I’m going to live until I die, and everything in between is just another excuse to eat peanut butter.Dana Gould, Comedian
Sometimes you just have to try new flavor combinations. As a lifelong vegetarian, BBQ hasn’t been high on my list. But BBQ sauce inspired vegan pizza ideas keep popping up, so I figured I would try this unusual one—BBQ and peanut butter.
After years of paying $15-20 a jar for cashew, walnut, almond and other fancy nut butters, I’ve circled back to loving the taste (and lower price) of good, old-fashioned peanut butter. Peanuts have protein, carbs, and fat, in addition to vitamin E, B3, B6, folate, magnesium, copper, and manganese. What’s not to love?
I adapted this week’s recipe from Julie Hasson’s Vegan Pizza book. We’ve had at least 40 different vegan pizzas this year. Her recipes are consistently delicious and reliable. This week we didn’t get our usual produce delivery. It was both my birthday and a good friend’s b-day. Since we knew we’d be getting takeout twice (fancy lunch packed in tin foil for me, burritos over Zoom to celebrate with our friend), I let our produce drawer get lean. One of my resolutions this year is to waste less food and throw away less produce.
When I make this recipe again (and I am sure I will, it was that good!), I’d try Julie’s suggested toppings—green bell pepper, yellow onion, and corn. I used yellow squash, red onion, and marinated tempeh. Tempeh and peanut butter? Yes, I know, it sounds strange, and it’s mixing two protein types in one dish, which can cause stomach upset for some. To me, this pizza was every bit as good as my fancy birthday lunch and I’d happily eat it again.
My partner was not keen to try this one, so I used a piece of dough I had left over in the fridge and made a personal pizza. Since I figure you will be making this for two, the amounts below are for a generous medium size pizza.
Peanut Butter BBQ Sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter- I used chunky, smooth works too
- 1/8 cup vegan BBQ sauce- I used Primal Kitchen brand because it’s sugar free
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water to thin
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- dash cayenne
Note: Julie Hasson’s recipe calls for equal parts peanut butter and BBQ sauce, only 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, and 2 cloves of garlic. My variation is what I tired and loved. Feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your taste buds. I love garlic and had garlic so am surprised I left it out. But, I tasted it before putting the garlic in and liked the sweetness so left it that way. In the future I am sure I’ll try it with the garlic too.
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and let sit while you prepare the toppings.
I avoid tofu. I admit it. I used to think that made me a bad vegan, that I had to try harder to like it. But, then I found tempeh and let go of my tofu avoidance guilt. If you haven’t tried tempeh before, this is my favorite.
Usually I cut the tempeh into strips and fry them without oil in an eco-friendly non-stick pan, 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. For this recipe, I added a marinade. Tempeh will take on whatever flavor you give it, which makes it versatile.
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut aminos or Braggs
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
Whisk these two ingredients in a wide bowl. Place strips of tempeh into the bowl, turning them over to coat both sides. Let sit for a few minutes while you roll out your dough.
For this recipe I used spelt flour because we’ve been making a lot of crust with all-purpose, bread, and pizza flours and I wanted to try something new. The recipe below is a basic pizza dough recipe that can be used with any of those four flours mentioned. Each flour has a different protein content and will behave a bit differently.
As a basic recipe, this works for many flours. I have not tried it with gluten-free flour yet. Also, I don’t recommend this recipe with oat, coconut, buckwheat or almond flours. (I actually don’t think pizza would taste especially good with those flours.) If you have a specific flour you want to use, the best thing to do is to Google a recipe for your specific flour type.
This recipe works with spelt, all-purpose, bread, and pizza flour.
- 1 cup warm, but not boiling water (105-110° if you have a thermometer)
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2.5 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- In a large bowl, add sugar, yeast, and warm water. Let stand for 3 minutes until yeast bubbles.
- Add 2 cups flour, salt, and oil. Stir with the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula until the mix just comes together.
- Knead with hands for 2-3 minutes.
- Lightly oil a bowl twice the size of your dough. Place dough in the bowl and flip over to cover both sides lightly with oil. Cover with a damp tea towel and set in a warm, draft-free place to rest for 15 minutes.
Note: You can let the dough rest longer if you have more time. I aim for 1 hour, but don’t always make the dough earlier enough to do this. It’s not a necessity for this recipe. Fifteen minutes is fine if that’s what you got.
If you don’t have coconut sugar, honey tastes great. You need some sort of sugar for the yeast to activate.
- Heat your oven to 450°.
- Roll out your dough to desired thickness.
- Spread on peanut butter BBQ sauce.
- Sprinkle a layer of vegan mozzarella shreds over the sauce.
- Add your veggies. I used red onions and yellow squash, pan fried in a bit of olive oil for 5 minutes.
- I dropped the veggie mix onto my pizza and then used the already lightly oiled and hot frying pan to fry the tempeh. To do this, use a fork or tongs to take the tempeh out of the marinade (it will have soaked up most of it) and pan fry for 3 minutes on each side. Cut the tempeh into thirds and sprinkle around the pizza.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your pizza.
I loved this pizza and will definitely make it again. The flavor combination of BBQ peanut butter sauce with melted mozzarella and veggies is delicious. Next time I will try different veggies. Even with our limited produce selection this week, it was a great meal and one I’d happily recommend.
If you make this or any other pizza, we’d love to know @52veganpizzas.