Butternut Squash Pizza

When Nick and I first started dating he lived in a suburb just outside of the city. There weren’t a lot of vegan options nearby, so we’d normally cook food at his apartment. When we did go out we would go to a local brewery called Mindful Brewing. They also didn’t have a lot of vegan options, but they used to have this one butternut squash pizza that was phenomenal. It had chickpeas, red onions, and a balsamic reduction. We’ve attempted to recreate this pizza several times over the past three years. It may not be exactly the same, but it’s really good.

I’m not sure exactly what they put in the butternut squash puree to flavor it, but we kept ours pretty simple. We’ve tried cooking the sauce down before applying it to the pizza as well as applying it uncooked. I would definitely recommend taking a few minutes to cook it down with some maple syrup and spices. It adds a lot of flavor. The water content is a bit too high if you don’t cook it down, and it makes the crust a little too soft for my taste. It’s been a while since I’ve had the pizza at Mindful, but I’m pretty sure it had cilantro on top. We used parsley instead, because we simply don’t like cilantro. I can tolerate it as a garnish, but generally prefer to sub something else in. Feel free to use either ingredient if you are a cilantro lover.

This pizza calls for a hearty, thick crust. I don’t recommend buying a pre-baked pizza shell from the super market. If you don’t want to make your own pizza dough you can buy balls of pizza dough at some supermarkets. We recommend the dough from Trader Joe’s. You can also find dough at a number of regional supermarkets. If you do want to make your own we have a great recipe that we’ve been using for a few years.

Butternut Squash Pizza

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Squash Puree Ingredients

  • one butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Topping Ingredients

  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 16oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Squash Puree Directions

  1. Peel and break down squash. Remove the seeds and strings, and chop into small, equal pieces. If you purchased prepared squash you can skip this step.
  2. Boil squash in a large stock pot full of water for thirty minutes, or until fork tender.
  3. Drain, rinse with cold water, and place into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. Drain again, and put the squash into a food processor.
  4. Blend squash until it is a smooth puree. One large squash will make enough puree for about four pizzas. Add about a cup and a half to a sauce pot, and store the rest in the fridge or freezer to use in other dishes.
  5. Add maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the squash puree in the sauce pot. Cook down for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  6. Add sauce to the top of the pizza crust once the crust has been pre-baked.

Balsamic Reduction Directions

  1. In a small sauce pot combine balsamic vinegar with maple syrup.
  2. Cook on medium heat for about fifteen minutes, or the liquid has reduced to half of its original quantity. Whisk frequently to prevent burning.
  3. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool while you assemble the rest of the pizza.

Topping Directions

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas, and place them in a bowl.
  2. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Top pizza with desired amount of chickpeas.
  4. Slice onion into thin slices, and top the pizza with them.
  5. Chop parsley, but wait to add it to the pizza until the end.
  6. Bake pizza for about 25 minutes. When the pizza looks to be about done top it with the parsley, and drizzle some of the balsamic reduction on top. Bake for an additional 2 minutes.

Barbecue Seitan Pizza

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. I love watching the leaves change, going to pick apples, having bonfires, and all of the other stereotypical fall activities. Probably the best thing about fall is getting back into making, and eating, some of my favorite comfort foods that seem too heavy during the hot summer months. While Covid is preventing us from doing a lot of fall activities this year like going to fall festivals, or Halloween parties, we’ve already started creating some great fall dishes to share with all of our readers.

Pizza is one of my all time favorite foods, and quite easy to make vegan. It includes only a few ingredients, and it’s easy to personalize. Nick and I often make BBQ cauliflower or BBQ seitan pizzas that are reminiscent of BBQ chicken pizza. We make our dough from scratch, but you can usually find fresh pizza dough at a super market near you. If you decide to buy your dough instead of making it be sure to check the ingredient list for dairy. If you don’t feel up to the task of making our recipe for pizza dough from scratch we recommend the pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.

Barbecue Seitan Pizza

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 8 oz Upton’s Traditional Seitan
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley or cilantro chopped
  • 3/4 cup vegan BBQ sauce
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegan “mozarella style” cheese


  1. Break seitan into chunks. If any of the chunks seem too large cut them into smaller pieces, and then place them in a mixing bowl. Add Worcestershire sauce, and about 1/4 cup of your chosen BBQ sauce. Coat all of the seitan chunks.
  2. Use the rest of the BBQ sauce to coat the pizza crust. You can use a basting brush to spread the sauce out more evenly.
  3. Cut the onion into whatever size pieces you prefer, and chop parsley or cilantro.
  4. Top crust with a thin layer of cheese, and then add the onion and Seitan chunks. Do not add the parsley or cilantro yet.
  5. Add the rest of the vegan cheese on top of the pizza.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. If you purchased a crust from the supermarket go by the cook time and temp on the package. Add the parsley or cilantro onto the pizza at this point. You can also top with more BBQ sauce as decoration. Place the pizza back in the oven for a minute or two to wilt the greens just a little.
  7. Slice and serve. BBQ Seitan pizza goes great with a vegan ranch dipping sauce.

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

undefinedIn our quest to make all of our favorite comfort foods into a pizza we created the Philly Cheesesteak pizza.  This behemoth of a pizza with a barbecue base satisfied our comfort food cravings for the weekend.  This recipe is easy to put together, but it takes a while to prep the ingredients.  You should be prepared to start that the night before, or earlier the day you plan to make the pizza.

undefinedYou can buy fresh store bought dough, or use our recipe to make your own homemade dough.

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

  • Servings: makes one large pizza
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

This recipe makes enough sauce to top a second additional pizza, or a sandwich.


  • ¼ tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup tamari

Pizza Sauce

  • 16oz tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4cup water

Pizza Toppings

  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 package (8 oz) of uptons seitan
  • 1/2 package (4 oz) baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 block daiya monteray jack style cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Garlicky Mayo (Optional)

  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Start by slicing down the seitan and mushrooms into thin slices. Whisk together the marinade adding the chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, dijon mustard, worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and tamari. Be sure to check the ingredients label on your worcestershire to make sure it’s vegan. A lot of worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. We used Lord Sandy’s for this recipe. Add the sliced seitan and mushrooms into your freezer bag or other container, and pour the marinade in making sure it completely covers the other ingredients. Allow the ingredients to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. While the seitan and mushrooms marinate you can prepare your other toppings. Slice down the bell peppers and onion into thin strips.
  3. Set the bell pepper pieces aside, and cook the onion in a skillet until it just barely starts to become translucent.
  4. We couldn’t find provolone style “cheese” shreds for this pizza so we used a block of Daiya Monterey Jack style vegan cheese. You can use other pre-shredded vegan cheese if you prefer, but the Daiya is incredibly soft and grated easily. If you have a block of cheese, grate it down now.
  5. Prepare the sauce by first heating a saucepan with the vegan brown sugar and apple cider vinegar, and water, stirring until your brown sugar is dissolved. Stir in the tomato paste and stir until the liquid is smooth. Add in the cumin, kosher sea salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, and then remove from heat.
  6. Heat olive oil in a pan, and add the Seitan and mushrooms. Sautee until the marinade is cooked down and there is little moisture left in the pan. Remove the pan from heat. Set it aside to top with.
  7. Spread the BBQ sauce evenly over the pre-baked pizza crust. Top lightly with “cheese” shreds. Add the bell peppers, and sauteed onion to taste. Top with an abundance of the seitan and mushrooms. Top with more cheese, and a little salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and cook for 18 minutes. If you cook two pizzas, swap the rack that they are on halfway through the cook time.
  9. While you are waiting for the pizza to cook you can prepare a garlic mayo sauce to top it with. Combine the vegan mayo, vinegar, and garlic powder and mix together. Place in a piping bag or a squeeze bottle to add some aesthetic flair, and swirl on top of the pizza once it has cooled for a few minutes. If you’re lacking a piping bag or squeeze bottle you can always use a freezer bag or a sandwich bag and cut the tip off.
  10. Cut into your desired number of slices, and enjoy.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Fresh pizza dough is an important component of making a good pizza. We never use those pre-baked crusts in a bag at the super market. Usually when making pizza we used Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough, but it has become increasingly more uncomfortable to make additional trips to the supermarket due to the covid-19 pandemic. We’ve been making our own dough far more often, and working on perfecting a quick and easy recipe. Not only is this as good as the store bought dough, but it saves a ton of money in the long term to make your own dough.

undefinedSome pizza dough recipes can be very time consuming, and end with so-so results after all that time and effort. We’ve created a quick and easy recipe that won’t take you any longer than running out to the supermarket to buy dough.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

This recipe makes one large pizza crust. To make two large pizza crusts double all ingredients with the exception of the yeast and sugar.


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp vegan sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  1. To make your own dough you’ll want to start by measuring out one cup of warm water. The water should be between 105-110 degrees fahrenheit. If it’s too cool the yeast won’t bloom, and if it’s too warm it will kill the yeast. If you don’t trust yourself to measure the temperature feel free to use a thermometer.
  2. Add the water to a large mixing bowl, and then combine 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp active yeast by gently stirring.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl with a hand towel to retain heat, and allow the yeast to bloom for about five minutes.
  4. Once the yeast has become frothy, gently stir in the 1 ½ tbsp olive oil.
  5. Add in the salt, and slowly add flour a little bit at a time, gently folding it into the wet ingredients. If the dough is still too wet add more flour. The dough should be slightly sticky, but easy to form into a ball.
  6. Knead the dough on a floured surface, grease the mixing bowl with oil or cooking spray, and then return the dough to the bowl.
  7. Cover the bowl with the towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm area for at least a half hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  8. After this step you can either use the dough immediately, or save it for later. Place the dough ball in a greased container and freeze, or refrigerate, depending on when you plan to use it. If you’ve chosen to use the dough immediately remove dough once it has doubled, and transfer back to a floured surface
  9. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  10. Knead the dough, and roll it out with a floured rolling pin. Grease a pizza tray, and stretch the dough onto it.
  11. Gently poke the dough with a fork, being sure not to poke the whole way through.
  12. Place the dough in the oven to pre-bake for five minutes, and then remove.
  13. Add desired toppings and bake for an additional 20 minutes.