Vegan pizza may be a mystery to many, but to the few who know its magic, it’s just about as good as it gets. Gone are the days where pizza needed to be extra cheesy and ultra meaty in order to satiate our appetites. Vegans and vegetarians alike figured out how to make this American staple just as delicious as the classic pepperoni pie but with roasted vegetables and a crispy, crunchy crust that’ll even have meat lover’s begging for more.
What is Vegan Pizza?
Vegan pizza follows a vegan diet, and vegans do not consume any animal products. This means that not only is meat off the table, but also eggs, cheese, gelatin and coloring agents that are made from animals. While most of this seems avoidable when it comes to pizza, it’s hard to imagine a pizza pie without its gooey mozzarella cheese counterpart. Luckily, the scientists and the powers that be have found a way to make vegan pizza with plant-based cheese, cheese substitute and meatless toppings that still tickle those taste buds.
What’s the Difference Between a Vegan and Vegetarian Diet?
Before we jump into all-things-vegan, it’s important to clarify the difference between vegans and vegetarians. Even if you do follow a plant-based diet, there are big-time variations that separate vegetarians from vegans. While vegans exclude all meat and animal products including meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy and eggs from their diet, vegetarians ease up on the limitations just a little by allowing eggs, honey and dairy into their meals. Veganism is a much stricter form of dieting than vegetarianism for this reason. Be sure to ask your friends about their dietary restrictions, including gluten-free, keto, vegan or vegetarian so that you can plan accordingly!
What is Vegan Pizza Made of?
Vegan pizza crust.
Vegan pizza typically contains a vegan pizza crust, vegan pizza sauce and vegan pizza toppings. Most pizza crusts are naturally vegan-friendly as they are made with flour, yeast, water, salt, olive oil.
Vegan pizza sauce.
When it comes to pizza sauce, the standard marinara is more or less tomatoes with garlic, onion and herbs, so this, too, follows a vegan diet.
Vegan pizza toppings.
Pizza toppings are really the biggest difference between a traditional pizza and a vegan pizza, particularly because cheese is out of the question. Instead of classic mozzarella, many pizzerias use a dairy-free mozzarella cheese as a substitute. Vegan cheese options are usually made from soy milk or other nuts, like almonds or cashews, to give it the right texture and consistency. A fan-favorite is by diet-friendly company Daiya because their vegan cheese stretches, oozes and bubbles just like the real thing, making the pizza as classic and delicious as ever.
Other toppings aside from vegetables like green peppers, black olives and red onion that you are used to include Impossible Meat, which makes authentic meatless meat, UNCUT, a leading producer of plant-based Italian sausage and vegan pepperoni, which is typically made with soy protein.
You can also have cheese-less pizza, which sounds terrible but is actually excellent. It’s exactly the pizza you’d order if you weren’t vegan, but without the cheese. Think about how divine a simple marinara pie sounds, made with bright, acidic tomatoes, extra garlic, basil and a perfectly charred crust. When it’s made of fresh, wholesome, plant-based ingredients, what could go wrong? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
5 Vegan Pizza Recipes to Try at Home
Intrigued by the magic of the vegan pizza pie? Try these delicious and nutritious recipes at home. There’s no greasy, processed, saturated fat-filled toppings here, just good ole fashioned vegetables and herbs paired with surprising sauces and plant-based ingredients. These vegan recipes will take you beyond the red sauce and mozzarella cheese and into some spicy new territory.
Vegan caprese pizza.
Crispy and chewy pizza crust make this vegan caprese pizza an absolute delight, topped with tomatoes, fresh garlic, homemade cashew mozzarella cheese, balsamic and loads of fresh basil.
Hummus pizza with veggies.
What’s not to love about hummus and pizza? The ultimate mezze mediterranean combination, hummus is spread around the dough like pizza sauce before being topped with cherry tomatoes, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, red onion and olives. This hummus pizza is sure to surprise you.
Grilled veggie pizza.
A grilled vegetable pizza is a classic option when making vegan pizza, but it doesn’t have to be boring. This recipe adds a special flare with quick yeast-free pizza crust so you can pop that sucker in the oven right away. Add you favorite veggies, like zucchini, mushrooms, red bell pepper and red onion, to make this star shine even brighter.
Vegan pepperoni pizza.
Okay, hear us out: pepperoni, but make it vegan. We know, it’s a wild concept, but the genius behind Contentedness Cooking figured out a way to make zucchini taste like the spicy, umami-laden pepperoni of your dreams, sans meat. This vegan pepperoni pizza features zucchini slices that are marinated in a spicy hot sauce mix and left in the fridge to transform into “zucchironi,” and we are here for it.
Thai chickpea pizza.
What has a light and zest Thai chili peanut sauce but absolutely no animal products? This insanely good and wildly clever Thai chickpea pizza, of course. Stack this sucker full of chickpeas and smother it will your favorite veggies for a light, guilt-free, vegan way to enjoy dinner.
5 Frozen Vegan Pizza Brands
For those of us who would like to try some vegan pizza without having to prepare said pizza, we have got you covered. There are a few solid frozen vegan pizza brands out there who are doing their best to match up with the traditional pie, but these 5 have actually figured it out. Next time you’re at the grocery store, check your freezer aisle for these frozen pizza brands.
A pizza brand that calls its pizzas, enlightened? Yeah, sign us up. The creative plant-based pizzas by Sweet Earth feature flavor combinations like the Veggie Lover’s, which is topped with broccoli, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, and vegan cheese, plus a cornmeal crust and a zest tomato sauce.
The Pizza Plant.
Pizza Plant creates made-from-scratch pizzas that are 100% plant-based and available at your local Whole Foods Market. They’ll also ship straight to your door, which is a big bonus for us lazy folk. Certified organic, these pies feature clever names like Everything But the Hog.
Our leading-lady in all things dairy-less, also known as Daiya, also has her hands in the frozen pizza game. Made with their signature dairy-free mozzarella, these pies have something for everyone from Fire-Roasted Vegetable and Mushroom with Roasted Garlic to Meatless Meat Lover’s and a Supreme with Beyond Meat Italian sausage crumbles.
Where are our gluten-free friends at? Wholly Veggie! Is a sustainable food company that uses cauliflower crust, so if you’re intolerant, avoidant or just not feeling it today, this frozen pizza brand is for you. From Classic Cheeze to Kale & Hemp and other fun tastes in between, these vegan pizzas are sure to satisfy.
Vegan flatbreads may sound like pizza, but they’ve got some tricks up their sleeves. Take restaurant-quality pizza but forget all the rules about what it means to be a pizza. No tomato sauce? No problem. Doughy crust instead of crunchy? Sure! The world is your flatbread. American Flatbread makes tasty treats like a Vegan Harvest Pie or Farmer’s Pie. The secret is organic wheat and wheat bran for the crust and a tomato sauce that surprises with a manage of tomatoes, onions, red wine, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Experiment with a vegan diet by trying one of these stunning vegan pizza recipes or heating up a frozen vegan pizza pie for your nect meal!