Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Vegan Crepes
When I lived in Milwaukee, WI while I was going to school, I would get vegan crepes at a little food cart called Satellite Crepes. They set up at farmers markets around the city throughout the spring and summer. In addition to the traditional egg-laden, meaty offerings, they served vegan crepes and gluten-free crepes! While they had sweet options, including a Grand Marnier and sugar crepe, my absolute favorite was the savory tomato basil mozzarella. It came with vegan cheese, and if I remember correctly, a truffle balsamic drizzle. Yum.
It was so much fun to order crepes and watch them thinly spread the batter around the flat top with the crepe tool that sort of looks like a shower squeegee*, then add vegan mozzarella, copious amounts of fresh basil, thinly sliced tomato, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and some kind of special salt and herb blend. Once cooked through, they folded the crepe in half, then in quarters. The edges and bits of cheese that touched the grill got nice and crispy, while the insides were tender and delicious. It was the perfect lunch while walking around a farmers market or attending a neighborhood festival.
*You know, these things. I’m sure the crepe tool has an actual name, but I’m going to refer to it as a “crepe squeegee” from here on out.
Unfortunately, I can no longer get vegan Satellite Crepes. Not because I moved back to Chicago (you know I love a good road trip), but because they gradually removed the vegan options from their menu, then eventually shut down the business a few years back. Bummer.
Fortunately, it’s possible to make vegan crepes at home. I don’t own a crepe squeegee or a flat top grill, but a spatula and a large cast iron pan will do the trick. Aquafaba in place of eggs makes thin and crispy, but “eggy” vegan crepes a reality. Here’s what the crepes look like mid-cooking (pretend that pan is on the stove—I grabbed it off the stove to take a quick photo in a brighter room):
Once you have the crepe-making technique down pat, you can have breakfast on the table in 10 minutes flat. That’s way faster than pancakes or waffles, but all three are delicious, of course! I’ve posted a vegan crepes recipe on the blog before—my tea-infused cranberry apple cinnamon sweet crepes. This recipe uses the same basic ingredients, and it’s incredibly simple. I’ve made these tomato basil crepes about 4 times in the past week, and it’s looking like it will be a go-to throughout the summer.
I’m all about the tomato basil mozzarella combo inspired by Satellite, but you can add whatever filling you’d like, sweet or savory! Maybe spinach and caramelized onion, or a (vegan) Nutella and (coconut) whipped cream?
Get the recipe:
- 1/3 cup aquafaba
- 1 1/3 cups non-dairy milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray or neutral oil
- Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped into ribbons
- 1 tomato, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Balsamic vinegar or reduction, if desired
- Pour the aquafaba to a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until foamy/
- Slowly whisk in the non-dairy milk.
- Gradually sift in the flour, lightly whisking after each addition.
- Add the salt, and continue whisking until the batter is just combined. The batter should be very thin.
- Warm up a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Spray or brush a thin layer of oil or cooking spray on the heated skillet.
- Using a scoop or ladle pour about 1/3-1/2 cup crepe batter in the center of the pan, then immediately swirl the pan so the batter spreads out evenly.
- Sprinkle some cheese around one side of the crepe, then add some tomato slices and fresh basil. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, if desired.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the crepe has cooked through, then gently pick up the opposite side of the crepe, and fold it over the side with the filling.
- If the crepe is too big to remove from the pan without it breaking, fold over the crepe once more so you have a triangle. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
- Garnish with more basil and tomato, and drizzle on balsamic vinegar or glaze if desired.
- Repeat until all batter is gone. Make sure to spray or oil the pan before each crepe.
- Thick crepes: crepes need a very thin batter that spreads out quickly when you pour it into a piping hot pan. Imagine the consistency of melted ice cream.
- Gummy or oily crepes: if the heat is too low, your crepes will turn out pale, gummy, and oily.
- Burned crepes: if the pan is too hot, the batter will solidify before it has a chance to spread, resulting in thick crepes that burn before they’re cooked through.
- Crepes break when folded: make sure your pan was thoroughly sprayed with cooking spray or oil. The rest of it is just practice. It’s okay if some break, as long as they taste good!