Meat-Free Fridays: 5 Vegetarian Pizza Pies

16 Feb

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A pizza, by any other name, would smell … just as delicious. 🙂

For this week’s Meat-Free Friday, I’m starting the series with an old Lenten stand-by: Pizza! Pizza can easily be meatless — contrary to what any fan of a “Meat-Lover’s” pizza pie will tell you. While meaty toppings are often quite tasty, vegetarian pies on Fridays are such a great Lenten meal. Here are 5 Vegetarian Pizzas to try on a Friday.

Fun Fact: I’ll also throw in a BONUS recipe for whole grain dough that you can make at home. If you’re pursuing healthy eats in general, why not go whole hog (er, whole … vegetarian hog?) and try your own dough? Happy eating!

First, the dough recipe — this basic Whole Grain Dough makes enough for 2-3 large pizzas, or 3-4 smaller pizzas. If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, most grocery stores sell their own pre-made whole wheat dough.

Whole Grain Dough — adapted from original “Boule” dough in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day

You’ll need:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 tbsp table salt, or 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain rye flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed meal

Here’s what you do:

  • Combine water, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir gently. Slowly add flours and flax seed meal, stirring carefully with a wooden spoon. (You may need some elbow grease towards the end!) If the dough becomes very difficult to stir together, add up to 1/4 cup additional water.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel; allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. After rising, the dough is ready to use. However, dough will be easier to handle after refrigerating a few hours / overnight.
  • On baking day, sprinkle the top with flour. Using a serrated knife, cut off a 1 lb-ish chunk (approx. the size of a cantaloupe). “Gluten-cloak” the dough by pinching the top and wrapping it around to the bottom of the dough ball. Turn dough ball a quarter-turn and repeat 3 times. (For detailed instructions and pictures of this process, click here.)
  • Roll out dough using lots of flour on a pre-floured surface. Transfer to a cornmeal-covered baking sheet or pizza stone and bake with toppings and sauce for 20 minutes at 450°F.

5 Vegetarian Pizzas for Lenten Fridays, or any time of year!

latejan.2013 004Pizza One: Shroom-Stravaganza

Sauce: Tomato-based (for a recipe, try this one!)

Cheeses: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano (optional)

Toppings: Baby Portobello mushrooms, white button mushrooms, dried morel mushrooms (soaked in boiling hot water for 3-5 minutes or until reconstituted)

Herbs & Spices: Rosemary, Oregano and Basil

Image sourced from

Image sourced from

Pizza Two: Ricotta & Asparagus Flatbread (Courtesy of Martha Stewart)

Sauce: Infused Olive Oil (heat 1/4 cup in a small saucepan; add rosemary and lemon peel, heating on medium-low for 5-10 minutes. Strain oil to remove herbs & lemon — optional.), brushed onto pizza crusts. (You can make this individual or a large pizza.)

Cheese: Ricotta, scooped and roughly spread over pizza

Toppings: Asparagus (Sauteed in a saucepan over medium heat for 5-10 minutes)

Herbs & Spices: Grated lemon zest

Image sourced from

Image sourced from

Pizza Three: Classic Pizza Margherita

Sauce: None / lightly brushed olive oil

Cheese: Mozzarella, thickly sliced (ideally buffalo mozzarella — check your grocery store’s cheese case)

Toppings: Thick-sliced tomatoes, chopped cherry tomatoes, or a can of whole plum tomatoes, crushed slightly with a wooden spoon; fresh basil, chopped in a chiffonade or left whole

Herbs & Spices: Just the basil. A Neapolitan classic!

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Pizza Four: GKG’s Classic Pesto Pizza

Sauce: Homemade or store-bought pesto (basil + pine nuts + parmesan + olive oil + salt & pepper = processed until smooth-ish)

Cheese: Mozzarella, Parmesan, small chunks of Feta (all good options)

Toppings: Sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced yellow squash / zucchini, or thinly sliced eggplant

Herbs & spices: Additional chopped basil

Image sourced from

Image sourced from

Pizza Five: Winter Roasted Veggie White Pizza

Sauce: Bechamel or lightly brushed olive oil, infused with rosemary (see above)

Cheese: Spoonfuls of Ricotta, Mozzarella

Toppings: Oven-roasted butternut squash, red onions, carrots & parsnips (for oven-roasted veggies instructions, click here!)

Herbs & spices: Chopped rosemary, minced garlic / lightly sprinkled garlic salt


What are your favorite vegetarian pizzas? Which veggies, sauces and ideas did I miss in this little count-down? Any favorite cheeses, sauces & other fixins? Happy eating!


One Response to “Meat-Free Fridays: 5 Vegetarian Pizza Pies”


  1. “So Earth-Friendly, Even a Vegan Will Eat It” Veggie Chili | galley kitchen gal - January 14, 2014

    […] interested in vegan or vegetarian dishes, try these recipes: Veggie pastas, this veggie torte, these veggie pizzas, and these veggie […]

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