It’s not a stretch to say that pizza is maybe one of the best, most delicious, and most versatile dishes we have ever been blessed with.
Whether you like yours plain, vegetarian, all-meat, or even sweet, there is a perfect pizza match for everyone.
Many people think that being vegan and loving pizza are incompatible. We’re here to tell you that, thankfully, that really isn’t the case. Swapping out the mozzarella for a vegan cheese (or doing away with the cheese altogether) gives you a savory treat that is just as scrumptious as the real deal. You still have a wide range of options for toppings, so you don’t have to miss out on the awesomeness of a great pizza.
The great news is that most pizza crusts are already vegan to begin with, so you only really have to watch out for what you put on it, but there are still some recipes that require eggs or dairy to create a fluffy, moist pizza base.
One way to guarantee that your pizza crust is vegan-friendly is to make it yourself at home, with ingredients that you already have or are at least easy to source.
What is in Vegan Pizza Crust?
A crust is to a pizza as a foundation is to a house: it’s absolutely crucial to get it right if you want the rest of it to be good as well. Done right, a pizza crust is chewy yet crisp, and packs the right amount of flavor to really bring out your toppings.
Search any pizza crust recipe - vegan or otherwise - and you’ll probably see the same four to six ingredients listed down: flour, salt, yeast, water, sugar, and oil. All of these ingredients are compatible with a vegan diet, and can easily be found in your nearest grocery store or supermarket.
Flour is the base of your pizza crust recipe. All-purpose or white flour is the most common, producing that flavorful, crispy crust we all know and love. If you’re a little more health or weight-conscious, you can opt for grain flour alternatives such as rice flour, cauliflower, or seed flour. It’s important to note, though, that the texture and consistency of your dough will change depending on the kind of flour you use.
Yeast is used to make the pizza dough rise, especially helpful for deep dish or thick crust pizzas. The more the yeast, the fluffier the dough. You have to dissolve the yeast in warm water before adding it to the mix. Sugar is optional, but it helps activate the yeast and make it rise faster.
There is still some debate in the vegan community about whether or not yeast is vegan, but the general consensus is that since it’s a fungus (kind of like mushrooms) it is safe for vegans to consume. If you’re iffy about it, or have a yeast sensitivity, you can opt for a yeast-free vegan pizza crust instead.
You can also add extra herbs, spices, or seasonings to the dough to truly personalize your pizza and give it extra flavor. The options are limitless, and the choice is all yours to make.
Some pre-made pizza crusts and crust mixes use other ingredients to mimic the flavor and texture of real pizza. Check the ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t contain any animal derivatives or anything that might trigger an allergy or sensitivity.
Where Can I Get Vegan Pizza Crust?
Thanks to the increasing popularity of veganism in today’s health and environmentally-conscious culture, the number of pizza chains and small pizzerias offering vegan pizza crust options are steadily growing in number. Big pizza joints such as Pizza Hut or Domino’s have vegan options, but your local mom and pop pizza store might not be lagging very far behind either.
Even so, you can’t be absolutely sure that their pizza is actually 100% vegan, or not made using the same tools or equipment that they use to prepare animal meat and derivatives. Your best bet is to make your own pizza at home, either with a pre-made crust, vegan pizza crust mix, or from scratch. It’s cheap, easy, and the only way to know with absolute certainty what you’re eating. It might even be more convenient than ordering in because you can store batches of dough for later use, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare.
You can buy crusts and crust mixes at your local store. If not, you can always turn to the wonderful world wide web to find amazing crust mixes that other people have tried and tested. Otherwise, you can find all the ingredients you need to make an awesome, authentic-tasting vegan pizza crust during your next grocery run.
But How Does It Taste?
Since most homemade pizza crust recipes are already vegan, you can rejoice in the fact that there won’t be much difference in taste or texture if you follow the recipes.
However, if you have other dietary restrictions (gluten, GMO, nuts, etc.) or want a healthier, more nutritious crust, you can opt for a special recipe or crust mix that uses vegan-friendly alternatives, like cauliflower or rice flour. Be aware, though, that the more substitutes you make, the less likely your vegan pizza crust will taste like the pizza crust you know and love.
However, you shouldn’t worry about a slight difference in taste or texture. Pizza is perhaps one of the greatest foods ever made because it’s so delicious, versatile, and customizable to your specific tastes and preferences. You can go crazy on the toppings and sauces, and still create a great pizza even from an average crust.
You don’t have to worry about compromising on your diet just because you have a good old pizza craving. Most pizza crusts are vegan to begin with, but some do require dairy or eggs to maintain their fluffiness and moisture. The best way to make sure you’re getting a 100% vegan pizza crust is by making your own at home.
There are tons of vegan pizza crust recipes and products online that try and get as close as possible to regular pizza crust, but are much healthier and cleaner. With the right formula, we promise you won’t even be able to tell the difference.