Pizza: It's one of the the most traditional, yet versatile foods on the planet. And a huge favorite. Whether you're a strict vegetarian or looking for a Meatless Monday meal that will please the whole family, we've got a pizza recipe you'll love.
Pick Your Crust
There are lots of different crusts out there, but you're always better off making your own crust so you can really control what goes into it. Opt for whole grain crusts which are full of fiber to keep you full and offer more nutrients than processed white versions. You can also use whole grain pitas or flatbreads to make individual pizzas or get even more veggies in to your diet by making a cauliflower crust.
Cauliflower Crust: Send half of a head of cauliflower through a food processor. Steam the cauliflower for about 15 minutes, until tender. Refrigerate until cool. Stir in half a cup of shredded Italian cheese, 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley, 1 egg, 1 tsp garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Preheat and oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then pour in cauliflower mixture and shape into pizza crust. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Pick Your Sauce
Tomato sauce is the most traditional pizza sauce, and to be honest, you can't go wrong with it, but try branching out. Try deconstructed, fresh tomato sauce by brushing the crust with olive oil and then lining with fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh basil. Or, try pesto sauce, Italian dressing, ranch, hummus or onion dip if you're really feeling saucy.
Vegetarian Pizza Ideas
Just to get your creative juices flowing, here are some unique vegetarian pizza ideas. Since we aren't dealing with any meat that needs to reach a certain temp, always bake your pizza according to the crust directions.
1. The Classic
The freshest, juiciest pizza you'll ever have. Line your crust of choice with thick slices of fresh tomato, whole basil leaves and dollops of fresh mozzarella cheese. Bake, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar before serving.
2. Fig and Goat Cheese
Pull your pizza loaded with sweet warm fig, melty goat cheese and sprigs of fresh rosemary out of the oven. Immediately top with piles of raw peppery arugula, and enjoy.
3. White Pizza
This recipe goes particularly well with a cauliflower crust and is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Brush your crust with olive oil and minced garlic. Top with a thin layer of mashed potatoes, rings of white onion and sprinkle with white cheddar cheese.
4. Wingless Buffalo Pizza
This one will even satisfy meat-eating wing lovers. Lightly brush a pizza crust with ranch dressing. Top with spinach, Buffalo mozzarella, fresh spinach, sundried tomatoes and juliened carrots. If you like heat, top with Frank's Hot Wing Sauce.
5. Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Get everyone's favorite appetizer in one handy slice. Spread a think layer of spinach and artichoke dip (found at any grocery store) on your crust and then top with fresh spinach, marinated artichoke hearts and Parmesan cheese. Use a thin crust so you don't miss out on the crunch of tortilla chips. Or, heck, top with tortilla chips. It's your pizza.
6. Mac and Cheese Pizza
Noodles on a pizza? This one is carbo-loading at its finest. Take a pizza crust, spread on some tomato sauce, then layer on the mac and cheese, noodles and all (leftovers are perfect.) Top with more cheese and sprinkle with bread crumbs for a nice crust on top.
7. The Greek
Brush a crust with vinaigrette salad dressing. If you don't have any, use olive oil, balsamic and dried oregano. Top with artichoke hearts, pitted Kalamata olives, sliced tomatoes, red onions and a generous amount of feta cheese. Enjoy as is, or top with a few handfuls of chopped romaine.
8. The Vegetarian Hawaiian
Canadian bacon usually gives a Hawaiian pizza the salty in the sweet and salty combo we all love, but here, we use black olives. Pile your pizza high with mozzarella cheese, diced pineapple, green pepper, red onion and olives.
9. Taco Pizza
Use salsa in place of tomato sauce, then top with a layer of vegetarian refried beans, cheddar cheese and bake. Top with corn, diced avocado, shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream.
10. Strawberry Spinach Feta
This takes a classic spinach salad and makes it a meal you can eat with your hands. Brush your crust with vinaigrette salad dressing, or an olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano combo. Add fresh sliced strawberries, fresh spinach and lots of tangy feta. Heat and eat!