Vegan doesn't seem like a food that you can make really good without the traditional toppings. After all, it is all built upon an ooey, gooey, cheesy existence. Right? Maybe so, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy delicious vegan pizza in a huge variety of options.
Many store bought crusts are free of dairy, eggs, and anything else that's not vegan. You can also buy pizza crust mix and then make them with alternative milks and eggs (such as ground flaxseeds mixed with water). You can also find vegan crusts recipes and make the whole thing from scratch. Choosing a crust that is 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain is the healthiest option.
Pizza sauce is usually made from tomatoes. You can make your own or buy a can or jar of it. You should make sure that it is vegan and doesn't contain cheese. You can also grind up spinach, bell peppers, onions, green onions, carrots (use in moderation or your sauce will be sweet), and fresh herbs for a loaded pizza sauce.
White sauces can be made with alternative milks (such as almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk), sour cream, or cream cheese. You can add herbs, veggies, and garlic for a tasty sauce. Adding a little corn starch or flour will make a thicker sauce.
Another option for a creative pizza is to use a dressing. You can make an Italian or vinaigrette dressing for a great sauce. You can brush it onto your crust and even toss your toppings in it.
Another choice is to use vegan cream cheese mixed with items like sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or fruit juice for a sweet "sauce" option.
Vegan Pizza Toppings - Vegetables
You can put almost every vegetable that you can think of in order to make interesting and unusual pizzas. The most common vegetables are those that you can order at the pizza parlor. This includes onions, peppers (red and green bell peppers as well as hot peppers), mushrooms, tomatoes, and olives. However, these aren't your only options. You can enjoy artichokes, asparagus, avocado, beets, broccoli, eggplant, potatoes, pumpkin spinach, sweet potatoes, or zucchini. Don't feel stuck in these categories though.
Vegan Pizza Toppings - Fruits
Pineapple is a common fruit that is added to pizza toppings, but it isn't the only fruit that you can put on top of your vegan pizza. Mangos, apples, and oranges are options that go well with savory toppings including garlic and vegetables. However, you can also make vegan fruit pizzas that are topped with a vegan cream cheese “sauce” and lots of fruits including apricots, bananas, berries, and nectarines just to name a few.
Vegan Pizza Toppings - Meat and Cheese
There are a ton of vegan meat and cheese options out there that most people can find almost anything that they want. You may have to shop around to find out what all is available in your area. Check the frozen department of your grocery store for things like vegan hamburger, chicken wings, and sausages. You should also check out the produce department which may have a lot of options such sausages, bacon, and pepperoni. After you have found out what is available at your local stores, don't forget any health food stores, natural grocery stores, or whole foods stores. These often have a lot of choices. Just make sure you read the ingredients because dairy and eggs can sneak in where you least expect them (after all, who can imagine soy cheese having milk in it, but many of them do). You don't have to put cheese on your pizza and don't feel bad if you just leave it off (after all, even the alternative kind has a lot of fat in it).
Don't Forget the Herbs
Herbs are another great thing to had to your vegan pizza. You can add Italian types of herbs including oregano, thyme, and sage. You can also add rosemary. Or if you are going with a off the wall type of pizza cilantro makes a great option for Mexican style pizzas and you can also use things like mint in fruity pizzas.
Tofu can also be added. You will want to make sure that you drain off excess water. You can either crumble it up (soft, silken, or medium) or cut it into cubes (firm or extra firm). You can even marinade it in your favorite flavorings and fry it before hand for more texture options.
You can also use tempeh. It is a soybean food that has more flavor and a different texture then tofu. You can find it in a variety of flavorful options and can be crumbled and added to your pizza like sausage. You can also buy unflavored varieties and then mix them with flavors.
Another topping that might not be thought of very often is nuts. However you can add chopped nuts to a variety of pizza toppings. Pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, and pecans can all be used with various toppings. This can be a great way to add flavor, texture, and protein to your pizza.
You also don't need to stick with traditional “pizza” crusts. You can even get creative with those. Pizzas can be made on flour tortillas, corn tortillas, seasoned wraps, Italian bread slices or halves, and English muffins. You can have fun with whatever items you have laying around the house.
Frozen Vegan Pizzas
There are more and more frozen vegan pizza options. Depending on what your local stores have to offer you may have a lot of options. Not all of these are created equal, but you will want to give them a try if you want something quick and easy. Amy's has some choices as does whole foods 365. Other brands include Tofurky and American Flatbread. Most brands offer dairy free cheese varieties and cheese free varieties.
There are lots of options for making your own vegan pizza. Have fun with it and try new things. You may find you like things a lot more that way. My five year old son has even decided that he likes his pizza without cheese even more than he liked pizza with cheese. Getting creative will allow you to find new favorites.