Red pepper & Artichoke Heart Pizza

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Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “Pizza isn’t pizza without cheese.” I’ve had a few vegan pizzas in my day, and lets just say most of them have good intentions. I created this recipe while trying to use up things in the fridge, and to my surprise it turned out delicious! Everything here can be purchased from Trader Joe’s (I should really be a walking advertisement for TJ’s). This pizza is NOT a well-done, extra cheese on double-dough from Rosati’s, but I think it’s pretty special in its own way. Cheese definitely is not the star of this pizza, and somehow that’s okay. Feel free to add or remove toppings to your liking, as artichoke hearts and giardiniera just happened to be what I had on hand. This pizza is slightly sweet, deliciously savory, and spicy, with a crisp crust. I dare you to eat only one piece!

Easy Peasy Plant-Based Pizza

Time: 25 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 1-2 (I’ll admit I’ve eaten the whole thing)

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen pizza crust (I use Trader Joe’s, comes in a 2-pack. You could also try this with one of their fresh herb crusts, or an entirely different crust. This variety is quite thin and doesn’t rise much.
  • 1/2 jar red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic
  • 1/2 jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • Giardiniera (as much as you’d like depending on heat preference)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Light sprinkling of vegan mozzarella (optional), though I would not recommend using large amounts Trader Joe’s Mozzarella for pizza as it gets quite runny at high heat. Daiya is my favorite cheese for melting.

Instructions

  • Remove frozen pizza crust and set on an aerated pizza pan or cutting board if placing crust directly on rack. Let it sit for a few minutes as the package instructs
  • Preheat the oven to desired temperature (I follow the package)
  • Spread a layer of artichoke hearts on the crust, leaving about 1cm around the edge for a crust
  • Spread a layer of red pepper spread on top of the artichokes. It’s okay to get a little messy here, but you don’t want too much sauce because this will result in a soggy crust.
  • Sprinkle giardiniera to your liking, then season with Italian seasoning, black pepper, and a sprinkling of vegan cheese if you’d like (but remember, cheese is not the star of this pizza!)
  • Bake either directly on rack, or on an aerated pizza pan for 12-15 minutes, until the top begins to turn golden brown
  • Transfer to large cutting board, cut into 4-6 pieces and enjoy!

The great thing about this recipe is that the pizza crust comes with 2 rounds…and you can pretty much count on at least two servings from the artichokes and red pepper spready…so if you are still hungry (or just smitten) after eating the first pizza go ahead and make another!

 

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