Quinoa Pizza

by Valerie on May 25, 2011 · 19 comments

pizza lunchbox

Happy Tuesday! I know I usually post my lunchbox in the morning, but it has just been one of those days.  That said, today’s post was totally worth the wait. It involves leftover pizza, which in my gluten-eating days was one of my favorite things ever.  This pizza is a little, well, a lot different, but it is wonderful.  First, though, let’s talk lunch and two snacks:

  • Bloggy Vegan Quinoa Pizza (see below)
  • Spinach leaves dressed with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (I forgot to pack a lemon)
  • Gena’s Famous Black Bean and Red Pepper Dip with sliced zucchini for dipping
  • Half a roasted sweet potato with the second half mashed with raw cacao, a teaspoon coconut butter, stevia and almond milk into a quick chocolate sauce.  I got the idea from this blog (see fourth bullet).

So pizza.  I have been playing around with pizza ever since going gluten-free.  My goal has always been to limit the starches (i.e. the refined starches, like tapioca, arrowroot and potato starches) and I have tried a variety of recipes, ranging from Meghan’s buckwheat crust, to Ali’s raw buckwheat version, to Elana’s from her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook (both the original recipe and the veganized version with chia), to Amy’s socca pizza from her Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free coobook. I liked them all (especially the socca one, which was good as is, or with white bean flour instead of chickpea flour), but they were always obviously a substitute.  I tried more grain-free pizza crust concepts: Naomi’s and Carrie’s were both great, but I did not love the high number of eggs required in either recipe. That said, Carrie’s was actually the closest to a pizza crust in terms of chew and texture.

And then I read the Quinoa Pizza Heaven post by Iris, where she told us about Charity’s recipe.  It got me wondering where I could make just one pie instead of the two in the recipe, and use my cast-iron skillet. Before I had a chance to try it, Alta did, and confirmed it was, indeed, possible.

I made this pizza once, and I got obsessed.I tweaked and tasted and tweaked again. The crust is doughy and crispy at the same time, which was the main feature I missed about pizza.  It is devoid of starches and completely vegan.  So I tweaked cooking times for my 10 inch cast iron pan, merged both Ali’s and Elana’s pizza sauce methods (Elana’s is in her Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and  made this several times.

This pizza was obviously subject to much bloggy inspiration. I debated not publishing the full recipe and instead tell you about all the tweaks I made, but it just got too complicated. So, here it is: Bloggy Vegan Quinoa Pizza.

Before I forget, I am submitting this recipe to:

seasonal sunday


lunchbox and pizza 016

Bloggy Vegan Quinoa Pizza (Makes 1 10-inch pie, gluten-free and vegan) – an adaption of several bloggers’ approaches and their love for gluten-free pizza and pizza sauce

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7oz tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 tsps oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 8 drops plain stevia
  • 1-2 cups basil, pureed with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt (you can substitute prepared pesto for this)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup vegetable toppings. I like a combination of lightly steamed broccoli, sauteed creminis (just use extra virgin olive oil and salt), and raw bell pepper slices.
  • Daiya or other vegan cheese (optional)

Soak quinoa in about 2 cups water, at least 8 hours.  Drain and rinse. 

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place 10-inch cast iron skillet in oven when it gets to 350F.  Preheat pan for about 10 minutes as the oven temperature rises.  Add extra-virgin olive oil to hot pan and preheat oil and pan (about 4 to 5 minutes).

While preheating pan, place drained and rinsed quinoa in blender with 1/2 cup water, salt and oregano.  Blend until the consistency of thick pancake butter.  Remove cast-iron skillet from oven.  Pour batter in. It should sizzle.  Bake crust for 20 minutes, until dark golden.  While pizza is baking, mix tomato paste, garlic, herbs, stevia and water.  Flip pizza over (like a large pancake) and add toppings.  I like to start with the tomato sauce, followed by the basil, then the spinach, and then the additional toppings.  Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

And there you have it, bloggy-inspired pizza without starch or eggs and delicious in general, particularly with this symphony of toppings.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bitt May 25, 2011 at 6:56 am

I have been experimenting with more gluten-free pizzas too, so thanks for the links. So interesting your quinoa pizza is made of mostly just quinoa. We use quinoa flatbread for pizza and it's just quinoa flour. It's great! I will try your version for sure. Or make Chris do it. :-)


2 eliz@thesweetlife May 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

This is my favorite lunch you've posted so far!


3 gfe--gluten free easily May 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

That pizza looks totally yummy, Valerie! But re: your comment on this recipe being devoid of starch, isn't quinoa also considered to be a starch as well as a protein? Just curious.



4 Tasty Eats At Home May 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

So glad you tried this! Isn't it tasty? Your toppings are gorgeous. I'm having pizza again this week. Yay.


5 Shu Han May 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm

i am intrigued by the idea of a quinoa crust! I've never thought of using quinoa in any sort of baking. blending these graisn sounds like such a great idea (:


6 Alisa Fleming May 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm

I saw that pizza crust idea when posted prior and wow, so intriguing. I need to give that a go. Love that you put broccoli on your pizza!


7 Celeste Jean May 26, 2011 at 3:37 am

So excited to try this! It combines two of my loves- cast iron and gluten free pizza.


8 Gena May 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

What a healthy and whole foods approach to pizza! Love it.


9 Katie (quick cook rice) May 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm

This look sos yummy and EASY. I'm always afraid of gluten-free anything because sometimes the recipes have three million ingredients. And honestly, I get easily intimidated by long recipe lists. But, I can definitely handle this.


10 Maggie May 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm

This is nothing short of amazing! I saw it on Alta's blog and wanted to try it. Well, just flipped it and can't wait to eat it. We are topping ours with pesto, yellow peppers, onion, portabellos, and asparagus. YUM! Thanks Valerie.


11 Faye @ RawLawyer.com May 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I'm buying a cast iron skillet this weekend so I can make this pizza. Thanks for the recipe! I can't wait!


12 Candace May 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

What a wonderful way to use quinoa! Your pizza looks absolutely delicious!


13 Vicky May 31, 2011 at 9:09 am

I've tried making GF pizza with gluten free flours but without a lot of success, this is so healthy, I will definitely try it!


14 Linda May 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Way to go on getting inspiration from all over and then tweaking to suit your tastes. It looks wonderful!


15 Iris August 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Thanks for the reminder to make that! I have been craving pizza like crazy!


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