It’s PIZZA NIGHT! Well, actually, as I write this, it’s 7am, so it’s PIZZA MORNING. I would actually eat this pizza for breakfast, though. Dang it, now I’m hungry. Moving on…you need to know about this pizza.
Vegan Thai Chickpea Pizza with Sweet Potato Peanut Sauce – it’s a mouthful, in more ways than one. And, I’ll just tell it to you straight out, it’s not the simplest pizza you’ll ever make. But I have lots of tips to make it an easier process, and I can promise you, it is worth every moment. Let’s do this thing!
There are two keys to making this pizza without wanting to throw all the ingredients out the window.
- Order of operations.
The fact that I am encouraging you to be organized and efficient is kind of a miracle, because it means that I have actually learned these lessons for myself. Well, at least when it comes to this pizza. One step at a time.
If you are SUPER-organized, the easiest way to make this pizza is to do all of the prep work ahead of time, so that you can just assemble the pizza and bake it when the hour of thai chickpea pizza is upon you. But I’m going to go ahead and assume that you are like me and still learning how to be efficient at this meal planning thing, and you might get the urge to make this pizza without having done any prep work already. High-five, we’ve got this.
How to Make Thai Chickpea Pizza in 5 Steps
- Roast the chickpeas
- Make the sweet potato peanut sauce
- Prep the veggies and optional toppings
- Make the savory cashew cream (optional)
- Assemble and bake the pizza
Step 1 – Roast the chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 425F, then pour 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (1 15 oz. can) on a rimmed baking sheet. Pat the chickpeas dry with a kitchen towel, then toss with soy sauce and grapeseed oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes while you make the sauce. If you happen to already have some easy roasted chickpeas on hand, you’re all set!
Step 2 – Make the Sweet Potato Peanut Sauce
Peel and chop 1 large sweet potato and add it to a sauce pan along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 6 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked. Add peanut butter, fresh ginger, garlic, and lime juice, and cook for a minute or two. Puree the sauce right in the pot with an immersion blender, or move to a blender or food processor to get the job done. Hint: This is why immersion blenders are where it’s at. Set the sauce aside. You’ll have some leftover, by the way, and that’s a good thing, because then you can make salad rolls.
Step 3 – Prep the veggies and optional toppings
To make perfect julienned carrots and red bell peppers, along with thinly sliced mushrooms, I use my mandoline, but a very sharp chef’s knife works just fine too, of course. By this time the chickpeas should be roasted, so pull them out of the oven and set them aside in a bowl. You’ll use the baking sheet again to bake the pizza.
Step 4 – Make the Savory Cashew Cream (optional)
I could probably make this sauce with my eyes closed, it’s that familiar. I make it at least once a week, because we use it for SO. MANY. THINGS. It’s the base for vegan ranch dressing. It’s the cheesy filling in quesadillas. It’s dolloped on top of potatoes or roasted cauliflower. It’s the mayo in chickpea salad sandwiches. The list goes on and on and on. But we especially love it as the “cheese” on our pizza (or in lasagna!). We’ve tried many vegan cheese options, and they just don’t do it for us. So now, I just thin out this sauce with a tiny bit of water so it’s pourable, and then drizzle it over the pizza before baking. The sauce thickens as it bakes, and holds all the toppings on. It’s kind of a big deal.
But hey, the beauty of making your own pizza is that you can make it any way you want. If you have another vegan cheese that you just love, use it! Or, don’t use any cheese at all. It’ll still be delicious! And easier, too.
Step 5 – Assemble and bake the pizza
You remember that pan you just used to roast the chickpeas? Now it’s going to serve double duty as your pizza baking sheet! I’m all about making fewer dishes. Toss a bit of rice flour, cornmeal, or flour on the baking sheet, and plop the dough on top. Stretch out the dough to fit the shape of the pan, and then slather on the sauce. Liberally sprinkle the chickpeas and veggies on top, then drizzle with the savory cashew cream or sprinkle on your favorite vegan cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the veggies are cooked. Add any optional toppings like crushed peanuts or cashews, fresh cilantro, or sriracha. Or all of them, because YUM.
I lied. There is a Step 6.
Can you guess what it is?
Oh, I’m sorry. You can’t talk when your mouth is full.
By the way, I cut my pizza with scissors! Have you ever tried it? I like cutting the pizza into squares, because then there are crust pieces and no-crust pieces. With this pizza, I’m a no-crust person, but I won’t turn a crust piece away. I just like getting as much pizza surface area covered with as much goodness as possible.
That’s a lot of goodness.
Ok, friends. Does this pizza a lot of steps to make? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. Are there ways to make it easier and more efficient? Yes. Are you tired of these questions that obviously all end in yes? Yes.
If you give this pizza a go, I’d love to hear about it! It makes me do a happy dance. Give me a shout out here in the comments (my fav) or tag @passtheplants and hashtag #passtheplants on Instagram. I love to see what you cook up!
I really wish I had some pizza for breakfast right now.
Vegan Thai Chickpea Pizza
- 16 oz . pizza dough (I use Trader Joe’s for convenience)
- 1 cup sweet potato peanut sauce (or or sub your favorite peanut sauce)
- 1/2 cup savory cashew cream (or use your favorite vegan cheese)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (drained and patted dry with a kitchen towel, 1 15oz. can)
- 2 T . soy sauce
- 1 tsp . grapeseed oil or other neutral-flavored oil
- 1 red bell pepper (deseeded and julienned)
- 1 carrot (peeled and julienned)
- 4 oz . crimini or button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 1 leaves handful of baby spinach (sliced into ribbons)
- 1/2 medium red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
- Fresh cilantro and/or Thai basil
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together the chickpeas, soy sauce, and oil.
- Roast chickpeas for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and slightly crispy. If you already have a batch of easy roasted chickpeas on hand, you can skip this step.
- Meanwhile, set your pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and let it start to come to room temperature while you prep the sauce and veggies.
- Make the sweet potato peanut sauce while the chickpeas are roasting (see recipe below).
- Prep the vegetable toppings as the peanut sauce and chickpeas are cooking.
- Remove the chickpeas from the baking sheet and set aside in a bowl.
- Using the same baking sheet as you roasted the chickpeas (let it cool down for a minute or two first!), sprinkle some cornmeal or rice flour on the surface and then add the pizza dough, stretching it gently to fit the shape of the pan.
- Layer on 1 cup of the peanut sauce, then add the vegetables and roasted chickpeas.
- Mix 1 T. of water into the savory cashew cream to make it a pourable consistency, then drizzle it over the top of the pizza. Alternatively, add your favorite vegan cheese.
- Bake at 425F for 12-15 minutes, until the crust is browned and the vegetables are cooked. For a crisper crust, bake at 450F for 10-12 minutes, but watch carefully to make sure the pizza isn’t burning.
- Remove pizza from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with desired toppings.