This cheesy vegan pizza with 00 flour is super tasty and easy to make! It seems like more restaurants than ever have this option on the menu, which is great news. But you can learn how to make your own delicious pizza at home. Then you can have whatever flavors and toppings you like and even save yourself some money compared to delivery or a restaurant.
Making your own pizza is a fun activity for the whole family. Kids can measure and mix ingredients, knead the dough, spread on their sauce, sprinkle on veggie cheese, and add any toppings they like (make sure an adult helps with hot stuff and slicing).
If you’re making this from scratch for the very first time, allow yourself a little extra time. With the rapid-rise yeast, you can certainly make it on a weeknight. Just plan for a half-hour for the dough to rise.
- A food thermometer: to make sure your water is at the right temperature. I microwave it in a large measuring cup for about 1 minute and 15 seconds.
- A sheet pan, pizza pan, or pizza stone.
- A bench scraper is very handy for dividing the dough and scraping it off of the cutting board while kneading if it sticks.
Flour – if you can, use 00 flour. This is finely milled wheat flour from Italy that is ideal for making pizza dough. It is very easy to stretch out and gives you a nice chewy crust. You can read more about 00 flour in this Pizza Lab article from Serious Eats.
Look for it in a well-stocked supermarket or Italian market, or order it online. Expect that it will cost about 3x as much as all-purpose flour. If you can’t find it or just are having a pizza craving, it’s absolutely fine to substitute all-purpose flour. If you have bread flour on hand, you could use that as an alternative also.
A more authentic vegan pizza would use just the 00 flour, but I use half 00 and half whole wheat flour. This adds nutrients to the pizzas like fiber, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. I would not recommend making it with 100% whole wheat flour as the texture would be too dense.
Yeast: I suggest rapid-acting yeast and buy this in packets. If you have a larger container, you will need 1/4 oz. or 7 grams for this recipe. This definitely speeds up the process. I mix the yeast with the dry ingredients, and it rises in about 30 minutes. For this type of yeast, you want to use water that is 120 – 130 degrees F.
You can also use regular yeast. If you do this, the water temperature should be lower, about 100 – 110 degrees F. Your steps will be a little different. You want to mix this yeast with the water and maple syrup and allow it to sit for 5 minutes until it starts to get bubbly. Then the pizza dough will need to rise for at least an hour after it is kneaded.
Either way, it is awesome to make pizza dough on a cold day. The dough warms up your hands and you will be working a bit to knead it.
I have also tried a yeast made specifically for making pizzas. I didn’t like how it worked out at all after a few attempts.
Note: don’t try to use nutritional yeast in the dough for a leavener: it doesn’t work like that (though you can sprinkle it on the pizza as a cheesy-tasting topping)
Sauce: I use marinara sauce. Other good options are a pizza sauce, or canned crushed tomatoes. If you can find San Marzano tomatoes, better yet. These give the pizza a great authentic Italian taste. Choose canned crushed ones, or take whole ones and blend them first until they are as smooth as you would like. I recommend looking for cans that do not have BPA in the lining. You could also use a pesto sauce made with basil, kale, or spinach, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts or walnuts, and nutritional yeast. I just saw a jarred vegan pesto sauce at the store so that would be an easy option.
How to Make the Pizza Dough
First, mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, including the rapid-rise yeast. Then add in the warm water, olive oil, and maple syrup. Stir it a bit with a large spoon, then place it on a floured cutting board. Take off any rings (trust me on this), get some flour on your hands, and start kneading.
To knead the dough, push down on the ball of dough with the heels of your hands. Then fold the dough in half, turn it a quarter, and push down again. Repeat for about 5 minutes or until when you push into the dough, and an indentation remains.
Now do yourself a big favor and wash out that large bowl you mixed the dough in. Coat it with non-stick spray or a little olive oil. This will make your clean-up much easier. Place your dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp, clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
If your kitchen is on the warm side, perfect. If not, (like it’s the middle of winter) before you start making the dough, turn your oven on for 2 – 3 minutes and then turn it off. Then use your oven as a proofing box and let the dough rise there. It should just be slightly warm in there: not hot! After a half-hour, it should double and look like this:
Place the dough back on your cutting board. Cut it with the bench scraper or knives into fourths or halves. Stretch each section into a round shape, and place it onto your pizza pan or sheet pan coated with non-stick spray.
Then, add on your sauce, vegan cheese, any toppings you like, and seasonings!
Bake at 450 degrees F for the 00 flour version (or 425 degrees F otherwise). Start checking it for doneness in 8 minutes. It will not take long.
Cheese Options for Vegan Pizza
I have started using a cashew-based vegan mozzarella cheese. It melts well and has a terrific flavor! I have tried a pea protein vegan cheese also. It melted well, but I didn’t like the flavor as much. So, experiment with some brands at your store and just use your favorite type.
Some people like to make a vegan pizza with just sauce and toppings. You can do this and maybe sprinkle it with nutritional yeast for a cheesy type flavor. Another option is to use hummus instead of sauce, like in this savory butternut squash walnut flatbread recipe.
Vegan Pizza Topping Ideas
- Peppers: bell, banana, jalapeno
- Spinach, kale, or arugula
- Chopped onions or scallions
- Sliced olives
- Sliced fresh or sun-dried tomatoes
- Thin sliced eggplant, zucchini. or potatoes
- Chopped garlic
- Fresh basil, oregano, parsley, or rosemary leaves
- Dried seasonings: basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence
Baking the Vegan Pizzas
Pizza stone: I place the pizza stone in the oven before turning it on, so it heats up gradually. If you are using a pizza stone, once your dough is stretched out, place it on a cutting board dusted with cornmeal. Then build your pizza. Now, I think this part takes a little practice and I have not quite perfected it.
Open the over door. With a potholder, slide out your rack that has the pizza stone on it. Carefully move the pizza from the cutting board onto the pizza stone. Hopefully, the cornmeal will act like little ball bearings and allow the pizza to slide. I do this with one or two spatulas. But if I have to use two, I run out of hands, and then sometimes you can have a funny-shaped pizza!
Baking Pan: You can use a sheet pan or round pizza pan. I have one with holes in the bottom too that helps make the crust crispier. A double-layer baking sheet intended for cookies will work but isn’t ideal.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Forgetting the yeast
- Forgetting the salt (well, actually I did this once when making challah, and it was terrible!)
- Using water that is too hot or too cold
- Preheating the oven when the rising dough is still in the oven
If you are pressed for time, pick up a pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough at the store.
You can make the dough, let it rise, and then save it in the fridge to make in a day or two.
I have found that the more veggie toppings I add, the longer it takes to cook. Expect another 3 – 5 minutes if it is loaded up with veggies.
Pre-baked or baked pizzas can be frozen and then baked.
By making your own pizza, you can choose healthier ingredients, save gas from transportation, and also prevent paper waste (here are Top 10 tips for zero waste takeout if you do order out).
This recipe is a healthy pizza version: I use much less salt and oil than typical recipes. I find it kind of addictive and hope you enjoy it too!
More Recipes You May Enjoy
- Easy Vegan Mexican Pizza
- Easy vegan broccoli pesto pizza
- Orange tahini grilled tofu
- Stuffed peppers with butternut squash and quinoa
- One pan pasta with chickpeas and tomatoes
Cheesy Vegan Pizza with 00 Flour
- Food thermometer
- Bench scraper or large knife
- Pizza pans, sheet pans, or pizza stone
- 1½ cups 00 flour or all-purpose enriched, unbleached flour
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 (¼ oz.) packet fast rising yeast
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano dried
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1¼ cup warm water 120 – 130°F
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- ½ cup marinara sauce
- 8 ounces vegan cheese, cashew based shredded
- 2 mushrooms sliced
- ⅓ bell pepper sliced
- 20 basil leaves fresh
- Mix together the yeast, flours, salt, oregano, and garlic powder in a large bowl.
- Add the water, oil, and maple syrup into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. When mixed, place onto a floured cutting board.
- To knead dough, push down on ball of dough with the heels on your hands. Then fold dough in half, turn it a quarter, and push down again. Repeat for about 5 minutes or until when you push into the dough, and indentation remains.
- Place the dough in a large bowl that has been coated in a little oil or non-stick spray. Cover with a damp clean towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area, about 75 – 80° F for at least 30 minutes.
- Check the dough: it should have doubled in size. Transfer to the floured surface. Split into 4 pieces for 4 individual pieces of about 10 inches round each, or split in half for 2 large pizzas. Stretch or push out each piece of dough into a round shape.
- Preheat oven to 450° F if using 00 flour (425° if using all-purpose flour). If you are using a pizza stone, place in oven before preheating.
- Assemble pizzas by topping each with 1 ounce of marinara sauce spread thinly over the dough, and sprinkle 2 ounces of cashew cheese on top. Distribute sliced mushrooms and peppers over the pizzas.
- If using a pizza stone, make pizzas on cutting board covered with cornmeal, and then transfer pizza onto pizza stone with a spatula.
- Bake on a pizza pan or sheet pan coated with nonstick spray.
- Bake for about 8 – 9 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned if baking at 450°; 10 – 12 minutes if baking at 425°. Add basil leaves for the last minute of cooking or after the pizzas are cooked.
Check out delicious recipes with early spring fruits from Family, Friends, and Food
Have you tried this Cheesy Vegan Pizza? Please leave a rating and let me know in the comments how you liked it.
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Main photo credit: H. Traub