The Joys of Vegan Pizza

If you’ve never had vegan pizza, you’re missing out on one of the truly delicious things that life has to offer. Even if you aren’t vegan, no worries because this stuff tastes so great you’ll never want to go back to ordered-out pizza again. The trick, of course, is making certain that all your ingredients are vegan essentials. That means no dairy or meat.

Making pizza at home can be a mess and can be a complicated, labor-intensive chore. That is why most people prefer to order Papa Johns pizza rather than making a pizza at home. But vegan pizza crust has just a few ingredients, is easy to prepare and won’t leave your kitchen looking like the aftermath of a confetti explosion. The fun part is choosing your toppings from the hundreds of nutritious, delicious vegan options. Here are the steps to making a vegan pizza that will change your life:

Make the Dough

You can always buy high-quality, frozen vegan pizza dough if you want to skip this step. Try it once just to learn how and you’ll be glad you did. Making vegan pizza dough calls for just five ingredients: Salt, water, yeast, extra-virgin olive oil, flour.

Buy the small, active-dry yeast packets sold in stores and use only one of them for this recipe. Put the yeast into a bowl with one-fourth cup of warm water and let it fully dissolve. Ten minutes is usually the ideal amount of time. Use two cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour. Set aside, in a separate bowl, 10 ounces of room-temp water. Use two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Use 1.5 teaspoons of salt. That’s all you’ll need to get the dough started.

Mix it Up

Add the rest of the water to the yeast-water mixture in a large bowl. Stir well. Add the salt, oil and flour. Mix it together in the bowl as much as you can. Remove the dough ball from the bowl and knead it on a wax-paper-covered countertop. You might have to add a tiny bit more flour to keep the stickiness factor down.

After kneading, dab a covering of olive oil over the outside of the dough ball and place it in a covered glass bowl to rise. This will take about one hour. When the dough has doubled in size, it’s almost ready. Tear the ball in half and make two small dough balls. Each one will be the crust for a 15-inch pizza. Cover each of the two dough balls with a small towel and allow them to rise for another half-hour. Press each ball onto a separate pizza pan and let these uncooked crusts sit for about 15 minutes under towels. And now, it’s pizza-making time.

Add Sauce and Toppings

Top the dough with your favorite store-bought pizza sauce and some vegan mozzarella. Top the sauce-cheese mixture with red and green bell peppers, mushrooms and onions.

Bake, Eat, Repeat

Place these beauties into a 425-degree preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes so all the flavors can fully combine. Each pizza can be sliced into four pieces. Each piece has about 440 calories, eight grams of fat, 12 grams of protein, 300 mg of sodium and 80 grams of carbs.