Quinoa Pizza Crust

Pizza. No matter where I go, no matter who I talk to, when it comes to healthy living people always seem to ask about pizza. Pizza, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. As long as you are aware of how often you eat it, how much you eat, and what you put on it, it can very much be part of a healthy diet. And yes, there’s still room for a slice from your favorite pizza joint once in awhile.

There are some pretty easy ways to make your pizza a Positively Healthy option. Most start with what you put on top of your pizza, but today let’s start at the bottom, the crust. Whether you’re trying to go gluten-free, or just looking for alternatives to processed flour, here’s a tasty pizza crust recipe that will get you started. It uses one of my favorite whole grains, quinoa.

quinoa pizza out of the oven

I had seen a couple of similar recipes to this at different times. This one is adapted from a recipe I originally found over on A Sweet Life, and while it’s super easy to make it does take a bit of planning, not something you will be able to put together at the last minute.

It all starts with the quinoa, but instead of cooking it, you soak it. For at least four hours, but preferably about 8 hours. If you plan for it, you can just start the soaking in the morning before leaving for work, then it is ready for dinner that night. To prep, you blend up the quinoa with some seasonings and water until it’s about the consistency of a thicker pancake batter, bake up the crust, top it, bake it some more, and bada-bing, you’ve got pizza.

Quinoa Crust

Here’s how my crust looked after I took it from the oven, but before I flipped it to bake the other side. For this particular pizza I went very basic with my toppings; a touch of olive oil, some chopped chicken I had left over from a previous meal, some diced red onion and a bit of fresh, chopped basil, then I topped it all with a bit of Gorgonzola cheese. Using a really flavorful cheese like that means you can get by with a lot less of it.

Quinoa pizza out of oven
quinoa pizza crust with olive oil, chicken, onions, fresh basil and Gorgonzola cheese

This recipe makes a filling meal for one, or add a nice salad on the side and it will easily feed two. I’m not going to get into a lot about toppings at this time, but try to keep an overall healthy mind-set when deciding how to top this crust. And feel free to change up the seasonings in the crust itself to suit your tastes or to go along with your planned toppings.

quinoa pizza with sausage
quinoa pizza crust with pesto, sausage, olive, peppers, onion, and feta

There is no yeast or gluten or anything, so this crust does not rise at all. It was nicely done on the outside, with an inside that was a sort of chewy that was kind of similar to the doughy texture of a deep dish pie. It is a pretty dense crust, so it holds up well to lots of toppings. I have yet to experiment with using about half the amount of “batter” next time and see if I can get a nice, thin, crispy crust. If you’re feeding a family, just double the recipe and use a 12″ or so pan like the original recipe calls for.

quinoa pizza crust with red sauce, peppers, onion, mushrooms and pepperoni

In the mean time, if you try this out, let me know how you topped yours and how it turned out by leaving a comment below.

Quinoa Pizza Crust
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Quinoa Pizza Crust
Print Recipe
  1. Put the quinoa in a bowl or other container with 2 cups water and let soak for 4-8 hours.
  2. Brush a 9" cast-iron skillet with oil or use no-stick spray. If you don't have a cast iron skillet use a cake pan or pie plate. Place in oven on middle rack and turn it on to 450 to pre-heat.
  3. Drain the quinoa, rinse and put in a blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup water and process until the consistency of a thick pancake batter, adding more water if needed. Add seasoning and salt and mix.
  4. When oven is heated, carefully pour batter in to preheated pan and quickly spread around to an even thickness.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, carefully flip and bake for another 10 minutes until browned.
  6. Remove from oven and add toppings, return to oven and bake for about another 5-7 minutes until heated and cheese has melted as desired.
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51 Responses

  1. I’m very interested in trying this soon. I have been making myself a separate supper on pizza night, and it would be nice if we could all nosh on a healthier version of an old classic.

  2. Carly says:

    This pizza crust was very yummy! We put on a homemade pizza sauce, followed by a barbecued chicken and black bean layer, some light cheese on top of that, then chopped spinach and nectarines, another light cheese layer, then nectarines, and a last cheese layer on top. Cheese layers were thin and right after it came out we put chopped basil on top.

    It was honestly delicious – it tasted like a gourmet pizza. My one thought for next time was to top it with reduced balsamic before serving for a finishing touch.

  3. Laura says:

    This crust was great, so glad to find a good GF crust after so many failures. Topped mine with roasted red pepper sauce, pineapple, jalapenos, and mushrooms. Might try adding some vegan cheese next time, and olives. Also might try adding some garlic to the crust recipe.

  4. sally says:

    I’m going to try this – first as a pizza, but if it turns out how I think it will, also as a bread – ie for Bruschetta..

    • Rob Portinga says:

      ya know, I’ve been debating on trying something like that myself… Just haven’t gotten around to it. Let me know how it turns out for you! I wonder if you would need to cook it as a bunch of small rounds? or a long flat strip you cut in to pieces….? hmmm…

      • sally says:

        I just made it. It’s a little too moist, but tastes fantastic; I’ve already eaten half of it. I soaked overnight, and used Garlic Powder, Basil and Pepper to flavour
        I used my immerse-able hand held to blend, that worked pretty well, but didn’t get a pancake like consistency – I suggest using less water and adding as needed.
        Definitely doing this again!! So many things would be nice topped on it, even fruit!

        As far as the cooking, I have a cast iron skillet so I used that. But yea, if you have something long that would contain it, I’d try – but you’d have to adjust the heat (lower, around 300-350 I’d think)

  5. Crystal says:

    Outstanding! I put some thyme and italian seasoning in the crust mix. topped with pesto, chicken, bacon, onions, mushrooms, garlic, fresh tomato and feta. Amazing. I will definitely be making this again, although I will use half the batter (or a bigger pan) for a thinner/ crispier crust.

  6. Melissa says:

    I tried this recently and after 8 hours of soaking came home to find my quinoa hadn’t done anything.. It was hard to blend, didn’t do anything really, and was super watery.

    Could it have been too hot in my house while it was sitting out? Any suggestions?

  7. Michelle says:

    I just made this and thought it was awesome! I used a round pie pan first and when I had to flip it over I just flipped it onto a larger pan and finished baking it. I topped it with homemade salsa as the sauce, and chicken, banana peppers and a light layer of mozzarella cheese.

  8. Dana says:

    haven’t eaten it yet but it looks reeeeeeally good! i made mine with bbq sauce bbq chicken spinach red pepper red onion corn and goat and cheddar. couldn’t fit anything else!!

  9. This looks awesomely delicious!!! I’ve got a 10 pound bag of quinoa from Costco that needs to get eaten- pizza is always a family fave 🙂

  10. Shannon says:

    This was soo tasty! I used 2 cups of quinoa instead of 1/2 cup and used a regular sized pizza pan to bake it and it was crunchy the whole way through. Topped with olive oil and garlic, red onion, red pepper, tomato slices, goat cheese and mozzarella. mmmmm 🙂

    • Rob Portinga says:

      sounds delish! yea, the original recipe was larger than mine as well. Being single, I tend to post scaled down recipes. I figure for many people it’s easier to double or.. quadruple! a recipe rather than halve it. Glad you liked it!

  11. Katrina says:

    As someone who has cut all carbs from their diet, with the exception of quinoa and the very, very occasional potato, I can assure I’ve been missing pizza something fierce.

    And tonight, tonight was our happy reunion thanks to this recipe. :> I made mine quite thin, topped with pizza sauce, vegan mozzerela, black olives, onions, red bell peppers, mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Absolutely amazing. :> Left overs for lunch tomorrow will make me a happy camper for sure. :>
    Next time I will attempt to recreate a favorite pizza of mine from a pizza chain in the UK/EU. Olives, capers, onions, pine kernels and sultanas, or raisins if you don’t have the former.

    Thanks for posting!

    • Rob Portinga says:

      Katrina, I’m glad you liked the crust!

      Let me know how it goes with the other toppings… I’m curious about it myself. I like capers… Love onions. Pine kernels? Is that the same as pine nuts, as in what is typically used in pesto. Ive heard of them being used in making a vegan cheese before. Is there a sauce on there?

  12. Maria Fraguas says:

    Brilliant!!! Really delicious. It’s so quick and easy to make, much simpler than normal pizza and the texture is amazing!

    😀 Really enjoying it!

  13. Trish Fabiani says:

    absolutely LOVE this recipe! tried it AS shown the first time and it went over so well, we just added a little garlic and olive oil, feta cheese, tomatoes and lots of baby spinach mmmmm so good. Since then, I’ve added oregano and garlic powder in the soaking water and it gives the pizza crust a nice kick! We now also make these and break them into crackers or chips for salsa and hummus. Big batch and spread it accross a cookie sheet. just bake a little longer and make it thinner so I don’t need to flip. Once they were too thick and I couldn’t flip so I threw them in the dehydrater after and they were even better, if possible 🙂 Thanks for such a simple recipe for an amazing, flexible snack and dinner alternative.

    Healthy eating,

  14. Mary says:

    I made this for dinner this evening. Not bad at all! Definitely too much batter so it was quite heavy to eat. I’m gonna try again tomorrow and I’ll half the batter and see if it is any better.
    Thanks for sharing this!

    • Rob Portinga says:

      I’ve thought about trying it with half the amount to make a more “thin crust” style… if you happen to try that first, let me know how it works out. Probably could knock a few minutes off the backing time that way too.

  15. Megan says:

    I made this last night and it was delicious! It was one of the few quinoa crusts without a ton of cheese in the crust so I had to try it. I thinned it out a little more and added to a 12″ skillet. Nice and crispy thin. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! No more disappointment from alternative crusts- this is my new go-to!

  16. Dan says:

    I just made this crust. I added toasted sesame seeds, a little garlic powder and cayenne pepper to the batter before I baked it, and I’m really glad I did. It was fantastic. I feel like I can eat pizza every day now! (I won’t, but technically, I can.)

  17. Nita says:

    Has anyone tried pouring boiling water over the quinoa to shorten the soaking time?

  18. Sunayana says:

    Made this for brunch today and it tastes amazing! I followed your crust instructions though I think I added a bit too much water to it, but it still came out great! I topped mine with homemade pesto, broccoli, squash and goat cheese 🙂

  19. Elan says:

    Ok, so I doubled the recipe, but made three thin crusts in a 9-inch cast iron pan – amazing! Nice thin crispy crust with just the right amount chew. In the convection oven for +/- 6 mins each side and they turned out perfectly. Went old school and topped one with homemade pizza sauce, bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella with a bit of parmeggiano mixed in – yum!!! The other two are in the freezer, hope they do well.
    Thanks for the great recipe!!

  20. Stacy says:

    I need help with the flip! Mine broke into 3 pieces.

  21. Midge says:

    Hi Can I use quinoa flower and skip the soaking?

  22. Belinda says:

    I just made this recipe and the result was crispy and delicious! You must try it if you have given up all flour products. This will now be my go too pizza for dinner or appetizer. My crust was very crisp, b/c I didn’t add the additional 1/4 cup water (my mixture was too wet but finally achieved the pancake consistency from the food processor, may have resulted from not rinsing all the water off prior to adding to the processor). Very happy with the results using rotisserie chicken, bell pepper, red onions and creamy goat cheese.

    • Rob Portinga says:

      The toughest part of this recipe is getting the water right cause there’s no easy way to just measure it. You can’t always get all the water out after rinsing, so I try to start with less than I think. Much easier to add more water if needed!

  23. JC says:

    Mine definitely didn’t turn out as thick as yours. It was thinner than I was expecting, maybe I spread it out too much? Either way I loved it. It was crispy and held the toppings well. I used pesto, some leftover BBQ’ d chicken, zucchini, green peppers and mushrooms. When it came out of the oven I sprinkled some nutritional yeast on top in place of cheese. Definitely making this again. Thanks so much!

  24. Debbie says:

    What are the nutritional values of this crust? Mainly I need to know amount of saturated fat and calories. Thanks!

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