California Veggie Pizza

This California veggie pizza is an over the top delicious vegetarian pizza recipe, starring peppers, avocado, goat cheese and fresh basil.

So Cal Pizza | A Couple Cooks

What can I say? We love pizza. If someone asks our favorite food to cook or what our specialty is, look no further than the goodness that is artisan pizza. While certainly not a health food in itself, pizza made at home is usually healthier than restaurant fare since you can control the amount of cheese and toppings. This California veggie pizza is especially full of nutritious topping ingredients: peppers, tomatoes, onion, and avocado, with dollops of soft goat cheese. It’s a take on the “So Cal” pizza served here in Indianapolis at Jockomo’s, and inspired by our dear friend Katelyn.

Related: Everything you need to know about making artisan pizza

So Cal Pizza | A Couple Cooks

Making California veggie pizza

When our friend Katelyn started cooking with us for photo shoots a few years ago, she quickly went from knowing little about the kitchen to mincing garlic and whipping up pizza dough like a pro. She’s a constant friend and supporter, helping us from time to time with things like food prep, taste testing, and hand modeling (that’s her hand below). As much fun as it is for us to cook just the two of us, it’s even more fun when we have sweet friends to chat with while we work and share the experience. Katelyn has been along for the ride on so many of our recipes, and she’s always giving us new ideas. Thank you, Katelyn, for the So Cal pizza and the years you’ve helped behind the scenes!

And, now this California Veggie pizza. Loaded with colorful veg, the goat cheese makes it particularly delightful. In all our years of making artisan pizza, we haven’t used much goat cheese, but it will definitely be making repeat appearances on pizza night. Speaking of, we’ve started an informal tradition of pizza night on Thursdays instead of Fridays; it’s been a nice way to celebrate almost making it to the end of the week. How about you – do you have any pizza traditions? We’d love to hear in the comments.

So Cal Pizza | A Couple Cooks

Looking for artisan pizza recipes?

This California veggie pizza is one of our favorite artisan pizzas we’ve made. Here are a few of our other favorite artisan pizza recipes:

This recipe is…

This California veggie pizza recipe is vegetarian, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.

So Cal Pizza | A Couple Cooks


California Veggie Pizza

1 Star (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pizza
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This California veggie pizza is an over the top delicious vegetarian pizza recipe, starring peppers, avocado, goat cheese and fresh basil.


  • 1 pizza dough
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 8 to 10 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup Homemade Easy Pizza Sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Kosher salt


  1. Prepare the dough using either the stand mixer or food processor methods (you also can knead by hand; follow this video instruction for more). Follow the preparation instructions in the dough recipe if prepared in advance.
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F.
  3. Prepare the toppings: Thinly slice 1/4 red pepper, 1/4 yellow pepper, and 1/4 red onion. Thinly slice (chiffonade) the basil leaves.
  4. When the oven is ready, stretch the dough into a circle (see this video for instructions). Place the dough on a floured pizza peel or pull the pizza stone out of the oven and carefully place the dough on it.
  5. Quickly assemble the pizza: Spread a thin layer of the pizza sauce onto the dough. Top with about 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Then add sliced peppers, onions, and dollops of goat cheese. Cut an avocado in half, then scoop out small pieces of avocado onto the pizza. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  6. Bake the pizza: Transfer the pizza to the oven on the pizza peel, and bake until the cheese is melted, about 7 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then garnish with basil and serve.

Keywords: Pizza, Vegetarian Pizza, California Pizza, Italian Pizza, Pizza Oven, Vegetarian, Entertaining, Artisan Pizza


About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    March 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I just love the avocado on top of this! Such a yummy addition!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    This pizza sounds interesting and definitely worth a try! I am a So Cal native and I love pizza. My husband’s family has a Christmas Eve tradition of making pizza at home- enough pizza to cover every counter and table in the house!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Yum, looks so good!!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Pizza night is one of our go-to recipes on any night of the week, so I’m always looking for fresh ways to mix it up. This recipe looks so fabulous for spring!

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    March 30, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Being from so-cal I crave the flavors in this pizza. Avocado on evvvverything! So beautiful. As for pizza traditions – pizza was one of the first dinners Scott and I ever made together while dating, and still have occasional pizza nights where we build them and recount those happy memories :) food is so much more fun when you get to make it together!

  • Reply
    Nina at
    March 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    These pics look amazing and this recipe is just in time for spring! About to breakout our pizza oven, so we may have to try this combo of toppings! Love the idea of avocado on a pizza – great addition of fiber!

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    March 30, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    I live alone, but I do make pizza for myself about once a month or once every couple of weeks. I love adding capers to my pizza, something I first came across while living in Germany. My tradition is that I do always use the same sauce, from a simple recipe given to my family by some Italian friends many years ago. Their name was Astolfi, so we call it (I guess obviously) “Astolfi’s Pizza Sauce.” It’s really great, has no added salt, and makes enough for 2 large pizzas. You can refrigerate any leftover in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for up to 2 weeks, or even freeze it.

    One 6-ounce can of tomato paste
    One 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
    1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    Dash or two of Tabasco sauce (to taste)
    1/4 to 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (to taste)

    Stir ingredients well and heat over medium heat until just starting to bubble around the edges. Do not boil. Spoon onto pizza dough, add your toppings, and bake.

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    March 30, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I love goats cheese on pizza, especially with beets. I also like the avocado in this recipe. We don’t have a pizza tradition but I’ve been telling myself I need to make it more often. What a fun tradition you guys have for Thursday nights.

  • Reply
    Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth
    March 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    So glad I’m not the only one with pizza guilt. But sometimes ya just gotta have a slice! This is a beautiful pie — makes me want to dig right in!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Homemade pizza is the best! My husband introduced me to goat cheese on pizza years ago and I love the flavor it adds. Another favorite topping of his is a handful of cashews or shelled sunflower seeds for some textural interest.

  • Reply
    lynsey |
    March 31, 2015 at 7:59 am

    goat cheese is one of my favourites on pizza, but have never tried avocado! I feel I am missing out. This looks amazing. xo

  • Reply
    March 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Delicious!! love the goat cheese and avocado combo!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 3:15 am

    I love goat cheese on a pizza – it feels so luxurious somehow! You’ve used most of my favourite foods in the world on this, perfect inspiration for our next pizza night.

  • Reply
    Augustus@ Healthy Eating Tips
    April 4, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Nice pictures, I hope you guys can actually create a healthy pizza, with minimal use of cheese and all the unhealthy accessories. Thanks for sharing this though.

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