Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (2024)

by George 26 Comments

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Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-Style Pizza Recipe - Fluffy and soft crust with a chewy, crispy, and cheesy edge is the new way to enjoy pizza! I'll show you how to make this fool-proof, easy pizza crust along with a simple yet delicious homemade pizza, Detroit-style.

Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (1)

I am more of a thin crust pizza kind of a gal. But I will make an exception for the Detroit-style pizza. Wait, you haven't heard about Detroit-style pizza yet? Well, let me introduce you to this magical pizza you have been missing your whole life!

What is Detroit-style Pizza?

Detroit-style pizza is a rectangular shaped pizza with thick crust and Wisconsin brick cheese topping. The original pizza was created in 1946 by Gus Guerre. He used a metal pan that's similar to a cast iron pan (more so than a metal cake pan) to create its signature rectangular shape. If you are interested in its history and where to find the original Detroit-style pizza, you can check out an article published by Michigan.org.

Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (2)

Difference between Detroit-style VS. Chicago-style Pizza

  • Detroit-style Pizza - The overall shape of the pizza is rectangular. And the crust is thick and airy. The original Detroit-style pizza uses Wisconsin brick cheese rather than shredded mozzarella cheese. Lastly, the sauce is the last layer of the pizza and it's placed on top of the cheese.
  • Chicago-style pizza - It is a round shape pizza with a crust that is not necessarily thick but acts as a "dish." Typically, whole milk mozzarella cheese is used and the red sauce goes on top of the cheese.
Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (3)

How to make the crust for the Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza

Whenever I make pizza, I either use my pizza dough recipe (using a stand mixer) or the pizza dough recipe by hand. These recipes work EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. But if you were to use this recipe, you are only using half or ⅔ of the dough. So, I thought I'd adjust the amount for you here!

Tips on preparing the crust

  • Cover your baking pan with a generous amount of oil (3 to 4 tablespoons). I use a silicon brush to get all the corners of the pan.
  • Flip the dough a couple of times in the pan so that the dough is completely covered in oil.
  • Don't worry if the dough is not covering the bottom of the pan at first (the first photo on the left). Once it rises, it WILL fill the entire pan (the second photo on the right).
  • Once the dough has risen, careful not to deflate the dough when putting the sauce and cheese on top. Not deflating the dough will ensure a soft and airy crust.
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (4)
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (5)

How to make Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza

  1. Make the crust for the pizza (see the section above).
  2. Place the pizza sauce.
  3. Add the cheese cubes and shredded cheese.
  4. Place the sliced tomato and sprinkle some black peppers on top.
  5. Bake at 450 to 475F for 17 to 20 minutes.

You might ask, "George, didn't you just say Detroit-style pizza only uses brick cheese and the sauce is placed on top of the cheese?!" Well, nice catch!

How my Detroit-style pizza is different from conventional Detroit-style pizza

  • The sauce goes on the bottom (directly on top of the dough). Detroit-style pizza has its signature look - strips of red sauce going across the pizza on top of the cheese. Although that's the original look, I don't like that I won't get any sauce on some pieces.
  • I use both brick cheese and shredded cheese. I like how evenly the shredded cheese melts but I appreciate how the brick cheese can create chewy and crispy edges.
  • I'm using tomato slices instead of pepperoni to make this pizza vegetarian-friendly. However, you are more than welcome to put whatever toppings you desire.
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (6)
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (7)
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (8)
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (9)

How to customize

My intention with this recipe is for you to customize it the way you like your pizza. So please feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings!

  • For omnivore - Thick slices of pepperoni are always a great option in any pizza. The salty bites of pepperoni go perfectly well with an airy and soft crust.
  • For vegetarians - Be adventurous! Onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, mushroom, olive, pineapple, plant-based sausage, broccoli, spinach, and so much more are all valid options!
  • Experiment with cheese! If you want to achieve the classic Detroit-style pizza, go ahead and use all brick cheese. You can also experiment with using different types of cheese!

Tips on making Detroit-style Pizza at home

  • If you don't have an authentic blue steel Detroit-style pizza pan, use a non-stick metal cake pan as I did. A metal pan is a must in achieving a chewy and cheesy crust/edge.
  • Oil your pan generously. You don't want your pizza stuck to your pan. Once you separate the melty cheese from the edge of the pan, the whole pizza should slide out of the pan like focaccia bread.
  • If you like to achieve the signature look of Detroit-style pizza, you can use brick cheese only and add the pizza sauce at the end (on top of the cheese)

My vegetarian Detroit-style pizza may not be the most carb conscious choice but I guarantee that you won't regret trying it.

Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (10)

Looking for more delicious pizza recipes?

  • Mushroom Spinach White Pizza - One of my most popular recipes!
  • Sausage Pepper and Onion White Pizza - A pizza that can be customized for both omnivores and vegetarians at the same time!
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (11)
  • Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (12)


Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe

Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - My Eclectic Bites (13)

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4.4 from 5 reviews

Homemade Vegetarian Detroit-style Pizza Recipe - Soft bread and chewy, crispy cheesy crust meets your favorite pizza sauce!

  • Author: George
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Main course
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian



For the dough

  • 1 and ⅓ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 packet of dry active yeast (about 2 teaspoons dry active yeast)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

For the pizza

  • 1 and ½ cup pizza sauce of your choice
  • 6 ounces cubed cheese of your choice (I like to use Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, or cheddar cheese)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 medium-size Roma tomato, sliced
  • Black pepper


  1. Dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water. Once the sugar is all dissolved, add the yeast and let it bloom for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the salt and 2 cups of flour. Add the yeast mixture and stir to mix. Slowly add the rest of the flour and knead the dough until it comes together. This will take about 10 minutes.
  3. In a 9 x 13 non-stick metal pan, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Make sure to coat all the corners and sides of the pan by using a brush.
  4. Place the dough in the pan and try to flatten the dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Flip the dough a couple of times to coat it completely with the olive oil that's added to the pan. If the dough does not cover the bottom of the pan, don't worry. The dough will rise and eventually cover the whole pan. Cover the pan loosely with a plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it rise until the dough fills the baking pan, about 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 to 475F (either temperature works).
  6. If the dough has risen unevenly, gently tap the dough with your fingertips to make the even surface. Be careful not to deflate the dough completely.
  7. Spread the pizza sauce evenly on top of the dough.
  8. Sprinkle the cubed cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
  9. Place the tomato slices and sprinkle them with some black pepper.
  10. Bake the pizza in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes until all the cheese melts.
  11. Take the pizza out of the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
  12. Using a spatula, loosen up the edges of the pizza in the pan. The pizza should slide out. Slice them into 12 pieces and serve.


  • The dough may not cover the bottom of the baking pan at first. But once the dough has risen, it will. The important part is to cover the dough and the pan completely with olive oil. This step is crucial so that your dough won't stick to the pan.
  • When adding the sauce and the cheese to the dough, careful not to deflate the dough. This will ensure a soft, fluffy, and airy crust.
  • You can bake this at either 450 or 475F. Everyone's oven temperature is different. I tried both temperatures and the pizza came out good either way!
  • If you'd like the signature look of the Detroit-style pizza, you may add the sauce at the end (on top of the cheese).
  • Feel free to add your favorite pizza toppings to make it your own.

« Vegan Creole Sausage Cacciatore

Easy Pizza Dough without a Stand Mixer (with active dry yeast) »

Reader Interactions


  1. Lis

    This recipe was AMAZING!! I doubled the recipe so that my family of 5 could eat two meals out of it (dinner and lunch the next day) and it was so delicious. We all loved it, even my pickiest eater. This recipe is a keeper!


    • George

      Thank you so much for your kind words and review, Lis!
      I'm so glad you and your family like the recipe!


  2. Lester Mosko

    I have always been a thin type crust. Now that I have tried the Detroit style I am so excited about the crust. I love the burnt crust I am trying all the combinations to make it my taste. A new beginning for a former New Haven Pie known as. the worlds best pie Thanks for the opportunity to share with other Pizza loving chow hounds.


    • George

      Hello Lester, I'm also a thin crust pizza fan myself! Detroit-style pizza is certainly heavier but the doughy and cheesy goodness of this pizza is something that I like to indulge myself with once in a while. Thank you so much for your kind review! Happy to hear that you like the recipe!


    • Traci

      Can I use 00 pizza flour with this?


      • George

        Hi Traci, I personally never used 00 flour to make this pizza. But according to what I've found online, you can use 00 flour instead of all-purpose flour. However, I would reserve the 00 flour to make pasta or regular pizza crust rather than Detroit-style pizza. I like the chewier texture of the pizza crust/bread in this recipe and all-purpose flour would be a better choice. Hope this helps!


  3. Lester Mosko

    Waiting to hear from other pizza lovers.


  4. Kit

    I’ve made this pizza several times and it is amazing! One question, can you leave the dough rising for longer than 2 hours?


    • George

      Hi Kit, yes you can let the dough rise for more than 2 hours. I have done so for up to 3 hours. If you are planning on letting the dough rise for longer, you can simply place the dough in the fridge for up to 1 day (this will allow the dough to rise slowly). I hope this helps! I'm delighted you liked the recipe!

    • Sandra Yager

      Love this pizza crust. Like others, I, too prefer thin crust. This crust isn't like a ton sitting in your stomach. I use my own recipe for the sauce so the crust is all I can comment on.


      • George

        Hi Sandra,
        I'm glad you like the crust. Yes, although it is a "thick-crust pizza", it isn't as heavy as it looks 🙂
        Thank you so much for your review!


  5. Sandra

    Just made the crust, and it was excellent. I added 2 tsp garlic powder to the crust. Definitely will make it again.


    • George

      Hi Sandra, Thank you so much for your review! Garlic powder is such a great idea! I'm so happy you enjoy the recipe!


      • Jen

        Sadly, this recipe fell short for me. Big Detroit style pizza fan here, so I’ve even got the right pan. My edges and bottom looked nice and crisp with some lovely carmelization. Toppings were good. The issue I had was with the crust. It was fluffy and thick, but was lacking the rich flavor and slight chewiness of signature Detroit style pizza. Basically, we felt as if we were eating pizza made on fresh and fluffy homemade bread. After taking a second look at your pictures, I can see your crust had a similar texture and crumb structure. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t Detroit style pizza to us. When I think of Detroit style pizza, I think of bread meets focaccia flavor and texture. Wondering if a different type of flour or longer rise would help?


        • George

          Hi Jen,
          I think using a flour with the high gluten content such as bread flour can help. Also, if you'd like more of a strong structure and chewy texture, you can use "stretch and fold method" after the initial rise of the dough and repeat for a couple more time and let it rise overnight in the fridge. Hope this helps!


  6. Francine D’Urso

    I’am so excited about this . i just made my dough and sauce . waiting the two hours i will let you know how it turns out. thank you for sharing 😍


  7. Francine D’Urso

    I wish there was a way to send you my photo of my pizza it was delicious ….. thank you thank you . your recipe is spot on ❣️❣️❣️


    • George

      Yay!! I'm so happy to hear that, Francine.
      This pizza can be easily customized. You can really play with different toppings and cheese. I hope this is a recipe you can come back to from time to time.
      Thank you so much for your review 🙂


  8. Judy

    Have you ever made the dough and then froze it before rising?


    • George

      Hi Judy,
      You can freeze the dough before or after it rises, but make sure to rise the dough when defrosted then form into a crust. I'd recommend you make a note on a freezer bag that you placed the dough so that you can remember to rise the dough. Hope this helps!


  9. Sue

    Hello. Making tonight but don’t have two hours. Will it be similar if only rising a hour?


    • George

      Hi Sue, I would turn on my oven to the lowest setting (150 to 200F) and once it reach its temperature, turn off the oven right away and put your dough in the oven. I sometimes use this method during winter time. Hope this helps!


  10. Jamie

    Wondering if I can make this dough and all the toppings assembled and let it sit until ready to bake it. Thinking about for football this weekend but wanting to watch the games so if I could have it ready and pop into the oven right before half time would be great. Your thoughts?


    • George

      Hi Jamie,
      I would make the dough and rise overnight in the fridge. But I will prepare the sauce and topping separately and assemble right before you are ready to make the pizza. I'm afraid that the toppings and the sauce will weigh down the dough and deflate the dough. If you already tried the method you mentioned, let me know how it turned out!


  11. Sarah Conley

    Love this recipe!! I’ll be doubling it this time and wondered if I could use a glass 9x13 pan? I only have one metal pan. Thanks!


    • George

      Hi Sarah, I'm so glad you like the recipe!
      I made this in a glass pan before and the crust didn't come out as crispy as the one that I baked in the metal pan. If you don't mind the difference, you can use the glass pan. I would add a little more oil and a longer baking time (just a couple more minutes) to compensate. Hope this helps!


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