WW: Daiya Cheese Pizza Review — dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!

Daiya Cheese Pizza
Daiya Cheese Pizza

OMG PIZZA! Click the link to go to the product page.

I am not sure I’ve ever bought a frozen pizza before. I know that sounds crazy. Growing up, we mostly made pizza at home. Going out for pizza with friends was a social event in high school and college (and Trackside Pizza in Decatur sold pizza by the slice — cheap — and it was really really good). Grad school pizza was mostly the Little Cesar’s cheapo specials (we were broke!) or take-and-bake.

When I quit dairy, I just quit pizza, too. I tried a variety of options — home-made tofu ricotta, some of the very few soy and rice cheeses that didn’t contain casein — but none of them were pizza-worthy. Mostly, they didn’t really melt.

Daiya cheese showed up here in Concord maybe 4 or 5 years ago, and it is now carried by the Concord Food Co-op, which carries most of the ever-expanding line, and in much more limited scale by Hannaford grocery stores. The shredded cheese comes in mozzarella, pepper jack, and cheddar styles; they also make block cheeses and sliced cheeses, as well as a new cream cheese. I haven’t tried everything, but what I have tried, I have liked, and I keep the cheddar on hand at all times. I’ve made pizza before with a mix of the cheddar and mozzarella shreds, and it’s good. I’ve yet to find a fool-proof gluten-free pizza crust recipe, though.

Caveat: Daiya cheese contains coconut oil, and I’m relatively sure, even without checking with Denise’s list, that this product contains corn or corn-derived ingredients. If you are allergic to coconut or corn, likely this product is not for you. I’m sorry. For all the allergy info on the company, click here.

However, I am not allergic to coconut or corn, and can I say that I am over the moon happy to finally have the chance to try Daiya’s frozen pizza? So far, I have managed to get my hands on one flavor — cheese. I am fine with this, as when I could eat pizza, that was probably my favorite. I’d love to try the roasted vegetable, too, if ever it makes its way to a freezer near me.

My freezer is mostly stocked with ingredients, along with a few plastic containers of frozen soup, stew, or other meals for when time is short. But frozen foods, as an easy meal? Mostly not a possibility. So the prospect of frozen pizza? So very alluring. And coming from Daiya, I had high, high hopes.

What makes Daiya different than the majority of vegan cheeses on the market is that it melts — not exactly like cow’s milk cheese, but close — with a taste that has that umami flavor that is the reason we love cheese. It’s vegan, gluten-free, casein-free (I know that is covered by “vegan,” but I’m amazed at the number of non-dairy products that have casein), and soy-free. It’s useful for quesadillas, grilled cheese, topping soups or baked potatoes, and pizza. The holy grail of the dairy-free cheese.

What makes Daiya’s pizza different than the other vegan pizzas on the market is that it’s also gluten-free. What makes Daiya’s pizza different than other gluten-free pizzas on the market is that it’s also dairy-free. This combo is hard, I get it — pizza is pretty much bread with cheese on it, with a little tomato sauce thrown in for flavor. So when you take out the bread and cheese, do you still have pizza?

Yes. You still have pizza. Daiya’s frozen cheese pizza is good. It fills that pizza hole in my life pretty nicely. The crust is thin and crispy, probably from being cooked directly on the oven rack. The tomato sauce is well-seasoned, and it’s slathered on in good proportion to the Daiya cheese.

I will say one negative thing — leftover, this is not the cold pizza of my memory. It’s perfectly edible, but not delectable. So I’d say just eat it — or, conversely, reheat it before eating the leftovers.

Are you gluten-free and dairy-free? What’s your go-to for pizza?

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Disclaimer: This review has not been paid for, and I have received no product or incentive from the company for review. This all my own opinion.

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