce, barbecue sauce, or any other vegan favorite.
Vegan Pizza Cheese
Ok, so this is the challenging part of making homemade vegan pizza, finding a good vegan cheese. There are several options. The first is you can just completely eliminate the cheese without a substitute.
Many vegan pizzerias opt for this option in lieu of vegan cheese. But for homemade vegan pizza, you can try a few different cheeses. Vegan cheese is tricky. Some are good, some have a weird texture, and others taste like rubber.
Here are a few that we have tried and are quite good.
- Daiya Vegan Cheeses
- Nutritional Yeast
- Vegan Valley Jalapeño Queso Cashew Cheeze
- Go Veggie Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- The Big Vegan Cheese-Making Kit
- Follow Your Heart Mozzarella Shreds
You can also make your own. Here are a couple of simple, easy-to-make vegan cheeses that work great on pizza.
This easy recipe requires the cashews to be soaked for an hour in hot water. Then blend everything together. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat slowly, whisking it. When it thickens, it’s done. You can use it right away or freeze it and then grate it for a more cheese-like experience.
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
This almond ricotta has the texture of ricotta, and it’s so easy to make. Throw everything in the blender. Yep, that’s it. It is done.
- ½ cup water +3-4 tbsp
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 and ½ cups blanched almonds
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch garlic powder
Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce
This is a nacho cheese-like sauce.
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp dry mustard
Vegan Pizza Toppings
Vegetables are the key to good vegan pizza. But you should prep them before adding them to your homemade vegan pizza. Try roasting vegetables in the oven, dry skillet, or comal.
Blackened peppers and tomatoes have an excellent smoky flavor. Eggplants and zucchinis roast well with olive oil and sea salt. If you are adding fresh greens like spinach, arugula, or kale, massage them with olive oil, salt, or a vinaigrette to give them extra flavor.
Plant-based meats are another way to add some protein to your pizza. You can find a variety from vegan pepperoni to sausage to crumbles to fish.
Vegan Pizza Ideas
Here are some ideas for homemade vegan pizza. They are so good you won’t miss the meat and dairy, we promise.
Sicilian vegan pizza with almond ricotta and caponata
Taco vegan pizza with mashed avocado, taco crumbles, tomatoes, corn, and jalapeños
Turkish lahmacun pizza with flatbread, tomatoes, and parsley
Roasted Veggie pizza with eggplant and zucchini on Victoria Vegan Alfredo sauce
Nacho Vegan pizza with nutritional yeast sauce, olives, jalapeños, black beans, tomatoes
Vegan Italian Sausage pizza with Tofurky sausage, caramelized onions, almond ricotta
Vegan pizza does not have to be boring. Making homemade vegan pizza is an excellent way to add more veggies to your diet and still enjoy the best food ever, pizza.
Have you tried vegan pizza?