62% of respondents believe pizza is a “junk food,” and nearly half (48%) said that it’s not healthy enough for their diet, according to one study by OnePoll. Opting for a vegan pizza is just one way to remedy any health concerns, though for vegan pizza lovers, getting tired of the same old veggie-laden ‘za can become a drab reality. Whether you’re looking to spice up your next homemade pie with a new sauce, crust, or even a new cooking method altogether, here are three ideas worth considering for your next pizza night.
A variety of crust options
The typical flour dough might sound standard for any pizza, though it’s important to realize that there are actually a wide variety of alternative options out that are worth trying. One article from One Green Planet highlights a variety of alternative crust choices to transform your next piece of vegan pizza, which include using loaves of Italian or French bread, tortillas, and flatbreads. English muffins and bagels are also suggested, and can make for a fun (and portable) snack that’s ideal when on-the-go. However, creating your own veggie-packed crust from scratch is another option entirely, and can present the perfect idea if you’ve got the time to make it.
Homemade vegan broccoli pizza crust is just one alternative recipe worth considering. Made with riced broccoli and chickpea flour, the eggless crust can be made using only six ingredients, according to one recipe from Occasionally Eggs. While the post describes the crust as being “the loosest possible definition of pizza,” as “a vaguely bread-like base with toppings,” this recipe is fantastic for those who are looking for something different. Riced broccoli, chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt, and pepper are the only ingredients needed, making for a gluten-free and vegan base.
A wide selection of vegan sauces
While vegan tomato sauce is a universally accepted spread for any vegan pie, those looking to travel off the beaten path and try something new have an astounding number of options. For an alternative to a much-loved pesto, Chimichurri is just one unique option. Originating from Argentina, the main ingredients of Chimichurri consist of garlic, oil, oregano, fresh parsley, vinegar, and a bit of chili pepper, according to Home Stratosphere. While Chimichurri can put a bright and tangy twist on any pizza, olive tapenade, balsamic glaze, and hoisin sauce offer equally as unique sauce alternatives. For those looking for a nutritious white vegan pizza sauce, BBC Good Food highlights one recipe by Miriam Nice, which features tofu and almond milk. In addition to nutmeg, lemon juice, and crushed garlic, blending the ingredients together makes for a quick and easy sauce option.
Trying out a new cooking method
While new crust, sauce, and topping options can all make for a newfound twist on a vegan pizza, trying out a new way to cook the pie can allow for a whole new taste, too. If you’re accustomed to baking your pizza in the oven with a baking sheet/pan, using a pizza stone is just one way to ensure a crispy crust. According to The Spruce Eats, a pizza stone “soaks up” and “holds onto” heat, and transmits it to the bottom of the crust like the floor of a wood-fired oven would. While the pizza stone can be used in a regular home oven, using one in a smoker can only elevate the taste of a vegan pie even further.
Smoking is typically associated with meats like sausage, though applying the cooking method to your pizza can make for a unique and smoky taste without having to have meat involved. While there is an art to cooking a pizza in a smoker, having a few basic pizza-making tools will help. In addition to the pizza stone and the smoker itself, a pizza peel will aid greatly in transferring your pizza on and off the stone. For the smoker, you can use a typical smoker, a grill with a smoke box, or even a pellet smoker. After using the peel to transfer the pizza to a parchment covered (and preheated) stone, it’s important to let the pizza cook in the smoker for 20 minutes. Keeping the lid of the smoker closed will work to impart the smoky flavor to the pie, and you’ll know it’s fully cooked and ready when the cheese is bubbling and the crust is brown.
Vegan pizza makes for a healthy and meat-free meal, though eating a standard vegan pie over and over can quickly result in boredom. Thankfully, there are a myriad of options out there — from different crust choices to sauces and even cooking methods — that can renew your love for vegan ‘za, and you might even find