Vegan pizza is pizza prepared without using any animal products so that it can be eaten by those who follow vegan diets. In order to make a vegan style pizza, it's important to be careful about all of the ingredients to avoid hidden animal products in the crust or sauce. Prepared vegan pizza can be purchased in specialty stores or it can be made at home. Substitutions also have to be made for key ingredients including the cheese. Often vegan pizza recipes rely on fresh ingredients and flavorful vegetable toppings, although vegan cheese substitutes can be used.
A vegan diet is similar to vegetarianism; its adherents don't eat any meat. Vegan diets take the principle further, however, and avoid all animal products. This includes foods like cheese and eggs, which many vegetarians do allow in their diets. Vegan recipes contain substitute ingredients for many animal products to prepare dishes that are similar to the traditional versions.
Even though many traditional pizza recipes exclude meat and could be considered vegetarian, most of them are not vegan. When looking for vegan pizza, all ingredients should be carefully considered to avoid hidden animal products. Cheese is the most obvious animal product in pizza, but even cheeseless pizza can have hidden animal ingredients. The crust can contain ingredients like eggs or milk or prepared sauce may have surreptitious meat.
It is possible to purchase prepared vegan pizza that is simply baked at home; it is seldom sold in large chain grocery stores, however. It may be available in health food stores or specialty shops that cater to vegan clientele. Another option is to inquire at the local pizzeria. Many will make custom pizza pies for customers on special diets or cook with ingredients, such as a vegan cheese substitute, supplied by the consumer. They may charge extra for this service or require advance notice to prepare the pizza according to the requested specifications.
Vegan pizza can also be prepared at home using fresh ingredients; this is probably the easiest way to ensure that no animal products are used. There are many options to prepare the crust without eggs or milk such as simple dough using yeast, flour, water, salt, and seasonings. The sauce can be made from fresh or canned tomatoes, olive oil, and spices. Toppings are often flavorful vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, onions, olives or mushrooms sauteed in olive oil. If desired, vegan cheese and meat substitutes can also be included, which can usually be purchased where health food is sold.