This vegan deep-dish pizza recipe features layers of vegan mozzarella on a thick, crispy crust and is topped with tomato sauce and vegan parmesan. You simply won’t find a better easy deep-dish pizza recipe, whether vegan or not!
This Chicago-style vegan deep-dish pizza will help you embrace the weekend with passion. It’s just that good!
This vegan pizza was inspired by a trip to a famous Chicago-based eatery that specializes in deep-dish pizza. Chicago is the home of the deep-dish pizza, so it was the perfect place to get inspired.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Cornmeal added to the dough creates a crispier crust, which is what we’re looking for with the deep dish pizza
- Laminating the dough is a process of adding butter and folding the dough over itself to create layers making the crust almost pastry-like
- Spreading the vegan cheese directly over the crust and the tomato sauce on top is a distinctive Chicago-style layering that makes this vegan pizza absolutely delicious!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Flour — I recommend all-purpose flour, but you can also use whole wheat pastry flour (different than whole wheat flour).
- Cornmeal — This ingredient sets a deep–dish crust apart from others.
- Salt — All bread is better with added salt, and a pizza crust is no different.
- Granulated sugar — A little sugar helps to activate the yeast.
- Yeast — You’ll need one packet of active dry yeast or instant yeast.
- Vegan Butter — Use storebought Earth Balance, Miyokos or make your own vegan butter.
- Olive oil — Any neutral oil will work here, I prefer olive oil.
- Onion — You’ll need a yellow or white onion.
- Garlic — I use 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.
- Crushed Tomatoes — You can use one 28-ounce can or two 15-ounce cans.
- Dried oregano — Adding Italian herbs to the tomato sauce creates a distinctive flavor.
- Parmesan — Use storebought vegan parm or make your own vegan parmesan cheese.
- Vegan mozzarella — I used Follow Your Heart, it’s our favorite for vegan mozzarella.
- Additional Toppings — Add any of your favorite toppings, like vegan sausage, vegan pepperoni, sliced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and black olives.
How to Make Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza
There are a few steps to making this vegan deep-dish pizza, including:
- Make the pizza dough
- Laminate the pizza dough (which involves adding butter)
- Let the pizza dough rise
- Make the tomato sauce
- Assemble the pizzas (this recipe makes 2) and bake.
Here are more detailed instructions for each step of this recipe.
Step One: Make Pizza Dough
- Combine the dry ingredients from the flour to the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Add the warm water and melted butter together and pour it in with the flour. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s combined.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes by increasing the speed to medium until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Add a tablespoon more flour if it’s too sticky.
- Add the dough ball to a large bowl covered with oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dampened kitchen towel and place in a warm, dry place until doubled in size, about one hour. See post tips for ideas on where to raise the dough.
The best place to rise dough is in the microwave. To do this, place a cup with water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it’s hot. Add the covered bowl of dough into the microwave and close the door. The steam from the water creates the perfect environment for rising dough.
Step Two: Laminate The Dough
- Roll the dough into a rectangle, roughly 15 x 12 inches in size.
- Spread the softened vegan butter across the top of the dough. Beginning at the short end, roll the dough, creating a cylinder.
- Place it on the counter seam-side down and form an 18 x 4-inch rectangle.
- Cut it in half, fold the dough into thirds, pinch the seams, and form it into a ball. Repeat with the other half.
- Return both dough balls to the oiled bowl, cover, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.
Make-ahead Tip: Place the covered bowl with the dough balls in the fridge to set overnight. This is a great way to make the dough the day before!
Step Three: Tomato Sauce
- Cook chopped onion in olive oil in a saucepan until tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, and salt.
- Simmer for 20 minutes, until the contents are reduced to 2 ½ cups.
An 8 or 9-inch round cake pan or springform pans are perfect for making deep-dish pizzas.
Step Four: Assemble and Bake the Pizza
- Place one of the dough balls on a lightly floured surface and roll it out until it’s roughly a 12-inch circle. Place it in a prepared pan, pressing the dough in the pan and up the sides. Repeat with the other dough ball.
- Top each crust with vegan mozzarella shreds.
- Add tomato sauce on top of the cheese.
- Add extra toppings here, like vegan pepperoni.
- Sprinkle vegan parmesan on top.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden brown.
- Let pizzas sit for 10 minutes after removing them from the oven before slicing and serving.
Place any leftover pizza slices in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Slices can be frozen in freezer-safe containers. To serve, allow to come to room temperature, then reheat in a toaster oven or in the oven heated to 300° for 10 to 15 minutes.
What does deep-dish pizza mean?
A deep-dish pizza has a thick crust made in a pan or even a skillet with taller sides. I like to think of it more like a pizza pie. Another distinctive difference is that the cheese goes on the bottom of a deep-dish pizza pie, rather than the top.
Can I freeze deep-dish pizza?
You can freeze deep-dish pizza. The best way to do this is to allow the pizza to cool completely, then slice ut. Place individual slices on a tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once the pieces are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and return to the freezer. To reheat pizza, I highly recommend using a toaster oven or oven. That will help the crust stay crispy, even for the leftovers!
More Vegan Pizza Recipes & Toppings
This vegan deep-dish pizza is amazing. It’s true. That’s why you’ll want to try even more vegan pizza recipes and toppings, too:
That’s it for this vegan deep-dish pizza. Enjoy!
Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza
Pizza Tomato Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegan Parmesan Cheese plus additional for topping
- 3 cups vegan mozzarella shreds I used Follow Your Heart’s new mozzarella, shredded
- 24 slices vegan pepperoni (see note)
- Additional Toppings: vegan sausage, sliced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and black olives.
- Combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Pour the water in a pyrex measuring bowl and heat in the microwave for about 15 seconds. You should be able to dip your finger in the bowl and not feel it's either too hot or too cold. Pour this along with the melted vegan butter in with the flour. Mix on low for 1 to 2 minutes, until it's combined.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes by increasing the speed to medium until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Add a tablespoon more flour if it's too sticky.
- Add the dough ball to a large bowl covered with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dampened kitchen towel and place in a warm, dry place until doubled in size, about one hour. See post tips for ideas on where to raise the dough.
Laminate The Dough
- Once the dough has raised, roll it out into a rectangle, roughly 15 x 12 inches in size. Spread the softened vegan butter across the top of the dough. Beginning at the short end, roll the dough, creating a cylinder.
- Place the seem-side down and form an 18 x 4-inch rectangle. Cut it in half. Fold the dough into thirds and pinch the seems and form into a bowl. Repeat with the other half. Return both dough balls to the oiled bowl, cover, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, and salt. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the contents is reduced until reduced to 2 ½ cups.
Assemble and Bake the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil two 9-inch cake pans with vegetable oil.
- Place one of the dough balls on a lightly floured surface and roll it out until it's roughly a 12 to 13-inch circle. Place it in the prepared pan, pressing the dough into the pan and up the sides. Repeat with the other dough ball.
- Top each with 2 cups of vegan. mozzarella shreds, and a little more than 1 cup of the sauce. Distribute additional toppings here, like vegan pepperoni. Then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of vegan parmesan.
- Place the pizzas on a baking sheet (to prevent spills) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden brown.
- Place any leftover pizza slices in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Slices can be frozen in freezer-safe containers. To serve, allow to come to room temperature, then reheat in a toaster oven or in the oven heated to 300°F for 10 to 15 minutes.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This vegan deep-dish pizza post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.