If you’re like many vegans, you’re anticipating going to Pizza Hut in the near future to enjoy a hot pizza crust, tomato sauce, vegetables, and cheese. Wait, did I say cheese? That’s right: a story has been floating around the internet since last summer that Pizza Hut vegan cheese pizzas were coming to a local U.S. Pizza Hut near you.
But not so fast.
You can’t always believe rumors. If you want to know the truth about whether Pizza Hut offers vegan cheese, keep reading.
What’s All the Hype About?
Vegans want food choices when they go out to eat, and so a report last summer that said Pizza Hut was planning to add vegan cheese to their menu caused quite a stir in the community.
Here’s how it went down.
It started when someone from The Vegan Herald received an email from “Pizza Hut Media Relations.” In the email, the sender told the Herald that they had been testing the market and decided that they would add vegan cheese to its menu in the US. It was supposed to completely roll out by August.
But things weren’t as they seemed.
It turns out the email was a hoax. Even though the email appeared to be from Pizza Hut Media Relations, the sender had no ties to Pizza Hut. It was a prank, and the Herald fell for it and published the story. Soon, all of the internet was salivating over the fact that vegans could soon order a vegan pizza with cheese from their local Pizza Hut.
But then the balloon popped.
Pizza Hut has since denied ever saying that it would offer vegan cheese in the US, and, in fact, has no plans to do so.
But wait, don’t they offer vegan cheese in the U.K?
Yes, and that’s why so many of us are upset.
Pizza Hut Does Serve Vegan Cheese Elsewhere
Pizza Hut began serving vegan cheese nationwide in the UK at the end of 2017. The company made the move because of a huge demand for it. And Pizza Hut in the UK isn’t the only pizza chain getting in on the action. Dominos offers vegan cheese in Australia because of the demand. And quite a few smaller pizza restaurants offer vegan pizzas, but many of them don’t include vegan cheese.
However, what about us American vegans?
The positivity and anticipation were great after the false rumor started that Pizza Hut would offer vegan cheese. And we believe that’s why Pizza Hut should reconsider its decision and offer vegan cheese pizzas to US citizens, too.
Why Vegans Care About Pizza Hut and Vegan Cheese
While Pizza Hut offering vegan cheese may not sound like a big deal, the truth is that it is. In fact, it’s a really big deal. Why? Because if vegans could find a great meal at a national chain that you can find in almost any town, it would make their lives that much better.
After all, when is the last time you craved pizza and were able to find one at a restaurant that had vegan cheese?
Vegans have suffered through salads at restaurants across the nation for decades. So when we believe that something is on the horizon that will allow us to join in on the eating without having to go to a specialty restaurant, we get excited.
After all, salads are great, but pizza? Yeah, we want that, too.
Action Steps: How to Get Pizza Hut to Change Its Mind
Considering the excitement that spread across vegan circles, it seems odd that Pizza Hut decided not to bring its UK version of vegan cheese pizza to the US.
But we think we could quite possibly change its mind.
Here are a few steps you can take to help change Pizza Hut’s mind and get them to serve pizzas with vegan cheese.
Send a letter
Even the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are getting in on the action, and they have started a letter-writing campaign to Pizza Hut to get them to reconsider their decision not to bring vegan cheese to the US market.
Maybe if Pizza Hut gets enough letters, it will realize that the US vegan market is huge.
And we want pizza.
Dial Pizza Hut up
You can also call corporate Pizza Hut and tell them how you feel about the issue. And don’t stop with just your phone call. Ask all of your vegan friends and family to call Pizza Hut’s headquarters to let them know that there are a lot of US vegans who are dying for their vegan pizzas — with vegan cheese.
Does Pizza Hut Offer Anything for Vegans?
Despite the fact that Pizza Hut does not offer vegan cheese in the US, it does have some interesting things on its menu for vegans.
Here are some of the vegan food items you can order from Pizza Hut
Any pizza, anytime
Did you know that you can order any pizza from Pizza Hut without cheese? It’s true. Feel like a Hawaiian pizza without the ham and cheese? Pizza Hut will make it for you. Want a veggie pizza sans cheese? Just order it.
And because Pizza Hut’s marinara sauce is vegan, you can mix and match ingredients to make a delicious vegan pizza of your own. But if you don’t want straight marinara, you can order your pizza with the premium crushed tomato sauce or the buffalo sauce. Both are vegan, and the latter has an extra spicy kick to it.
The good stuff
Do you know how a pizza crust can make all the difference in the world as to how a pizza tastes? Pizza Hut not only has that down, but they also look out for the vegans.
First of all, all Pizza Hut thin crusts are vegan. Yet they’ve gone beyond just a basic crust. You can order a salted, soft pretzel crust that’s totally vegan, too. (Yes, your vegan pizza can taste like a pretzel!). Imagine topping that with green bell peppers and tomatoes for an acidic bite.
Go for broke
As long as you’re eating vegan pizza for dinner, you may as well top it off with dessert. You’ll need to watch out for the recent changes to Pizza Hut’s cinnamon sticks. While the icing used to be vegan, it now contains milk, so you should order those yummy cinnamon sticks without the icing.
But the dessert pizzas? Totally made with vegan crusts.
How to Order a Vegan Pizza Anywhere
While you can’t get a pizza from Pizza Hut with vegan cheese, you’re not limited to forgoing pizza in your diet forever. In fact, with a few tips, you can order a vegan pizza from any place in the world,
Get the basics right
Just because Pizza Hut’s thin crust and sauce are vegan, doesn’t mean all pizzerias offer vegan products. For instance, some places put honey in the crust to activate the yeast. Adding parmesan cheese to the sauce is common in the industry, as well.
Just ask the restaurant to check the ingredients before you order.
Top it off
If the crust and sauce are vegan, your next step is to choose the toppings. Here, you’ll find many delicious options to choose from such as marinated artichokes, heirloom tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, eggplant, roasted garlic, and more. And some restaurants cater to vegans by offering things like tofu, beans, and other vegan-friendly toppings.
Just be sure to ask whether or not the cooks sautéed the greens and other vegetables in pork fat. That’s a common way for meat-eaters to add flavor to their food.
If you’re ordering online and having it delivered to your home, you can make your pizza even better by “doctoring” it when it comes. Think about adding flavorful veggies that you’ve sautéed in garlic, fermented tofu, or anything else that would make it yours.
Yummy Vegan Pizza Recipes You Can Make at Home
If the whole Pizza Hut thing bums you out, don’t fret. You can make an amazing vegan pizza recipe at home — with the cheese.
And I’m not talking about the try-hard-but-don’t-quite-cut-it recipes like those made with cauliflower crust or hemp crust pizzas. Sure, they have their place and can be delicious.
Sometimes, you just want a good, old-fashioned pizza.
And that’s where this recipe comes in.
Vegan pizza even carnivores will love
Try making this vegan recipe at home and watch how fast your meat-eating friends gobble it up.
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 teaspoon of active yeast
- 1/2 cup of warm (not hot) water
- 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of unbleached flour
- 1/3 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon each of basil, oregano, and thyme
Ingredients for the toppings:
- Vegan pizza sauce
- 1 cup of sliced bell pepper
- 1 cup of sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 to 1 cup of zucchini
- 2 cloves of diced garlic
- Sliced olives
- Olive oil
- Fresh basil
- Vegan parmesan cheese
Mix the warm water, yeast, and one tablespoon of flour. Let it sit until it becomes bubbly. Then, add one cup of the flour along with the salt, herbs, garlic, and olive oil. Mix it together. Next, add another three tablespoons of flour. Mix it with your hands and knead it for a few seconds until it comes together. It will be soft and sticky. If it’s too sticky, add another tablespoon of flour. Roll it in a ball and place it in a warm spot for 15 minutes.
Next, dribble 1/2 teaspoon of oil over the dough and spread it out with your hands. Then roll it in a ball and put it on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Using some flour, shape the dough into a 13 or 14-inch oval. You will determine how thin or thick the crust is by how big the oval is. Make sure the edges are thicker than the center of the oval.
Heat the oven to 435 degrees F.
Now, spread the tomato sauce on the dough evenly. Then place the veggies across the top so that you cover the entire surface. Sprinkle a little salt over the top of the pizza. Then, spread some of the vegan parmesan cheese over the top.
Bake the pizza for 17 to 18 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. Top with fresh basil and enjoy it!
If you’re more of a visual person, here’s a great video:
My delicious variation
If you love traditional pizza, the recipe above is probably the right one, but if you like to experiment as I do, you’ll love this variation. I made it for my meat-eating son, and now he regularly requests it!
Here’s how I changed it up.
Ingredients for the crust:
Make the crust the same as in the above recipe
Ingredients for the toppings:
- Red pizza sauce
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- Vegan goat cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Once you’ve prepared the crust, add the pizza sauce. Then add the uncooked fennel, cherry tomatoes, and garlic. Place dollops of the vegan goat cheese on the top so that you distribute it evenly. Then sprinkle some salt and pepper on top of the pizza to taste.
Bake the pizza in an oven at 400 degrees F for about 17 minutes.
So What About the Pizza Hut Vegan Cheese Rumors?
It turns out; that all those rumors were just not true. Currently, Pizza Hut has no plans to bring its UK version of vegan cheese pizza to the US. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t change their mind. Send them a letter or call the food giant’s headquarters to make your wishes known. And until then, let’s keep making our own fabulous vegan pizza recipes. After all, vegans love pizza!
Do you know of any pizzerias in your area that service vegan pizza with cheese? If so, please leave the information in the comments below. Be sure to include the area and the name of the restaurant. I’m sure all vegans in the area will support it with their business!