It's the ultimate comfort food, the square box savior, the leftover favorite, and the party pleaser for any occasion. It can go by many names, but we all know it by the name "pizza." A rich, delicious, cheese-smothered piece of pizza is hard to say no to. Let's face it: pizza is not just food, it's happiness on a plate (or in a box)!
Changing your lifestyle to a vegetarian or vegan one doesn't mean you necessarily have to give up that pie-shaped slice of heaven. There are plenty of delicious vegetarian toppings to choose from.
Even vegans have options. These days, you'll find a variety of plant-based cheese alternatives in restaurants and grocery stores. This means pizza-loving vegans can have their piece and eat it too!
Here's a simple but scrumptious pizza recipe that can be vegetarian or vegan:
Your Go-To Vegetarian Pizza Recipe
If you're wondering how to make a vegetarian pizza at home, try this recipe. It's so good, this homemade veggie pizza may even bring some traditional pepperoni pizza lovers over to the veg side!
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 ¼ cups bread flour
- 1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
- ¼ oz active dry yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced
- 1 cup of zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup pizza sauce
- 2 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Place ¾ cup warm water into a mixing bowl, add flours, and mix for around 20 seconds.
- Cover, and leave it to stand for 20 minutes.
- Place ¼ cup of warm water in a small bowl, add yeast, mix and stand until it bubbles.
- Add yeast mix, 1 tbsp oil, and ½ tsp salt to the dough mix.
- Mix until a soft dough forms.
- Place in a larger bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill overnight.
- The following day, leave the dough out until it reaches room temperature as you preheat your oven to 450°F.
- Roll your dough out using a floured surface.
- Press dough into the bottom of an oiled metal baking sheet.
- Toss veggies together, along with 1½ tsp oil and some salt.
- Spread this mix in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for around 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Turn halfway through.
- Saute the onions and peppers until tender.
- Spread pizza sauce over dough, top with spinach, cover with mozzarella, and arrange veggies and onion and pepper mixture over.
- Bake for around 23 minutes, cut into slices, and enjoy!
This is a super simple recipe, but one of the best homemade veggie pizza recipes by far.
Besides the cheese, it's all vegan pizza toppings, so it's simple to turn it into a homemade vegan pizza, use plant-based cheese instead of the mozzarella, or leave it out altogether.
Taking The First Steps Towards Your Vegan Pizza Experience
If you've been vegan for a while now, you will know that there are some vegan pizza options around. A marinara pizza is basically a "tomato pie." This pizza is made without cheese and focuses more on garlic and oregano flavors in a tomato sauce.
Let's say you want to tantalize your pizza-loving tastebuds with a vegetarian version. Think about all the classic veggie pizza toppings – from broccoli to spinach, mushroom to tomato, olives to peppers – but smother it in cheese to get the full traditional pizza sensation.
A Veggie Pizza With "Cheese" Please!
Your vegan pizza desires need never be set aside when the doorbell rings and a stack of boxes are delivered to a house full of pizza-craving guests.
Many pizza chains and independent restaurants now offer vegetarian and vegan "cheese" options.
Choosing toppings that include plant-based cheese gives your veggie pizza a traditional look and taste that doesn't compromise your vegan diet and lifestyle.
Pizza restaurants are now working with vegan "cheese" companies for toppings, or, in some cases, the plant-based cheese topping is made in-house.
Vegetarian and Vegan Pizzas: What's the Difference?
There is a considerable difference between the vegetarian and vegan diet.
- Vegetarians can eat animal products such as cheese.
- Vegans don't consume any animal products at all.
However, the line gets blurred when used for food.
If you are vegan, make sure you know what a restaurant considers a vegan or vegetarian pizza. In some cases, vegan and vegetarian pizza toppings will include cheese and even anchovies. It is always best to let the wait staff know your dietary needs and what it involves.
Is Pizza a Vegetable?
This is a much-debated topic. It even got political a few years ago!
Although pizza can be made strictly vegetarian or even vegan and can be loaded with vegetables, it also contains flour and other ingredients that are not vegetables, such as cheese.
When it comes to pizza, vegetable toppings are limitless.
- Top your pizza with various fresh veggies like mushrooms, peppers, tomato, onion, tomato, cauliflower, kale, spinach, and fresh arugula, and you're good to go! You can rest assured that this will serve you a generous amount of your daily vegetable requirements.
- Serving your pizza alongside a salad or steamed veggies also increases your daily vegetable intake, and adding fresh toppings like arugula to the pizza after it comes out of the oven is an excellent way to make your pizza feast even more nutritious.
Make Your Veg-Inspired Pizza at Home
Restaurants are adapting their offerings for veggie pizza lovers, but you can also create these delectable and devourable dishes at home!
Homemade veggie and vegan pizza recipes can be easy to follow, but they can also challenge one's cooking abilities when the recipe asks to make a vegan "cheese" from scratch.
You can make veg pizza recipes with store-bought doughs, sauces, and pre-made plant-based cheese products, or you can be adventurous and make your dough, sauce, and even a vegan "cheese" that will provide a taste that rivals traditional pizzas.A word of caution: Making pizzas at home can become such a fun experience, it could even be addictive! Many people invest in pizza making tools such as pizza peels, scrapers, baking sheets, and even installing wood-fired ovens for the best veggie pizza experience right at home. So be prepared for a game-changing lifestyle centered around pizza making fun!