Pizza is one of the most delicious and popular fast foods worldwide, but is it safe for vegan consumption? While it's easy to adapt to vegan pizza toppings, it's game over if the dough contains animal products. Learn more about the most common non-vegan and vegan pizza crust ingredients – and try our great recipe for simple vegan pizza dough!
There are plenty of vegan replacements and substitutes for all of our favourite foods, and pizza is not an exception.
Many delicious vegetarian pizza toppings make it easy for vegans to find plenty to love – even a vegan cheese or no cheese pizza can be very flavourful with the right mix of toppings.
One essential part of any pizza is the crust. While some crusts contain animal products, many are plant-based by nature and perfectly fine for vegans to eat.
Learn below about traditional pizza ingredients, how to order vegan pizza, and try your hand at making our easy vegan pizza dough recipe to wow your friends at your next pizza party!
Pizza Dough Ingredients
We generally make pizza dough with a few flour types: all-purpose flour, semolina flour, pastry flour, bread flour, and spelt flour.
All of these flours are vegan.
Active-dry yeast is a popular yeast used in bread and dough-making. It helps leaven the dough and gives the crust a light, airy texture as it bakes.
Although yeast is a living microorganism, it's a member of the fungus kingdom and is more similar to bacteria than a living being.
Vegans are absolutely allowed to eat yeast as a part of their diets.
Pizza dough needs a little bit of salt as it helps regulate the yeast and tighten the dough's gluten structure.
It's entirely vegan!
Water makes the dough wet (duh), but its mineral content also helps to feed the active-dry yeast and assist fermentation.
This vegan ingredient is an essential ingredient to make the best dough - oil and water don't mix, so the oil acts as a barrier to keep the liquid and moisture from your toppings from seeping into your dough, making it soggy.
Pizza dough often contains a bit of white sugar, which is a questionably vegan ingredient. Some vegans tolerate it - some don't.
White sugar doesn't contain any animal products, but it is often processed with them – manufacturers sometimes use animal bone char to filter and bleach raw sugar cane.
While we don't often use honey in pizza dough, you may run into this ingredient from time to time.
Honey is a non-vegan animal product created by honeybees.
Pizza makers often use whey instead of water in their dough recipe to add a rich, tangy flavour and beautiful texture.
This by-product from cheese-making comes from cow's milk and is definitely not vegan.
Is Pizza Crust Vegan?
Is all pizza dough vegan? Sometimes!
While most pizza dough is naturally vegan, it's essential to read the ingredients list on pre-made dough packages. For take-out pizza, call the restaurant to ensure their dough is free of animal products.
Some vegans will eat white sugar, but if you want to avoid the ingredient, there are plenty of substitutes, like coconut sugar, that are entirely vegan alternatives.
How to Make Vegan Pizza Dough
This vegan pizza recipe is super simple to make with just a few basic ingredients. Make this dough ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze, or make it the day of and pop it right into the oven after assembly!
- 3/4 c. warm filtered water
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the warm water, yeast, and coconut sugar, and stir well. Let it sit for 10 minutes to activate – it should foam. If it doesn't foam, the yeast may be past its prime.
- Stir in olive oil and salt.
- Mix in your flour, ½ c. at a time.
- Knead your vegan dough by hand or with a dough hook in a stand mixer until it forms a ball. It will be slightly sticky but should be in one piece. If it's too sticky, add 1-2 more Tbsp of flour, mix, and repeat until it reaches the right consistency.
- Continue to knead the dough ball for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough ball into a large, greased mixing bowl. Cover the dough bowl with a clean, dry tea towel and let rise in a warm location. Leave the vegan dough to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Punch the dough down, then knead the dough ball until it's smooth and firm. Store the fridge in the freezer for later use, or make the pizza now!
For Making Pizza
- Roll out the vegan pizza dough on a floured counter or cutting board. Use the pizza pan for size reference.
- Sprinkle your pizza pan with a pinch of flour and transfer the pizza dough onto your pan. Work the vegan dough to fit the edges of the pan.
- Brush your dough with 1-2 Tbsp of oil, and pierce across the dough's surface with a fork – this will prevent air bubbles from forming in your dough.
- Pre-bake the pizza dough for 5-7 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough is just beginning to brown. At this point, your pizza should lift easily out of the pan with a spatula.
- Remove the vegan crust from the oven and brush the crust with 1-2 Tbsp of melted vegan butter. Add your vegan cheese and toppings.
- Bake your vegan pizza for another 10-15 minutes or until the vegan pizza is golden brown with fully cooked toppings.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy your non-dairy pizza!
Take-Out Vegan Pizza
There are so many pros and cons of being a vegetarian! While it helps to keep you from eating junk food that contains animal products, sometimes it's hard to find vegan take-out options.
When you're not up for cooking, there are some fantastic options for vegan pizza delivery you can use instead. Let's walk through a few of the most popular take-out options to see if they're vegan-friendly.
Is Pizza Hut Crust Vegan?
While their crusts are not all plant-based, this fan-favourite has made some of Pizza Hut dough options vegan. Vegans can eat the Original Pan, Thin N'Crispy, and Hand-tossed crusts.
Unfortunately, Pizza Hut doesn’t carry vegan cheese, but they do offer vegan Beyond Meat sausage as a topping.
Is Dominos Crust Vegan?
Only one crust at Domino's pizza is entirely vegan – you should opt for their plant-based, Thin crust option.
They don't offer vegan cheese or meat, but they have a wide variety of other vegetarian and vegan toppings.
Is Papa Johns Crust Vegan?
The Original Hand-tossed dough is vegan-friendly, but you'll have to go cheese-less, as they don't offer a plant-based cheese option.
Some of their dipping sauces are safe for vegans, including buffalo, garlic, and BBQ options.
Final Verdict: Is Pizza Dough Plant-Based?
Yes and no! The confusing part of being a vegan is that so many foods are sometimes okay and sometimes contain animal-based products.
If you're cooking pizza at home, stay away from white sugar, honey, and whey to keep your pizza dough completely plant-based.
Read the pre-made dough packages carefully, or use our easy recipe to ensure that you get a great vegan pizza dough.
Take-out pizza is often vegan and often not, which makes ordering a little complicated. If you're unsure about ingredients, call the restaurant and ask for a full ingredients list. The take-out vegan cheese options are severely lacking - you can eat a cheese-free pizza, as most pizza places offer at least one kind of dough that's vegan.
Whether you make it at home or order it in, we hope you enjoy your crispy and delicious vegan pizza!