I am so excited to be sharing my new favorite pizza combination with you in this absolutely epic Vegan Butternut Squash Pear Pizza! This pizza starts with a creamy vegan garlic cashew sauce. Then it is topped with sweet bartlett pears, butternut squash, arugula, and a drizzle of spicy chili oil. This pizza truly is the perfect mix of sweet and spicy!
How to bake a vegan pear pizza
Choose the right pear variety
I decided to go with local PNW pears for this recipe and used Bartlett Pears. These pears work best because they get super juicy when they are cooked and do not hold their shape. This really allows them to "melt" into the pizza and add a lot of sweet 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!
Make the creamy vegan garlic sauce
If you looked at this vegan pear pizza 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. Soaking the cashews helps to soften them so they will blend well into a creamy sauce. I like to soak with cashews for 1 hour in hot water, but you can also add them to a container, top with water, and store in the fridge for 6-8 hours to prep ahead of time.
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! Better yet, add in some Vegan Pesto to make this pear arugula pizza even more flavorful.
Add pizza toppings & bake
Once the sauce is prepped, shape the pizza dough and top it with the sauce. Then, add on the thinly sliced pear & butternut squash slices. Finally, drizzle with the chili oil for a spicy pear pizza! Bake for 14-16 minutes until the crust is crisp. Then, top the cooked pear pizza with arugula, fresh basil, and serve!
Tips for a perfect vegan pizza crust
As soon as I posted this pear pizza, the biggest question I got asked is "How Do I Make My Pizza Crust Perfectly Crispy?". I used my favorite Vegan Garlic Herb Pizza Dough to make this recipe. However, any premade vegan pizza dough will work!
- 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 Butternut Squash & 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 for an epic Fall Pizza. Enjoy!
More plant-based dinner recipes you will love:
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Vegan Pear Pizza
Garlic Cashew Sauce
- 16 oz vegan pizza dough
- ½ bartlett pear *about ½ cup thinly sliced
- ¼ butternut squash *about ½ cup thinly sliced
- 2-3 tsp chili oil *or 2.5 tsp oil with ½ tsp of chili flakes mixed in
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ cup fresh arugula
- 5-6 leaves fresh basil torn
- Soak your cashews for 1 hour in hot water 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. Add the soaked cashews and garlic to a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Then, add in the 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 desired shape. Remove the pizza stone from the oven and add the pre-shaped dough on top.
- Spread the garlic cashew sauce on top of 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. Lightly brush the crust with olive oil to help it crisp.
- Add the pizza to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is browned and crisp. Let the pizza cool slightly then top with fresh arugula and basil. Enjoy!
- Pizza can be stored in the fridge in a closed container for 3-5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Make sure to store slices between parchment paper so they do not stick together.