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an overhead shot of four slices of vegan polenta pizza on a white plate set on a dark blue backdrop

Vegan Polenta Pizza with Cilantro Pepita Lime Pesto

  • Author: Allison
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x


Vegan polenta pizza with cilantro pepita lime pesto is a fabulous appetizer or light meal. A polenta pizza crust is topped with cilantro pepita lime pesto, tomato, and nut or seed ‘Parmesan cheese’ for a fun and different pizza that you will love.



Polenta Crust

  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fine ground cornmeal
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan (recipe follows- optional but recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Cilantro Pepita Lime Pesto

  • 1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds- these can be raw or roasted; it’s up to you)
  • 2 packed cups cilantro, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1 jalapeno, chopped

Topping Ideas

  • Diced tomato
  • Sliced olives
  • Roasted zucchini, peppers, corn, and onion
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Roasted sweet potato
  • Vegan Parmesan, feta, cotija, or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Black beans or pinto beans

Vegan Parmesan

  • 1 cup raw nuts or seeds of choice (I like a combination of cashews and hemp)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/21 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


Start by making the polenta: Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of sea salt and gradually whisk in the cornmeal until no lumps remain. Turn down heat to medium low and whisk often until polenta thickens, five to ten minutes. Whisk in the vegan parmesan, if using, and the olive oil. The consistency should be on the thick side. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool enough so that you can safely handle it without burning your hands.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the polenta into the middle of the pan. Wet your hands and press the polenta down from the centre outwards until you have a rough oval or rectangle that is neither too thick nor too thin. I believe that mine was around 1/2 an inch thick.

Bake the polenta pizza crust for 22-27 minutes, until golden brown and crisp around the edges. It will firm up more as it cools.

Meanwhile, make the pesto: Place the pepitas in a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and process until coarsely ground. Add the cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth and creamy, pausing to scrape down sides with a spatula as needed.

Assemble: Spread all of the pesto over the pizza crust and top with any other desired toppings. You can enjoy as is for a super fresh tasting pesto pizza, or pop it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes if you added cheese and you want it to melt.

To make the Parmesan: Add all ingredients to a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and process until a sandy consistency is reached, similar to powdered Parmesan cheese. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes

Keywords: vegan polenta pizza with pesto