Plant-based Deep Dish Pizza

Plant-based Deep Dish Pizza

I’m from Chicago, so deep dish is the only way I know how to eat pizza. I mean, I’m perfectly capable of eating thin-crust pizza, but why settle for second best?

The only thing better than eating deep dish pizza is being able to make your own whenever you want. All you need is an amazing recipe. Well, today is your lucky day.

This vegan deep dish pizza recipe is filled with thick, chewy homemade whole wheat dough, creamy cashew cheese, and a robust, 20-minute marinara sauce. I swear you’ll be able to fool even the staunchest meat-eater. Happy eating!

vegan deep dish pizza

Preparation Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 40 Minutes


1 Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 Packet Active Yeast
3/4 Cup Warm Water (about 110 degrees)
1 Tsp. Sugar
2 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Cup Cornmeal
Optional: 1 Tsp. Olive Oil

2 Cups Almond-Cashew Ricotta Cheese
2 Cup Cashews
2/3 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes, 1/2 Tsp. Oregano, 1/2 Tsp. Dried Basil

2 Cups Marinara Sauce (Store-bought works, too!)
Two 28 oz. Cans Crushed Tomatoes
1 Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Tsp. Oregano
1 1/2 Tsp. Dried Basil
1/3 Cup Red Wine

Pizza Topping Options: Green Pepper, Onion, Mushrooms, Vegan Pepperoni, Vegan Sausage, Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spinach

Soak the cashews in hot water for about one hour.

To make the marinara sauce, mince the onion and garlic and sauté with 1 Tbsp. water or vegetable stock over medium heat in a pot until soft and translucent. Add the oregano and basil and cook for about two minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and red wine and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer for fifteen minutes. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. To ensure the water isn’t too hot, run it over the inside of your wrist. When the water is just warm enough but not too hot to stand, it is good to go.

Let the yeast proof for ten minutes. Add the flour and salt, and gently knead on a floured surface for about one minute, always pushing the dough away from you.

Place the dough into a clean bowl and, if using, cover with olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise for about 40 minutes.

While the dough is rising, make the cashew cheese. Drain the cashews and add them to a food processor. Pour in the almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add in the oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes and puree to combine. Set aside.

To Assemble Your Vegan Deep Dish Pizza:

Preheat the oven to 415 degrees.

Line a baking dish or cast-iron skillet with cornmeal. Punch the dough to release the gas and press the dough into the baking dish. Try to ensure the dough is pressed all the way up to the sides.

Pour the cashew cheese into the bottom of the dough and add the desired toppings on top of the cheese. Finally, cover with marinara sauce.

Bake for 35 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Olivia Parr headshotAbout the contributor:

Olivia Parr is the founder of Caramel Coated Wellness, a whole-food, plant-based food blog and personal chef business based in North Carolina. After reading Food Over Medicine and The China Study, she decided to get more serious about her interest in helping people overcome health issues with plant-based food. Olivia graduated from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies with a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition. Visit her website at Caramel Coated Wellness or follow her on Instagram @CaramelCoatedWellness for whole-food, plant-based, and oil-free recipes.



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