Allergy-Friendly ‘Cheesy’ Pepperoni Pizza with Roasted Tomato Sauce
Creative tricks put this delicious favorite back on the diary-free and gluten-free menu. Years ago I learned the wonders of gluten-free pizza from the great Carol Fenster in her book, Cooking Free*. Since that time, I’ve experimented with several variations of her classic crusts; this adapted recipe is one that my family enjoys regularly. To complement, I’ve created an amazing sauce – even our resident tomato-hater adores it.
Makes: One 12 inch pizza
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 1 1/4 pounds tomatoes (cherry, Roma or cluster)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasonings or 1/2 tbsp fresh herbs
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
No Rise Gluten-Free Thin Crust
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) warm unsweetened plain milk alternative (of choice)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) brown rice flour + extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) tapioca starch
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder (for vegetarian: sub agar powder)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 5-7 ounces allergen-free pepperoni*
- Easy Cheesy Sauce or dairy-free cheese alternative shreds (mozzarella or cheddar)
Look for pepperoni brands labeled as gluten-free.
For dairy and other allergens, ensure that the source of lactic acid starter culture (a common ingredient in cured meats) is non-dairy; that no extra allergens, such as whey, lactose or soy protein, have been added; and contact the company to confirm safe allergen practices.
Two allergy-friendly brands are Applegate Farms and Columbus Farm to Fork. In a pinch, substitute freshly made cooked sausage that's allergen-free.
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Halve tomatoes if using cherry or Roma, quarter if using a cluster variety. Place cut tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss to evenly coat. Turn tomatoes cut side up.
- Roast 40 minutes. If using a larger cluster variety, remove the garlic and roast the tomatoes an additional 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Put garlic and tomatoes in a blender, and purée until smooth. Pour sauce in a small saucepan, and place over medium-low heat. Whisk in oregano, seasoning or herbs, black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Let simmer to further thicken while you prepare the pizza crust.
- Turn oven up to 425° F and line a 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet with greased parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place yeast, milk alternative and sugar in a mixer’s bowl to proof for 5 minutes. Blend in rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, gelatin, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, oil and vinegar. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes. It will be very soft and sticky dough.
- Put the mixture on the pan. Liberally sprinkle brown rice flour on the dough, to prevent sticking as you press it into a 12-inch round or rectangle with slightly thicker edges.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Top with sauce, then pepperoni (overlap the slices as they will shrink). Drizzle or spread with Cheesy Sauce or sprinkle with dairy-free cheese alternative shreds. Bake pizza for another 20 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. If needed, broil for 2-3 minutes to brown the Cheesy Sauce or melt shreds.
Alisa’s Easy ‘Cheesy’ Sauce
- 2/3 cup unsweetened milk alternative (of choice), plus additional as needed
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp comstarch or arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or additional sweet paprika)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place all ingredients, except pepper, in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes as it bubbles, whisking continuously.
- Remove from heat immediately and season to taste with pepper. The sauce will be relatively thick. If you prefer a drizzle, thin with additional milk alternative.
Recipe first published in Allergic Living magazine. Subscribe today for more great allergy-friendly and gluten free recipes