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In my family, pizza is serious business! Whether we're making pizza at home like the Best Ever Gluten-free Pizza Crust or going out to our favourite pizzeria in Toronto like Libretto or Defina Wood Fired, we don't mess around – only the best will do! Dominos or 2-4-1 Pizza (does that even exist anymore?) are outta the question. I don't mean to sound snooty, but I told you pizza was a serious matter in the McJordan family!
The reason I made this recipe to share with you guys was that my colleague Amanda was chowing on a quinoa pizza crust at lunch last week, and it got me thinking... I've made the Best Ever Gluten-free Pizza Crust at least 100 times and I really want to find a totally plant-based pizza crust to share with you guys that's also egg- and dairy-free. I came across this recipe from Tasty and adapted it by changing up a few ingredients and making it vegan. I love the fact that the base is made of quinoa because it's a total superfood!
QUINOA IS A NUTRIENT-DENSE SUPERFOOD SEED
This recipe makes a super easy sheet pan pizza – meaning you simply spread the batter onto a baking sheet, bake and go!
Since I broke my pizza stone last year I've only been doing large rectangular pizzas on a baking sheet. (Note to self: I do need to get a new pizza stone. Especially since the spelt flour pizza crust from my first cookbook Joyous Health is absolutely amazing and it's best made on a pizza stone.
As mentioned, the ingredients are super-duper simple. Once you've soaked the quinoa for eight hours (this step is KEY, DO NOT skip it and do not skip rinsing it either), you blend all the ingredients together in a food processor. You will have a very sore belly if you don't prepare the quinoa properly because of the saponins and the soaking is key for the quinoa to absorb some water and soften.
What are saponins?
They're phytochemicals, naturally present in foods like quinoa, that have a very bitter taste. They have an important purpose for the plants that contain them to act as a natural protection from pests. However, the bitter taste they produce is quite irritating to the digestive system. They're significantly reduced by soaking and rinsing. When you soak the quinoa, the suds produced are evidence of saponins. Some brands of quinoa will be labelled "pre-rinsed", so you don't have to worry about soaking and rinsing if you're just making quinoa but you still have to soak with this recipe.
Then you slather the batter onto a baking sheet.
And if you have a little helper on standby, this part is just as fun as the pizza toppings!
This pizza is pick-up-and-eat style, meaning, no fork and knife necessary (unless that's your preference). It's crunchy and fulfilling!
As you'll soon see in the recipe instructions, you bake the crust first and then add your favourite toppings.
I divided this pizza into thirds, since Walker, Vienna and I like different toppings. I tried some of everyone's but I think my portion was the best ;)
Any guesses on which section belonged to who? Comment below! :)
Section 1: soft goat cheese, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onion (garnished with basil).
Section 2: goat cheddar and nitrate-free pepperoni.
Section 3: burrata cheese, grape tomatoes (garnished with basil).
PLEASE NOTE: I've put this recipe in the "vegan" section of my blog because the pizza crust is vegan, but it is up to you what you serve it with.
I divided the toppings for this pizza into three sections and spread tomato sauce as the base under the toppings:
Section 1: soft goat cheese, sliced zucchini, thinly sliced red onion, grape tomatoes halved.
Section 2: grated goat cheddar, nitrate-free pepperoni
Section 3: grape tomatoes halved, burrata cheese and fresh basil (added after baking)
The toppings were magical!
This pizza didn't last long. Walker and I tried each section, but Vienna stuck to her own.
You may notice I didn't use any cow dairy on my third of the pizza. I tend to avoid cow dairy products because they don't agree with me, but goat or sheep milk products are just fine. (Oops, I kinda gave it away!).
More pizza photos, just because it was so yummy and so good looking!
We enjoyed this with the Juicy and Crunchy Kale salad – that's our favourite salad to make. Vienna picks out all her favourite ingredients and Walker and I fill at least half our plate with salad and the other half with pizza.
I hope you try out this pizza! If you don't avoid eggs and/or you're not vegan, my Best Ever Gluten-free Pizza Crust has been a go-to for years.
I'm excited to see your pizza creations! Be sure to tag me on social @joyoushealth
ps. If you have leftover quinoa and you're looking for more quinoa recipes, then this Flourless Chocolate Cake is a must! Perhaps not with this pizza – that would be quinoa overload – but put it in your back pocket for the next time you need a decadent yet healthy chocolate cake recipe, you won't be disappointed!
Looks like perfection! Can’t wait to try it!!!Reply
Is the 2 tablespoons of garlic powder a typo?Reply
No it's not :)
Looks amazing! So if I buy pre rinsed quinoa I just have to put it directly into the food processor with the rest of the ingredients?Reply
Thanks! No you still need to soak it for at least 8 hours so that it absorbs the water and softens.
Yum! Does the crust freeze well?Reply
Not sure, I haven't frozen it yet! I would think so but once it's cooked. And then reheat in an oven, it would likely be soggy heated in a microwave.
I love your Best ever Gluten Free crust but was looking for another version to have on hand when I didn't want to have cheese/eggs in the crust. Can't wait to make this!Reply
Enjoy Danielle! I don't think it beats the flavour of the "Best ever" one, but it's really all about the toppings :)
Hello, Should the oven temp be 400F regular or 400F convect bake? Thanks!Reply
Either, I used convection but have also used non-convection. At the end of the day, every single oven differs a little bit so just watch it at such a high temperature as it nears finishing to make sure it doesn't burn.
Hi I just made this, it was yummy but the crust wasn’t crunchy.is it because I forgot to flip it? Also, Should the quinoa be completely blended smoothly so that there’s no whole pieces?Reply
The quinoa won't totally blend (see my photos) and you can see the little bumps in the wet better. And yes, if you don't flip it then it probably won't get crusty because one side will remain too wet. When you flip it, it dries it out a bit which makes it crusty.
To clarify, if cooking quinoa in general, soak 8 hours and rinse before cooking??Reply
No, you don't need to soak quinoa that long if you're boiling it. You definitely need to soak for 8 hours in this recipe because you're baking it and it needs to absorb water and soften.
Just wondered if anyone has a treak to flip it?Reply
Did you have trouble flipping it? I know it's not a piece of cake. I would recommend getting someone to help you and flip it with a spatula on each side.
Yes, but it wasn't as firm as I am thinking it should have been. Gonna try it with a different quinoa, as it didn't turn out with a Costco brand I have...but I haven't had any luck with cooking it otherwise either.Reply
Section 1: Joy; Section 2: Vienna; Section 3: Walker...? Lol This looks SO delicious, my family has pizza at least once a week. We buy frozen, which I'm switching to homemade for sure. Thanks for the recipe!Reply
Yes you got it!! Vienna loves her pepperoni and Walker is obsessed with that type of cheese :) Enjoy the recipe!
What if you use the sprouted quinoa? Did anyone use it before? What is the best brand to use for this recipe?Reply
Yes you could definitely use sprouted quinoa. Quinoa Gogo is a great brand. Enjoy!
This did not work for me. I used tri-colour quinoa (would that matter?) and soaked it over night. They looked like they were beginning to sprout - but then wouldn't mix properly. It was a soupy mess so I tried the Vitamix instead of Blentec and that blended it better but was still super watery. I added in some chickpea flour to try to get the same consistency as you but then the dough cracked when baked. Any idea what I could have done wrong?Reply
Sorry to hear it didn't work out and yes it's more than likely because you used tricolour quinoa because the texture is so dramatically different than white quinoa. Thanks for asking though, I will make a note in the recipe card that it should be white quinoa for the best result.
Love love love this Joy xxxReply
Glad to hear you love it Joyce!
Hi! Do you know if this recipe will work if so use red quinoa?Reply
Probably not, it's such a different texture I think it would be better with white quinoa.
Delicious is an understatement! Just made this tonight and it was fabulous! Thanks Joy yet again for this delicious yet so simple recipe!Reply
awesome! So happy to hear you loved it!