This vegan pancetta pizza is mouthwateringly delicious and would impress even meat-loving friends and family. It’s perfect for autumn/fall when the season conjures up romantic images of bonfires and smoky food, toffee apples and fireworks in crispy electric air. The “magic” ingredient is vegan pancetta, which is quite simply the new Waitrose vegan bacon! You could use any vegan bacon, and there are lots on the market, but I love this one for its smokiness, glossiness and lovely texture and lots of people on the vegan Facebook groups say it’s the best replacement they’ve ever tasted. They do have “smoky streaky pieces” but they weren’t available so I just chopped up their bacon.
The Waitrose vegan bacon contains VWG (vital wheat gluten) and soy protein, so it’s a kind of seitan. You could use homemade seitan cubed for this recipe, especially if you’re living plastic-free or soy-free, and there will be a recipe coming soon. For convenience, however, I just chopped up the pre-packaged vegan bacon and added it along with the other toppings.
Vegan Pancetta Pizza Base
As a busy parent, I love to make things from scratch but sometimes it’s necessary to take a little short-cut especially as a business owner. Some days I buy ready-made pizza bases, garlic flatbreads, I use a frozen paratha, puff pastry sheet or even ready-rolled pizza dough (like tne ASDA own brand one). Today I was staying with my mum and shopping in Waitrose, and their dough was quite expensive. Instead, I picked up a pack of bread mix for about £1 and used half of it; this makes two pizzas so you’re looking at about 25p per base. To get the authentic crispy and crunchy base, I always use a bit of medium or rough cornmeal (polenta). I added some truffle infused olive oil for that umami flavour in the base but use regular olive or rapeseed oil if you’re allergic, or just don’t like mushrooms.
Gluten-Free Vegan Pancetta Pizza Base
Gluten-free variation, use gluten-free ready rolled puff pastry as a base, which you can get on repeat delivery from Amazon Groceries. Smoked tofu, sliced and sprinkled with smoked salt, makes a lovely alternative to vegan bacon, as well as griddled aubergine (eggplant).
Vegan Pancetta Pizza Sauce
I always make my own pizza sauce. For myself, I’m happy with just chopped tomatoes but the kids and hubby like it really tomatoey so add a good squeeze of tomato purée if you like. I added some salt but regretted it so just put in a grind of black pepper if you like, and again you can add some crushed garlic but I chose not to. Spread it quite thinly on your pizza base so the taste isn’t overpowering.
Vegan Pancetta Pizza Toppings
You can use any vegan cheese such as mozzerella, Cheddar or red Leicester styles grated. You can even make your own vegan cheese (click here) and we have some recipes coming soon! Include any other toppings you’d like that fit in with your dietary requirements, such as pineapple, sliced red or white onions, mushrooms, sweetcorn, black olives, sliced peppers (bell peppers), jalapenos, asparagus, rocket, griddled aubergine (eggplant), marinaded artichoke hearts, vegan feta style cubes, extra herbs like oregano and basil or marjoram and thyme. If you’d like a seafood vibe, add some finely chopped seaweed (nori) to the tomato sauce and add seaweed pearls, which are available in IKEA next to the caviar.
To get the most incredible base you can use a pizza stone like this which helps give the authentic Italian flavour. My friend Mya in Tanzania cooks her pizzas on a charcoal cooking pot made out of a recycled paint can, piling coals around a saucepan and on the lid to create an oven… genius!
Vegan Pancetta Pizza
This gorgeous smokey pizza is mouth-wateringly delicious and a big hit with the whole family
- half a bag of bread mix
- warm water
- olive oil (truffle infused if you can eat mushrooms)
- medium coarse cornmeal (polenta)
- half a tin of chopped tinned tomatoes
- squeeze of tomato purée
- cracked black peppercorns
- a little crushed garlic (if you can eat garlic)
- vegan mozzerella
- vegan bacon
- a few leaves of fresh rosemary
- Step 1 Pizza base: follow the instructions on the pack to make your bread dough, adding warm water and olive oil. Leave to rest for one hour somewhere warm with a damp tea towel over the top
- Step 2 Divide the dough in two and roll into circles or ovals for pizza bases, with a little cornmeal on both sides. You can freeze one at this stage, or add the toppings then freeze for another day
- Step 3 Preheat your oven as hot as it will go, preheat a pizza stone for the most amazing taste
- Step 4 Tomato sauce: combine the chopped tomatoes, a little purée, pepper and garlic (if you like) and spread thinly on the pizza base
- Step 5 Top with chopped vegan cheese and bacon, chopped rosemary, a good glug of olive oil and any other topping you’d like to add. Cook in the oven until the base is golden and crispy
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Comment below if you’ve tried this recipe or you’d like us to add something new!