Vegetarian Hawaiian pizza

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It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s tangy – it’s Hawaiian pizza! This tasty recipe for Hawaiian pizza is topped with tangy BBQ sauce, sweet caramelized pineapple, spicy jalapeños and crisp red onions. In addition to being absolutely delicious, this recipe for Hawaiian pizza is gluten free, egg free, and vegetarian friendly!

In this recipe we assume that you have a pizza crust prepared and ready to go. If you need instructions on how to make your own gluten free pizza crust you should check out our recipe for gluten free pizza crust. Otherwise you should feel free to use a store bought pizza crust. 

Cooked gluten free Hawaiian pizza with bbq sauce, pineapple, jalapeño, and red onion.

What is usually on a Hawaiian pizza?

What is usually on a Hawaiian pizza? When you are talking about Hawaiian pizza, pineapple is really the star of the show. Pineapple is a surprisingly controversial pizza topping but I personally love putting pineapple on pizza! Here are some of the most common toppings you might find on a Hawaiian pizza. 

  • Pineapple slices
  • Smoked ham
  • Tomato sauce 
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • BBQ sauce
  • Red onion
  • Jalapeño

Gluten free pizza crust with bbq sauce for a Hawaiian pizza.

What sauce is used on Hawaiian pizza?

What sauce is used on Hawaiian pizza? You have two main sauce options when you are making Hawaiian pizza. You can make your pizza with a standard tomato sauce or you can make it with BBQ sauce. BBQ sauce is a popular choice because it has a sweet, tangy flavor that compliments the flavor of pineapple well. The only difficulty with using BBQ sauce is that it is not always easy to find a BBQ sauce that is gluten free and vegetarian friendly. The main benefit of using tomato sauce is that it is easy to find tomato sauce that is gluten free and vegetarian friendly. 

We use BBQ sauce on this Hawaiian pizza. If you are having trouble finding a BBQ sauce that is gluten free and vegetarian at the store then you can always make your own. We even have a recipe for that!

Uncooked gluten free Hawaiian pizza

How to make a vegetarian Hawaiian pizza?

What modifications do you need to make to a standard Hawaiian pizza to make it vegetarian? There are two items on Hawaiian pizza that might not be vegetarian friendly – ham and BBQ sauce. Most Hawaiian pizzas are topped with ham. If you are a vegetarian you should just remove the ham. 

You only need to look out for the BBQ sauce if you are making your Hawaiian pizza with BBQ sauce rather than a standard tomato sauce. Some brands of BBQ sauce are vegetarian friendly but most are not! This may come as a surprise to some vegetarians – it sure did to me! BBQ sauce is usually made with Worcestershire sauce which is not vegetarian friendly because it is made with anchovies. 

Closeup of cooked gluten free Hawaiian pizza with bbq sauce, pineapple, jalapeño, and red onion.

Can you use canned pineapple?

Can you use canned pineapple on Hawaiian pizza? You can use canned pineapple on Hawaiian pizza but you have to put a little more work into preparing it. Canned pineapple is suspended in a liquid so it is more wet than fresh cut pineapple. Before you can put canned pineapple on a pizza you need to remove some of the excess liquid. 

You can remove excess liquid from canned pineapple by cooking the pineapple for a little longer. As you pre-cook the pineapple the liquid in the pineapple will evaporate. If you cook the pineapple for 20-25 minutes as recommended in the recipe you will be fine. If you are using fresh pineapple you can usually get away with cooking the pineapple for more like 10 – 15 minutes.

Vegetarian Hawaiian pizza

This vegetarian Hawaiian pizza is a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy. This flavorful pizza is tossed with tangy BBQ sauce, sweet pineapple, zesty red onions, and spicy jalapeños.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian
Servings: 1 pizza

Ingredients

  • 9 oz gluten free pizza dough
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (gluten free & vegetarian BBQ sauce)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pineapple slices
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
  • Heat the coconut oil over medium to medium high heat in a large pan. Cook the pineapple slices in the coconut oil for 20-25 minutes until they turn a nice caramel brown color. Flip the pineapple slices occasionally.
  • Slice the jalapeños and red onion.
  • Spread out the pizza dough until it is about 1/4 inch in thickness. You can decide whether you want to build up a crust around the outside of your pizza or not. 
    We recommend shaping the pizza crust sheet parchment paper and coating your hands with flour or olive oil to prevent the pizza dough from sticking. 
  • Spread the BBQ sauce over the pizza crust then add the mozzarella cheese. Top the pizza with the pineapple slices, jalapeño, and red onion.
  • Cook the pizza in a greased baking sheet or a pizza stone for 15 - 18 minutes at 475 degrees.
    If you are using a pizza stone you should put the pizza stone in the oven to heat ahead of time.

Notes

Measuring pizza dough. Are you having trouble figuring out how much pizza dough to use to make this Hawaiian pizza? If you are buying pizza dough at the grocery store then there should be a label on the pizza dough that displays the number of ounces in the bag. If you are making your own pizza, you should use around 1 1/2 cups of flour to make the appropriate amount of dough. 9 ounces of dough should be roughly enough to make a 12 inch pizza.

Additions & substitutions for Hawaiian pizza

  • Ham. Ham is a staple for Hawaiian pizza. We excluded the ham in this recipe to keep it vegetarian. However, If you do not stick to a vegetarian diet you should add some ham to your pizza!
  • BBQ sauce. It’s hard to find a BBQ sauce that is gluten free and vegetarian friendly. If you cannot find a BBQ sauce that is suitable for you then you have a few options. You can use tomato sauce rather than BBQ sauce or you can make your own BBQ sauce using our recipe for vegan BBQ sauce. 
  • Gluten free pizza crust. If you do not have a gluten intolerance you can also make this vegetarian Hawaiian pizza with a regular pizza crust!

Other recipes you might need


Fully cooked homemade BBQ sauce made from fresh tomatoes.

Finding a BBQ sauce that is gluten free and vegetarian friendly can be hard! That is why we love to make our own! This sweet and tangy recipe for BBQ sauce is made from fresh tomatoes, garlic, and onion. Yum!


Uncooked gluten free pizza crust

If you want to make your own pizza crust then we have a recipe for that! This recipe for gluten free pizza crust is made with 6 simple ingredients – flour , water, salt, sugar, olive oil, and yeast. 

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