Quick and Easy Gourmet Meatless Pizza Topping Ideas
Pizza toppings aren't confined to pepperoni and pineapple. There are plenty of vegetarian pizza topping combinations that can make a pizza exciting.
Think pizza means pepperoni and cheese?
Most pizza parlours feature at least a few vegetarian options, offering everything from classic combos like broccoli, peppers and tomatoes to exquisite gourmet pies. Here are a few basic and gourmet pizza topping ideas.
Pizza Crust Ideas
Homemade or store-bought doughs work here, as do pre-baked pizza crusts and alternative crusts like mini pitas. Just be sure to follow the cooking instructions for your specific type of crust – those made form fresh dough may need to be pre-baked, adding time to the meal.
Cooking Time and Temperature
Most pizzas have to cook at a hot temperature – about 425 F, for up to 12 minutes. For best results, check the instructions on your dough recipe or crust package.
How to Build a Pizza
The quantity of ingredients used to build a pizza varies with the size of the crust and each individual’s taste. Here are some guidelines for a standard 12-inch pizza:
- About ¼ - ½ cup sauce
- About 1 ½ - 2 cups grated cheese (less if using stronger or a soft cheese)
- ¼ - ½ cup each vegetable topping
- 1/8 – ¼ cup salty, canned vegetable, and strong cheese toppings
- Using a wooden spoon, gently spread a thin layer of sauce across the pizza shell, leaving a 1-inch crust at the edges.
- Sprinkle grated mozzarella evenly over the sauce.
- Layer additional toppings evenly over top.
- Top with strong cheeses.
For the complete pizza experience, serve with vegetarian Caesar salad.
Pizza Topping Combinations
See the recipe below for tantalizing topping combos, or combine your own.
- Tomato (pizza) sauce
- Pesto sauce
- Bruschetta mix
Fresh Vegetable Toppings
Cut toppings into small pieces so that every bite combines several flavours.
- Green, red, yellow or orange bell peppers
- Banana peppers (spicy)
- Broccoli (layer under the cheese to prevent the florets from drying out)
- Red onion
- Green onion
- Cooking onions (caramelized or fresh)
- Roasted garlic (try blending into the sauce)
- Fresh tomatoes
Fresh cilantro, basil or parsley
Canned Vegetable (and Fruit) Toppings
- Artichoke hearts
- Pepperoncini peppers (spicy)
- Chipotle peppers or puree (very spicy)
- Roasted red peppers
- Sundried tomatoes
- Sliced green or black olives
- Kalamata olives
- Tapenade (olive paste)
- Sundried tomato pesto
Nostalgic “Meat” Toppings
- Faux pepperoni
- Faux sausages, sliced
- Artificial bacon bits
Try using a base of mozzarella cheese and blend in or top with a sharper, stronger cheese.
- Shredded mozzarella – the classic pizza cheese
- Shredded cheddar or sharp cheddar (blend in with mozzarella)
- Feta cheese
- Goat’s cheese
- Cream cheese
Try one of these great vegetarian pizza combinations.
- Tomato sauce (pizza sauce)
- Chopping green and/or red peppers
- Red onions
- Mozzarella cheese
Savour and Spice
- Tomato sauce, mixed with about 1/2 tsp. sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (adobo)
- Garlic powder or minced garlic
- Grated mozzarella with a touch of old cheddar cheese mixed in
- Sliced green onion
- Pepperoncini peppers, sliced
- Roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
- Black or Kalamata olives, sliced
Meat-Lovers Vegetarian Faker
- Tomato or pizza sauce
- Yves brand vegetarian pepperoni slices (1/2 package)
- Tofurky brand vegetarian Kielbasa sausage, sliced into ¼” slices
- Chopped green pepper
- Thinly sliced red or cooking onion
Gourmet (White) Pesto Pizza
Using pesto or another sauce (even sour cream!) is a trendy alternative to tomato-based pizza; perfect for those who don’t like tomatoes.
- Pesto sauce (about ¼ cup), spread thinly over the crust
- Sliced black or Kalamata olives
- Small chunks of feta cheese
- Strips of sundried tomatoes (packed in oil)