Coral Cafe's Vegetarian Supreme Pizza Recipe | Author Jan Moran
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

Coral Cafe's Vegetarian Supreme Pizza Recipe

vegetarian pizza with caramelized onions

In Coral Cafe, the second novel in my Coral Cottage beach series, Marina Moore creates a vegetarian pizza for her new beach cafe. Readers often ask me to include recipes for the dishes I write about. You'll find some, including this one, in the back of my books, and I'm posting others here on the blog. For this pizza that I call Vegetarian Supreme, sweet-and-savory caramelized onions are the key.

When I cook, I don't always measure preciously. I'm a little-of-this, a-dash-of-that, and whatever-is-in-the-refrigerator-or-garden kind of cook. Feel free to experiment with this recipe, too. Except for the crust. Baking is a science. (Although chef Wolfgang Puck has been known to mix fresh chives or green onions into a crust batter, which kicks up flavor another notch.)

The process of transforming sweet onions into a tasty garnish might take between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the sugar and water content of the onions. The good news is that caramelized onions may be prepared ahead of time and will keep in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Caramelized onions are also delicious in French onion soup or as burger toppings. Make a larger batch on the weekend to have it ready to go. When shopping for onions, remember to look specifically for sweet onions, as these are best for caramelizing due to their high sugar content. People are often divided on pizza sauces, so I suggest you use what you like.

Here, I’ve recommended pesto or marinara, but if desired, you may omit sauce entirely and simply brush the crust with a generous amount of olive oil to crisp the bread. As to cheese, while the traditional mozzarella is easy to melt, Gruyère is a rich, nutty flavor alternative. Rosemary pairs well with Gruyère, too. Or opt for fontina or Parmesan.

Vegetables are another area of potential contention. Try mushrooms— white button, portobello, porcini, or a wild mushroom mix. Load on sliced zucchini and artichokes with Roma, heirloom, or halved cherry tomatoes—or whatever catches your fancy.

Enliven your pizza with pinches of your favorites fresh or dried spices. Sauté your garlic before adding to your pizza for a sweet, mellow, nutty flavor. For the meat-eaters in the family, simply add sliced Italian sausage, prosciutto, or pepperoni to their side of the pizza pie. Above all, use your imagination, and cook what you enjoy eating.


Vegetarian Supreme Pizza

Makes: 1 large or 2 small pizzas or flatbreads
Preheat oven: 450 F (225 C)


1 10-inch pizza crust or flatbread (homemade or store-bought)
6 ounces (170 grams) fresh mushrooms, your choice, sliced
1 zucchini (small or half of a larger one)
6 ounces (170 grams) artichoke hearts (canned, drained)
1 to 2 medium sweet onions (Maui, Vidalia, Walla Walla, or other sweet yellow onion)
6 ounces (170 grams) sliced mozzarella or grated Gruyère
1/3 cup (80 ml) pesto or marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (15 grams)
1 tablespoon butter (15 grams)
Pinch of fresh or dried spices to taste: oregano, parsley, garlic, rosemary
Kosher salt and pepper to taste


1 bunch of fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn


1. To caramelize sweet onions: Slice onions in thin, 1/8 to 1/4 inch (5 mm)slices (round or lengthwise for different variations). Heat olive oil and butter in a large, wide skillet.

2. Add sliced onions to cover just the bottom (but not packed tight). Sauté over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook until onions are soft and browned, stirring frequently for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper as desired. To keep onions from drying out, add a little water or stock to deglaze the pan as needed.

3. Finished onions should be soft and amber-brown in color, but not mushy. To aid in the caramelization process, add a teaspoon of sugar if needed. Remove from heat and let cool.

4. Slice mushroom, zucchinis, artichoke hearts, and other vegetables as desired. Sauté mushrooms in a little olive oil to remove excess moisture, add dried or fresh spices. Set aside.

5. Spread pesto or marinara sauce as desired over uncooked pizza crust or flatbread. Sprinkle sliced mozzarella or grated Gruyère on the crust.

6. Scoop caramelized onions over the cheese. Arrange sliced vegetables on top.

7. Bake at 450 F (225 C) for 8 to 10 minutes (or 5 to 6 minutes if using prebaked crust) or until cheese is melted and crust is a golden brown.

8. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before slicing.


Gourmet Pizza Crust

Makes: 2 6-ounce or 1 large crust (175 grams)
Preheat oven: 450 F (225 C)


1/2 package dry active yeast or fresh yeast (or 1/8 oz. or 1 1/8
tsp.) (10 grams)
1/2 teaspoon honey (3 ml)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115 F; 40 to 45 C)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (15 ml)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (180 grams)


1. Begin by dissolving the yeast in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of warm water in a small bowl. Add honey.

2. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt. Add yeast and honey mixture, olive oil, and remaining water. If using an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix on low for about 3 to 5 minutes until dough forms around the hook.

3. Dough should pull away from sides of the bowl when ready.

4. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Form into a ball, place into a bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Put in a warm location and let rise for 30 minutes.

6. Separate dough into 2 balls. Work the dough again 4 to 5 times, and roll on the counter until smooth for about a minute. Return to bowl to rest for 15 minutes.

7. When ready, spread dough on the surface, leaving a slightly thicker edge if desired to hold toppings. Add toppings and bake at 450 degrees F (225 degrees C) until cheese is melted, about 8 to 10 minutes depending on the firmness of cheese and toppings.

8. If using only 1 ball of dough, the extra dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


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