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Cheese-Free Pizza So Good You Won't Miss the Cheese

No Cheese, Please!

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The great thing about pizza is…Okay, let's be honest: There are a lot of great things about pizza! To name just a few, it's incredibly easy and quick to make at home, requires few pots or pans (read: less cleanup!), and—even better—pizzas don't have to be loaded with unhealthy fats, meats, or dairy (or gluten, if that's your thing).

Try these six vegan pizza recipes to taste for yourself. The combinations deliver maximum flavor with healthy ingredients so you will never miss the cheese or meat. You don't even need to make the dough yourself—most pre-made pizza dough is vegan, or you can use alternatives like pitas, tortillas, or mushroom caps. Your imagination is your only limit! Choose how big you want the pizza, then load up on delicious toppings. No culinary school is required to get your gourmet vegan pie on!

For each pizza:
1. Choose your crust: store-bought dough, pita, tortilla, mushroom cap, cornbread, cauliflower crust, English muffin, etc.
2. Load it with toppings. I give general suggestions in the recipes that follow, but feel free to swap out any and get creative with your veggies. Choose the right amount based on how many people will be eating. (Are you making a whole pie or a personalized pita-sized pizza?)
3. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (or more if using a store-bought crust that requires more baking time) at 425 degrees.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

BBQ Chickpea Pizza

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Mix chickpeas (rinsed and drained, if canned) with barbeque sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring the entire time. Spread over crust. Top with chopped red onions and orange or green bell pepper, and fresh cilantro or parsley. Bake. Remove from oven and add salt and pepper to taste.

RELATED: 6 Mouthwatering Vegan Mexican Recipes

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Zucchini Rosemary Pizza

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Top crust with thinly sliced zucchini and yellow summer squash. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake. Remove from oven and add salt and pepper to taste.
 

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Spicy Thai Basil Peanut Pizza

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Spread store-bought or homemade spicy Thai peanut sauce over crust. Top with firm pre-cooked Thai or peanut tofu; thinly sliced red bell pepper, red onion, and carrots; and chopped fresh basil. Drizzle with more sauce. Bake. Remove from oven and add salt and pepper to taste. [Tweet this recipe!]

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Whole Garden Vegetable Pizza

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Spread tomato sauce over crust. Top with chopped broccoli, cauliflower, yellow bell pepper, red onion, and olives, and sliced mushrooms. Bake. Remove from oven and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Veggie Lahmajoun

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Sauté diced onions, minced garlic, and chopped green peppers in extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add diced or canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, drained canned lentils, fresh or dried parsley, mint, and cumin or paprika, and stir to mix well. Spread mixture evenly over crust (whole-wheat pita is recommended) and bake. Remove from oven and add salt and pepper to taste.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer

Mediterranean Pizza

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Spread hummus on crust (whole-wheat pita is recommended). Top with chopped sun-dried tomatoes (soak in warm water first to reconstitute), nutritional yeast (optional for extra "cheese" flavor), chopped kalamata olives, sliced or chopped red onions, and fresh basil (optional). Bake.

Photo: Heidi Kristoffer