A person’s preferred style of pizza can be a very polarizing issue (Chicago deep dish or New York thin crust, anyone?), but we don’t discriminate. In fact, if the slice is vegan, we’re interested. And, because we’re open to any and all plant-based pizzas, we’ve decided to highlight seven styles that we’re considering for National Pizza Day. We don’t yet know which variety we will choose, but the odds-on favorite is all of them.
1. Chicago-style deep dish
With thick, doughy, chewy, and slightly crusty edges, the classic Chicago-style deep dish is for crust lovers. Some argue there is more finesse in the thinner, wood-fired varieties, but if you love that thick, bready mouthfeel, the deep dish cannot be beat. If you live in the Los Angeles area, Echo Park’s Masa is known for its monstrous vegan deep dish creations. Not in LA? Make your own. Vegan Richa has multiple deep dish wonders, from traditional tomato to black-eyed peas with tofu-thyme ricotta!
2. Stuffed pizza
Stuffed pizza is a play on deep dish that is another option for pizza lovers. Formed in a deep, round pan, this pie begins with crust, sauce, and toppings galore, before adding more crust and a final ladle of sauce (and perhaps some vegan cheese). The toppings are sealed inside the two layers of pillowy crust, à la a round calzone or pot pie. For some recipe inspiration, check out Eat Plants/Drink Beer for a complete stuffed-pizza how-to guide.
3. New York-style thin crust
New York-style pizza is the antithesis to the deep dish. The crust is thin, toppings are kept to a minimum, and it is borderline sacreligious to consume this slice with utensils. The crust should be crisp yet chewy and pliable enough to fold and handle with your hands. The toppings (typically tomato sauce, vegan cheese, and perhaps vegan pepperoni) are also kept to a minimum to prevent the crust from getting too soggy and droopy—thus avoiding the unfortunate scenario of picking up a slice and watching the toppings slide off. Obviously, New York City is the best location to find this style of pie, but if you’re out of the area, check out this Serious Eats crust recipe that is delicious.
Sicilian pizza is the original “square” slice and is marked with a thick, crispy crust, while toppings are generally limited to sauce and cheese. However, the true defining characteristic of this pizza is that the sauce is placed on top of the cheese in order to maintain a crispy crust. To make one at home, use a deep-dish-crust recipe, press it into a rectangular pan brushed with olive oil, and remember to put on the cheese before the sauce.
5. Grandma slice
This rectangle-shaped pizza slice originates from Long Island, though it has migrated across the country since it first caught Newsday’s eye in 2003. A variation of the Sicilian but with a thin crust, Grandma-slice pizza can be found in mom-and-pop shops, and the fact that it’s rather cheap makes it a great grab-and-go meal. No local Italian eateries around? Make your own using a thin crust and a rectangular pan.
This thin-crust style pizza is a gourmand’s favorite—you’ll find it in most upscale pizza restaurants and pay anywhere from $12–$20 for one. Each creation is approximately 10 inches in diameter and wood-fired with a puffy outer crust. The toppings are simple yet key because when using few ingredients, each component really needs to shine. Think of the classic Margherita (San Marzano tomato sauce, vegan mozzarella, and basil) and marinara (tomato sauce and perhaps a dash of vegan parmesan). To make this at home, check out this detailed Serious Eats guide to hack a wood-burning oven at home.
To make a Montanara, thin Neapolitan-style dough is deep fried, giving the pie a golden hue that is crispy, chewy, and puffy. The simple toppings—red sauce, vegan cheese, and basil—are added after the crust is fried. Then, the whole pizza is quickly wood-fired to heat the toppings. This style is rare, and your best bet to find a vegan version is in New York. However, you can also use the Serious Eat’s method, and create your own deep-fried Italian delight.