Ahh, pizza night. A thing to be cherished.
Around our house we eat pizza at least once a week. And if something horrific happens midweek (say, we run out of Netflix shows), it’s pizza night on Wednesday, too. Because life is short and we love our pizza and we intend to eat it. Often.
One of my greatest struggles since going completely dairy-free has been giving up my beloved veggie pie.
I’m not even that big of a cheese fan, but pizza just wasn’t pizza if there wasn’t a thick layer of mozzarella and a little parmesan on top. Ya know?
But, the constant feelings of discomfort it would bring made it not worth it to me. So we reassessed our weekly pizza routine and decided to start making all of our pizzas at home – one without cheese for me and one with cheese for John.
Thank goodness for me there is a 1-minute, homemade alternative to parmesan cheese. Vegan parmesan! Have you tried it?
If not, you must. Even if you’re not vegan you’ll love it – it’s that good. You better believe I go through about 1 shaker-full every couple weeks now. It’s like gold around this house!
Even though I’ve been making a variation of this pizza for a while now, a recent discovery has made it 10x better.
My friend Lisa – who shared the genius 5-Minute Microwave Hummus idea with me – used this method for a pizza she made recently and it kind of blew my mind how good it was.
I was using raw veggies before that never entirely get cooked while the crust is baking. Plus, sauteing them allows for another wave of flavor as I add a sprinkle of pizza seasoning, garlic powder and sea salt. So soft, mega flavorful and delicious.
In our 4+ years of marriage, John and I have eaten a lot of pizza together. At least 208 pizzas, if not more. So I’d like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert. This really is – in my opinion – the best pizza I’ve had – vegan or not! Big claims around here, but I know my stuff.
I hope you enjoy this pie! If you make it, be sure to snap a pic and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram or Twitter. Do it! I love seeing what you lovelies cook up. Cheers!
- 1/2 of one Trader Joe’s garlic-herb pizza crust (or half of this homemade recipe or this gluten-free recipe)
- 1/2 cup each red, green, and orange bell pepper, loosely chopped
- 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
- 1/2 tsp each dried or fresh basil, oregano, and garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce OR 6-ounce can tomato paste (organic when possible)
- 1/2 tsp each dried or fresh basil, oregano, garlic powder, granulated sugar
- Sea salt to taste (~1/4 tsp)
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
- Red pepper flake + dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Bring large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, onion and peppers. Season with salt, herbs and stir. Cook until soft and slightly charred – 10-15 minutes, adding the mushrooms in the last few minutes. Set aside.
- Prepare sauce by adding tomato sauce to a mixing bowl and adding seasonings and salt to taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside. Note: If using tomato paste, add water to thin until desired consistency is reached.
- Prepare vegan parmesan if you haven’t already by blitzing raw cashes, sea salt, nutritional yeast and garlic powder in a food processor until a fine meal is reached. Transfer to jar and refrigerate to keep fresh.
- Roll out dough onto a floured surface and transfer to a parchment-lined round baking sheet. You’re going to add the pizza WITH the parchment directly to the oven to properly crisp the crust, so any round object will do as it’s not actually going into the oven (I use a wood board).
- Top with desired amount of tomato sauce (you’ll have leftovers, which you can store in a jar for later use), a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and the sautéed veggies.
- Use the baking sheet to gently slide the pizza directly onto the oven rack WITH the parchment underneath. Otherwise it will fall through.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
- Serve with remaining parmesan cheese, dried oregano and red pepper flake. Leftovers keep well – no need to reheat! Cold pizza is yum.