Vegan Summer Pizza with Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, & Basil
I know, I totally know. Vegan pizza?! How is that even possible?!!
It’s a question I asked myself a lot when I dropped dairy from my diet earlier this year. Friday night is pizza night around here – every. Friday. Night. And darn if I was going to let a little lack of cheese get in the way of that.
Except, well, what’s pizza without hot and melty cheese? Good question.
The past several months, I’ve tried a lot of dairy-free pizzas. A few were good; way more than a few were stinkers. But this vegan pizza with corn, tomatoes, and fresh basil, my friends. This cheeseless pizza recipe is a winner. And it’s so, so super easy.
In experimenting, I found that for me, a vegan pizza really needs to have three things going for it:
- A darn good crust
- Fresh, flavorful toppings and
- A component of creamy
The first two are doable, but #3 is a little harder – without cheese or other dairy, creaminess can be hard to come by. But not with this pizza! Because, my friends, we have the sauce. And oh. The sauce.
The creamy base of this pizza – the very base that makes it so the lack of cheese doesn’t cross your mind even once – is garlicky, creamy, and corny. Corny in a good way. Not a silly way. So what’s the secret? Coconut milk! And garlic! And fresh corn right off the cob! Whip it all together and there’s your sauce. It’s seriously good stuff.
Then we top it with a few slices of onion, juicy cherry tomatoes (a tomato right off the vine, sliced thin, would be divine too), and a few extra kernels of sweet corn. Bake until golden and bubbly; inhale the garlicky scent that fills your kitchen. That last step is mandatory. Sprinkle some basil over your fresh-out-of-the-oven pie, and you’re good to go.
Who needs cheese, man?!
Summer Corn & Tomato Vegan Pizza
Pizza without cheese? Believe it or not, it can be utterly delicious! This summertime pizza with its creamy, garlicky sauce and peak-season produce is proof positive.
- 1 pound (16 ounces) homemade or store-bought pizza dough (I'm on a Trader Joe's whole wheat kick)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 medium ears of corn), divided
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for brushing pan and crust
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small white onion, sliced and rings separated
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn or cut chiffonade-style
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a large cookie sheet lightly with olive oil or prepare a pizza stone. Roll or pull the dough into an approximately 14-inch diameter circle. Brush entire crust with olive oil.
- Place 1 cup corn, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, coconut milk, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper in the pitcher of a blender or in a food processor fitted with the S-blade. Blend until nearly smooth but with a bit of remaining texture from the corn.
- Pour sauce on pizza dough and spread in an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Layer on the onions, then the tomatoes, and then sprinkle on the remaining corn. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the toppings are bubbly, 8-12 minutes. Remove from oven and top with basil and a couple of pinches of kosher salt, if desired. Slice and serve.
Make it with cheese:
You don't need it! But if you really want the dairy, top with some shredded mozzarella and perhaps even a bit of Parm. Feta would work well, too.
Make it with meat:
Some cooked, diced chicken or even a crumble of bacon would work well on this pizza.