Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza (via man, you guys, I know cheeseburger pizza probably sounds like something from a Pizza Hut menu circa 1995, but I promise this is SOOOO good. For protein, we've got marinated, seasoned tempeh that gets topped with onions, tomatoes, and kale. Yum! There's a thick crust topped with colby cheese, and then the whole thing gets drizzled in a spicy mayo. 

It's a little different for pizza, but oh-so-good!

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza (via      Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza (via   You can bake this crust a number of ways, but if you have a large (12 inch) cast-iron pan, I recommend baking in that as it will result in a thicker crust. Something that borders on deep dish, but not quite that thick. Baking in a cast-iron is similar to baking on a pizza stone as you can allow the pan to heat up while the oven preheats, resulting in a crusty on the outside but still soft in the center pizza crust. 

Are you sick of me talking about this pizza yet? Sorry, I'm just obsessed. Let's just get baking…

Pizza toppingsVegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza, serves 2-4 depending if you serve with a side

3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (one packet) active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal

For the toppings:
4 oz. tempeh
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 clove minced garlic
1 tomato
1/4 red onion
4 oz. colby jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped kale

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon hot sauce (Sriracha or choluha)

In a glass mixing cup, stir together the warm water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Then sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow that to sit for 5 minutes. It should foam up some in this time; that's how you know it's working. 

In another bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Stir the yeast water in with the flour mixture. Once a dough ball forms, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes. Lightly oil the bowl you just used and place the dough ball back in there with a clean dish towel over the top. Allow to rise in a warm spot for an hour to an hour and a half (until doubled in size). 

Pizza doughMeanwhile prep the tempeh. Shred the tempeh with a box grater. It may crumble apart as you shred it and that's fine too. The goal is to get the tempeh into very small pieces. Place in a small bowl and add the soy sauce, cumin, some pepper, and minced garlic. Stir together, cover, and allow to set in the refrigerator until the dough is ready. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F with the cast-iron pan inside. While that preheats, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Once the oven is ready, remove the pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the pizza dough in the pan. Be careful as the pan will already be very hot. Bake for 5 minutes. 

Then top the partially baked crust with the tempeh, sliced onion, sliced tomatoes, and cheese. Bake for another 10-12 minutes. 

Cast iron pizzaThen top with the kale and bake for another 2-3 minutes.

In a bowl, stir together the mayo and hot sauce. Once the pizza is done, drizzle the sauce over the top.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pizza (via These toppings are all things that I like on top of a (veggie) cheeseburger, but you could change up the toppings some based on what you prefer or what you have on hand. Happy pizza night! xx. Didier

Credits // Author and Photography: Didier Li. Photos edited with Spiegeling actions. 

  • I can’t wait to try this – it sounds delicious! The only thing I might add to it is pickles… That’s what makes a cheeseburger pizza great for me!

  • Oh my goodness that looks delicious! Pizza in a cast iron skillet? Brilliant!! I’ll be trying this, thanks:)

  • This looks incredibly delicious, and I bet it would taste just as delicious with mince. Thanks for sharing!

  • This looks delicious ! Will for sure make a vegan version !

  • K I never comment but I just have to tell you that baking it in a cast iron skillet is brilliant! I’ve never loved the results I get with a pizza stone, will be trying this asap, thanks!

  • Do it! I thought about putting pickles on this one… but then I didn’t. So, I think you’re on to something. 🙂

    - Didier

  • Well thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    I use cast iron skillets SO often in cooking/baking. I have a pizza stone too but I recently realized that’s it’s pretty much the same thing (sort of) so I should have just stuck with the cast iron I already owned. Oh well. Live and learn. I still like the stone for baking other things sometimes, like cookies and what not.

    - Didier

  • I’ve never made a pizza in a cast iron pan!! It must be so crispy!! =)

  • That looks so good!! I have to eat gluten free now, but I am going to give it a try in a cast iron pan with GF flour! 🙂

  • Oh, I need this pizza in my life asap!


  • This sounds pretty exotic to me. We are not used with cheeseburger pizza flavor around here. But this recipe seems to be good, I’m a little apprehensive but I think I wanna try. 🙂

    xo, Deborah

  • This looks INCREDIBLE! I’m definitely saving this and trying it this week – I’ve always wanted to make pizza from scratch.
    Lucy xoxo

  • I know it sounds outdated but man I love cheeseburger pizza! We have a veggie option too and we add scallions and black olives as well.

  • I went out and bought the ingredients right after reading this post! Can’t wait to try it this week. I like the black olives and pickles suggestions I’m reading.

  • This looks amazing – I’m definitely going to have to give this a shot! I brought a cast-iron pan over a year ago and have never ventured into trying it out, so this is a perfect starting point – thanks! 😀

    Becky |

  • I made this last night for dinner and it was delicious! I added red peppers as they were on hand and doubled the amount of kale.
    The only thing keeping this pizza back is the rise time for the pizza dough. I made it as written last night and found the crust to be a bit too doughy for my liking. I usually let my pizza dough rise for at least 6 hours and it yields a much tastier crust. I use Smitten Kitchen’s guide for rise times/yeast content for a tastier crust without any extra work (just a bit more forethought).

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