Looking to widen your veggie pizza repertoire? I’ve been making this spicy veggie pizza for about 15 years and it’s still a firm favourite in our house. Vegan, with easy to find ingredients, a thick luscious spicy garlicky sauce, a thin crispy base, and Tex-Mex-inspired veggies, you NEED this pizza in your life.
This is a cheese-free pizza and it really doesn’t need any, but I’ve added some Daiya shredded cheddar in the past (my current favourite vegan cheese brand is Violife) or a regular sharp grated cheese for vegetarians would be the business.
I don’t recommend mozzarella, vegan or otherwise, because it doesn’t really go with the spicy flavours. Think more taco-style cheese. I have also added my 1-hour vegan goat cheese, but that’s honestly just because I’m fairly addicted to it!
I normally make an assortment of pizzas at home when I’m cooking up some tasty carby goodness (hey, go broke or go home, am I right?) so I’ll whip this one up alongside my tasty easy potato pizza and my white bean sauce pizza.
And if you’re in need of some more pizza inspiration I highly recommend checking out this EPIC vegan pizza list which has basically anything and everything veggie pizza-related.
Classic pizza recipes, modern twist recipes, dough recipes, gluten-free pizzas, non-traditional pizza bases, dessert pizzas….you name it we got it on the Epic list.
What base should I use for this pizza?
Whichever you wish! Although that said I do really recommend a thin crispy one so the amazing thick sauce and crunchy veg flavours shine through. It really depends on personal preference.
Handsome hubby likes a thicker base and it also really pairs well with the sauce because it is chunkier than a regular pizza sauce. You can use prepared bases or mix up your own dough.
Personally I opt for the premixed pizza flour packs that you add some oil and water to, as I like to get the dough really thin and stretch it a bit so it bubbles up in some places and has that really good Italian restaurant feel.
Also as a family of five, it just works out way cheaper to use a dough rather than premade bases, but you do you.
If you do make up your own dough, be sure to follow the instructions for baking closely as it will really yield a nice thin crispy crust without any soggy bits that you can sometimes get with a thick pizza sauce.
How to make the spicy pizza sauce
Let’s get down to brass tacks here. If you’ve been getting by with smearing some tomato puree or jarred pizza sauce on your pizza, then this pizza sauce is going to blow your mind!
It’s not as convenient as sauce from a jar and it takes about 30 minutes to make, but oh wow is it worth it! It’s also the easiest homemade pizza and pasta sauce recipe ever and requires just a handful of ingredients.
It also amazing over pasta so I highly recommend making extra and freezing or canning it.
Chop two large onions finely and fry on medium-high heat for about ten minutes until golden, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning.
Don’t fry them until just soft, they need to be golden and brown at the edges, like in the picture above. This is really important for importing a ton of flavour to your sauce. It’s also important not to burn them as it will make the sauce bitter.
Add in the crushed garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is also browned (but don’t let it burn!).
Add in the crushed tinned tomatoes, salt, black pepper and tabasco sauce and stir well.
The tabasco can be substituted with any vinegar-based hot sauce. I recommend adding just half a teaspoon at first, and when the sauce has reduced, test it and see if you want to add more (spice tolerance is a pretty individual thing but I like this sauce HOT HOT HOT).
When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium (it should still be bubbling at quite a lively pace) and cook for 15-20 minutes until thickened and reduced like in the image below.
The sauce should be cooked uncovered so the liquid from the tomatoes can be reduced, but if it starts to spatter apocalyptic drops all over your backsplash and worktop, you can partially cover it with a lid. Just leave it ajar so the moisture can still escape.
Your sauce is done! Taste it, try not to swoon, and assemble your pizza.
How to put together the pizza
First, you’ll want to roll out your pizza dough (if using, if not you can just add the sauce to a prepared base, sprinkle over the toppings and stick it in the oven following the crust manufacturer’s instructions).
I use large oven trays and get two big pizzas out of this recipe, if you’re using premade bases unless they’re gigantic, you may get up to three with the sauce and toppings amounts in this recipe.
I divide the dough in two and roll it out thinly. I then transfer it to the trays which I’ve lined with baking paper.
Now it’s time for the toppings. Add half the sauce to each pizza and use the back of a spoon to smooth it all over the pizza. If you’d like to leave a crust, just smooth the sauce up to two centimetres from the edges (I despise crusts so I just slather the whole pizza with sauce).
Now it’s time to add the toppings!
Toppings for spicy veggie pizza
As I said before, I’ve been making this vegan spicy pizza for a long time and I’ve tried plenty of different toppings, but this is my tried and true combo, kind of Tex-Mex style vegetables:
- Sliced onions
- Sliced peppers
- Green peppers
- Red peppers
It sounds really simple but it is so good with these toppings. Having said that the toppings above are the perfect combo, I have over the years also enjoyed some other ones (and of course feel free to get rid of any toppings you don’t like). You can also try:
- Pickled jalapeño slices
- Roasted peppers
- Thinly sliced potato (the most underrated topping ever)
- Cubed avocado (amazing texture when baked)
- Sliced mushrooms
- Tomato wedges sprinkled with more black pepper and salt
Feel free to experiment as you please with the toppings. One of my friends also makes this a “taco” pizza by adding shredded lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, refried beans etc. after it’s been cooked. Yet another makes a “nacho” pizza by drizzling it with nacho cheese sauce after baking. You do you.
Just pop your toppings on the sauced-up pizza and it’s ready to go in the oven. I always sprinkle my toppings on from high up so that they spread more evenly.
I said it above but I’ll say it again here, if you’re using pizza dough then you need to follow these instructions to a T to get a light crispy base and cooked but not soggy dough. In fact, these instructions will work for any homemade pizza dough if you’re all about light crispy bases.
Preheat your oven to the highest setting (about 482-500F) for ten minutes. If you have a convection oven, make sure you do NOT use the convection setting.
Stick one pizza in the very bottom of the oven, touching the base of it. Bake for four minutes exactly. Now swap to the middle of the oven and cook for 11-13 minutes until the toppings are lightly browned to your liking.
Done! I often double up this recipe and you can put the second pizza in at the bottom while cooking the first one but make sure to have two different timers set so you don’t get confused.
I normally pop the second one in on the bottom when there are four minutes left on the timer for the first one, and then move it to the middle when the timer goes off and I take out the first pizza.
That way I just need to remember to reset the timer for an additional 11-13 minutes.
This method gives you a perfect thin crispy pizza crust to go with your amazing spicy veggie pizza toppings!
If you manage to not eat ALL of the pizza, then I applaud you. If by some miracle you do have some leftovers, you can place them in a Tupperware container or wrap in aluminium foil and keep in the fridge for up to five days.
This pizza is equally amazing cold and the flavours really deepen the longer you let it sit in the fridge – just watch the spice level, as with all spicy sauces it gets hotter the “older” it is.
To reheat just place in the oven at about 250F for ten minutes.
Did you like this recipe? Did you love it? Tell me all about it in the reviews below (click on the stars in the recipe card). Got a question? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you within a day.
I love seeing you guys and your amazing takes on my recipes so if you make this take a photo and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian).
- Dough for one large pizza (family size) or 2 medium pre-made bases
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 14oz. canned crushed tomatoes (400g)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- .5 - 1.5 tsp Tabasco or other vinegar-based hot sauce to taste
- 1 small onion
- 1 small can sweetcorn
- 1 small red pepper
- 1 small green pepper
- Prepare the sauce by chopping the onion and frying it in the olive oil over high heat. Stir often and reduce the heat a little every minute or two as the onions begin to brown, until at medium heat. It will take ten minutes and the onions should be golden brown and tinged darker brown at the edges.
- Crush the garlic and add in and fry for 2-3 minutes more until the garlic is golden.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and tabasco and stir well. Increase the heat until bubbling and then lower to a lively simmer (medium heat) and cook 15-20 minutes until reduced.
- In the meantime, quarter the remaining small onion and thinly slice. Slice or chop the peppers as you wish. Drain the sweetcorn.
- If you are using dough, preheat the oven to maximum temperature with the convection setting turned off. If you are using premade pizza bases, heat to the temperature recommended on the packaging and proceed to step 7.
- Roll out the dough thinly and transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper.
- Slather the reduced sauce all over the pizza dough or bases. Sprinkle the onion, peppers, and sweetcorn over.
- For fresh pizza dough, place at the very bottom of the oven for four minutes. Then transfer to the middle for 11-13 minutes until the desired doneness. For premade bases, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
1)You can substitute frozen sweetcorn for the canned sweetcorn.
2) I highly recommend doubling up the sauce. You can then make two pizzas or save the other half of the sauce for an amazing pasta sauce.
3) A thinly rolled dough or 2 thin bases go best with the simple toppings, allowing them to shine.
4) Don't use canned chopped tomatoes unless you blend them first.
Amount Per Serving Calories 204Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 311mgCarbohydrates 25gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 3g