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vegetarian reuben pizza

I love a good sandwich: great bread, some spread that the bread soaks up, and a mix of vegetables to add both crunch and lush textures to complement whatever the protein is.

But it took me a long time to get with a Reuben. For years, I saw them made with pastrami, and I don’t do beef. Furthermore, not so crazy about sauerkraut. Then again, Swiss cheese with maybe smoked turkey on rye, with fresh cabbage stirred into 1000 Island dressing….it’s one of those combos that should be all wrong, but works together like a charm.

Recently, all recipes magazine featured a Reuben pizza. The crust is homemade and has rye flour, then you smear on some 1000 Island before you add corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss, and pickles. I loved the idea, just not a bread crust or the corned beef. But I thought, hmmm. I could change this into a plant-based meal that would make a groovy Meatless Monday dinner.

The particulars were pretty simple. I’ve made cauliflower pizza crust pretty often and at this point, actually prefer it to the bread version. I had some whole rye in the cupboard, boiled it up, and mixed it in. It added a nice earthy chewiness to the cauliflower, though it’s completely unnecessary. If you don’t have rye on hand, you can skip it.

cauliflower crust with added whole cooked rye

Then I marinated some tempeh and baked it in the oven. When the crust came out, I put on some homemade 1000 Island—if you have a store-bought one you like, by all means use it. Topped with the baked tempeh, plenty of sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, I baked it about 7 minutes to get the cheese all melty. Out of the oven, I topped it with carrots and dill in place of the the pickles. After all, the sauerkraut is pickle-y enough for me, and the raw carrot added a really lovely sweet crunch.

all ingredients ready for this vegetarian reuben pizza

Like a lot of my recipes, it has a number of steps, but you can easily take shortcuts, like using store-bought dressing and already marinated tempeh or tofu (or replacing it with meat if that’s your thing). You can probably buy a cauliflower crust, or use a regular bread crust if you like. But here’s how you make the whole thing from scratch, which honestly doesn’t take much time at all.

Vegetarian Reuben Pizza: Step by Step

  • Marinate your tempeh: Mix soy sauce, sake, and rice vinegar together. Slice the tempeh into strips, toss in the marinade, and let them sit while you make the other stuff. An hour or so makes sure the tempeh has some flavor and doesn’t taste like, well, tempeh.
  • Make the 1000 Island Dressing: I used this recipe, more or less, combining mayo, ketchup, chopped pickles and a little pickle brine, with chopped onions and garlic. Dash in a little hot sauce if you like.
  • Make the crust: Mix your riced cauliflower with some bread crumbs, mustard, celery seeds, caraway seeds, and, if you have it handy, cooked whole rye.
cauliflower crust with whole cooked rye
  • Bake the tempeh. I give it about 20 minutes with a flip halfway through.
baked marinated tempeh for vegetarian reuben pizza
  • Bake the crust in the oven; this only takes about 15 minutes, so you can time this with the tempeh. Get out the sauerkraut, grate the Swiss, and grate or spiralize the carrot.
  • Top the baked crust with the tempeh. Strew on some sauerkraut, then top the whole thing with cheese. Bake until melty, about 6 or 7 minutes.
  • Top the finished pizza with raw carrot and chopped dill.
vegetarian reuben pizza

The Recipe

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Vegetarian Reuben Pizza
Tricks like a cauliflower crust, marinated tempeh, and homemade (super easy) 1000 Island Dressing turn a Reuben pizza into a healthy plant-based meal.
vegetarian reuben pizza
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Marinated Tempeh
Cauliflower Crust
1000 Island Dressing
Pizza toppers
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Marinated Tempeh
Cauliflower Crust
1000 Island Dressing
Pizza toppers
vegetarian reuben pizza
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Mix all tempeh marinade ingredients. Add the tempeh strips. Stir well and marinate up to 4 hours, or while you prep other ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400º. Combine all cauliflower pizza crust ingredients and stir until they hold together. Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet; lightly spray with oil or non-stick spray. Place combined crust ingredients in center of sheet, top with a piece of parchment or plastic wrap, and press into a disk. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, combine all 1000 Island dressing ingredients. Alternatively, simply use prepared 1000 Island dressing. Grate the cheese and carrot and chop the dill.
  4. Remove crust from oven. Remove tempeh strips from marinade and place on crust. Top with sauerkraut, then cheese. Place in oven 6-8 minutes, until sufficiently melted. Top with carrots and dill. Pizza is best eaten on a plate with a fork, or, if you lift it, with a plate and plenty of napkins.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was inspired by one in All Recipes magazine Feb/March 2019. The salad dressing was adapted from a recipe at Kitchen Treaty. See links in blog post.

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