My friend Ricki is a culinary genius. Seriously, everything she makes is amazing – and that’s no easy feat since she’s strictly vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free! Years ago I tried her plant-based pepperoni, which is made with beets. I loved it, and it even impressed my meat-loving, beet-hating husband.
Ricki gave me permissions to share that recipe on my previous blog, and now we’re transitioning everything back to Go Dairy Free. Which gives me a great excuse to update this post and share it with you again!
This Plant-Based Pepperoni is Delicious on Vegan Pizza or in Other Dishes
Honestly, I’m not a meat alternative kind of person, but this really is a fabulous faux pepperoni. I’d be lying if I said it tastes exactly like it, but it is a delicious stand-in that’s made with far healthier ingredients than anything you can buy at the store. And you will be amazed at how much the beets smell like pepperoni as you are preparing them!
We loved this vegan pepperoni on pizza, and also in a “no waste” rice dish. I sauteed the beet greens and used leftover rice to soak up more flavor. I’ve included this quick meal with the recipe. It comes together quickly, because you can cook brown rice while the beets are in the oven (if you don’t have any leftover rice on hand) and quickly saute the greens before they emerge.
Special Diet Notes: Plant-Based Pepperoni
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
- For soy-free plant-based pepperoni, use coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce. Coconut aminos are a touch sweeter, which should be fine, and less salty. I would personally add an extra pinch of salt, to be on the safe side.
Ricki’s Plant-Based Pepperoni (made with Beets!)
Recipe type: Entree
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespooons soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
- ¼ teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon sage
- 3 to 4 small fresh beets, peeled, halved and thinly sliced (reserve the greens for the recipe below)
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF.
- In a small dish, whisk together the vegetable broth, soy sauce or tamari, olive oil, vinegar, liquid smoke, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, fennel, paprika, and sage.
- Place the beet slices in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Pour the spice mixture over top and toss to evenly coat. Spread the beets out in the dish as best you can.
- Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. Flip the beet slices, and continue to bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the beets have absorbed most of the marinade, are very soft, and begin to curl and crisp at the edges. (Alisa’s Note: Mine were quite done after just 15 minutes (35 minutes total)).
- Let cool before serving or topping your pizza.
Alisa’s Unbeetable Vegan Pepperoni Rice: While the beets are cooking, chop up the beet greens and saute them over medium-low heat in just a bit of olive oil until they are nice and wilted. When the beets are done, add the greens and 2 to 3 cups cooked brown rice to the beet dish and stir to combine. The flavorings and any leftover marinade from the beets should nicely disperse onto the rice.