I am so excited to be sharing my new favorite pizza combination with you in this absolutely epic Vegan Pear Pizza! This pizza starts with a creamy garlic cashew sauce topped with thin slices of sweet bartlett pears, butternut squash, and a drizzle of spicy chili oil. After baking, fresh peppery arugula and basil get added to complete this homemade pizza. All of these flavors come together perfectly after just 14-16 minutes in the oven. This pizza is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy and I promise you it will not disappoint!
How To Bake The Best Vegan Pear Pizza
First: choose the right pear variety for baking
I originally shared this recipe on Instagram as a collaboration with USA Pears. Since so many of you loved this recipe, I knew I had to share it on the blog too! I decided to go with local PNW pears for this recipe and used Bartlett Pears. When ripe they are sweet and juicy. This really allows them to “melt” into the pizza and add a lot of sweet juicy flavor to the sauce.
How do you know what pear to use if you don’t have access to bartlett pears?
I’d recommend using other pears that have similar sweetness levels to bartlett pears such as comice, red bartlett, concorde, or green anjou pears. I would avoid pears that hold their shape perfectly when baked such as bosc pears as they may be too crunchy for this pizza.
If you want to look up all the local PNW pears you can choose from, USA Pears has an amazing Pears Varieties List where you can research the type of pears you want to use in this recipe!
How to make a creamy vegan garlic sauce
If you looked at this recipe and thought “wait where is the cheese?”, I am happy to report that no cheese is needed when you use this thick and creamy vegan garlic cashew sauce.
It all starts with soaking your raw cashews. I like to fill up a container with water so my cashews are completely covered in the morning, add it to the fridge, and come home from work to perfectly soaked cashews to make this sauce. I don’t recommend letting your pears soak overnight or over 6 hours unless they are soaking in the fridge or they may become bitter and lose their flavor.
Essentially, this soaking process completely changes the texture of the raw cashews and makes them super soft. If you’re in a time crunch or forgot to soak your cashews ahead of time, just add them to a container with boiling hot water. Let them soak for 30 minutes for similar results!
After the cashews are soaked and strained, this sauce doesn’t require too much work! Blend the cashews solo for a first to round to process them into a paste. Then add in the nutritional yeast, garlic, water, salt, and pepper. Blend until a smooth and thick sauce forms. Easy peasy!
P.S- as a fun hack, try adding a bit more water and some oil and use this simple recipe as a sauce on pasta! It will end up similar to my recipe for Creamy Vegan Truffle & Mushroom Pasta! Or, add some Vegan Pesto to make this pizza even more flavorful.
Tips for a perfect vegan pizza crust
As soon as I posted this pizza, the biggest question I got asked is “How Do I Make My Pizza Crust Perfectly Crispy?”. I saved some story highlights on my Instagram under the title “Pear Pizza” where you can see a video tutorial of me making this pizza. I used store-bought dough in this recipe, but these tips also apply to a homemade pizza dough:
Do NOT use a rolling pin to form your dough.
Start by shaping your dough into a circle, then draw an imaginary line down the center of the dough. Use your fingertips to gently dimple the dough out towards the crust, leaving about 1 inch untouched for the crust. Flip the dough over and repeat this dimpling process until you can fit both your hands in the dough. Once both your hands can fit in the center of the dough, use your palms to start stretching the dough or stretch it in the air like the true professional you are! This process preserves the air bubbles in the dough where a rolling pin would just deflate them.
Heat your Pizza Stone in the over BEFORE adding your pizza to the oven.
Preheating your pizza stone is seriously SO important for a crispy crust and evenly cooked pizza. I stretch my dough out on my marble pastry board and then I transfer it to the preheated pizza stone before I add the toppings and bake.
Brush the crust with a little olive oil.
All you need is 1 tsp of oil to accomplish that perfectly brown crispy crust.
Halfway Through Baking, rotate the Pizza Stone.
Why? Because the oven is going to be less hot by the glass window. Turning the stone will allow that brown crust to form around the whole pizza. As you can see, I didn’t take my own advice with this pizza (oops!). Forgetting to do this won’t ruin the flavor of your crust, but it will make the color of your crust even all the way around.
I hope you feel ready and equipped to make this Vegan Pear Pizza at home now! Between the sweet bartlett pears, spicy chili oil, peppery arugula, fragrant basil, and nutty butternut squash- this pizza truly has all the flavors you’d ever need on one pizza. I can’t wait to see all of your #pearpizza creations!
If you’re looking for more savory recipes, check out these SGTO favorites:Print
The perfect vegan pear pizza topped with a creamy garlic cashew sauce, bartlett pears, butternut squash, a drizzle of chili oil, fresh arugula, & basil!
Garlic Cashew Sauce
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (*soaked for 4–6 hours)
- 1 large garlic clove (*or 2 small cloves)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- salt & pepper to taste
- 16 oz pizza dough
- 1/2 bartlett pear (*about 1/2 cup thinly sliced)
- 1/4 butternut squash (*about 1/2 cup thinly sliced)
- 2–3 tsp chili oil (*or 2.5 tsp oil with 1/2 tsp of chili flakes mixed in)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh arugula
- 5–6 leaves fresh basil, torn
- Soak your cashews for 4-6 hours before making the pizza. When ready, add your pizza stone to the oven and preheat the oven to 450F.
- First, make the garlic cashew sauce. Soak your cashews for 6 hours in water to soften. After soaking, add the cashews to a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Then, add in the garlic, water, salt, pepper, & nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- Before rolling out your pizza dough, lightly flour the surface. Then, roll the dough into your desired shape. Remove the pizza stone from the oven and add the pre-shaped dough on top.
- Add the garlic cashew sauce to the dough and use a spatula to smooth evenly across the pizza (without covering the crust). Then, layer on the butternut squash and Bartlett Pear slices. Finally, drizzle with chili oil & season with salt and pepper.
- Add the pizza to the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes until the crust is browned and crisp. Let the pizza cool slightly then top with fresh arugula and basil. Enjoy!
*You will need to soak the cashews for 4-6 hours before making the cashew garlic sauce and prepping the recipe
Keywords: vegan pizza, pear pizza, pear pizza recipe, butternut squash pizza, homemade pizza