This vegan pizza with white sauce is so good you'll never look back! It's insanely easy to make and super flavorful thanks to the addition of spinach, lemon zest and chili flakes. No cheese needed!
If you're on a plant-based or dairy-free diet, you know that it's not always easy to find great cheese alternatives. That's why I wanted to prove to you that you can make a good pizza even without cheese! In fact, this recipe was inspired by my famous cheeseless pizza and uses this vegan bechamel as a base.
This version of pizza Bianca is perfect for pizza night all year round (I say YAY to frozen spinach). It's scrumptious, comforting and healthier than a regular one. If you like to eat pizza with salad on the side, this Mediterranean tomato-cucumber salad pairs really well with it.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Vegan white sauce pizza makes the perfect weeknight dinner that everyone will love!
- It's a lot easier to make than you may think.
- The white sauce is made from scratch and so damn delicious.
- You can make it with fresh or frozen spinach.
- It's a great alternative to pizza with tomato sauce.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- You can make your own pizza crust or use a store-bought crust. If using a ready-to-go one, make sure it's vegan and gluten-free as needed. I have tried this gluten-free crust recipe and can absolutely recommend it.
- Cashew butter is key to make the white sauce. You want to use raw cashew butter (which is very light in color) for its neutral taste. Jiva and Artisana are my favorite brands. Avoid roasted cashew butter (which has a brown color) as you'll be able to taste it in the sauce. Do not replace it with another type of nut or seed butter.
- Vegetable broth dictates the flavor of the white sauce. I personally love mixing water with bouillon powder to have just the right amount needed in any recipe.
- Spinach is my topping of choice for this white pizza. You can use fresh or frozen spinach (details in the instructions below). If using frozen, make sure it's 100% spinach and dairy-free.
See recipe card for the full ingredient list and exact quantities.
- Add hummus or white miso paste to your white sauce. It will make it taste even more delicious (2 tablespoons should be enough).
- Make the white sauce and sauté the spinach ahead of time. If you're meal-prepping for the week, you can make the white sauce and sautee the spinach on your prep day. That way, you only have to quickly assemble the pizza on a weeknight.
- If you have some leftover white sauce, try this vegan mushroom pasta!
How to make vegan white pizza sauce
STEP 1: Make the white pizza sauce. Add the cashew butter, vegetable broth and spices to a high container if heating it up in the microwave (the height prevents spillage). Alternatively, add everything to a small saucepan. Give it a good stir.
STEP 2: Heat the mixture until it thickens. Microwave on medium-high for 2 minutes. Then, whisk until smooth. If it's still not thick enough, microwave for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
OR heat the mixture over medium-high heat on the stove. Whisk continuously until it thickens. See this post for step-by-step pictures.
If you don't have cashew butter, soak ¾ cup raw cashews in warm water for 2 hours. Drain them. Blend the soaked cashews with ¼ cup of vegetable broth, garlic powder and nutmeg in a high-speed blender until perfectly smooth. Add more water as needed.
Pizza step-by-step (with pictures)
STEP 1: Wash the spinach thoroughly. Heat a pan with your preferred cooking oil. Add the spinach to the pan.
STEP 2: Sauté the spinach until wilted. Remove from the heat and use it as a topping for your pizza.
Elo's tip: use frozen spinach. If you don't want to bother sauteeing spinach, you can use frozen spinach. Let it defrost in a fine-mesh sieve over the sink. Once defrosted, press out any excess moisture with your hands before using it as a topping.
STEP 3: Roll out the pizza dough on a baking sheet. Fold the edges over to form the crust and prick the bottom with a fork. Don't forget to preheat the oven according to package directions.
STEP 4: Spread a generous layer of white sauce on the pizza base using a spoon. Be generous here, you don't want the pizza to be dry after baking.
STEP 5: Add the toppings. Add the sauteed (or defrosted) spinach and sliced red onion onto the pizza. Top with more cashew cream if desired. You can also brush the edges with a little olive oil to make them golden-brown and extra crispy.
STEP 6: Bake the pizza according to the package directions of your pizza dough. I baked it for 25 minutes at 400°F. Feel free to bake it in a cast-iron skillet or on a pizza stone if you have one.
Elo's tip: To really elevate your pizza and enhance its overall taste, we highly recommend adding fresh herbs, lemon zest and extra spices once you take it out of the oven. Find my favorite topping ideas below.
Toppings for a white pizza
Toppings to add before baking
- Artichoke hearts pair really well with this white pizza recipe.
- Broccoli florets are great on a white pizza, too.
- Tomato slices or cherry tomatoes make it a little juicier.
- Sauteed fennel (check out this recipe) or red peppers add depth of flavor.
- Marinated veggies from the jar are easy to use if you don't want to sauté spinach.
- Caramelized onions or minced garlic make you pizza even more flavorul.
Note: If have vegan mozzarella or grated cheese that you absolutely love, you can use it as a topping as well.
Toppings to add after baking
- You can never go wrong with fresh basil.
- Add fresh arugula for extra greens.
- Sprinkle some freshly grated lemon zest or a little bit of lemon juice on top (it's my absolute favorite).
- Add some red pepper flakes or chili oil if you like it spicy.
- Never underestimate some coarsely ground black pepper.
Frequently asked questions
White pizzas are topped with a white rather than a red sauce. It's usually similar to a bechamel made of milk and butter. Vegan alternatives are often cashew or tofu-based.
First, let the leftover pizza cool down completely. If not done yet, cut it into slices. Store them in an airtight container or on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
This vegan white pizza sauce doesn't freeze well. We recommend making it shortly before serving as you can whip it up within minutes. You could however make up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Vegan White Sauce Pizza (No Cheese)
For the vegan white pizza sauce
- 3 tablespoons (50 g) cashew butter see notes
- ¾ cup (240 ml) vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For the pizza
- 1 pizza crust (homemade or store-bought) gluten-free
- 3 cups (90 g) fresh spinach or frozen (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Extra toppings (optional)
- Fresh basil
- Lemon zest
- Red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Combine the cashew butter, vegetable broth, garlic powder and nutmeg in a large bowl or saucepan. Microwave for 3 minutes on medium-high or cook over medium-high heat on the stove until it thickens (5-7 minutes). Whisk until fully combined.
- Cut the onion in half and into thin slices. Wash the spinach.
- Heat a pan with a little vegetable oil. When hot, sauté the spinach until wilted.
- Roll out the pizza crust on parchment paper. Prick the bottom with a fork and fold the edges over (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Spread a generous layer of white pizza sauce onto the crust. Top with the sauteed spinach and red onion. Drizzle some more white sauce on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes (or according to package directions if using a store-bought crust).
- Garnish with some fresh lemon, lemon zest and red pepper flakes if desired.
- Use raw cashew butter, which is very light in color versus brown, roasted cashew butter. Jiva and Artisana are my favorite brands. Do not replace it with another type of nut or seed butter.
- If you don't have cashew butter, soak ¾ cup of raw cashews in warm water for 2 hours. Drain them. Blend the soaked cashews with ¼ cup of vegetable broth, garlic powder and nutmeg in a high-speed blender until perfectly smooth. Add more water as needed.
- For the vegetable broth, I love mixing water with bouillon powder to have just the right amount needed.
- If using frozen spinach, let it defrost in a fine-mesh sieve over the sink. Once defrosted, press out excess moisture.
- Freezing: this vegan white pizza sauce doesn't freeze well. We recommend making it shortly before serving as you can whip it up within minutes. You could however make up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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