This Vegetarian Pizza is all about big flavor. Rich sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs, and some spice from a drizzle of homemade hot honey. The real secret star of this veggie pizza is the pizza sauce, which is a mix of sauce and pesto.
We make pizza pretty much every Friday and when we invite our friends over for a pizza buffet party, we love to get creative. And this veggie pizza was inspired by our friends and neighbors who wanted to have a delicious no-meat pizza but not sacrifice flavor. Thus our new favorite vegetarian pizza was created.
- Dough: A good pizza dough either homemade or purchased from the store or local pizzeria. Often you can buy a local dough for $5.
- Sauce: A combination of pizza sauce and fresh pesto make this veggie pizza recipe really stand out. You can make your own or buy it from the grocery store.
- Mozzarella Cheese: We like the fresh cheese in water. Be sure before you use it it has been removed from the water and dried with a paper towel.
- Veggies: Caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and thinly sliced jalapeños
- Fresh Basil: Adds a bright and fresh flavor. Even after cooked.
- Finish: A touch of flakey Maldon salt and hot honey
While we don’t mean to overstate the sauce, the real magic that adds a ton of flavor to this vegetarian pizza is mixing equal parts pizza sauce and fresh pesto. The savory and rich flavor from the basil and Parmesan cheese in the pesto is so good when mixed with a nice hearty pizza sauce. You can swap to just pizza sauce or just pesto – but trust us when we say mixing the two makes this pizza go from good to great.
Your imagination can go wild. If you don’t like heat you can avoid the jalapeños. What we recommend is staying with no more than 3 veggies so the pizza doesn’t fall apart when it’s being cooked.
Caramelized Onions – Thinly slice the onion. In a skillet over medium heat add oil or butter and the onions. Stir occasionally to let the onions reduce and brown. This can take up to 20 minutes.
Browned Mushrooms – After the onions are done or in a separate skillet over medium heat add more butter or oil and roughly chopped mushrooms. Let the mushrooms sauté for 6 to 7 minutes before moving them. Then stir and continue to brown for another 5 – 7 minutes.
Prep Pizza Dough – It should already be made and ideally at or near room temperature. This makes it easier to form rather than just pulling from the refrigerator.
Cheese – We recommend fresh Mozzarella cheese in water. Prior to putting it on the pizza be sure it’s patted dry with a paper towel.
Tools and Equipment
The must have tools include a good quality IR Thermometer which can measure the temperature of the pizza stone and a good wooden pizza peel to launch the pizza. Bonus points for having a pizza turning peel as well.
We made this vegetarian pizza recipe on our Gozney Dome outdoor pizza oven in a Neapolitan style. That means our oven is running at 900 degrees Fahrenheit with the pizza stone in the oven temping at 700 degrees F.
Related Article: The best pizza tools you must have for making outdoor pizzas.
If making this in your oven be sure to cook this on a good quality pizza stone.
Hot To Make the Pizza
- Prepare Oven: Prepare your pizza oven to the appropriate temperature. We are using a Neapolitan dough and targeting the pizza stone at 700 degrees in an outdoor pizza oven. See notes if using your oven or different style of dough.
- Make Pizza: Dust a small amount of flour on a wooden pizza peel. Gently form your dough into a 11 to 13-inch width. Add the following ingredients in this layer: start with the pizza sauce. Next add the mozzarella cheese. Then finish with the mushrooms, onions, jalapeños, and basil.
- Bake: Make sure the dough still slides on the peel. If it doesn’t then gently lift each side and add a dusting of more flour until it does slide. Then place into your pre-heated pizza oven. Gently turn the pizza using your turning peel every 15 seconds or when you see the crust near the flame bubble. Remove from pizza oven after it’s been turned 360 degrees and the crust and bottom of pizza are done (roughly 90 seconds to 2 minutes total).
- Finish: Drizzle the hot honey over the pizza and add the finishing salt. Slice pizza and enjoy.
See our full guide on how to make pizza in an outdoor pizza oven for more details and techniques.
Modification For An Oven
Place a large pizza stone on the middle rack and set the oven at 550 degrees. Let preheat and warm for 20 minutes to get the stone up to temperature. Place the pizza on the center of the stone and bake for 5 minutes. Then using a pizza turning peel, rotate the pizza 180 degrees (most ovens the back is hotter). Bake for another 5 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.
Other Pizza Recipes
Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.
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