Vegan Puttanesca Pizza

By Alexandra Caspero on March 6, 2019

Simple vegan pizza that taste like Puttanesca pasta! Layers of fresh tomato slices, briny olives and capers and roasted vegetables. Topped with homemade dairy-free parmesan cheese.

Puttanesca pizza! I first made this recipe for you back in 2014, but decided it needed a refresh. Have you noticed that I’ve done that to quite a few recipes as of late? Things that I posted back in 2010-2014 that needed to be reworked/rephotographed/redone.

I always get asked how I come up with so many recipes and the truth is that sometimes I have so many ideas I could fill a notebook and sometimes I get into ruts of creating new things that I’m really psyched about. I’m almost finished working on two big projects where I’ve had to create almost 200 different recipes and that means my recipe brain gets fried faster than usual.

So I’ve been recreating some of the items that I know you would love, but were a little hard to find on this space.

vegan puttanesca pizza

We watched the movie Chef this weekend (PS- so good! Make sure you’ve eaten beforehand because you are going to drool over every scene), and I felt drawn to the struggles he faced everywhere in his life…besides the kitchen.

The kitchen is my safe space. It’s where I can lose myself in rolling out a pizza dough, creating a new sauce, or taste testing multiple batches of granola at once. While I am working on being more present in my day-to-day life, being in the kitchen helps to ground me. So, thank you for continuing to show up day after day and allowing me to share my love with you.

Yummy, healthy, whole-food recipes from me to you. It’s what Delish Knowledge is all about.

vegan puttanesca pizza

Um, what’s this gotta do with pizza? Nothing. But, you should totally make this one!

Puttanesca ranks as one of my favorite spaghetti dishes of all time so it was inevitable that I would one day recreate those flavors as a pizza.

A smidge of tomato sauce and layers of fresh, thinly sliced tomatoes create the perfect base for briny olives, capers, caramelized onions and mushrooms. We then kick it up a notch with crushed red pepper.

For pizza dough, I’m a loyalist to the Trader Joe’s pizza crust in a bag. For less than $2 you get a freshly prepared dough that takes very little effort to roll out and top.

vegan puttanesca pizza pizza crust

To recreate the cheesiness of traditional pizza, generously sprinkle on our homemade Parmesan cheese shake: blended cashews, nutritional yeast and garlic salt tastes eearily similar to regular parm. I keep a batch of this in the freezer for adding onto just about any dish where I need a cheesy hit of flavor.

Roll. Top. Bake. Shake. Vegan Puttanesca pizza is served.

vegan puttanesca pizza crust Vegan Puttanesca Pizza

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

vegan puttanesca pizza

Vegan Puttanesca Pizza

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Pizza


Spicy Vegan Puttanesca Pizza! Fresh dough layered with tomatoes, olives, capers and homemade vegetarian parmesan cheese.

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Pizza
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Pizza


  • Pizza Dough (I used a plain dough from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into very thin 1/2 moons
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives
  • 2 tbsp. capers
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Vegetarian Cheese for sprinkling: Pulse all ingredients into a powder: 3/4 cup cashews, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp. garlic powder, pinch salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1/2 tbsp. olive oil.
  3. Add the red onions, red pepper flakes and pinch salt and cook until translucent and soft, about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Remove the onions from the pan and add the additional 1/2 tbsp. olive oil.
  5. Add the sliced button mushrooms and saute until browned, about 5-8 minutes.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
  7. Spread out the 3 tbsp. of tomato sauce onto the crust, leaving about 1″ around the edge for the crust. Depending on how big your crust is, you may need to add another tbsp. of sauce.
  8. Layer the sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, onions on the sauce. Sprinkle on the olives and capers.
  9. Place the pizza in the oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned and golden!
  10. Remove and sprinkle with parsley, more red pepper flakes and vegetarian parmesan cheese shake!

did you make this?

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Allison
      August 14, 2014 AT 5:01 am

      I paused for a moment when you said snickers milkshake. And then you said pizza. You pretty much made my day, Alex! I am the world’s biggest fan of puttanesca, it’s my absolute favourite pasta! I’ve never thought to create something non-pasta with those flavours! I wish I had a TJs in Canada that I could visit. The photos are seriously drool-worthy. AH! Craving!

      1. DK
        August 14, 2014 AT 10:09 am

        Ha! Well Pizza + Milkshake is my favorite dinner combo right now 🙂
        Me too! I LOVE puttanesca so it was only time before I made it into a pizza! Let me know if you try it 🙂

    2. Emma
      August 14, 2014 AT 3:53 am

      Oh lovely, the flavours in this sound incredible and I really like how fresh this looks.

      1. DK
        August 14, 2014 AT 10:11 am

        Thanks Emmma!

    3. Thalia @ butter and brioche
      August 12, 2014 AT 8:21 pm

      so craving a slice right now.. its so hard to find good vegan pizza recipes. thanks for sharing this one, i know what i will be making for dinner tonight!

    4. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
      August 12, 2014 AT 12:00 pm

      Perfect for pizza night! Love all of the fresh veggies!

    5. Annie
      August 12, 2014 AT 7:48 am

      Love puttanesca sauce – paired with bread (i.e., pizza crust…) – perfect!

      1. DK
        August 12, 2014 AT 8:39 am

        Me too! Maybe that was my subconscious inspiration- puttanesca sauce with bread…. puttanesca pizza! 🙂

    6. Joanne
      August 12, 2014 AT 5:11 am

      I feel like I also get obsessed with one idea and then develop five new ideas that are similar, but different. It happens! Love this veggie-stuffed pizza! So much of summer in every bite.

    7. Cindy Gay
      August 12, 2014 AT 2:44 am

      Loose yourself in the kitchen. And no need to “make it better”. (Next time you’ll just try a different variety!) This looks great.

      1. DK
        August 12, 2014 AT 8:39 am

        Thanks Cindy!

    8. Rachael@AnAvocadoADay
      August 11, 2014 AT 6:40 pm

      I just watched Chef this weekend too! Seriously drooled through the whole thing. My husband and I were drinking wine while watching it and I think by the end we were about one glass away from buying a food truck, haha! This pizza looks amazing!

    9. Katie @ Produce on Parade
      August 11, 2014 AT 3:45 pm

      Ooo Alex, this is my type of pizza, yum! I love that it’s a cheese-free version too 🙂

    10. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
      August 11, 2014 AT 1:25 pm

      Cheese free pizza?! I will have to check it out 🙂

      1. Cas
        October 29, 2014 AT 2:21 pm

        I would put feta on it. I am now soooo wanting this pizza. I was just looking for a puttanesca tuna sauce…and bumped into this. Oh my.

        1. DK
          October 29, 2014 AT 4:02 pm

          Hi Cas! I think feta would be a yummy addition if you eat dairy! Thanks for stopping by!

        2. Cas
          October 29, 2014 AT 2:31 pm


      2. DK
        August 11, 2014 AT 1:43 pm

        I know, I know, it’s a departure for me too but really it’s good! I feel like cheese usually overpowers the toppings and without was a nice change. If you must add cheese though- you can 🙂