Healthy Lunch Recipes

How To Make 5-Ingredient Vegan Pull-Apart Pizza Bread

Photo: Stocksy/Dejan Beokovic
If you often catch yourself reminiscing about the pizza party Fridays from your childhood days, we’ve got you covered. This fluffy, warm, and completely plant-based pull-apart pizza bread recipe lets you relive that high-vibe early 2000s sleepover energy at any age (and without having to lug out the phone book to dial your old BFF, Chuck E. Cheese). Plus there's no need for any special pie-making equipment, so you can enjoy this vegan snack any time of day using a few store-bought ingredients like pizza dough, vegan mozz, and tomato sauce.

How to make vegan pull-apart pizza bread

Danielle Brown from @healthygirlkitchen recently shared her go-to vegan pull-apart pizza bread recipe that tastes just as delicious as—and arguably better than—a regular slice of ‘za. To make it, Brown preheats the oven to 425°F and divides fresh whole grain pizza dough into 13 equal pieces. Then, she takes each individual portion, fills it with a cube of vegan mozzarella, and rolls it into a bun. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, Brown arranges them a few millimeters apart from one another to give them space to grow as they bake in the oven.

For even more melty, cheese-pull potential, Brown wedges additional mozzarella cubes in the open gaps between the buns. And to create an even more flavorful crust, she dabs a little bit of olive oil mixed with Italian seasoning over the top and bakes them until golden-brown for about 20-25 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, Brown garnishes the toasted buns with freshly minced basil and serves them with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

A few key takeaways to nail this recipe on the first try

When cooking this recipe at home, allow your pizza dough to come to room temperature and rise before shaping for at least one to three hours. Using refrigerator-cold dough will result in stiffer, less fluffy buns that will be harder to shape. However, if you can’t dedicate too much time to achieving the perfect rise, you can easily convert your Instant Pot into a proofing box to get the job done faster. Using the “yogurt” setting, add a tablespoon of oil to the bottom of the pot, then place the dough in the center and heat at 95°F for about 45 minutes. This easy step will help expedite the dough rising time for fluffier and even more delicious pull-apart pizza buns. (Find more detailed instructions on using your Instant Pot to bake bread here.)

Love it so much? Here’s how to turn it into dessert, too

One of the best things about using pizza dough is that it’s incredibly versatile and readily accessible. If you’re feeling like a sweeter take on this savory dish, you can turn it into super quick and easy cinnamon roll-inspired pull-apart bread instead. Meanwhile the pizza dough proofs, preheat the oven to 375°F and mix 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with one tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and set aside. Then, melt 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (or vegan butter, if preferred) and coat the equally-portioned (about 1 1/2 inches) dough balls in the liquid.

Next, dredge the pizza dough buns in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and shake off the excess. Arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a few millimeters in between, and bake for about 20-30 minutes. For extra sweetness, make a simple sugar icing to drizzle over the top by mixing one cup of powdered sugar, one tablespoon of milk or alt-milk, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and whisk with a fork until smooth.

Vegan pull-apart pizza bread recipe

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients
1 pound fresh whole grain vegan pizza dough
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella cheese, cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 jar pizza sauce for dipping
Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, divide the fresh whole grain pizza dough into 13 equal pieces.

2. Fill each dough portion with a cube of vegan mozzarella, and roll it into a bun.

3. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange the buns a few millimeters apart and wedge additional mozzarella cubes in the open gaps between them.

4. Mix the oil and Italian seasoning in a small bowl and drizzle over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Serve with warm pizza sauce and freshly minced basil for garnish.

Cinnamon roll-inspired pull-apart bread recipe

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients
1 pound fresh whole grain pizza dough
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (swap in plant butter to make it vegan)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk or alt-milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Meanwhile, divide the fresh pizza dough into equal pieces, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a separate small bowl, melt the butter. Next, dredge the buns in the butter and then the cinnamon-sugar mixture immediately after. Shake off the excess.

4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange the buns a few millimeters apart and wedge additional mozzarella cubes in the open gaps between them. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until fully cooked inside.

5. In a separate bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract with a fork until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over the top of the cooled buns.

Did someone say a healthier pizza alternative? Try this tomato galette:

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