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That rich, creamy vegan pizza you've been craving? We've got it right here
If you are human, you like pizza. But some humans are sensitive to dairy, which can sometimes make eating the world's most delicious food a little less enjoyable. If you're craving a slice but don't want to have your tummy turning, we found this delicious recipe from Kathryn Kellinger's Let's Make Pizza! cookbook that uses vegan and dairy-free cheese — just as good as the regular stuff. (The pizza cookbook is loaded with meat and cheese-lover's pizza recipes as well, so it's for everyone.)
If I'm making a vegan pizza, I'm happy to skip the cheese entirely, as vegetable toppings can be fully magnificent on their own. For others, the need for cheese can run deep. This pizza joins the melt of vegan mozzarella and the taste and texture of cashew cheese for the best of both worlds: meltability and a rich, fat-filled flavor. The onions go on raw, charring in the oven to provide a little peppery bite.
Makes 2 (12- to 14-inch) pizzas or 4 personal pizzas
Cornmeal or flour for dusting
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (baby bellas)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups baby spinach, stems removed
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup grated vegan mozzarella (may substitute cheddar cheese)
1/2 cup cashew cheese or other nut-based dairy-free cheese
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using) to 500 degrees F. Dust a pizza peel with cornmeal (if using pizza stone), or brush two baking sheets with olive oil.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms and salt, and let the mushrooms sit undisturbed for 2 minutes. Give the pan a shake and continue cooking for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have taken color but are still firm and vibrant. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to a medium bowl.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Swirl the skillet to flavor the oil, then add the spinach. Use tongs to turn the spinach, watching it decrease in volume. Cook the spinach for 2 to 3 minutes until it's wilted but still has structure. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Roll out one of the dough balls to the desired size, and place it on the pizza peel (if using a pizza stone) or on the prepared baking sheet.
Leaving a 1-inch border, spoon half of the sauce onto the dough, spreading it evenly. Top with half of the vegan mozzarella and cashew cheese. Scatter half of the spinach and mushrooms over the pizza, followed by half of the black olives and sliced onions.
Transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone or oven rack, and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted, 5 to 7 minutes on the pizza stone or 7 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet.
Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
Repeat with the remaining dough ball and toppings.