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What is Plant-Based Pizza?

Jan 20, 2024

What is Plant-Based Pizza?

Can there even be such a thing as a plant-based “pizza” recipe?

Here is a question for you?

Do we still have the right to call it pizza if it isn’t the classic version of wheat crust, tomato sauce, and cheese toppings?

We could wane philosophically on this for some time; however, I will offer some ideas to explore why it might be good.

Enjoying Vegan Pizza

The reinvention of pizza as one transitions to a plant-based lifestyle is a journey marked by challenge and creativity, reflecting our deep-seated love for this universally cherished dish.

Pizza has inspired songs and marriage proposals with layers of cheese, tomato sauce, and endless toppings atop an amazingly crispy crust. We love it so much that an entire Netflix special delves into people’s joy in making and selling it.

Reinventing a classic dish to make vegan pizza…

If we move to a plant-focused lifestyle, some mindset shifts on how food has comforted us may need adjusting. And it does not need to be all or none. Plant-based health experts come on strong regarding dairy and its potential impacts on health. However, in my experience, giving up pizza is not near the top of most people’s to-do lists concerning health-affirming choices.

Eating pizza evokes memories of all kinds, from family dinners with movies to date night to a late night after partying.

It embodies the warmth of shared meals, the joy of tailoring to one’s taste, and the pleasure of all the textures and flavors.

Seasonal Markets Can Be Inspiration For Your Plant-Based Pizza

As we shift towards plant-based eating, the challenge lies not in merely substituting ingredients but in reimagining the essence of pizza in a way that maintains its lifelong appeal while aligning with healthier, compassionate choices.

And while we do not eat this every day, with this last pizza, my husband said he definitely would. That is a win in my book.

As we explore this reinvention, we can bring in the depth of flavors from vegetables, nut-based cheeses’ creaminess, and plant-based meats’ robustness, transforming the pizza into a nourishing delight.

Here is the movement from dough to pizza. What a fun symphony of color, taste, and texture.

Could a Watermelon Radish Be Like a Pepperoni?

Consider it a testament to our innate creativity and unwillingness to compromise on the joy of eating that even the most beloved dishes can evolve to meet our changing lifestyles and values. As we expand our understanding of ourselves, some aspects of our lifestyle inherently adjust.

Feb 9th is National Pizza Day

Also, it’s essential to recognize that embracing a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean we must indefinitely say goodbye to traditional pizza. That can feel beyond the moment to integrate. It is more a matter of trying new things and simultaneously bringing in a new perspective.

Grab my favorite recipes for Superbowl in this free Ebook!

Here is what you can find in the ebook! A whole foods, plant-based version of some favorites that I have tested over time. Here is what you can find in the recipes: 🍔Beetroot sliders, 🌮Jackfruit Taco, 🥑 Vegan Buffalo ranch chicken wrap, 🥔Crispy Potatoes, 🧀Vegan Queso, 🍕Plant-based pizza. All vegan, all plant-based with focus on unprocessed foods and a little leniency.

It is not the same; however, in our home, we notice that a plant-based pizza leaves us feeling much lighter after eating than a traditional one. Plus, all the beneficial phytonutrients are unique.

What makes Watermelon Radish Special?

We are well served to incorporate Watermelon radish into our diet over pepperoni. Firstly, I love to see how the colors could almost mimic a slice of something. And secondly, my preference is to see how plants in their whole form could be a dynamic element of a dish reinvented.

Watermelon radishes, with their vibrant pink hue and crisp texture, are not just a visual delight but a powerhouse of phytonutrients. These root vegetables are rich in anthocyanins and glucosinolates, phytochemicals known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Anthocyanins help protect cells from damage and may reduce the risk of heart disease, while glucosinolates have been shown to support detoxification processes and may play a role in cancer prevention. Consuming watermelon radishes can contribute to a balanced diet, promoting overall health and well-being through the intake of these beneficial compounds​​.

Li H, Deng Z, Zhu H, Hu C, Liu R, Young JC, Tsao R. Highly pigmented vegetables: Anthocyanin compositions and their role in antioxidant activities. Food Res Int. 2012;46(1):250-259.

Free Vegan Plant-Based Superbowl Ebook

The food we eat significantly impacts our health, but how we prepare it can also have an effect. Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to many health problems, such as obesity and heart disease. 🌱🏈 Get ready for the Superbowl with this FREE Plant-Based and Vegan Superbowl Ebook! 🎉 Discover 6 delicious plant-based recipes to take your game day snacks to the next level. Free delivery to your email!

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What is Seasonal Eating?

The role of local and/or seasonal eating is one that I am particularly interested in. I believe the connection to seasonal living builds a steady and essential connection to nature. Fortunately for me, it is not just my opinion; scientific data exists to explore this notion.

Eating locally and seasonally has been proposed to reduce the environmental impact of food production and enhance consumer health (Macdiarmid, 2013). However, the evidence supporting this idea is mixed. While some studies have found that local food can be inferior to non-local food (Edwards-Jones, 2010), others have highlighted the potential benefits of consuming local seasonal food for sustainable consumption (Vargas, 2021). The link between eating seasonally and a reduction of environmental impacts in the food chain has also been explored, with some research suggesting a potential benefit (Brooks, 2011). However, the overall impact of eating locally and seasonally on health and the environment remains complex and nuanced.


  • Macdiarmid JI. Seasonality and dietary requirements: will eating seasonal food contribute to health and environmental sustainability? Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2014;73(3):368-375.
  • Edwards-Jones G. Does eating local food reduce the environmental impact of food production and enhance consumer health? Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Nov;69(4):582-91.
  • Vargas AM, de Moura AP, Deliza R, Cunha LM. The Role of Local Seasonal Foods in Enhancing Sustainable Food Consumption: A Systematic Literature Review. Foods. 2021; 10(9):2206.
  • Brooks, M., Foster, C., Holmes, M.R., & Wiltshire, J.J. (2011). Does consuming seasonal foods benefit the environment? Insights from recent research. Nutrition Bulletin, 36, 449-453.
  • Jaqua E, Biddy E, Moore C, Browne G. The Impact of the Six Pillars of Lifestyle Medicine on Brain Health. Cureus. 2023 Feb 3;15(2):e34605.
  • Elicit; Elicit: The Al Research Assistant;; accessed 2/8/2024

In the complexity of considering the regional needs and long-term goals of feeding populations, I also believe that seasonal and, when feasible, local eating helps us cultivate mindfulness skills, paying attention to what is close and relevant. Exploring markets and local farms builds community connections, which is also part of Lifestyle Medicine’s core pillars of health.

Let’s Explore a Seasonal Recipe

Our visit last weekend before the rain was filled with winter vegetables. Here I am carrying fenugreek or methi that will be cooked with potatoes.

The Rain Creates A Moment of Quiet at Home 

As we navigate the atmospheric river that has drenched our landscape this week in California, I find creativity useful. I love to see how the kitchen’s warmth can be an antidote to that. 

With a visit to the seasonal market and bags full of winter veggies, we were ready. Then I was off for Trader Joe’s Pizza premade dough and was ready to start. 

Using pumpkin as a rich, velvety base instead of traditional pizza sauce and a store-bought dough that rises to the occasion, I’ve created a dish that’s as comforting as it sustaining.

Are You Going to Try a Plant-Based Pizza?

As the video shows, you can make a plant-based pizza recipe that is a mandala of shapes, colors, textures, and tastes. Engage the senses as you create, and your appetite can surprisingly increase.

My big tip for you about making pizza at home is to let the dough rise outside the fridge. The dough needs time in the kitchen to warm up and let all the elements start working. Once it has time to do that, it will be pliable. From here, you can make a crust that you would love, thick or thin.

The second is a hot oven. You can also use a pizza stone. We have a new Breville mini-oven that we love. It is important to preheat the oven!

When I share a recipe on the blog, this is the food we eat daily in our plant-based kitchen. We don’t strive for perfection; we aim for nourishment to sustain us for the work we feel called to do while on this planet.

I encourage you to reinvent and change the recipes to suit your palate, budget, and the people you feed.

In many ways, these recipes could be considered building blocks or creative inspiration. Using them helps create a routine in the kitchen that reduces the decision fatigue that comes up when planning meals.

Please share your feedback on the recipes in the comments below as well. I would love to hear how you adapted it in your kitchen.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Review our privacy policy here.

Let’s Make THIS fantastic pizza!

Join me in celebrating seasonal recipes!

Incorporating these mindful choices into our meals helps us stay on a balanced, nutrient-rich, plant-forward lifestyle.

Please help me get the word out about plant-based healthy living so that doctors know the value of lifestyle changes by sharing this post on your social media.

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What is Plant-Based Pizza?

  • Author: Dr. Siri Chand
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Let’s talk about an all-time favorite: Pizza! 🍕🌿 It’s usually a go-to for many, but reinventing it with a plant-based angle? Now, that’s a challenge! Traditional pizzas? They might taste great in the moment but maybe you want to try something different. Here is how to create something special at home. 


Units Scale
  • Store bought dough (you can make your own or use naan bread for a quick option)
  • 1 cup baked kabocha squash or pumpkin puree (can is ok, but cooked whole is better)


  • Your choice of toppings in this one, I have added watermelon radish, kale, peppers, mini-tomatoes, olives, leeks, broccoli, thyme.
  • Plant-based cheese – you can omit this, but we enjoy it with it

After cooking 

  • Pistachios
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs/thyme
  • Fresh arugula


The video below will explain this best. 

  1. Let the dough proof for about 4 hours in a covered bowl
  2. Preheat your oven to 500F
  3. Prepare a pizza pan with some cornmeal or parchment 
  4. After the dough has had time to “proof,” begin by flouring your surface and hands and shaping the pizza into your desired shape. Massage the dough into a full circle, the shape of your pan to the thickness you like. My preference is thin crust. 
  5. Before this, you would have placed a whole squash (butternut, pumpkin, kabocha) into the oven for about 30 min at 375F. Let it rest for 15 minutes or until cool to the touch, and remove the “insides” to use for multiple dishes.
  6. Depending on your preference, you can mix this with a bit of miso. The combination provides a great texture and taste. 
  7. Take about 1 cup of the squash mixture and place that in concentric circles around the dough all the way to the edges. 
  8. Begin adding your other toppings, though be careful not to add too many to the middle as that can make the pizza soggy from the moisture of the vegetables as you cook. 
  9. Finish this with your favorite vegan mozzarella cheese (or not)> 
  10. Place into the preheated oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until it looks done to you
  11. When it is cooked to your preference, remove from oven and top with fresh herbs, diced nuts, arugula and drizzle of olive oil 
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 mintues

Next, click on the “Instacart” shopping link in the recipe, and the app will let you pick the store and provide a basis for the shopping and ingredient list. It has worked great for us.

ALSO…. if you select the “pick up” option, which you can do on the way home from work, you may even have a small credit on your purchases for your next visit.

To sum up, if you are a busy professional, look into Instacart to eat healthier when your schedule is hectic, either as a delivery or pick-up option.

Earn CME

This experience is powered by CMEfy – an AI-powered platform that directs learners along a pathway to capture reflections at the point of inspiration, point of care. Clinicians may earn CME/CE credit via ReflectCE, the accredited activity portal. Learn more at

The CE experience for this Blog Post / Article is powered by CMEfy – click here to reflect and earn credits:

Kitchen Supplies

Having the right supplies makes being in the kitchen easier. Click below to explore some of my favorite gourmet supplies that are going to increase your wow factor on things you create.

Who am I??

Looking to make a positive change in your life and community? Dr. SiriChand is a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Lifestyle Medicine, and Hospice/Palliative Medicine. Dr. Khalsa has dedicated her career to promoting long-term vitality through the choices we make every day. She is an expert in Ayurveda and plant-based nutrition. She particularly works with physicians to explore how to create time for self-care. Take the first step towards a healthier, happier future, and contact Dr. Siri Chand Khalsa today. In conclusion, let’s create a better world together through mindful living. Study Ayurveda with Dr. Khalsa. Learn more here.

Review recent seasonal PLANT-BASED posts here!

Thanks for checking out this week’s post to the end!

If you make this, tag me on social media @doctorsirichand. I would love to see your variations and options for flavors. SAVE this Recipe to Your PINTEREST Board.

Dr. Siri Chand 


May your life be nourished and vital! 

*Please note as an amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases which means I will receive a small fee if you purchase them. I have only included things I truly use. This post is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. For my full Disclaimer, please go here.

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Free Ebook

with an Ayurvedic Focus



By joining, you'll get this exclusive ebook for free and be added to our newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy. 

Plant focused recipes that are oriented to bring you to a deeper relationship to spices and flavor. Recipes I make every week. 

Get your spice cabinet together in this new found joy of cooking where you may need a few new spices and herbs for your meals. 

Recipes that we are always asked for. Like walking or brushing our teeth, these recipes nourish us everyday.