Vegan Pizza Night

Pizza night! And so much choice! Oodles of options to fit whatever time you’ve got to play with, no matter how tight. Bagels, muffins, tortillas, even watermelon rounds. Not to mention the many amazing crust possibilities to please every palate and dietary need.

Choose a your base, sprinkle on some toppings of choice, and you get to call whatever you’ve created ‘pizza’. What could be simpler for adding an extra element of fun to any meal? For making a plate a party.

We’ve been doing regular Pizza Nights at our house. Chef F is a master creator, and the best part (for me) is how he chomps on all the raw veggies he chops with such gusto as we mix, roll, slice and top together. With the holiday season around the corner (or here really, if you count Halloween, which, why wouldn’t you in this context given all the creative energy to capitalize on?), Pizza Night is perfect for experimenting with a variety of vegetable toppings with seasonal flair. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of our favorite go-to crusts, as well as a rich and flavorful pumpkin tomato sauce just right for pre-trick-or-treating. Enjoy, and please share your most festive healthier pizza creations!

Quick yeast-free dough from Diethood
I discovered this quick and easy pizza dough recipe when I was slashing yeast from my diet, and now I can’t see going back! No need to wait for dough to rise. This comes together in minutes. Be sure to use warm enough water to get the right stretchy consistency—great for mini personal pizzas, or a big family tray like our Halloween ghost pizza with Miyoko’s artisan plant-based mozzarella.

  • 2-1/2 cups flour (we typically use sprouted wheat or white whole wheat)

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4- cup + 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (we use olive)

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; whisk until thoroughly combined and set aside.

  2. Combine water and oil in a separate bowl or cup; stir to combine.

  3. Slowly add water mixture to the flour mixture.

  4. Using a wooden spoon, or your hands, gently stir and mix until dough forms a ball; dough should be soft, but not sticky. Add more water if it's too dry, 1 tablespoon at a time. If it's too sticky, add more flour.

  5. Lightly flour your work area and knead dough for 5 minutes.

  6. Line a baking sheet or a pizza pan with foil and lightly spray it with cooking spray.

  7. Spread pizza dough on the prepared pan, using the palm of your hands and fingers to stretch it out to about a 1-inch thickness.

  8. Grill or bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Socca Version 2-2.jpg

Socca pizza crust

I can’t take credit for “inventing” this, but at the same time I don’t know who to credit. Once you make this once or twice, you never need to consult a recipe again, like playdough. And if you find yourself fudging your way a bit, no problem. Baked in a skillet, this is a forgiving mix. It tastes more like a dense chickpea flatbread than pizza crust, but I love it. To me, it is both rustic and elegant. The yellow base is perfect for making jack-o-lantern pizzas, though I prefer Thai-style and other vegan variations. Not enough veggies? Socca pairs beautifully with fresh greens, so bury that pumpkin in leaves and vines.

  • 1 cup chickpea flour

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a large bowl, sift chickpea flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk in warm water and olive oil. Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes to 8 hours.

  3. While batter is resting, prepare your toppings and set aside.

  4. Position your oven rack 8 inches from heat. Liberally spray a 10-inch (approximate) ovenproof skillet with cooking spray and place in the oven to preheat.

  5. Using an oven mitt/potholder, pour batter in the skillet and return to the broiler. Cook approximately 8 minutes, until the socca is set and the edges are browning and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven, and reduce heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

  6. Use a spatula to evenly spread tomato sauce over socca. Top as desired.

  7. Return the skillet to the oven and bake a further 5 minutes, or until socca is becoming crisp on the edges and toppings are heated through.

margherita pizza (3).jpg

Simply Quinoa’s Ultimate Pizza Crust
This may be my favorite. Baked in a sprinform pan, the roundness also lends itself to some pretty mean pumpkins this time of year, but it’s absolutely perfect modeled after the classic, too.

  • 3/4 cup quinoa covered by 1" of water and soaked for 6 - 8 hours (or overnight)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • optional toppings:

  1. Soak the quinoa in water, covering it by at least 1", for 6 - 8 hours.

  2. Once you're ready to make the crust, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9" cake pan with parchment paper and drizzle one tablespoon of oil in the center. Spread around with your hands until evenly coated and set pan aside.

  3. Thoroughly rinse quinoa, then add to a blender. Add the 1/4 cup of water, baking powder, salt and remaining olive oil, and blend on high until smooth and creamy. This should resemble a thick pancake batter.

  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, flip and return to oven baking for another 10 - 15 minutes until browned and edges are crispy.

  5. Top with sauce, and any other toppings you'd like and bake for 12 - 15 minutes until cheese has melted and started to brown.

  6. Remove, let cool for a few minutes in the pan, transfer cutting board and slice.