Raw Vegan Pizza: Pesto & Caramelised Onion

Raw pizza pesto & caramelised onion

If you’re new to the concept of raw food, you might wonder how on earth you’d make a raw pizza without cooking.

I always get inquisitive looks when I talk about raw pizza to the uninitiated. Someone asked me once if it’s frozen pizza that you don’t cook!

Raw Pizza Base Recipe

You’ll be pleased to know it’s definitely not that. We use a dehydrator (my recommendations for equipment are here) to create a delightful raw pizza base crust.

This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a few days, although it’s soooo tasty straight out of the dehydrator.

I remember the first time I made this; it didn’t even make it out of the dehydrator before it was fully done. I kept on eating little bits util there was just a small square left. So I eat that and started a new one!

The base can also be frozen. You might like to cut it into individual portions and freeze that way, so you can defrost bits as you need them.

ThisSome people are not a fan of Buckwheat so you could use maybe cauliflower or carrot, or a mixture. If you’re doing that I would recommend adding a little ground almond too.

We have another raw pizza base, plus a bunch of other raw breads, crackers and wraps in our online course: Breads, Crackers & Wraps.

Raw Vegan Pizza Cheese

I’ve given you a recipe for a really simple raw pizza cheese here. This pizza would be infinitely more incredible with a fermented nut cheese.

If you want to go all in on how to make raw nut cheeses, we have a course on that here: Tree Nut Cheeses.

Rate This Recipe
4.62 from 13 votes

Raw Vegan Pizza: Pesto & Caramelised Onion

This raw vegan pizza recipe is take from issue 11 of News from the Kitchen. It taste delicious and healthy too.

Servings8

Nutrition (For one serving)

Calories: 718kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 18gFat: 38gSaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 732mgPotassium: 1796mgFiber: 19gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 1207IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 127mgIron: 6mg

Ingredients

Base

  • 3 cups buckwheat sprouted
  • 2 avocados or 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tomatoes medium size

Caramelised onions

  • 1 cup soft dates
  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 onions large, sliced thinly (Use a mandoline if you have one)

Pesto

  • 2 cups basil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Tomato sauce

  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 onion medium size
  • 1 soft date

Cheese

  • 1 cup macadamias
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

Instructions

Base

  • Grind all ingredients in a food processor until they have a paste consistency.Spread approximately 1/2″ thick onto a Paraflexx sheet in a circle and dehydrate at 115° F for a few hours, or until you are able to turn it upside down onto another dehydrator tray and peel off the nonstick Paraflexx sheet.
  • Dehydrate for another 8 to 10 hours or until base is dry enough to hold together.

Caramelised onions

  • Blend all ingredients except the onions in a high-speed blender, until smooth.
  • In a bowl, hand mix the date mixture with the onions until they are thoroughly covered.
  • Dehydrate at 115° F on a non-stick sheet for 2 to 3 hours, so they soften and take on a cooked appearance.

Pesto

  • Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until broken down, but leave some texture to the finished pesto.

Tomato sauce

  • Blend all ingredients in a high-power blender until smooth.

Cheese

  • Grind all ingredients in a food processor until they have a fluffy consistency.

Assembly

  • Spread the tomato sauce onto the base.
  • Then sprinkle on the pesto, macadamia cheese and caramelised onions evenly to produce a beautiful layered and textured pizza.

Notes

If you need instructions on how to sprout buckwheat, please refer to the video below.
 
Rate This Recipe
4.62 from 13 votes
Did you make this recipe?Tag @therawchef on Instagram or hashtag it #therawchef!
Russell James

Post by Russell James


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November 6th, 2008

137 thoughts on “Raw Vegan Pizza: Pesto & Caramelised Onion”

  1. Hi Russell

    What tart tins do you use in the dehydrator? Are you actually putting the tin in the dehydrator or just getting the shape? I wasn’t sure if Metal or Silicon can go into them (Ive only had mine a little while).

    thanks so much
    Hayley

    Reply
  2. Thanks Russell! This was a big hit with my daughters non vegan college friends. A taste of heaven.

    Reply
  3. Hi Russel

    Thank you for all your great recipes. Is 115 F not to much for the food to be raw? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  4. Hi Russell,

    What can be substituted for the Buckwheat in the base that is not a grain? I am assuming something like sunflowers or vegies? What vegies would work?

    this looks amazing, I cant wait to make it.

    Thanks

    Anna

    Reply
    • Buckwheat is considered a pseudograin, as it’s actually a seed. But yes, you could use maybe cauliflower or carrot, or a mixture. Courgette (zucchini would definitely fit the bill.

      Reply
  5. Hi, I love this recipe I just wondered if it is possible to make just by soaking the buckwheat rather than sprouting it?
    Thanks so much

    Reply
  6. Hi,

    Is there something I could replace buckwheat with. I am trying to go raw and where I live they don’t seem to have buckwheat, tamari, miso, nutritional yeast etc. I really want to give this recipe a go so what would be a good alternative for buckwheat?

    Reply
  7. Hi Russell,
    Occasionally I put together a raw vegan class and I would like to make this for a class. Am I allowed to do that and share your recipe with the class? I love raw pizza’s.
    Thanks
    Sandi

    Reply
    • Speaking on Russell’s behalf, just so you get an answer quickly, I am sure he’d be happy for you to share his recipe. Please just give him credit on the class document. Thank you for asking first.

      Reply
  8. I made this a couple of weeks ago, Russell, and even though it does look like alot of steps found it relatively easy and the end result was AMAZING! It was even better left over the next day. You make living a raw lifestyle easy.

    Reply
  9. Just wondering what the best thing to do is as i forgot to put almond butter into my pizza base. and i just started to dehydrate it…?

    Reply
  10. Thank you for posting this recipe, made this today and really loved the balance of flavour, texture and feeling I got after eating it! My first living pizza prepared at home, I’m so glad it was such a nice turnout =) I really like your recipes and your outlook =)

    Reply
  11. Thank you for posting this recipe, made this today and really loved the balance of flavour, texture and feeling I got after eating it! My first living pizza prepared at home, I’m so glad it was such a nice turnout =) I really like your recipes and your outlook =)

    Reply
  12. This looks absolutely delicious!! I will be coming to england for three weeks in April. I would really love to meet you and ask questions. Do you own any raw vegan restaurants in England or know any good ones I can go to? Please let me know! I cant wait take my entire family, cousins and friends all to a raw vegan restuarant. They willl love to try something new! In toronto there arent many raw vegan restaurants I enjoy except Rawilicious and Live Organic Raw. But hopefully looking forward to meeting you and discussing my experience and health after going raw.

    Reply
  13. This looks absolutely delicious!! I will be coming to england for three weeks in April. I would really love to meet you and ask questions. Do you own any raw vegan restaurants in England or know any good ones I can go to? Please let me know! I cant wait take my entire family, cousins and friends all to a raw vegan restuarant. They willl love to try something new! In toronto there arent many raw vegan restaurants I enjoy except Rawilicious and Live Organic Raw. But hopefully looking forward to meeting you and discussing my experience and health after going raw.

    Reply
    • I found this on wikipedia. “Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and also used as a cover crop. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass; instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb.”

      Reply
    • I found this on wikipedia. “Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and also used as a cover crop. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass; instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb.”

      Reply
    • You can, yes. It won’t be as raw, but it’s a great way to get around not having a dehydrator.

      Use the oven on the lowest setting and keep an eye on it. You may also need to leave the oven door slightly open.

      Reply
    • You can, yes. It won’t be as raw, but it’s a great way to get around not having a dehydrator.

      Use the oven on the lowest setting and keep an eye on it. You may also need to leave the oven door slightly open.

      Reply
  14. Hey Russel

    trying to cut all oils out my diet. what could I add to the buck wheat to not make it go crumbly is there anything that can be done ?

    Thanks

    Oli

    Reply
  15. Hey Russel

    trying to cut all oils out my diet. what could I add to the buck wheat to not make it go crumbly is there anything that can be done ?

    Thanks

    Oli

    Reply
  16. Hi. I made the pizza and enjoyed it very much. I did find the buckwheat instruction very confusing. It did seem to call for sprouting 3 cups of buckwheat rather than using 3 sprouted cups. This makes a big difference. It would also be helpful to know what thickness you expect the spread mixture to be. Thank you For a delicious recipe although the road there was a little frustrating. Shirly

    Reply
  17. Hi. I made the pizza and enjoyed it very much. I did find the buckwheat instruction very confusing. It did seem to call for sprouting 3 cups of buckwheat rather than using 3 sprouted cups. This makes a big difference. It would also be helpful to know what thickness you expect the spread mixture to be. Thank you For a delicious recipe although the road there was a little frustrating. Shirly

    Reply
  18. This looks delicious – I’m super new to exploring raw food though, and have a serious question that I’m hoping you can answer — does raw pizza (or raw dishes in general) get served cold?

    Reply
  19. This looks delicious – I’m super new to exploring raw food though, and have a serious question that I’m hoping you can answer — does raw pizza (or raw dishes in general) get served cold?

    Reply
    • Hi Kristy, raw food doesn’t have to be cold, as in cold from the fridge, but it can be warmed in a dehydrator. I’m assuming you have one as a pizza recipe needs one ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  20. Is the crust soft are hard? That is the one thing i can’t seem to overcome on the raw pizza?

    Reply
  21. Is the crust soft are hard? That is the one thing i can’t seem to overcome on the raw pizza?

    Reply
  22. i know this has been asked a lot but I’m not allowed any kind of wheat for health reasons or yeast or flour is there a substitute for it?

    Reply
  23. i know this has been asked a lot but I’m not allowed any kind of wheat for health reasons or yeast or flour is there a substitute for it?

    Reply
  24. Is there s substitute for the spouted buck wheat? That a novice could get in a grocery store?

    Reply
    • You should be able to get dry buckwheat at a grocery store – if not you can get it at a health food store.

      It’s really easy to sprout – there’s plenty of Youtube videos on that, and I’ve written instructions in response to someone else’s comment below.

      Reply
  25. Is there s substitute for the spouted buck wheat? That a novice could get in a grocery store?

    Reply
    • You should be able to get dry buckwheat at a grocery store – if not you can get it at a health food store.

      It’s really easy to sprout – there’s plenty of Youtube videos on that, and I’ve written instructions in response to someone else’s comment below.

      Reply
  26. Looks delicious. I don’t know whether you mean to sprout 3 cups of DRY buckwheat OR to use 3 cups of SPROUTED buckwheat for the base. Can you clarify which

    Reply
  27. Looks delicious. I don’t know whether you mean to sprout 3 cups of DRY buckwheat OR to use 3 cups of SPROUTED buckwheat for the base. Can you clarify which

    Reply
  28. Fat in Raw foods is not comparable to that in cooked foods such as Animal fats as The whole point of eating foods raw is the living enzymes that are present in the food which streamlines digestion

    Reply
  29. Fat in Raw foods is not comparable to that in cooked foods such as Animal fats as The whole point of eating foods raw is the living enzymes that are present in the food which streamlines digestion

    Reply
  30. Russell,ย ย 

    This receipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it.
    ย 
    The buckwheat expands durring the sprouting process and I’m not sure if the 3 cups are measured before or after the sprouting for the recipe?

    Thank you,

    Terri

    Reply
  31. Russell,ย ย 

    This receipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it.
    ย 
    The buckwheat expands durring the sprouting process and I’m not sure if the 3 cups are measured before or after the sprouting for the recipe?

    Thank you,

    Terri

    Reply
  32. I love all of your amazing creations. Iย see that many of them are extremely high in fat. Raw or not, do you really believe that all that fat is what the body thrives on?ย Is there a section in your books whereย you ever do low fat recipes?
    I thank you just the same for sharing because you are a true artist! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  33. I love all of your amazing creations. Iย see that many of them are extremely high in fat. Raw or not, do you really believe that all that fat is what the body thrives on?ย Is there a section in your books whereย you ever do low fat recipes?
    I thank you just the same for sharing because you are a true artist! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • It seems some people are able to eat more fat than others and it really comes down to what suits you best.

      I try to offer the most visually appealing and exciting recipes that I can, which doesn’t mean that I’m making chocolate tortes, nut cheeses and raw tacos for myself every day, it just means that I like to show what is possible and that you can make really exciting food.

      I love to drink juices and smoothies that are almost entirely fruit and vegetables, and I like to eat simple salads too.

      Reply
  34. Hi, I made this pizza. It was yum. The caramelised onion made enough for 2 pizzas. Can you freeze the onion mixture for another time? Or if not how long will it keep in the fridge? I used brown onions. Is this what you use?

    Reply
  35. Hi, I made this pizza. It was yum. The caramelised onion made enough for 2 pizzas. Can you freeze the onion mixture for another time? Or if not how long will it keep in the fridge? I used brown onions. Is this what you use?

    Reply
  36. Russell i love this pizza, thank you. One thing…i used 4 onions (recipe calls for 5) and there was an inch thick layer of onions on the pizza. Are you sure you meant 5 onions? It was still delicious but i am a huge onion lover. Others who tried the pizza thought itwas a bit too many. I ask because the picture you have posted has WAY LESS onions on it then my pizza did.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jnana

    Reply
  37. Russell i love this pizza, thank you. One thing…i used 4 onions (recipe calls for 5) and there was an inch thick layer of onions on the pizza. Are you sure you meant 5 onions? It was still delicious but i am a huge onion lover. Others who tried the pizza thought itwas a bit too many. I ask because the picture you have posted has WAY LESS onions on it then my pizza did.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jnana

    Reply
    • Yes, you don’t necessarily want to use all the onions – having some leftover for a salad is the way to go ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’ll adjust the recipe to explain this though, thanks so much for your feedback.

      Reply
  38. Seriously impressed with this new way of eating.Love raw abnd do it about 2-4 days a weeks. Would do more but hubby been out of work for 4 months. so evenutally will get some CD;s from you but just wanted say thank you for sharing some recipes online. I have lost almost 30 pounds since Sept and my hubby ( who was a trucker at 299 is now 265. slow but steady Thansk again and God bless Whitedove Apple

    Reply
  39. Seriously impressed with this new way of eating.Love raw abnd do it about 2-4 days a weeks. Would do more but hubby been out of work for 4 months. so evenutally will get some CD;s from you but just wanted say thank you for sharing some recipes online. I have lost almost 30 pounds since Sept and my hubby ( who was a trucker at 299 is now 265. slow but steady Thansk again and God bless Whitedove Apple

    Reply
  40. Beautiful! One question though…my son is intolerant to dates. What could I substitute in this recipe?

    Reply
  41. Beautiful! One question though…my son is intolerant to dates. What could I substitute in this recipe?

    Reply
  42. Russel your recipes are soo delicous!! i have a question: Can you freeze the crust (base)? If yes, for how long will it keep and how would you defrost it? i know asking “how” to defrost it may sound silly but what i mean is would it be soggy or after it’s defrosted would it need to be placed in the dehtdrator again?

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Yes you can freeze it and i’ll will keep for a couple of months easily. You may have to put it back in the dehydrator when it’s defrosted if it’s a little wet again.

      Reply
  43. Russel your recipes are soo delicous!! i have a question: Can you freeze the crust (base)? If yes, for how long will it keep and how would you defrost it? i know asking “how” to defrost it may sound silly but what i mean is would it be soggy or after it’s defrosted would it need to be placed in the dehtdrator again?

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Yes you can freeze it and i’ll will keep for a couple of months easily. You may have to put it back in the dehydrator when it’s defrosted if it’s a little wet again.

      Reply
  44. Any pizza lover would beg, jump, and roll over for this.
    I made it today.
    I cannot keep my hands/paws off it….this was also my dogs dinner.
    Who are also raw vegans.
    So good and filling and still light . no indigestion as with regular pizza.
    The dogs are sitting by the dehydrator as I write this.
    deb ‘veganburg

    Reply
  45. Any pizza lover would beg, jump, and roll over for this.
    I made it today.
    I cannot keep my hands/paws off it….this was also my dogs dinner.
    Who are also raw vegans.
    So good and filling and still light . no indigestion as with regular pizza.
    The dogs are sitting by the dehydrator as I write this.
    deb ‘veganburg

    Reply
  46. Dear Russel,
    Thanks so much for this mouth watering recipe, anything with onions and Iam sold.
    How ever I have not purchase a dehydrator as yet what can I do.
    Be blessed
    Annie

    Reply
  47. Dear Russel,
    Thanks so much for this mouth watering recipe, anything with onions and Iam sold.
    How ever I have not purchase a dehydrator as yet what can I do.
    Be blessed
    Annie

    Reply
  48. Russel, where can I find the recipe or a demo for your “mini pizza bites”?
    This is a great idea… I’m truly enjoying your work.
    Divine health always.
    Joann

    Reply
    • Hi Joann,

      If you look at the top of the page there’s a menu bar — click on ‘raw food recipes’ and you’ll see the links to all recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  49. Russel, where can I find the recipe or a demo for your “mini pizza bites”?
    This is a great idea… I’m truly enjoying your work.
    Divine health always.
    Joann

    Reply
    • Hi Joann,

      If you look at the top of the page there’s a menu bar — click on ‘raw food recipes’ and you’ll see the links to all recipes. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  50. I just don’t like the taste of flax in the dehydrator, but I’ve made bread with chia and its soo good texture is amazing

    Reply
  51. This is delicious but I think there's one serious omission: no garlic in the pesto!! I added garlic to the pesto and the tomato sauce.

    Reply
  52. This is delicious but I think there’s one serious omission: no garlic in the pesto!! I added garlic to the pesto and the tomato sauce.

    Reply
  53. Hi Russell, or anyone else with sprouting experience. I sprouted buckwheat for the first time over the weekend to make this pizza. The tails are 5/8-1″ in length and at the very tips of the tails there is some white fuzz. It’s not on the seed coat or anywhere else on the sprout. Is that mold or normal sprout behaviour?

    thanks for any help you can give!!

    From Russell: That’s normal, it part of the sprout, not mold ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  54. I love your food & think it’s awesome. That said, I don’t like the taste of buckwheat–very strong, and hard to mask. Would the pizza base work with almond flour instead of buckwheat?

    From Russell: Yes, that would work.

    Reply
  55. You use flaxmeal in most of the bread or base recipes, is there a substitute that you’d recommend? I have a bad reaction to flax :/ . Your bread and wraps are so amazing, and you give such inspiration to stay raw for new rawbies like myself, that I voted for you twice for Best of Raw 2009 awards. Keep up the great work, your dedication is not unappreciated!

    From Russell: Thanks Toya ๐Ÿ™‚ You could try ground chia seed instead of flax.

    Reply
    • I just don’t like the taste of flax in the dehydrator, but I’ve made bread with chia and its soo good texture is amazing

      Reply
  56. This looks delicious! Could you substitute something for the pine nuts?

    From Russell: Yes, cashews or macadamias.

    Reply
  57. Amazing once again – I just made the pizza recipe and everything was perfect. The treatment of the onions was just brilliant. Thank you again for sharing your talent! Yours in health, Wendy

    Reply
  58. Hola!
    I am making the pizza tonight. I soaked and supposedly sprouted the buckwheat since Sunday but there are no tails to be seen! Are they supposed to have tails like other sprouts? They are just moist, sitting on a mesh screen but not doing much for 3 days now (today is 3rd day). Should I toss them? Is the pizza plan for today lost?

    From Russell: Yes, the buckwheat should show significant growth within 24hrs.

    Just soak them for 15 mins then wash twice a day.

    If you did this and they still don’t sprout then, even if you’ve got un-roasted buckwheat (roasted is called kasha), sometimes when they are processed they are made inactive. So I would suggest changing your buckwheat supplier to one you know is good.

    Reply
  59. wow I just am finishing off this recipe I decided to make half the recipe and it still seams like so much … half looks like enough for me and my man.. can you include how many servings a recipe is for on future posts? thanks ooh looks and smells so yummy cant wait to dig in thanks for the dreaming

    Reply
  60. This looks so amazing and I’m currently sprouting my buckwheat in preparation….can’t wait!
    Thanks for being such an inspiration – all your recipes are wonderful.

    Reply
  61. Hi Russell,
    Just made your Carrot Orange Cake an it is awseome! Thanks!
    I am making the Pesto & Carmelized Pizza now and was wondering if the amount is for one or two? I split the crust into two parts but I have a feeling it is suppose to be for one. Please inform.
    Thanks
    Melanie

    From Russell: Yep, just for one pizza, spread across the whole Excalibur sheet ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  62. I’m new to the raw eating/cooking. I’m confused about the buckwheat ingredient. What do you mean by “sprouted for a few days until it has a small tail”?

    Sorry if this a fundamental, but I want to make sure to get it right. Also, I’m going to buy a dehydrator, but don’t know much about them (actually, I don’t know anything about them :-/). I read that the base takes over 8 hours and then the onions need 2-3 hrs. Can these be dehydrated at the same time? If not, will base keep ok for a few hours?

    Sorry about all the q’s. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and amazing recipes (the pictures aren’t bad either)

    Alex
    Orlando, FL (USA)

    From Russell: Here’s a great sprouting video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WZpVKfEHaM

    Dehydrating – you can do anything together in the dehydrator as they will go in at the same temp, just different timings. The flavours don’t taint each other either so you can do sweet and savoury things at the same time. The base will keep for days, so you’re good with that.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  63. The onions are my favorite part of this pizza! I have extra when I make it with this recipe so they are saved to add to special salads — or just eaten straight! But the entire pizza is so yummy — what a treat!

    From Russell: I know what you mean, Tami. Everyone loves those onions and they do work great to add to salads.

    Reply
  64. I have to let you know that EVERYONE raw or SAD LOVES this pizza. I put it in a Pizza Hut box as a joke, and they all said “You don’t eat pizza!!!”. Little do they know. I added hot peppers, red/yellow/orange bells, and portabellas……SOOOO GOOD!!!! Thank you endlessly for your wonderful recipes. My friends say, “If this is eating raw….then count me in and show me how!!!”.
    I am teaching Raw & Living Food Prep Classes, and I hope you don’t mind me teaching your recipes, with ALL the credit going to you of course. I tell everyone about your website, it is the first one I go to for a new recipe.
    Thanks again,
    Jorn
    New Bern NC

    Reply
  65. I have been looking for a tasty pizza dough! All the ingredients are delicious- I can’t wait. I bet it will become one of my simple staples in my kitchen. By the way, I am just starting out raw!

    Reply

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