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Monday, 14 April 2008

My Favourite No-cheese Pizza

No-cheese pizza

Some people would say, pizza without cheese isn’t pizza! However, when we go back in history, traditional pizza did not have any cheese. In fact, the innovation which gave us the particular flat bread we call “pizza” was the use of tomato as a topping. The tomato was brought to Europe from the Americas in the 16th Century and for some time after, it was believed to be poisonous. It was only by the late 18th Century that the poor people of the area around Naples started preparing the dish. They would add tomato to their yeast-based flat bread. And the pizza was born.

The Marinara is the oldest pizza that has been served in pizzerias and also does not have any cheese. It has a topping of tomato, oregano, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and usually basil. It was named “Marinara” not, as many believe, because it has seafood on it (it doesn't) but because it was the food the fishermen ate when they returned home from fishing trips in the Bay of Naples.

I made a no-cheese pizza yesterday and it was really good. Everything held together nicely and I didn’t miss the cheese for a bit. (I can’t really stand the smell of cheese, especially melted cheese, now anyway.)

During my London days, sometimes I used to have vegan mozzarella cheese on my pizza, but no vegan cheese is available over here in Mauritius. But then even if they were, I would cut down on them. Vegan cheeses are high in fat. They might not contain any cholesterol but they are still highly processed blocks of vegetable oil so they are not any better for cardiovascular health. Besides, not using cheese of any sort saves a few pennies (or cents) for today and also much more in future on a doctor’s bill!

This was my Sunday dinner! Yum!

Ingredients (8 pieces)
For the bread:
300g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (75ml)
130 ml water

1 can finely chopped tomatoes (or tomato puree)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
100g oyster mushrooms
1 medium aubergine
5-6 pitted black olives
150g fresh pineapple
1 medium red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon black bean sauce
Dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

  • Add the sugar and warm water to the yeast in a cup. Stir until the yeast and sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Leave to stand for 5 minutes or until the yeast rises.
  • Add the yeast to the flour in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the water and knead until a dough is formed. (Be careful while adding the water and check the consistency of the dough before adding more. It will be difficult to handle a watery dough.)
  • Dust a board with flour and roll the dough flat just slightly larger than the size of the pizza tray.
  • Sprinkle some flour on a 30 cmpizza tray.
  • Loosely wrap the dough around the rolling pin to transfer it to the tray.


  • Cover with a cloth and leave to stand in a warm place for about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat over at 180 degrees Celsius.
  • In the meantime, slice the aubergine about 5 mm thick.
  • Add the black bean sauce to the sliced aubergines. Mix well.
  • In a frying pan add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Add the aubergines and stir to coat them in the oil.
  • Cover and allow to cook on medium heat until half cooked, turning occasionally. Be careful not to burn them, they can scorch quite easily!
  • Remove from the pan; set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Allow to reduce a little bit for 2-3 minutes, mashing the tomatoes slightly to a semi-puree. Add salt.
  • By this time the dough would have risen.

  • Place the dough in the oven to pre-cook for 12 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cut the mushrooms and pineapples into small pieces (how small or big depends on how you prefer them to be!).
  • Slice the onion into rings.
  • Cut the pitted olives in half.
  • Remove pizza dough from the oven and lay on a stand.
  • Start by spreading a layer of the tomato sauce on the dough.
  • Sprinkle with some dried basil.

  • Arrange the aubergines.

  • Arrange the mushrooms, olives, pineapple and red onion.
  • Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of tomato puree on top.
  • Add some cracked pepper.


  • Put in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove, slice and serve.


Now, I don’t know about you but I think pizzas are best eaten with the fingers! I eat pizzas with my fingers even when I go to restaurants, otherwise they just don’t taste the same!

I thought you may want to check out this book which features 50 vegan pizza recipes.




  1. Pizza without cheese really isn't pizza...

    But anyway, you might want to add carrots, cabbage, processed peas & corn seeds!

  2. Sweet corn on pizza is quite nice. I have never tried carrots or cabbage on a pizza.
    The smell of cheese just makes me sick and I would never recommend that people should eat cheese. But that's my personal opinion. I respect yours! :)

  3. No need of cheese, when we haveeeee olivesssss ^^. I will try your recipe this weekend :)

  4. My mom often makes pizzas without cheese when we have no parmesans or mozzarella at home. There as delicious as those with cheese, sometimes even better! :P Great recipe. I'm a great fan of aubergines recently! :P

  5. Thank you for visiting my blog!

    Your pizza looks absolutely wonderful. When I made my first vegan pizza I didn't miss the cheese at all. I am glad that I could discover so many different toppings by making pizza myself, too.

  6. That pizza looks amazing - your base looks so nice and light, and combining aubergine with black bean sauce is a great idea! Thanks for including me on your blogroll, btw!

  7. Thank you all for you nice comments. Sorry for my late reply.

    La pingouine: I never miss out the olives on pizza, I think they're the best ingredient on a pizza!

    Morinn: From what I recall about eating cheese pizza, I prefer the no-cheese version. They're much lighter.

    Mihl: Toppings are endless and pizzas are so versatile. Most of the time I just add whatever I have left-over at home instead of throwing them away!

    DJ: Thanks for adding me to your blogroll too! The base turned out really nice this time. I noticed that when I knead it twice as some recipes suggest, it doesn't rise that much. But I just knead it once and allow it to rise in the pan and it's lighter this way.

  8. Well... I don't die for cheese, but i like (vegan of course) it sometimes. Nut salted lemonized butter resembles it a little. And there is a cutting, melting recipe too (can't find agar over here, have to order on the internet), but I haven't tried yet.

    1 1/2 c ;water
    5 tb Agar-agar flakes
    1/2 c Raw cashew pieces
    1/4 c Nutritional yeast flakes
    3 tb Fresh lemon juice
    2 tb Tahini (optional)
    1 tb Onion flakes
    2 tb Dijon mustard
    1/4 ts Salt
    1/2 ts Minced garlic
    1/2 ts Mustard powder
    1/4 ts Ground dill seed

    Place the water and agar-agar flakes in a small
    saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and
    simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Place in a
    blender with the remaining ingredients, and process
    until completely smooth.

    Pour immediately into a lightly oiled, 3-cup
    rectangular mold, loaf or other rectangular container.
    Cover and chill for several hours or overnight. To
    serve, turn out of the mold and slice. Store leftovers
    in the refrigerator.


    Hope to be helpful!

  9. Hi Brigida!
    Thanks for the recipe. I am unfortunately allergic to nuts and seeds. I can eat a few very rarely but I try to avoid them as much as I can. I've come across nut cheeses a few times but I don't want to take the risk! In this recipe I can substitute the nuts for mashed tofu, I think. I sometimes do this now for my pizza 'cheese' and it works great. But thanks for the thought! :)

  10. I really like the combination of toppings on this pizza. I would use canned pineapple instead though because fresh pineapple tends to dry out.

  11. This looks delicious,I wouldn't have thought of putting eggplant on a pizza but I can't wait to try this

  12. I would like a vegan gluten free pizza crust recipe that looks just like the crust you have here. I just want to come through the screen and eat this. LOL

  13. That looks delicious! Just gave up dairy recently, wondering if many restaurants are happy to make pizzas without cheese? The one place I asked gave me a funny look so I got the pasta :)

    1. I have been able to order pizzas without cheese so far. I do get funny looks sometimes and in which case Seanmullins, I just don't eat there! ha! Then one time I did convince them to make me one by saying their competitor always make me pizzas without cheese when I ask. So it's probably simple enough for them to just lay the veggies on and cook it. So that's how I explain it to them.
      But in all I do just enjoy a homemade pizza with the toppings I like best! :)

  14. I went to Papa Murphy's today for my pineapple no cheese pizza. I really wanted a small thin crust. They didn't have small. The smallest they had was a medium and the thin crust was available for only large pizza. I am loving the life of being a vegan

  15. Haha I should actually be eating my leftover vegan pizza right now, but somehow reading about yours is more fun n_n

    I can't believe I didn't think of cheeseless pizza before. I went without for weeks until I found a vegan cheese in Whole Foods Stokey branch. And it tasted like potato. So it ended up being pulled off and fed to the pigeons and now my pizza is homemade base, tomato puree, mushrooms, peppers and sweetcorn and I don't miss the cheese one bit!!!

    I heard no-muh (?) is supposed to taste really good, but I guess my addiction to the morphine-like chemical in cheese is gone, so I don't crave any cheese, even vegan.

    Pizza is always eaten with the fingers isn't it?!!??!?? Do people ever eat them with knives and forks?? I never knew that!! :O

    Now I should get off my bum and eat that leftover pizza!!!

    1. I've come across quite a few people eating pizza with knives and forks. I've tried doing it but always abandoned the cutlery mid-way through the meal! :)


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