Sunday, February 28, 2010

Making vegan pizza for the 1st time ever

My favorite pizza as a non-vegan was white pizza with pesto and sliced tomatoes from Grimaldi's. I thought it would be fun to make vegan version of my favorite pizza. The main difference between vegan pizza and non-vegan pizza is cheese, in my opinion. I was on the hunt for a cheese that would melt, since many reviews of vegan cheese online say that they don't melt. I read about Diaya cheese and knew if I wanted vegan pizza, this would be the cheese to use. We made our weekly grocery trip to Whole Foods instead of Sunflower Market, in order to pick up the cheese we needed.

The vegan pesto we made turned out AMAZING! We have plenty left over for future use.

Vegan Pesto


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts (other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a food processor until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! One variation is to add 1/2 cup rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes. For a lower fat version replace half the oil with soy milk.

Vegan Pizza Crust
Ingredients (use vegan versions):

    1 pkg. yeast
    3 cups flour
    1/3 cups lukewarm water
    1 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup lukewarm water


Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup lukewarm water and let stand 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, blend, then add 2/3 cup lukewarm water to make a pliable, elastic dough. Form into a ball, cover with a clean cloth, and let rise until doubled in a warm place (about 20-30 minutes).

Variations: Add 4 tsp basil for a more flavorful crust. Kneed in 4 Tbsp.  margarine for a more pastry-like crust. Vary these quantities according to your taste.

Roll out dough onto pizza stone or a flat pan; leave a lip around the edge. (Variation: Top with olive oil.) Spread sauce, add toppings of your choice. Bake at 450 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until crisp.

We spread our homemade pesto on the dough and then laid thinly-sliced tomatoes on top. We finished the pizza with the Diaya cheese and cooked for 20 minutes. In the future, I will cook the pizza longer so that the cheese gets a little firmer/stretchier. The cheese melted well, but I felt it would have had a "cheesier" texture, if cooked longer. Not too bad for a 1st attempt at vegan pizza!

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