Is Vegan Pizza a Healthier Alternative to a Classic Slice of Pepperoni or Cheese?

Rayna Skiver - Author

Oct. 26 2023, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

Four pizza slices on a wooden table.
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The Gist:

  • Vegan pizza is a plant-based alternative to more traditional menu options like pepperoni and cheese.

  • Some people think vegan pizza is healthier, but others argue that health is subjective.

  • There are a ton of great plant-based pizza recipes to try online.

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What’s considered “healthy” is often up for debate. While some people think plant-based pizza is the healthier option, others might disagree.

Is vegan pizza healthier than some of the most popular alternatives on the menu? Keep reading to see for yourself and to learn a few new recipes along the way.

Is vegan pizza healthier?

Various pizza options on display at a casual restaurant.
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In most cases, vegan pizza is healthier. If you think about it, this really isn’t surprising — it’s made of plants, after all.

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A plant-based pizza is totally free of animal products like meat and dairy, both of which tend to have a lot of saturated fat and “bad” cholesterol, according to Healthline. When we have too much bad cholesterol in our bodies, it can cause plaque to accumulate in our arteries. This can cause heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

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In particular, pepperoni pizza — an American classic — can be quite unhealthy, especially when consumed often or in excess, according to Livestrong. Not only is it high in calories, but it’s also high in fat (not the good kind).

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When it comes to meat, some common pizza toppings are pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. All of these are considered “processed” meats, which actually increase one's risk of cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

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Now, vegan pizza isn’t perfect — vegan cheese and vegan meat are typically very high in fat and salt, after all — but in many cases, it's a healthier alternative to traditional pizza. Thanks to a vegan pie's lack of meat and dairy, you don’t have to worry about consuming cholesterol or carcinogens. Plus, vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which we definitely all need.

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Try these vegan pizza recipes at home:

Pizza dough with sauce on it, surrounded by a variety of plant-based ingredients.
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At the end of the day, everyone has their own idea of what’s healthy and what’s not. If you’re not a big fan of vegan pizza just yet, these recipes might be able to change your mind.

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Vegan Pepperoni Pizza

Let’s start with this easy vegan pepperoni pizza from Contentedness Cooking. While there are a ton of different pepperoni alternatives out there, this recipe uses zucchini. One of the best aspects of plant-based cooking is how creative it can be! If you’re looking for a pizza with simple ingredients, this is a great option.

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Vegan Deep Dish Pizza Recipe

For those wanting a pizza that’s a bit more in their comfort zone, you can’t go wrong with this vegan deep-dish pizza. You’ll need a few different ingredients to make the crust and the red bell pepper, garlic, and spinach filling, but the entire meal can be done in under an hour, according to Vegan Richa.

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Vegan Caprese Pizza

A classic Caprese pizza is delicious, but it’s even better when it’s vegan. This recipe from Blissful Basil requires a few more ingredients than the last two, but if you already cook a lot of plant-based meals, you’ll likely have everything right at home.

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BBQ Pizza with Crispy Cauliflower

If you want to try something more unique, Vegan Heaven’s barbeque pizza with cauliflower is a must. This animal-free recipe requires less than 10 ingredients and can be made in under 45 minutes.

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