It’s #NationalPizzaDay! Try Chef Amanda Cohen’s Perfect Vegan Pie Recipe

There are vegan cheeses out there, and some are great, but Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen thinks the best vegan pizza celebrates what you have rather than trying to replicate what you don’t.
“Put the focus on punching up the sauce
and the toppings.
It’s the theory of Go Big or Go Home.
You want big flavors in every bite,
crazy flavors, lots of heat and sourness
and zest, so every bite feels
like a party in your mouth.”

Pizza Dough

.25 oz instant active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

1. Add sugar to water and then sprinkle yeast on top. Let it sit for 10 minutes, until it looks bubbly.
2. Put rest of your ingredients in a mixing bowl, pour in the sugar/yeast water and beat on medium high until it’s smooth. This’ll take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it proof for 30 minutes, sitting in a warm spot. It should double in size.

Pizza Sauce

3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced yellow onions
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced parsley
1 tbsp minced thai basil
1 tbsp minced cilantro
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add onions and stir, cooking until they’re translucent.
2. Add chili flakes and stir a few times so they coat onions.
3. Pour in your tomatoes. When they begin to simmer, add garlic and herbs, and reduce heat. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Salt tomato sauce to taste, and take off heat.


3 tbsp olive oil
8 cups sliced mushrooms (assorted varieties: king oyster, oyster, shiitake, baby bella, the more the merrier)
1 tbsp minced garlic
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan until it’s shimmering. Add all mushrooms and let them sear on one side before stirring for first time. Stir a few times to cook them though, but not too long. Then take them off heat, stir in garlic, and salt to taste.

To assemble.

2 cups picked parsley leaves (chopped)
2 cups pickled cilantro leaves (chopped)
2 cups Thai basil leaves (chopped)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoons sliced red Thai chili peppers
1/4 cup of vegan cheese sauce (your favorite brand)
Fleur de Sel (fine sea salt)

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2. Split dough into 2 balls and roll each one out into approximately 12-inch circles. Then lay them on a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper down on it. If you don’t mind things maybe getting messy, you can also put them directly on shelves in your oven when you’re ready.
3. Spread about half the sauce on each circle, add mushrooms, then put pizzas in oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes.
4. Pull pizzas out of the oven and sprinkle chili peppers over mushrooms.
5. Add all herbs on top. Sprinkle lemon zest over herbs, add some Fleur de Sel, and you’re done!
6. If you want to go with a cheese sauce, this is the moment to drizzle it over the herbs. Not too much, but hey, you do you.

+ If you’re in NYC, visit Dirt Candy or its plant-based burger restaurant, Lekka Burger.

Food images and video by Michael Persico.


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This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

3 years ago

Can’t wait to try this! Just went vegan and trying to find a good vegan cheese/cheese sauce that I love. Do you have any recommendations?

3 years ago

Nice – I will try that soon.