substitute for cheese in pizza

Cheese is a staple ingredient in pizza, contributing to its gooey texture and rich flavor. However, there are situations where you might need to opt for cheese substitutes due to dietary choices or restrictions. In this guide, we’ll explore six effective alternatives to cheese in pizza, each offering its unique qualities to ensure a delightful pizza experience.

The Role of Cheese in Pizza:

Cheese plays a significant role in pizza for various reasons:

    1. Texture and Creaminess: Cheese adds a creamy and melt-in-your-mouth texture to pizza slices.
  1. Flavor Enhancer: It contributes a savory and umami flavor that complements other ingredients.
  2. Binding Agent: Melted cheese helps hold toppings in place, making each bite satisfying.
  3. Browning and Aesthetics: Cheese lends a golden-brown color and an enticing appearance to the pizza.
  4. Culinary Tradition: Cheese has become synonymous with the classic pizza experience loved by many.

Why Consider Cheese Alternatives:

Choosing alternatives to traditional cheese comes with several benefits:

  1. Dietary Preferences: Individuals following vegan, lactose-free, or plant-based diets can enjoy cheese-less pizza.
  2. Health Choices: Some people opt for lower-fat or lower-calorie options to align with their health goals.
  3. Cultural and Religious Reasons: Certain dietary practices restrict the consumption of dairy products.
  4. Taste and Variety: Exploring different cheese substitutes introduces new and exciting flavors to your pizza.
  5. Ingredient Experimentation: Trying alternative toppings can lead to delicious and innovative pizza combinations.

Six Cheese Substitutes for Pizza:

1. Vegan Cheese: Dairy-Free and Meltable

Vegan cheese is designed to mimic the melting and stretching qualities of dairy cheese. It’s made from plant-based ingredients and comes in various flavors.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 80
Total Fats 5g
Proteins 1g
Carbohydrates 7g

How to Use: Sprinkle vegan cheese on top of your pizza just like regular cheese.

2. Nutritional Yeast: Flavorful and Dairy-Free

Nutritional yeast is a popular cheese substitute among vegans. It provides a cheesy flavor and is often used in conjunction with other ingredients.

Nutrition Facts Per Tablespoon
Calories 20
Total Fats 0g
Proteins 3g
Carbohydrates 3g

How to Use: Sprinkle nutritional yeast over your pizza before or after baking to add a cheesy flavor.

3. Tofu Ricotta: Creamy and Plant-Based

Tofu ricotta is a dairy-free alternative that brings a creamy and slightly tangy element to your pizza.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 50
Total Fats 3g
Proteins 5g
Carbohydrates 2g

How to Use: Spread tofu ricotta evenly over the pizza crust and then add your desired toppings.

4. Hummus: Creamy and Flavorful

Hummus is a versatile spread that can also serve as a cheese alternative on pizza. It brings creaminess and a distinct taste.

Nutrition Facts Per 2 Tablespoons
Calories 50
Total Fats 3g
Proteins 2g
Carbohydrates 5g

How to Use: Spread a layer of hummus on the pizza crust before adding toppings.

5. Pesto: Herbaceous and Luscious

Pesto can serve as a flavorful cheese substitute on pizza. Its vibrant taste and texture enhance the overall pizza experience.

Nutrition Facts Per 2 Tablespoons
Calories 150
Total Fats 15g
Proteins 2g
Carbohydrates 3g

How to Use: Spread pesto on the pizza crust as a base or drizzle it over the toppings.

6. Caramelized Onions and Balsamic Reduction: Sweet and Savory

A combination of caramelized onions and a balsamic reduction can offer a unique blend of sweet and savory flavors that complements your pizza.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving
Calories 50
Total Fats 0g
Proteins 1g
Carbohydrates 12g

How to Use: Spread caramelized onions over the pizza crust and drizzle balsamic reduction for flavor.

Nutrition Facts Summary Table:

Substitute Calories Total Fats Proteins Carbohydrates Source Works Best In
Vegan Cheese 80 5g 1g 7g Plant-based ingredients Various pizza styles
Nutritional Yeast 20 0g 3g 3g Deactivated yeast Vegan and health-conscious recipes
Tofu Ricotta 50 3g 5g 2g Tofu Vegan and dairy-free pizza
Hummus 50 3g 2g 5g Chickpeas Flavorful and creamy pizza
Pesto 150 15g 2g 3g Herbs and nuts Pizza with an herbaceous twist
Caramelized Onions and Balsamic Reduction 50 0g 1g 12g Onions and balsamic vinegar Sweet and savory pizza


Choosing cheese substitutes for your pizza doesn’t mean compromising on taste or satisfaction. These alternatives offer a diverse range of flavors and textures that can enhance your pizza experience. Whether you’re exploring vegan options, experimenting with new ingredients, or accommodating dietary needs, these cheese substitutes allow you to create delicious and unique pizzas that cater to your preferences.

Mei Lin Zhang

Written by Mei Lin Zhang

I love to writes about stories and cooking. I really enjoys creating new recipes and taking pictures of my food. When I am not writing, you can find me in the kitchen or snapping photos of my tasty creations.

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