Cheesy root celery and chickpea deep dish pizza

Whoa, this one is a pretty chubby and mouthwatering fella, isn't it? I stared at this beautiful piece for a long time, before I had the courage to cut it open. How did I create this recipe? Well, first I have really wanted to do a recipe with creamed root celery. Second, a deep dish pizza recipe has been in my "to do" list for a long time. And third, a local Estonian health store sent me some vegan cheeses for trying. So the recipe for cheesy root celery deep dish pizza was born. But the most fun part is that even if you don't use any vegan cheese on this pizza, the cheesy filling alone will be satisfying too.

It may seem that this recipe is a lot of work. Actually, it ain't. I have to repeat myself and tell you that you shall not fear the yeast dough by any means. This dough recipe is so foolproof and it comes out beautifully every single time. I love to mix all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour in my yeast dough. This way you'll get the classic taste and texture with a healthier twist. When it comes to the filling, if you don't like the taste of coconut milk, feel free to use soy cream instead. It has a more neutral taste. And if you are not a fan of the root celery, then try the pizza with different veggies of your choice. But in my opinion, root celery is so underrated and actually really tasty when done right.

First, it looks awesome!

Root celery or Cthulhu?

Second, it has a great taste and even if you don't like celery ribs, you should give the root celery a try. I remember when I just boiled a whole head of root celery. Then peeled it, cut it into slices and ate it on a bread with a dash of mild mustard. So good! It really is one of the flavorsome veggies and it makes a great combination with chickpeas and coconut milk in this pizza.

Preparation time: 20 minutes active, 1,5 h passive

Serves: 10 inch / 26 cm cake pan


Yeast dough:
  • 2 Tbsp / 11 g dry yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ⅔ cups / 380 g wheat flour (I used all-purpose flour mixed with whole-wheat flour)
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp / 250 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp oil

Pizza filling:
  • ¼ pounds / 1 kg root celery (2 large root celeries)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups / 350 g cherry tomatoes, cut into 4
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 14 oz / 400 g canned chickpeas
  • (4 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes)
  • 14 oz / 400 g canned coconut milk
  • 1 heaped Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • (+ grated vegan cheese, about 3 ½ oz / 100 g)


I recommend to boil the root celeries ahead. Like the day before. Just rinse the celeries (don't peel them) and boil them in plenty of water until soft. Drain and let them cool down.

For the yeast dough, mix dry yeast with salt, thyme and flour. Add water, stir and knead for a bit. Add oil and knead more, until you have an elastic dough ball. Cover the dough bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour. The dough should double in size.

Now it's time to make the pizza filling. Peel the boiled celeries and cut into tiny cubes. Heat up a pan and pour some oil in it. Add celery cubes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add chopped cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add drained chickpeas, nutritional yeast flakes and coconut milk. Stir and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Mix in one tablespoon of flour. Let it simmer for another couple of minutes. Add chopped basil leaves (leave some for garnishing). Now take a potato masher and lightly mash the filling to make it more smoother, so there will be no huge chunks. Remove the heat.

When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C. Take a round cake pan and grease it. Knead the dough one more time and put it into the center of the cake pan. Fit the dough, so it evenly covers the bottom of the pan and the sides too. Like shown in this picture:

Then pour all the filling into the center of the dough, like in this picture:

Let the pizza rise for another 15 minutes in a warm place. Then bake it for 25 minutes at 400 F / 200 C. Add grated vegan cheese if you like and bake for another 5 minutes, until the dough edges are darker brown. Let the pizza cool for a bit before cutting it open. Garnish with basil. I recommend to eat it with a fork and a knife.