This vegan cheeseburger pizza recipe has all of the classic, All-American flavors of a burger but in pizza form. Plus, it’s ready in just 20 minutes. Don’t forget the pickles & special sauce!
Every Monday at our house is pizza night. When the week is just getting started, I like to ease in to real life by making something that’s super easy & always sounds good.
But lately, I’ve been making this cheeseburger pizza recipe.
Oh, my goodness.
I can’t even say exactly which aspect of this pizza is my favorite, because it all works so perfectly together. It’s harmony in action.
There’s a meaty, smoky veggie burger that has the grill flavor built right in.
There are two kinds of non-dairy cheeses melted on top – mozzarella and cheddar.
There are the classic burger toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles.
Then there’s a drizzling of special sauce that takes it all the way home. It’s that nostalgic fast food burger flavor, but on a crispy crust.
Plus, the whole shebang is ready in only 20 minutes! By using some store-bought shortcuts of a frozen crust and prepared burger, a family-friendly dinner really couldn’t be much faster or more universally adored.
Real talk: After making this pizza to photograph on Monday, I was so excited that I got to eat the leftovers the next two days at lunch. I started looking forward to them each day at breakfast.
Now that I’m looking at these pics all over again, another pie may be in order!
Which kind of veggie burger should I use?
For this recipe, I used a Gardein beefless burger. They come frozen with four to a package. Since the whole pizza uses just one burger, you can really stretch out a bag of them this way.
But feel free to use any veggie burger you like. Toothsome, meaty burgers work particularly well at evoking the traditional flavors of this dish.
Other good options would be burgers from Field Roast or Beyond Meat. (You can read more about these burgers in my post on vegan grilling.) They’re also selling the Impossible Burger now at Trader Joe’s and Imperfect Foods. That would be delicious too.
Or you can use beefless crumbles. Your call!
What kind of crust is best?
To make this a really simple & fast weeknight meal, I like to use a store-bought frozen crust. Trader Joe’s sells frozen crusts from Monteli, which come two to a package. They have a permanent spot on my Trader Joe’s grocery list.
They’re a freezer staple at our house, and one of my favorite vegan Trader Joe’s products. (<–You can see a picture of the package through that link.)
I do like to make one adjustment, though. The Monteli instructions say to cook the crust for 6 to 7 minutes. I don’t think it’s crisp enough at that point. I recommend cooking for 12 minutes instead.
If you’d rather make a crust from scratch, use store-bought dough, or a different frozen crust, by all means, go for it. Simply follow the oven temperature & cooking times on the package.
Keep in mind that the Monteli crust is 10 inches. Adjust accordingly with the amount of toppings you might need on a different sized crust.
What about the special sauce?
The special sauce is also known as vegan Thousand Island dressing. It’s made with a mixture of eggless mayo, ketchup, diced pickles, and lemon juice. It has a tanginess and slight sweetness that really finishes the experience beautifully.
Short on time? Grab a bottle of prepared vegan Thousand Island dressing to use instead of homemade.
How to make this cheeseburger pizza recipe
Start by preheating the oven to 420 degrees.
Then break up & brown a veggie burger in a skillet.
Top a frozen crust with marinara or pizza sauce, veggie burger, non-dairy mozzarella, and cheddar.
Pop it into the oven right on the grill grates.
While the pizza cooks, chop the cold vegetables to go on top. And mix up the special sauce in a bowl with eggless mayo, ketchup, lemon juice, and diced pickle.
Finish your pizza with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and special sauce.
Tips on reheating
If you have leftovers, I recommend removing the cold ingredients before reheating. Take off the lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. (The onions can stay.) Warm pickles and lettuce may be standard on a conveyer belt burger, but no one wants to emulate that, right?
So take off the cold veggie toppings, and set them aside. After you’ve warmed the pizza, pop them back on the slices. If you have any special sauce left over, that’s a good time for another fresh drizzle.
By the way, my favorite way to reheat pizza these days is in the air fryer. While it would be tricky to cook a full-sized pizza that way, it works like a dream for reheating slices. You don’t have to preheat the air fryer. And it makes everything crisp & melty again, unlike the microwave, which doesn’t do a crust any favors.
Vegan cheeseburger pizza with special sauce
Vegan cheeseburger pizza
- ½ teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral-flavored, high heat oil
- 1 veggie burger thawed if necessary
- 1 10-inch frozen pizza crust I use frozen Monteli crust from Trader Joe's
- ½ cup marinara or pizza sauce
- ¼ cup shredded non-dairy cheese I use a mixture of mozzarella & cheddar
- 2 romaine leaves chopped
- ¼ cup chopped tomatoes or 6 sliced cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup dill pickle slices
- 1 Tablespoon minced onion
Special sauce (Vegan Thousand Island dressing)
- 2 Tablespoons vegan mayonnaise I use Vegenaise
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped dill pickles
To make vegan cheeseburger pizza
- Preheat oven to 420 degrees. (If you are using a different frozen or store-bought crust, follow the directions on the package for the correct temperature for pre-heating & cooking time.)
- Bring a non-stick skillet to a medium heat along with oil. Crumble the veggie burger into the skillet. Saute a few minutes, until browned. Then remove from heat & set aside.
- Use a spoon to cover the pizza crust in marinara. Top with browned veggie burger and shredded non-dairy cheese.
- Put the pizza directly onto the oven grate & bake for 12 minutes. (The Monteli package recommends 6 to 7 minutes for baking, but I think the crust isn't crisp enough at that point.)
- While the pizza is baking, chop the vegetable toppings for the pizza and make the special sauce.
- When the pizza is done, remove it from the oven and cut it into 6 slices. Top it with chopped romaine, tomatoes, dill pickle slices, and minced onion. Finish with drizzles of special sauce across the pizza and serve.
To make special sauce (vegan Thousand Island dressing)
- In a small bowl, combine vegan mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, and dill pickles. Set aside.