Make Your Own Dairy-Free Pizza

There's nothing like a yummy pizza. But if you're allergic to milk, lactose intolerant, or you simply avoid milk out of personal preference, creating that great dairy-free pizza can be a challenge.

It's not the crust of the pizza that's usually a problem when you have a milk-free diet. Luckily, dairy-free pizza crusts are available from many manufacturers. That means making your own dairy-free pizza can take less than half an hour.

The toppings, however, can be more of a challenge. The following eight pizzas don't include any dairy ingredients, provided you use a dairy-free crust. Try one of these the next time you're in the mood for delicious pizza.


Tried and True Pizza

Marinara Pizza
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Marinara sauce, fresh basil, and a little olive oil are classic for a reason. You can top with dairy-free cheese such as soy cheese or rice cheese if you have a favorite brand.

Be aware that milk-free cheeses don't melt quite like their dairy-rich cousins.


Pesto Pizza

Pesto spread onto pizza dough

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In the summer, basil is easy to find and an easy way to sneak healthy food into kids' diets. Making dairy-free pesto is simple. Here's how:

  1. Combine equal parts torn basil and toasted pine nuts with one finely minced clove of garlic in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle.
  2. Add olive oil in a thin drizzle until the mixture forms a thick paste.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pesto is rich enough to stand up to many toppings and it's great with mushrooms or sausage.


Fresh Shellfish Pizza

Seafood pizza on a board

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For an elegant and unusual dairy-free pizza variation, try pizza alle vongole veraci, a cheese-free pizza with fresh or canned clams, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. To prepare:

  1. If using fresh clams, warm the clams in a skillet with a little olive oil, 2 cloves of sliced garlic, 1/4 cup minced parsley, and 2 teaspoons of fresh minced thyme until they open.
  2. Spread either fresh or canned chopped tomatoes over the crust.
  3. Add a little salt and a drizzle of olive oil to the crust.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes in a 450 F oven.
  5. Spread the clams over the crust and cook for another 5 minutes.

Caution: Discard any fresh clams that didn't open when warmed.


White Pizza

Philly Style White Pizza

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Fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, basil leaves, and either olive oil or a dairy-free white sauce are another classic combination. If you choose the white sauce, you'll have the rich feel of dairy without the actual allergen.


Pizza alla Bismarck

PIzza alla Bismarck in a pan

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For a truly unexpected pizza, try cheese-free pizza alla Bismarck, which is served with an egg cracked over the top. Virtually any filling that would make a good omelet—ham, olives, peppers, onions—is a good choice to top this pizza.


Hummus Pizza

Israeli Hummus

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Go Middle Eastern with this thick chickpea spread. Hummus is an especially good choice for vegetarian pizzas. Try cheeseless hummus pizza or create your own combination of toppings. You can use premade hummus from a jar or a deli or make homemade hummus in a matter of minutes.


Barbecue Pizza

BBQ chicken pizza

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Barbecue sauce on a pizza? Why not? Dairy-free artichoke pizza is one tasty option for trying this unexpected topping, or you can add your own flavor—caramelized onions, grilled chicken, or roasted red peppers are all great options.


Fruit Pizza

Fruit pizza

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If you're looking for the crispy-chewy texture of pizza, why not try a fruit pizza made with vegan cream cheese? Fruit pizzas are kid-friendly and can take advantage of whatever happens to be in season—berries in summer, apples, and pears in the fall.

By Victoria Groce
Victoria Groce is a medical writer living with celiac disease who specializes in writing about dietary management of food allergies.