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Cheeseless Pizza Recipes - 15 Mouthwatering Topping Ideas

cheeseless-pizza-ideas

Delicious, dairy-free pizza topping recipes

Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or just didn't have the time to go grocery shopping, I've got some delicious cheeseless pizza ideas here for you.

A pizza without cheese doesn't have to be boring. In fact, getting rid of it leaves room for fresh, tasty toppings that are the new stars of the show.

Vibrant pestos, earthy roast vegetables, salty cured meats and crispy salad leaves don't just replace cheesy toppings; they improve on them.

Scroll down for some tempting topping ideas and recipes for the best cheese-free home made pizzas ever.

And look out for the purple boxes scattered throughout the article - they reveal some of my top tips for making an amazing cheeseless pizza, gathered from several years of my cooking experiments at home.

photo credit: Cooking Gluten Free via photopin cc

Pizza debate

Which type of pizza is better?

I've tried a lot of pizza dough recipes, and this is the one I use regularly. It's really simple, easy to knead and tastes great.

This recipe makes one small pizza, but it doubles (and triples!) well. You can always freeze it after rolling it flat, too.

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

1 hour 20 min

1 hour 30 min

1

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. - Combine yeast, water and oil in a bowl. Wait 5 minutes, until the yeast becomes frothy.
  2. - Add all other ingredients, and mix into a smooth ball.
  3. - Oil the bowl and dough, cover the bowl with a dishcloth and leave for at least an hour until doubled in size.
  4. - Punch the dough down, then let it sit - covered - for 20 minutes.
  5. - Preheat your oven and pizza stone, then roll out the dough and sprinkle with toppings.
  6. - Bake at the highest heat possible for around 10 minutes until crisp.

Vegan pizza ideas

  1. Roast butternut: Top the crust with chunks of roast butternut pumpkin/squash, pine-nuts, caramelised onions and baby spinach leaves. Sprinkle with rosemary infused olive oil before serving.
  2. Pesto and roast vegetables: Spread vegan basil pesto on the crust, then top with sun-dried tomatoes, roast eggplants, roast peppers, artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with spicy chilli olive oil after the pizza is cooked.
  3. Mushroom lover's pizza: Top crust with mushrooms that have been lightly sauted with plenty of garlic. I like a mix of button, portabella, and oyster mushrooms. Drizzle with thyme and garlic infused olive oil.

    *Cooking the mushrooms first will stop them releasing water during cooking and making the crust soggy.*

  4. The Rainbow: Top the crust with slices of red or purple onions, pineapple, peppers (orange, green and red) and mushrooms.

    Garlic, basil, lemon or chilli oils are all good for this pizza.

  5. Roast red pepper and olive: Roast some red peppers until blackened. Peel the charred skins off, de-seed the peppers and blend the flesh with garlic, salt, pepper and herbs to form a paste.

    Spread the roast red pepper paste on the pizza crust. Top with a mix of black and green olives, and capers. Drizzle with lemon infused oil before serving.

Cheese-free pizza with the Vegan Zombie

This guy is hilarious - watch as he prepares the most delicious, cheeseless vegan pizza to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Note: while technically there is no dairy cheese on his pizza, he does use Daiya mozzarella cheese

- vegan, dairy-free cheese shreds that melt like dairy cheese.

Pizza alla marinara

The original cheeseless pizza

I bet you thought that all traditional Italian pizzas were covered in plenty of cheese. Not this one! Pizza alla marinara is so simple, yet the flavours are amazingly rich and complex.

And it doesn't use a shred of cheese. Click the picture to find an authentic recipe that's perfect for garlic and basil fans.

Authentic Pizza alla Marinara recipe

Books about dairy-free living

You may be lactose intolerant, vegan or simply don't like cheese. Whatever your reason for landing on this page, you probably love good food but miss dairy every now and again.

These three popular cookbooks are my picks. Full of delicious and easy to make recipes that don't use a drop of milk or a shred of cheese, they're great for the person transitioning to dairy-free living, as well as the seasoned dairy-free cook.

The best pizza sauces

This is the time to splurge

These are the only two store-bought pizza sauces I would recommend. They're both made in small batches according to family recipes, and they will elevate your pizza to something really special.

Although they're a little bit pricier than your regular supermarket sauce, the quality is incomparable. And besides, you only need a little bit for that pizza (the rest will keep well in the fridge or freezer).

Cucina Antica Pizza SauceCHECK PRICE

Scarpetta Marinara SauceCHECK PRICE


Find your favourite pizza sauce

Everyone's got their own taste and budget, so here's a handy search tool to look for the perfect sauce for you. Chunky, garlicky, smooth or full of herbs - they're all there.

Meat & fish pizza ideas

You're skipping the cheese, but you still like to enjoy a bit of meat on your pizza. Here are a few tasty topping ideas for you.

Make sure you spread the pizza base with the sauce of your choice before adding the other toppings.

  1. French potato & bacon: Top the crust with very thin slices of potato, caramelised onions and small pieces of bacon (or ham). Sprinkle with Herbes de Provence if possible, or simply use dried thyme, rosemary and oregano.

    Drizzle with either garlic or truffle-infused olive oil (depending on your budget!) after it comes out of the oven.

  2. Salmon with roast garlic lemon pure: Roast several cloves of garlic, then squeeze out the pure and mix with finely chopped lemon zest. Spread the roast garlic and lemon paste on a pizza crust. Top with chopped up smoked salmon, finely chopped dill and some capers.

    Drizzle with lemon infused olive oil before serving.

  3. The mouth burner: Spread some good quality spicy tomato sauce on the crust, then top with slices of spicy pepperoni, chorizo, green peppers, sliced onions and black olives.

    Drizzle with chilli oil if you dare.

  4. Pesto chicken: Roughly cube some leftover roast chicken meat (or grill a chicken breast for this purpose). Spread a pizza crust with basil pesto, then top with the chicken meat, sliced red peppers, fresh sliced tomatoes, black olives and sliced onions.

    Drizzle with garlic, chilli or lemon infused olive oil before serving.

  5. Sicilian-style onions and anchovies: Slice 4 onions, then sauté them until transclucent. Add salt and pepper, 4 anchovy fillets, 1/2 cup raisins and 1 cup pinenuts.

    Spread the mixture onto the pizza crust, add a sprinkle of thyme or oregano and bake.

  6. Maple bacon and egg: Crisp up some bacon rashers in a frying pan until almost browned. Brush on maple syrup using a pastry brush. Arrange bacon on the pizza crust, then crack one or two eggs directly on top. Bake until the white of the eggs are set.

    Serve with garlic infused olive oil.

  7. Shrimp and pineapple: Peel and devein some small shrimp, then marinate them in a mixture of sunflower oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and red pepper flakes. Saut them in a pan until they barely lose their opaqueness. Drop the shrimp onto the pizza base, then scatter with sliced onions and slices of pineapple.

    Bake, before serving with lemon, chilli or garlic infused olive oil.

Cast iron pizza pan - the pizza lover's must have item!

You've probably already heard that using a pizza pan/stone is important to ensure a crispy crust on homemade pizza.

If you're like me, you've been wanting to get a pizza stone for ages but don't like the idea of having a one-use item taking up space in the kitchen or oven. Not to mention, spending your hard-earned money on a tile seems wasteful.

Well, I'm happy to recommend the Lodge pizza pan because it not only gives you perfect, crispy pizzas. It can also be used in dozens of other ways in the oven, from roasting vegetables to baking cookies. It also works well on the stove top, acting as a crepe pan, griddle (fry eggs and bacon on it for breakfast!) and wok - simply push your ingredients from the centre to the edges to control the speed at which they cook.

With a 5 star rating on Amazon from over 300 happy customers, you can't go wrong. This American-made, cast iron beauty will last for years and years while you enjoy the best ever homemade pizzas. If you don't believe me, click the picture to read customer reviews (full of useful cleaning and cooking information you may want to note, aswell).

Lodge Cast Iron 14" Pizza PanCHECK PRICE

Ellen & Wolfgang Puck make vegetable pizza

Dairy pizza toppings (with no cheese!)

You've run out of cheese, are on a diet or simply don't like the stuff. Don't worry - there are still plenty of creative dairy toppings you can put on a pizza without touching a bag of mozzarella.

If you're a pizza elitist, avert your eyes as the idea of putting yogurt on a pizza may offend you. Everyone else, take my word for it. It's delicious.

  1. Bechamel and spinach: Make a bechamel sauce using flour, butter and milk. Add salt & pepper to taste, plus a pinch of nutmeg powder. Spread the sauce onto a pizza crust, then add some wilted spinach and sliced onions.

    This is wonderful with garlic infused olive oil.

  2. Crme frache & potato: Spread some crme fraiche onto a pizza crust (if you can't find any, sour cream is an ok substitute), before topping with caramelised onions, sliced black olives and thinly sliced potatoes. Crack an egg directly onto the centre of the pizza. Bake until the egg white is solid.

    Drizzle with rosemary or thyme infused olive oil after baking.

  3. Indian style spiced yogurt pizza: Mix a bit of natural yogurt with a pinch of ground cumin and some crushed garlic. Spread thinly onto pizza crust. Top with thinly sliced cauliflower, sliced green onions, a pinch of curry powder and some fresh tomatoes. Bake, before sprinkling with fresh coriander (cilantro).

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

Did you know that you can make your own 'cheese', without milk or other dairy products? This book shows you how to make parmesan, ricotta, cheesecake, fondue and many more dairy products without the dairy.

Although not 100% like their original versions, I've tasted several of these recipes and give them a thumbs up. This book won't impress a hardcore cheese lover, but the recipes are wonderful for vegans, children (most love the cheesy sauces) and those on a dairy-free diet.

What more can I say that 150 happy customers haven't already said in their positive reviews?

Easy gluten & dairy-free pizza recipe

Flavored Extra-Virgin Olive Oils

Add a little something extra

There are many infused olive oils available, but these are the ones I recommend. The olive oil is extra-virgin, Italian and organic.

The flavours are very crisp, fresh and strong and this brand has a great rating on Amazon with good customer feedback.

These oils make a perfect gift, and can be used on fish, meats, pizza & pasta dishes, drizzled over soups, salads and bruschetta.

Mantova Organic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive OilsCHECK PRICE

DIY flavoured oils

It's pretty easy to make your own aromatic oils for pizzas, and you can choose from a wide variety of ingredients.

  • Garlic Oil Recipe : Ina Garten
    Get this all-star, easy-to-follow Garlic Oil recipe from Ina Garten.
  • Pili Pili - Spicy Herb Oil recipe
    Spicy chilies infuse with herbs such as thyme and oregano in this aromatic oil.
  • Basil Infused Olive Oil Recipe
    Basil Infused Olive Oil - I received some basil infused olive oil as a gift and loved it! So I decided to make some myself. Its very easy to do! I love to dip Italian bread into the oil and eat it with a piece of hard cheese. Its also delicious drizz

Home made pizza poll

Search pizza equipment & ingredients

Use this handy little box to search for more ingredients, equipment and books to help you make the best ever pizza.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

archetekt lm on September 01, 2013:

My favourite pizza toppings are mushrooms, olives and onions.

Rosetta Slone (author) from Under a coconut tree on May 07, 2013:

@sybil watson: So glad I could inspire you!

sybil watson on May 07, 2013:

This is such a fabulous lens - my daughter is sensitive to lactose and always feels left-out when we have pizza. Now I have so many great ideas for cheeseless pizzas. I know she'd love the French potato and bacon, the salmon, and the pesto.

Stuwaha on March 18, 2013:

sweetcorn and mushrooms.... not necessarily at the same time though.

Julia M S Pearce from Melbourne, Australia on March 08, 2013:

I love prawns, anchovies and I do like pineapple.

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on March 07, 2013:

I rarely put cheese on a pizza. Great recipes for pizzas here, especially the Sicilian anchovy recipe

timetoact on March 04, 2013:

Tasty lens. We'll have to try some of these ideas.

Iftikhar-Hussain on March 04, 2013:

Interesting lens .. I like it :)