Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza

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!

Want more vegan pizza recipes? Make this Vegan Pepperoni Dip or this Vegan Pepperoni Pizza.

A slice of vegan deep-dish pizza sit on a plate. Another slice is on a plate behind it with the rest of the pizza.

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.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 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:

  1. Make the pizza dough
  2. Laminate the pizza dough (which involves adding butter)
  3. Let the pizza dough rise
  4. Make the tomato sauce
  5. Assemble the pizzas (this recipe makes 2) and bake.

Here are more detailed instructions for each step of this recipe.

Looking into a slice taken out of a vegan deep dish pizza.

Step One: Make Pizza Dough

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Add the dough ball to a large bowl covered with oil.
  5. 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

  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle, roughly 15 x 12 inches in size.
  2. Spread the softened vegan butter across the top of the dough. Beginning at the short end, roll the dough, creating a cylinder.
  3. Place it on the counter seam-side down and form an 18 x 4-inch rectangle.
  4. Cut it in half, fold the dough into thirds, pinch the seams, and form it into a ball. Repeat with the other half.
  5. 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

  1. Cook chopped onion in olive oil in a saucepan until tender.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. 
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, oregano, and salt.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the contents are reduced to 2 ½ cups. 

Marly’s Tips

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

  1. 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.
  2. Top each crust with vegan mozzarella shreds.
  3. Add tomato sauce on top of the cheese.
    A hand holds a spoon, spreading tomato sauce over a pizza.
  4. Add extra toppings here, like vegan pepperoni.
  5. Sprinkle vegan parmesan on top.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The edges of the crust should be golden brown.
  7. Let pizzas sit for 10 minutes after removing them from the oven before slicing and serving.
Looking down on a vegan deep dish pizza in the pan, right after it's pulled from the oven.

Storage Tips

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.

Frequently-Asked Questions

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:

A slice of vegan pizza sits on a plate with the rest of the pizza on a tray in the background.

That’s it for this vegan deep-dish pizza. Enjoy!

A slice of deep dis pizza sits on a plate, showing cheese melting from the side.

Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza

This vegan deep-dish pizza offers layers of vegan mozzarella on a delicious, crispy crust and topped with red sauce, and your other favorite pizza toppings. 
4.5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 372kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

Pizza Crust:

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 1 packet (or instant yeast)
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • ¼ cup vegan butter melted
  • ¼ cup vegan butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for coating bowl and pans)

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

Toppings:

  • 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.

Instructions

Pizza Dough

  • 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.

Tomato Sauce

  • 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.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

Inspired by: Uno’s Chicago Grill Pizza
Buy store-bought vegan pepperoni or make your own homemade vegan pepperoni.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza
Amount Per Serving
Calories 372 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 756mg32%
Potassium 305mg9%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 5g20%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 521IU10%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

19 Responses to Vegan Deep-Dish Pizza

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAbby @ The Frosted Vegan Reply

    Whoa, yum! Being from IL I approve of this deep dish pie, looks just like the real thing! I have to admit though, I haven’t tried Uno’s, I was a Giordano’s girl myself : )

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCassie | Bake Your Day Reply

    Oooo, Marly, I want a slice of this for breakfast. Looks so good!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBrenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles Reply

    I love a good deep dish pizza, and it’s been way too long since I’ve had some! Yours looks beautiful!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyShaina Reply

    This looks just amazing. I love a good, chewy deep dish.

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAggie Reply

    You make amazing food Marly! This looks absolutely delicious!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAngie Reply

    oh, my gosh, I’m drooling everywhere, lol. Have you ever done sourdough with pizza. I’ve been wondering about that too.

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDeborah Reply

    Looks lovely! Unfortunaely there’s a lot of the lovely ingrediense, we don’t have here in DK, but I’ll have a look for substitues. The link for the vegan parmesan is not working.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Deborah. Thanks for letting me know about the link. It should be fixed now. You can substitute nutritional yeast flakes for vegan parmesan. Also, I do have a recipe for vegan a vegan mozzarella sauce. It probably won’t be exactly the same as the commercial products you can buy, but it might be good while you’re waiting for those to make it out your way.

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKara Reply

    This looks fantastic! The food I have been craving most since going vegan has been pizza.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKara

      So I tried this and it was fantastic. The best pizza I have had in a long time. And it more than satisfied my craving. I used Teese mozzarella cheese which is my favorite.

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAshley Reply

    Hi! This recipe looks great! I’m thinking about switching to a Vegan diet after I finish the Master Cleanse and pizza is my GREATEST weakness. Do you happen to have the nutritional info for this recipe, like the serving size and calories per serving?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Ashley
      I put together some information to come to an estimate of calories. Let’s start with the pizza in its original, meat-based form. You can expect to consume 413 calories per slice and that includes 17.2 grams of fat (9 of those saturated) and 53 mg of cholesterol. From what I can tell, the vegan version comes at a price of 331 calories per slice, 14 grams of fat (6 saturated) and 0 mg of cholesterol. That’s a savings of over 81 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 53 mg of cholesterol per serving! I hope this is helpful!
      Marly

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLeah Reply

    Hi Marly,
    How do you get your cheese to turn out perfect? Whenever I attempt to make vegan pizza, the cheese always turns into liquid, which is really unappetizing to me. Your pizza looks like it turned out just right!

    Thanks,
    Leah

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hmm, I will have to think about this one. With vegan cheese I usually try to keep the temperature low – around 350 – 400F. Then if I find it doesn’t melt to my liking, I will crank up the heat for the final few minutes of baking. You could also try covering it with a sheet of aluminum foil to protect it from too much heat. Let me know if this works!

  11. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAnita C. Reply

    I tried this tonight and it came out great! I didn’t have a pizza pan, so I used a nonstick lasagna pan. The crust was thicker, but it was just fine. I thought it would need a little salt, and I added some, but it didn’t need it, so I would recommend not adding any. The cheeses and pepperoni are salty enough. I thought I had enough tomatoes, and when I realized I didn’t (and didn’t feel like going to the store), I grabbed some diced tomatoes and used that minus the juice to make up the difference. This recipe was a pleasant surprise, I would definitely do it again.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Salt is always a little touchy. It’s so easy to overdo it!! I prefer to kind of “undersalt” things and then allow each person to add more to their individual serving. So glad you liked the pizza!! Like the changes you made too!

  12. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaia Reply

    Sounds amazing! Unfortunately in New Zealand we don’t have vegan pepperoni, vegan cheese or nutritional yeast 😛

  13. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDiana Reply

    I’ve made this pizza twice. The first time I thought it was too heavy on the cheese. The second time, I only used about 1/3 of the cheeses, and it turned out fabulous. Though, instead of using store-bought dough, I’m going to have to try the third time with the dough. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Diana! I’m sure the amount of cheese used as an individual preference. I was trying to replicate a Chicago-style deep dish pizza, which is very, very cheesy! I do like a lot of cheese on my pizza, but my husband, Shawn prefers less. Regarding the dough, sometimes I’ll make dough a head of time and keep it in the freezer. There’s nothing like homemade pizza dough!

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