If you’re not vegan, you may be under the illusion that vegans eat nothing but veggies, fruit, and deprive themselves of all the good stuff the meat eaters know and love, like bacon, sausages, and of course, pizza.
While it’s true that meat products like bacon and sausages are a big no-no for vegans (as are any animal products), their substitutes are pretty damn tasty, and yes, there are vegan-friendly pizzas, too.
If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to try one, you’ll know just how goddamn tasty they are. So tasty, you’d barely miss the meat-loaded alternative!
In this article, we’re going to introduce you to the vegan pizza phenomenon, including what it is, what it tastes like, and how it’s made.
Can Vegans Eat Pizza?
Yes, vegans CAN eat pizza – as long as it’s vegan-friendly. This doesn’t just mean scraping off the meat and substituting it with mushrooms.
Vegans don’t just avoid meat, they don’t consume ANY animal products, including by-products and more subtle ingredients, such as gelatin, cheese, milk, and even coloring agents made from animals. So, a vegan pizza will have to include none of these ingredients.
How Is Vegan Pizza Crust Made?
Unlike other baked goods, good old-fashioned pizza dough doesn’t require dairy, eggs, or butter. So, the good news is that most pizza dough is usually vegan anyway!
However, you should always check the packaging of your pizza dough to be safe – or make it yourself, to guarantee a vegan-friendly pizza. But… How can you make dough without eggs? Egg is the most important binder, right?
Well, pizza dough is usually made from a careful mix of yeast, flour, salt, olive oil, and water. When the ratio is just right, there’s no need for any additional binding agents like egg, because these ingredients have got you covered!
Vegan Pizza: The Most Common Ingredients
With the dough already being naturally vegan, we’re off to a good start. Here are a few more of the most common ingredients you’ll find on a vegan pizza.
Cheese is the most common ingredient on a pizza, so it seems unfair to not let our vegan friends enjoy that stringy goodness… Although vegan pizza can’t use real cheese, they’ll often turn to vegan-friendly substitutes to mimic the taste and texture.
There are plenty of vegan cheeses available, and with the right one, your vegan pizza can be just as delicious as a traditional alternative.
The ingredients of vegan cheese vary widely, however, most are made from a variety of plant-based ingredients that come together to mimic the tastes and texture of the real deal. Soy, cashews, and macadamias are the most common foundational ingredients in vegan cheese.
PLUS, you’ll find a vegan cheese to suit almost every traditional cheese. Whether it’s mozzarella, parmesan, mature cheddar, or ricotta, there’s a little something for everyone.
Although a spot of red onion, sweetcorn, or olives can still feature on a vegan pizza, bakers need to get creative when it comes to meat-free alternatives.
While some vegans will opt for a completely veggie-topped pizza, others will want meat-free alternatives that look and taste like the real deal. Thankfully, there are plenty of meat-free alternatives to most popular pizza toppings, especially beef, and pepperoni.
These are usually made from soy protein and plenty of extra flavorings, to give them their meaty texture and flavor.
Other Popular Vegan Pizza Toppings
One thing’s for sure, with so many vegan options out there, your vegan pizza will never be devoid of flavor. Other popular vegan pizza toppings and ingredients include:
- Crispy cauliflower
- Bell peppers
- Peanut sauce
- Sweet potato
- Black beans
If you’re ordering your pizza from a restaurant, you’ll probably find other tasty vegan-friendly sides to go with your meal, including vegan chicken tenders, salads, sweet potato fries, and much more.
If you’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen, these can be easily made at home, too!
Why Go Vegan?
There are so many reasons why people decide to go vegan. Whether it’s to help the environment and the animals, reduce your carbon footprint, or even to benefit your own health, the possibilities are endless. Some of the health benefits of going vegan can include:
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Lower cholesterol
- Diabetes management
- Improved mental health
- Less painful periods
- Lower risk of food poisoning
- A healthier gut microbiome
- Save money
The Ultimate Vegan Pizza Recipe
Feeling inspired? Grab an apron and cook up the ultimate taste sensation with this delicious vegan BBQ Hawaiian pizza recipe.
- 8 ounces of tofu
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp bbq sauce
- Vegan mozzarella cheese
- Store-bought vegan pizza dough
- ⅓ cup bbq sauce
- ½ red onion
- 1 cup fresh pineapple
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut your tofu into small pieces and pat dry. Mix them in a bowl with soy sauce, and place on a baking sheet. Cook for 25 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven, add 1-2 tbsp of bbq sauce, place back in the oven for 10 minutes, then increase the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Roll your pizza dough, place it in a pan, and add the bbq sauce to the top. Decorate with tofu, vegan cheese, pineapple, and red onion,
- Put it back in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the pizza is golden brown. Decorate with a sprinkle of cilantro, and serve.
The Bottom Line
Even if you’re a regular meat eater, you’ll find so much to love about vegan pizza.
With so many vegan alternatives on the market, your vegan pizza can look (and taste) exactly like a meaty alternative if you want it to, or you can decorate it with plenty of veggies for a refreshing, healthier treat!
Why not try making your own vegan pizza today – you never know, you might become a convert!
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