If you've never had kimchi on your pizza before, you're in for a treat! This Korean-Inspired kimchi pizza is spicy, savory, and cheesy, and is ready in around 35 minutes!
We LOVE Korean and Korean-inspired food! It has everything that we think makes a dish truly enjoyable - a unique play on flavor with salty, tangy, and umami ingredients that you don't often get to taste.
This is what inspired us to make this recipe that we hope will be a great addition to your meal rotation.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make. This kimchi pizza is ready in less than 30 minutes and is made with simple ingredients. For a shortcut, use store-bought pizza dough to make this recipe even easier.
- Packed with flavor. Not only does this recipe feature a chewy pizza dough and tangy kimchi, but also has an amazing tomato-gochujang sauce that's out of this world!
- Customizable. You can add any of your favorite toppings, sauces, and vegetables, and you can make it different every time!
- Unique. Surprise everybody at your next pizza party, or get-together with a distinctive homemade pizza that is sure to make an impression.
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented cabbage (specifically napa cabbage) and a wide range of seasonings such as gochujang, gochugaru, garlic, ginger, and more!
It has probiotic properties and is often used in dishes like Kimchi Jiggae, dumplings, kimchi pancakes, and beyond.
I love using it in some non-traditional dishes like kimchi alfredo pasta and this kimchi pizza recipe.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Pizza dough: You can use your favorite pizza dough here. Either store-bought or homemade. I'm using the vegan pizza dough from my vegan white pizza. You can find the recipe for it when you scroll to the recipe card.
- Kimchi: Make sure to use good-quality kimchi, one that has been well fermented, since this is the star ingredient. Nowadays, you can find it in any big grocery store, or order it online on Amazon.
- Cheese: I'm using mozzarella cheese, but any cheese will work here such as cheddar, havarti, provolone, etc. You can use vegan cheese to make this recipe vegan.
- Diced canned tomatoes: For making the pizza sauce.
- Gochujang: This is a fermented Korean chili paste that has a unique flavor. You can find it in most Asian markets. It adds spiciness and richness to this tomato sauce.
- Toasted sesame oil: This is a potent ingredient that carries SO much flavor. It's nutty and aromatic and is almost always used in Korean dishes to add a bit of a flavor kick.
- Garlic: Two gloves of garlic are enough to flavor a whole batch of tomato sauce. Make sure to not skip it!
- Olive oil: For sauteeing the garlic.
- Mushrooms: You can use any of your favorite mushrooms here, or you can use another vegetable of your choice.
- Green onion: To use as a garnish once the pizza is ready.
See the recipe card below for exact measurements.
How to Make Kimchi Pizza
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and gochujang paste and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring often, or until fragrant and caramelized.
Add the canned tomatoes, salt, and black pepper and stir. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium or medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Stir the sesame oil.
I like to make pizza right in my cast-iron skillet because it gives it incredible crispy edges. If you'd like to do that, grease your skillet well with olive oil, then generously dust it with flour.
Roll out your pizza dough depending on how thick you like the crust to be.
Evenly spread the gochujang tomato sauce.
Add the chopped kimchi, and mushrooms, followed by any other toppings you desire.
Top with shredded cheese all over and bake in a preheated oven to 390°F (200°C).
The pizza is ready when the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the edges are golden brown.
Take it out of the oven and top with sliced scallions. Enjoy right away with kewpie mayo or ketchup!
- Use high-quality pizza dough. This makes a huge difference in the end result. If you don't have time to make your own, I recommend buying sourdough pizza dough from a local bakery.
- Use a well-fermented kimchi. The more fermented the kimchi, the more flavor there is. I like to get store-bought kimchi, open the lid, cover it with a paper towel, and let it ferment for a few more days on the countertop, away from direct light. Trust me, old kimchi makes for the BEST dishes!
- Drain your kimchi well. To prevent your pizza from getting soggy, it's essential to squeeze out as much liquid from the kimchi as possible. But don't throw it away, the liquid is packed with flavor! Use it in kimchi jjigae or kimchi pasta instead.
- Add any vegetables you like. This recipe is versatile and customizable, so you can add your favorite veggies like enoki mushrooms, napa cabbage, bok choy, etc. For good measure use a diverse range of vegetables.
YES! Kimchi pizza gives you the best of both worlds- it's cheesy, and comforting while being tangy and fresh.
Not only is it delicious but kimchi is also nutritious, providing you with iron, folate, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as plenty of minerals and amino acids.
If you're using a cast-iron skillet, there is no need to pre-bake pizza crust, as it cooks it evenly and on all sides.
However, if you're cooking your pizza on a baking sheet, it's best to pre-bake the dough for 4-5 minutes to ensure your thin crust will be perfectly cooked later. This will ensure your crust will not get soggy after adding the marinara sauce.
Yes! For maximum freshness and flavor, I recommend freezing it before you bake it. The pizza will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
This recipe is quite forgiving, meaning it's hard to mess it up so you can add almost anything to it. Here are some variations:
- Tortilla pizza: You can use a tortilla instead of the pizza dough. Place a single tortilla on a baking sheet, then add an even layer of your toppings. Bake in a pre-heated oven to 425ºF (218ºC) for 5-7 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
- Make it less spicy: Skip the gochujang in the tomato sauce and use non-spicy kimchi (also known as white kimchi or Baek Kimchi).
- Add protein: Sliced tofu would be a nice addition here, but any protein of your choice will work here (it's delicious with a fried egg too!).
- Vegan: Use vegan kimchi, as well as vegan cheese such as VioLife's vegan mozzarella.
More Topping Ideas
This homemade kimchi pizza recipe is ideal for a wide range of toppings. Anything Korean or Korean-themed would go well as toppings, like:
- Bean sprouts
- Napa cabbage
- Red cabbage
- Crumbled crispy tempeh, or smoky tofu
Or you can always go with a more conventional approach with ingredients that may be more accessible to you
- Green or black olives
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Sliced red onion or shallots
- Vegan sausage or pepperoni
- Caramelized onions
- Frozen or canned corn
- Fresh herbs such as cilantro or fresh basil
This kimchi pizza can be served with other Korean dishes such as kimbap, japchae, and tteokbokki, for a Korean-inspired dinner.
This homemade pizza is perfect to have alongside any other Korean food.
Let the kimchi pizza cool to room temperature, cut it into pieces, and transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days
Cheesy Kimchi Pizza
- 1 batch store-bought pizza dough *see notes for my homemade pizza dough
Tomato gochujang sauce
- ½ - ¾ cup kimchi, chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- Green onions, sliced for serving
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C). In a skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and gochujang paste and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring often, or until fragrant and caramelized.2 cloves of garlic, minced, 1-2 tablespoon gochujang paste, 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Add the canned tomatoes, salt, and black pepper and stir. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium or medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil.15 oz (425g) can diced tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon salt, Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste, ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- Roll out your pizza dough depending on how thick you like the crust to be. Transfer it to a well-greased cast-iron skillet. Evenly spread the gochujang tomato sauce. Add the chopped kimchi, and mushrooms, followed by any other toppings you desire.1 batch store-bought pizza dough, ½ - ¾ cup kimchi, chopped into small pieces, 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- Top with shredded cheese all over and bake for 15-20 minutes. Until the edges are golden brown.1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Take it out of the oven and top with sliced scallions. Enjoy right away with kewpie mayo or ketchup!Green onions, sliced
- Fridge: Let the kimchi pizza cool to room temperature, cut it into pieces, and transfer it to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days
- Freezer: For maximum freshness and flavor, I recommend freezing it before you bake it. The pizza will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour plus more for sprinkling
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil plus more for oiling your hands as needed
- ¾ cup (175ml) warm water 100-110ºF (38-43ºC)
- In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water. At the yeast and whisk until it dissolves as well. Set it aside for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture becomes foamy and bubbly.
In the meant time, in a large mixing bowl add the flour and stir in the sugar and the salt. When the yeast is ready, add it to the bowl with the dry ingredients, alongside the olive oil.
Use a fork, and mix until the dough becomes so sticky that you can't continue mixing with the fork anymore. Then add a drizzle of olive oil on a clean surface and on your hands. Sprinkle some flour and transfer the dough.
Knead the pizza dough for 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth, elastic, and soft. At first, the dough may stick to the counter and your hands, but don't worry, just keep greasing your hands and kneading. If you really have to, you can add 1 more tablespoon of flour, but try to add as little as possible.
After a few minutes of kneading, the dough should be no longer sticky. Grease a large bowl with some oil (I use the same bowl from before and wash it) and transfer the dough. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel.
Let the dough rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. If it's a particularly cold day, put the bowl in the oven and turn on the light.
After rising, lightly punch down the dough to release air. Then grease your hands, and knead for 1-2 minutes, or until it forms a smooth ball again.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with third-party calculations without including the optional ingredients.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove