Recipe: Simple Vegan Rustic Pizza with a BBQ Base

Pizza is simply the best. Surprisingly, neither I nor Alice had ever made it from scratch before. So this recipe felt way overdue.

My go-to takeaway pizza is Papa John’s, and I’ve recently been switching up my order. I’ve found lately that the classic tomato base can become a bit same-y. That’s why I was so excited when Papa John’a brought out a new BBQ base. It’s a more tangy, sweet and smoky taste than your regular tomato base. After trying the BBQ base for the first time, I decided I wanted to have a crack at making my own pizza with a sweet and smoky base. I used Kalamata olives instead of black and green as they give such a unique flavour and also topped the dish off with sweet pepperdrops. All the toppings complemented the BBQ sauce perfectly. However, if there are any toppings in this recipe you’re not a fan of, you can easily swap them out. That’s the beauty of pizza.


For the base –

  • 300g strong white flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast/ fast action yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 170ml cold water

For the toppings –

  • Orange pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • Red pepperdrops
  • Kalamata olives
  • Vegan Cheese (preferably one that melts e.g. Applewood)
  • A handful of rocket
  • Balsamic vinegar


  1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and yeast to separate parts of the bowl.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients well with a metal spoon. Do this for about a minute to ensure the ingredients are fully combined.
  3. Add the olive oil and a splash of the water.
  4. Begin mixing with your hands whilst gradually adding the water until you have made a soft, but not too sticky ball that can pick up most of the flour in the bowl.
  5. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
  6. Let this prove for 1 hour to 1.5 hours in a warm part of your home. Alternatively this can be left to slowly prove in the fridge overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220c.
  8. Chop your onion as desired. My favourite way is to cut the onion into ringlets. Cut the pepper into thin strips. Grate the cheese. This is all the toppings prepped.
  9. Once proved, place the dough on a oiled surface and flatten out the air.
  10. Lightly knead the dough for a few minutes and then shape until you have a round pizza-shaped base. This can be done by forming a perfect circular ball and then slowly pushing your fingers in the dough to make a well. From here you can gradually push outwards until the dough is about half an inch thick.
  11. Place the pizza base on a tray with grease proof paper. Coat the pizza base with a generous layer of BBQ sauce. Roughly two dessert spoons will do the trick. Pop the base in the oven for no longer than four minutes to initially solidify the base and the sauce.
  12. Take the base out of the oven. Add the toppings and sprinkle cheese as desired. Place the pizza back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes to cook the toppings.
  13. Slice and serve with rocket and balsamic vinegar.

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you give this recipe a go.

Sam xx

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