Meatless options have become very popular in most cuisines. Vegetarian pizza, a baked meatless Italian pie, is an option for vegetarians, those who may have a special needs diet, or simply for those looking for a healthier alternative to regular pizza. Vegetarian pizza features the same cheeses, seasonings, and sauces that regular pizza has, though the meat is replaced with vegetables and meat substitutes.
Many people believe that a vegetarian pizza consists of only sauce and cheese, but vegetarian cooking can be anything but boring. Vegetarian recipes for pizza feature a wide range of tasty toppings. These can include broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, and any other meatless items that the cook prefers. Highly nontraditional items like artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, squash, carrots, pickles, kale, cauliflower, dried vegetables, and other foods can liven up a vegetarian pizza as well.
To jazz up a vegetarian pizza, some cooks might opt to try several different kinds of sauces as well. In addition to the traditional marinara sauce used on most pizzas, other options include barbecue sauce, pesto, bruschetta, salsa, alfredo sauce, or any other sauce desired. Hot sauce can even be used for a spicier flavor. For a healthier alternative, a fresh layer of tomatoes can be substituted as sauce. Beans or lentils can also be used on pizza, either as toppings or a sauce base.
Fruits also make palatable vegetarian pizza toppings. Pineapple is a very popular choice. Other fruit toppings can include bananas, strawberries, kiwi, grapes, or any other fruits desired. Dessert pizzas may also feature jellies, jams, fruit dip, yogurt, or cream cheese as sauce.
Herbs are another popular addition to veggie pizzas. Roasted garlic, parsley, cilantro, and basil are often used as flavorings. Crushed red pepper, a spicy additive, is another favorite of many vegetarians. Some people also enjoy capers on their pizza. Different types of cheese may also be used, including feta, goat, shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone cheeses.
Vegetarian cheese can also be used when preparing a vegetarian pizza. Vegans may not wish to consume regular cheese and instead opt for vegan cheese on their pizza. Vegetarian meat substitutes may also be used on a veggie pizza. Traditional ingredients such as ham, pepperoni, bacon, hamburger, and sausage can all be replaced with vegan versions of the same products. Vegan turkey and tofu can be used as a vegetarian protein on pizza.
Whether dining at a vegetarian restaurant or a typical pizza chain, vegetarian options are often on the menu. Vegan diners can usually request that the cheese be withheld as well. Vegetarian takeout pizza is also readily available. Health food stores may also sell frozen veggie pizza or kits for making homemade vegetarian pizza.