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Cheeseless Pizza Recipes - 15 Mouthwatering Topping Ideas

Updated on August 23, 2017

Delicious, dairy-free pizza topping recipes

Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or just didn't have the time to go grocery shopping, I've got some delicious cheeseless pizza ideas here for you.

A pizza without cheese doesn't have to be boring. In fact, getting rid of it leaves room for fresh, tasty toppings that are the new stars of the show.

Vibrant pestos, earthy roast vegetables, salty cured meats and crispy salad leaves don't just replace cheesy toppings; they improve on them.

Scroll down for some tempting topping ideas and recipes for the best cheese-free home made pizzas ever.

And look out for the purple boxes scattered throughout the article - they reveal some of my top tips for making an amazing cheeseless pizza, gathered from several years of my cooking experiments at home.

photo credit: Cooking Gluten Free via photopin cc

Pizza debate

Which type of pizza is better?

Tip #1

Without cheese, even more focus than usual will be on the crust.

Use a good recipe that will give you a flavoursome, crisp dough so good you won't miss the cheese.

I've tried a lot of pizza dough recipes, and this is the one I use regularly. It's really simple, easy to knead and tastes great.

This recipe makes one small pizza, but it doubles (and triples!) well. You can always freeze it after rolling it flat, too.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hour 20 min
Ready in: 1 hour 30 min
Yields: 1


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. - Combine yeast, water and oil in a bowl. Wait 5 minutes, until the yeast becomes frothy.
  2. - Add all other ingredients, and mix into a smooth ball.
  3. - Oil the bowl and dough, cover the bowl with a dishcloth and leave for at least an hour until doubled in size.
  4. - Punch the dough down, then let it sit - covered - for 20 minutes.
  5. - Preheat your oven and pizza stone, then roll out the dough and sprinkle with toppings.
  6. - Bake at the highest heat possible for around 10 minutes until crisp.
Cast your vote for Simple pizza dough recipe

Vegan pizza ideas

  1. Roast butternut: Top the crust with chunks of roast butternut pumpkin/squash, pine-nuts, caramelised onions and baby spinach leaves. Sprinkle with rosemary infused olive oil before serving.
  2. Pesto and roast vegetables: Spread vegan basil pesto on the crust, then top with sun-dried tomatoes, roast eggplants, roast peppers, artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with spicy chilli olive oil after the pizza is cooked.
  3. Mushroom lover's pizza: Top crust with mushrooms that have been lightly sauted with plenty of garlic. I like a mix of button, portabella, and oyster mushrooms. Drizzle with thyme and garlic infused olive oil.

    *Cooking the mushrooms first will stop them releasing water during cooking and making the crust soggy.*

  4. The Rainbow: Top the crust with slices of red or purple onions, pineapple, peppers (orange, green and red) and mushrooms.

    Garlic, basil, lemon or chilli oils are all good for this pizza.

  5. Roast red pepper and olive: Roast some red peppers until blackened. Peel the charred skins off, de-seed the peppers and blend the flesh with garlic, salt, pepper and herbs to form a paste.

    Spread the roast red pepper paste on the pizza crust. Top with a mix of black and green olives, and capers. Drizzle with lemon infused oil before serving.

Cheese-free pizza with the Vegan Zombie

This guy is hilarious - watch as he prepares the most delicious, cheeseless vegan pizza to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse.

Note: while technically there is no dairy cheese on his pizza, he does use Daiya mozzarella cheese

- vegan, dairy-free cheese shreds that melt like dairy cheese.

Pizza alla marinara

The original cheeseless pizza

I bet you thought that all traditional Italian pizzas were covered in plenty of cheese. Not this one! Pizza alla marinara is so simple, yet the flavours are amazingly rich and complex.

And it doesn't use a shred of cheese. Click the picture to find an authentic recipe that's perfect for garlic and basil fans.

Authentic Pizza alla Marinara recipe

Books about dairy-free living

You may be lactose intolerant, vegan or simply don't like cheese. Whatever your reason for landing on this page, you probably love good food but miss dairy every now and again.

These three popular cookbooks are my picks. Full of delicious and easy to make recipes that don't use a drop of milk or a shred of cheese, they're great for the person transitioning to dairy-free living, as well as the seasoned dairy-free cook.

Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living
Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living

This book is more than a dairy-free cookbook. It's an in-depth manual featuring shopping guides, nutritional information and dairy substitution tables. The recipes are original, full of flavour yet easy to make.

The Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen: 150 Delicious Dishes for Every Meal, Every Day
The Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen: 150 Delicious Dishes for Every Meal, Every Day

Dairy and gluten intolerances often go hand in hand, and now there's a great book to cater for this. The best thing about this book is the 'master recipes' for things like gluten-free flour mix and non-dairy milk that can be made in large batches and used in several recipes throughout the week. This is a must-have for busy families with allergies.

Dairy Free Diet: The Dairy Free Cookbook Reference for Dairy Free Recipes
Dairy Free Diet: The Dairy Free Cookbook Reference for Dairy Free Recipes

A fantastic started book for someone new to dairy-free cooking, this book is full of simple recipes based on classic dishes such as macaroni and cheese. It features a sample weekly meal plan to help give you ideas of what to eat.


Tip #2

Use the best quality tomato sauce you can make or buy.

You want richness, sweetness and a strong taste that can only come from a good home-made sauce, or quality shop-bought one.

There won't be any cheese to distract from the sauce you use, so choose wisely!

The best pizza sauces

This is the time to splurge

These are the only two store-bought pizza sauces I would recommend. They're both made in small batches according to family recipes, and they will elevate your pizza to something really special.

Although they're a little bit pricier than your regular supermarket sauce, the quality is incomparable. And besides, you only need a little bit for that pizza (the rest will keep well in the fridge or freezer).

Cucina Antica Pizza SauceCHECK PRICE

Scarpetta Marinara SauceCHECK PRICE

Find your favourite pizza sauce

Everyone's got their own taste and budget, so here's a handy search tool to look for the perfect sauce for you. Chunky, garlicky, smooth or full of herbs - they're all there.

Meat & fish pizza ideas

You're skipping the cheese, but you still like to enjoy a bit of meat on your pizza. Here are a few tasty topping ideas for you.

Make sure you spread the pizza base with the sauce of your choice before adding the other toppings.

  1. French potato & bacon: Top the crust with very thin slices of potato, caramelised onions and small pieces of bacon (or ham). Sprinkle with Herbes de Provence if possible, or simply use dried thyme, rosemary and oregano.

    Drizzle with either garlic or truffle-infused olive oil (depending on your budget!) after it comes out of the oven.

  2. Salmon with roast garlic lemon pure: Roast several cloves of garlic, then squeeze out the pure and mix with finely chopped lemon zest. Spread the roast garlic and lemon paste on a pizza crust. Top with chopped up smoked salmon, finely chopped dill and some capers.

    Drizzle with lemon infused olive oil before serving.

  3. The mouth burner: Spread some good quality spicy tomato sauce on the crust, then top with slices of spicy pepperoni, chorizo, green peppers, sliced onions and black olives.

    Drizzle with chilli oil if you dare.

  4. Pesto chicken: Roughly cube some leftover roast chicken meat (or grill a chicken breast for this purpose). Spread a pizza crust with basil pesto, then top with the chicken meat, sliced red peppers, fresh sliced tomatoes, black olives and sliced onions.

    Drizzle with garlic, chilli or lemon infused olive oil before serving.

  5. Sicilian-style onions and anchovies: Slice 4 onions, then sauté them until transclucent. Add salt and pepper, 4 anchovy fillets, 1/2 cup raisins and 1 cup pinenuts.

    Spread the mixture onto the pizza crust, add a sprinkle of thyme or oregano and bake.

  6. Maple bacon and egg: Crisp up some bacon rashers in a frying pan until almost browned. Brush on maple syrup using a pastry brush. Arrange bacon on the pizza crust, then crack one or two eggs directly on top. Bake until the white of the eggs are set.

    Serve with garlic infused olive oil.

  7. Shrimp and pineapple: Peel and devein some small shrimp, then marinate them in a mixture of sunflower oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and red pepper flakes. Saut them in a pan until they barely lose their opaqueness. Drop the shrimp onto the pizza base, then scatter with sliced onions and slices of pineapple.

    Bake, before serving with lemon, chilli or garlic infused olive oil.

Tip #3

Use a pizza tile. Seriously.

Cast iron pizza pan - the pizza lover's must have item!

You've probably already heard that using a pizza pan/stone is important to ensure a crispy crust on homemade pizza.

If you're like me, you've been wanting to get a pizza stone for ages but don't like the idea of having a one-use item taking up space in the kitchen or oven. Not to mention, spending your hard-earned money on a tile seems wasteful.

Well, I'm happy to recommend the Lodge pizza pan because it not only gives you perfect, crispy pizzas. It can also be used in dozens of other ways in the oven, from roasting vegetables to baking cookies. It also works well on the stove top, acting as a crepe pan, griddle (fry eggs and bacon on it for breakfast!) and wok - simply push your ingredients from the centre to the edges to control the speed at which they cook.

With a 5 star rating on Amazon from over 300 happy customers, you can't go wrong. This American-made, cast iron beauty will last for years and years while you enjoy the best ever homemade pizzas. If you don't believe me, click the picture to read customer reviews (full of useful cleaning and cooking information you may want to note, aswell).

Lodge Cast Iron 14" Pizza PanCHECK PRICE

Ellen & Wolfgang Puck make vegetable pizza

Dairy pizza toppings (with no cheese!)

You've run out of cheese, are on a diet or simply don't like the stuff. Don't worry - there are still plenty of creative dairy toppings you can put on a pizza without touching a bag of mozzarella.

If you're a pizza elitist, avert your eyes as the idea of putting yogurt on a pizza may offend you. Everyone else, take my word for it. It's delicious.

  1. Bechamel and spinach: Make a bechamel sauce using flour, butter and milk. Add salt & pepper to taste, plus a pinch of nutmeg powder. Spread the sauce onto a pizza crust, then add some wilted spinach and sliced onions.

    This is wonderful with garlic infused olive oil.

  2. Crme frache & potato: Spread some crme fraiche onto a pizza crust (if you can't find any, sour cream is an ok substitute), before topping with caramelised onions, sliced black olives and thinly sliced potatoes. Crack an egg directly onto the centre of the pizza. Bake until the egg white is solid.

    Drizzle with rosemary or thyme infused olive oil after baking.

  3. Indian style spiced yogurt pizza: Mix a bit of natural yogurt with a pinch of ground cumin and some crushed garlic. Spread thinly onto pizza crust. Top with thinly sliced cauliflower, sliced green onions, a pinch of curry powder and some fresh tomatoes. Bake, before sprinkling with fresh coriander (cilantro).

Tip #4

Usually, it's the melted cheese that holds everything together and stops the vegetables sliding off the pizza, so use toppings that are 'sticky' in place of cheese.

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

Did you know that you can make your own 'cheese', without milk or other dairy products? This book shows you how to make parmesan, ricotta, cheesecake, fondue and many more dairy products without the dairy.

Although not 100% like their original versions, I've tasted several of these recipes and give them a thumbs up. This book won't impress a hardcore cheese lover, but the recipes are wonderful for vegans, children (most love the cheesy sauces) and those on a dairy-free diet.

What more can I say that 150 happy customers haven't already said in their positive reviews?

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Create Delicious Dairy-Free Cheese Substititues and Classic Uncheese Dishes
The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Create Delicious Dairy-Free Cheese Substititues and Classic Uncheese Dishes

- All recipes are vegan- Handy indicators on each recipe show if corn, gluten-free, etc- 10th anniversary updated edition


Easy gluten & dairy-free pizza recipe

Tip #5

Herb and chilli oils were made for cheeseless pizzas. They add a nice strong flavour and aroma that is addictive.

Flavored Extra-Virgin Olive Oils

Add a little something extra

There are many infused olive oils available, but these are the ones I recommend. The olive oil is extra-virgin, Italian and organic.

The flavours are very crisp, fresh and strong and this brand has a great rating on Amazon with good customer feedback.

These oils make a perfect gift, and can be used on fish, meats, pizza & pasta dishes, drizzled over soups, salads and bruschetta.

Mantova Organic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive OilsCHECK PRICE

DIY flavoured oils

It's pretty easy to make your own aromatic oils for pizzas, and you can choose from a wide variety of ingredients.

Home made pizza poll

How often do you make your own pizza?

See results

Search pizza equipment & ingredients

Use this handy little box to search for more ingredients, equipment and books to help you make the best ever pizza.

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

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    • archetekt lm profile image

      archetekt lm 4 years ago

      My favourite pizza toppings are mushrooms, olives and onions.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      @sybil watson: So glad I could inspire you!

    • profile image

      sybil watson 5 years ago

      This is such a fabulous lens - my daughter is sensitive to lactose and always feels left-out when we have pizza. Now I have so many great ideas for cheeseless pizzas. I know she'd love the French potato and bacon, the salmon, and the pesto.

    • profile image

      Stuwaha 5 years ago

      sweetcorn and mushrooms.... not necessarily at the same time though.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I love prawns, anchovies and I do like pineapple.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I rarely put cheese on a pizza. Great recipes for pizzas here, especially the Sicilian anchovy recipe

    • profile image

      timetoact 5 years ago

      Tasty lens. We'll have to try some of these ideas.

    • Iftikhar-Hussain profile image

      Iftikhar-Hussain 5 years ago

      Interesting lens .. I like it :)