This healthy vegetarian pizza is a delicious way to eat the rainbow.
Since I started this blog back in 2014, more than a few people have asked, "So do you really eat pizza once a week? Isn't that bad for you?" And each time, I dust off my imaginary soapbox, step on up, and explain that, actually, homemade pizza is one of the most satisfying ways to eat a range of fresh, whole ingredients. (Then, if necessary, I follow up with links like this one.)
The operative word here is homemade. When you make your own marinara sauce, using only crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and a little salt and pepper, you avoid the added sugar of other pizza sauces and can control the amount of salt. And, if you add small amounts of tender, umami-rich ingredients like olives, capers, or marinated mushrooms to your selection of toppings, you only need 4 ounces of mozzarella for optimum satisfaction. (In this healthy vegetarian pizza recipe, I also add shredded carrot, which tricks your eyes into thinking there's more cheesiness involved.)
I'm no dietitian, but I think its safe to say that the best vegetarian pizza toppings are the ones you find the most delicious or enticing. So, if you're not a fan of zucchini, swap it out for blanched broccoli florets. Or use shredded sweet potato instead of carrot. You get the picture.
Looking for more vegetarian pizza toppings? Here are some of my favorite healthy pizza recipes:
- Root-to-Top Carrot Pizza
- Pesto and Fresh Tomato Pizza
- Green Tomato and Caramelized Onion Pizza
- Oyster Mushroom Pizza with Paprika and Chives
- Beet Pesto Pizza with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herbs
- Acorn Squash and Apple Pizza with Gruyere and Arugula
Healthy Vegetarian Pizza with Olives, Carrot, Zucchini, and Bell Pepper
- Box grater
- Cutting board and knife
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- ⅔ cup super-easy marinara sauce (or your favorite pizza sauce)
- ¼ to ⅓ cup sliced green and black olives
- ¼ to ⅓ cup shredded carrot
- ¼ medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- ¼ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ¼ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Spoon the sauce onto the dough and spread it out evenly, leaving a ½-inch border all around. Top with the olives, carrot, zucchini, and bell pepper, then finish with the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle the top with a little salt and pepper.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil (if using); let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.