Thin and crisp personal pizza crusts are topped with rich tomato sauce, flavorful Italian sausage and sautéed vegetables. I’ve made this recipe over and over again the last month and I am still not tired of it! I finally can enjoy pizza again! Yes, even without dairy and gluten (or eggs or beans or a lot of other things to).
The team here at The Nourishing Gourmet thinks that it’s important to have good healthy pizza recipes, so we are sharing a few of our favorites this week!
This whole quinoa and coconut flour crust is technically grain-free as quinoa is considered a seed, not a grain (but most paleo foodies don’t use quinoa).
I have really not been able to make a good healthy pizza that fits our eating habits for a long time. I won’t go into our failures. They weren’t pretty. But at mnn.com, where I also blog, the editor asked me to make a gluten-free pizza crust, and I had been promising my oldest daughter (who is seven) that I’d try again. And I’m so glad that I did! What fun it’s been to enjoy this delicious food again.
What I also love about this recipe is that it’s a pretty well balanced meal when topped with enough vegetables and protein. While thick crust pizza can be a full carb-load, this version gives you only about ¼ cup quinoa per serving (if you eat the whole small sized pizza). I load up ours with lots of meat (about ¼ pound of sausage each), and as many vegetables as I can, and then serve it with a green salad on the side. For someone who is currently eating a moderate carbohydrate diet with plenty of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, this meal works out to be just about right.
But, more importantly, we all enjoy it.
Now you can easily make a cheese pizza too using these crusts! Really, make your pizza with whatever toppings you like! Here are some important notes on the recipe. (Note: some links in this post are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this website!)
- This recipe does depend on cast iron pans. If you don’t have some of these inexpensive workhorse pans, you should. I especially like these American made ones. For those on a budget, they are fairly easy to find second hand! I love this recipe so much, I am going to be buying a larger cast iron pan partly so that I can make a big pizza crust! But cast iron pans are great to have as they, especially after long-term use, have a natural non-stick quality and I find that food cooks better in them.
- I used a 6-inch and an 8-inch pan, as best as I can tell (I bought them second hand, so I am eye-balling it a little). With those two pans, this recipe makes 3 slightly thicker pizza crusts, or 4 thin-crusted pizzas. However, you can go with a 15-inch pan to make a bigger pizza. I can’t say exactly how the batter and that pan will work out. I’d guess that you’d have enough for one big one and maybe one small one. You can see the different sizes here and also check out this 17 inch one here. It would take a lot longer to make these personal sized pizzas if you won’t have two pans, so I’d recommend either making a bigger one, or having a lot of patience if making them one at a tim
- Another option would be to use a clay pizza stone or casserole dish. I did this once and was also happy with the results. Use something like this or this.
- We found it is really important to use tomato paste instead of sauce. Tomato sauce is too wet and soaks into the crust too much. This is my favorite organic brand. I salt it well, add a minced garlic clove and herbs (thin down just a tad with water), and it’s perfect! Some of us prefer to cut the pizzas into four pieces and eat like a regular pizza, while others of us eat it with a fork.
- With a cheese-less pizza, it can be hard to get enough moisture in the toppings. I’d recommend that you add a little of the tomato paste to coat the meat, if using Italian sausage like we do. I also make sure that when I sauté the vegetables that they are sautéed well to be soft and flavorful (and salted properly).
- For a tomato-free sauce, you could try out this tomato-free “tomato sauce” or this butternut squash sauce
- For this recipe, you precook all the toppings.
- If you’d like to use Italian sausage but can’t find quality by you, you can learn how to make your own, nutrient dense version in this ebook of mine. I use a whole pound for four personal pizzas.
- For the vegetables, I use two red peppers, and one onion, salted and sauteed until soft. Sometimes I also add half a pound of sliced mushrooms. Delicious!
- Coconut flours can vary. This is the brand that I used. It’s fine to use a different brand, just take note of the recipe directions on consistency you want, in case you need to adjust.
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of water warm
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, kombucha vinegar or other live culture addition
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour (not homemade flour)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon unrefined salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat safe oil or fat of choice (I used ghee) for pan
- -24 hours before baking, combine the quinoa, warm water, and live culture addition. Cover, and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450F degrees, placing the cast iron pan (or pans) in the oven in the top third of the oven to preheat as well.
- Drain the quinoa well in a fine sieve and then rinse well (this helps remove any bitterness from the quinoa). Combine in a blender with the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil. Blend until very well combined. Add the oil and blend just enough to combine.
- Take the pans out of the oven and drop enough fat or oil in the pan to completely coat the bottom. Add some (or all) of the batter, depending on size of pan. Spread out with a heat safe utensil, evenly. Place back in oven. Cook for about 7 -10 minutes for smaller size crust, or 10 to 15 minutes for larger pans, or until the bottom of the crust is browned. Flip and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Remove pans from ovens * and put desired toppings on. (When making personal sized pizzas, I just put the crusts on a cookie sheet, allow everyone to top their own, and then bake right on the cookie sheet). Return to oven to heat through (and melt cheese).
- Serve right away.
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Marianne @ Ragdoll Kitchen
This sounds really tasty! I make a flatbread/pizza crust that is simular. I love using whole grains!
I’d love to have you share your recipe! Do you have a link to share with us?
In the “Healthy Gluten-Free” pizza recipe , what is “other live culture?” Thank You
That’s for the full benefits of the soaking period (read about it here). It can be anything with live probiotics, yogurt, kombucha, etc. 🙂
So excited about this recipe! My family eats a lot like yours and my 4-year-old will be SO excited to try pizza! Thank you 🙂
I hope it works out really well for you! We love it. 🙂
I am allergic to Quinoa (as well as dairy, soy and gluten). Do you have an alternative? This looks SO good.
I am wondering whether a whole whole sorghum or millet would work? #affiliate links 🙂
You might just need to adjust the water amount, but I think it would work. Sorghum would be more mild, just so you know. 🙂
Very Timely! I have just started experimenting with a dairy-free, wheat-free, low sugar diet this week to see if it will help my allergy and fatigue symptoms and I kept thinking that losing the dairy would be the easiest – with one exception, my favorite food – Pizza! The picture you posted looks so yummy, you may just have solved my pizza dilemma!
Well, I hope so! It’s solved our pizza cravings over here. 🙂
again, it’s not quinoa’s starch content that makes it “not allowed” on the paleo diet.
Tapioca/arrowroot are allowed because they are not grains. They are tubers and tubers are “generally” allowed…
Paleo isn’t a low-carb diet, so it has nothing to do with the starch content.
Quinoa: grain/seed/whatever – not “allowed”
Tapioca/arrowroot: tuber – allowed
…but then again some paleo-ers allow dairy, while some others don’t…
it’s about listening to your body and NOT about listening to what the diet DICTOCRATS say!!
oh my! oh my! definitely going to give this one a try. i love me some pizza 🙂
Do you have any more info about the issue of quinoa being a seed but not typically being allowed on a grain-free diet? I haven’t been eating it, but from time to time I see it mentioned (and I especially take notice in a yummy pizza recipe!) and wonder what the deal is and why it isn’t allowed, since it’s not actually a grain. Any thoughts?
That’s a good question. It’s not allowed on the GAPS diet because of the type of starch it has in it (the GAPS diet has very specific foods for gut healing). It’s generally not allowed on a paleo diet because it goes against the thought-process FOR the paleo diet (that is humans didn’t evolve eating cultivated crops such as grains, but hunted animals and gathered wild foods). Most paleo foodies eschew quinoa because it is a more cultivated crop, like grains, and they will say “If it acts like a grain, treat it like a grain”. However, I see a lot of grain-free, paleo recipes now using tapioca flour, which is much higher in carbohydrates than quinoa (so not good for me personally to consume in large amounts), and has much less protein. Nothing against tapioca flour, but it can seem just a little silly to me to put such a huge emphasis on starchy roots that aren’t super nutritious, but to put quinoa in the “evil food” category – especially if you soak it. Of course, I don’t really agree with the premise of the paleo diet, even though I think that it works really well for some people, so I am a little more open minded about grains. 😉 We all should eat what works best for our bodies in the end!
A small suggestion based on “bitter” experience- rinse the quinoa very well BEFORE the soaking stage, Or you’re just soaking those little saponins right into your happy seed. Some people can develop a sensitivity to quinoa (headaches) which is usually a reaction to the saponins, not always an allergy to the quinoa… and it can be reversed. 🙂 Happy pizza everyone.
Thanks for sharing! How do you know that you are soaking the saponins into the seed?
What can i use instead of coconut flour.We can’t eat coconut.Any ideas
Joan, You could actually try simply cutting down on the water you blend it with!
So, we already made this for supper tonight. Wow! I was totally surprised how good (and easy) it was. We’ve tried various gluten free crusts and I had finally given up on pizza but I’m so glad I tried this one. It’s so “bready” with none of the graininess that I attribute to most gluten free pizza crusts because of the usual suspect, rice flour. Thanks for this!
YAH! So glad it worked for you too. 🙂 We’ve really enjoyed this recipe. 🙂
Yummo! made the quinoa pizza ! i fermented the grains about 24 hrs, & the grains actually began to sprout! good 4 me 🙂 thanks !
Has anyone tried freezing the dough? I’m wondering if that would work, or if making the dough ahead of time and putting in the fridge for a day or so would be ok. Anyone tried it or have any thoughts on that? Thank you! Looks delicious!
I would love to try this ( it looks great!), but I don’t have a cast iron pan. Do you think I use a cookie sheet or a pizza stone instead?
this looks great! i have been looking for alternative ways to make dough.
two questions, do i have to add a live culture or would it be okay without?
and we dont use coconut flour so how would i go about not using it or replacing it with something else?
It’s fine to just soak in water – the live culture simply helps the soaking process along to be more effective. Without coconut flour, I would recommend cutting down on the water, rather than trying to replace it with something else. Coconut flour is very unique in how it works. 🙂 Just try to get the consistency about what a thick pancake batter would be.
Judy @Savoring Today
Kimi, this is brilliant. Will be trying it soon, probably to make a few ahead of time as pizza is usually a quick meal kind of night for us. If you haven’t already tried freezing the pre-made crusts, I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂
I’d love to hear how freezing them goes for you!
Maybe you already addressed this but is the quinoa uncooked or cooked prior to soaking? I am assuming if it wasn’t cooked it would soften due to the soaking? Thanks 🙂
Good question! It’s uncooked. 🙂
I’ve frozen these and they were great. I just made sure they had fully cooled and put some wax/parchment in between them to make sure they wouldn’t stick to each other. (The recipe made two 8″ crusts for me.) About a week later I just pulled them out of the freezer and put on the tomato paste mixture that was recommended and toppings and baked. They were perfect.
I have also made them in advance and stored them in the fridge for later in the day. Then at dinner I just topped and baked. They were a little less crispy this way, but totally fine.
Making another double batch tomorrow – definitely a family favorite!
What toppings do you recommend for this? I’m still toying with dairy, but I wouldn’t mind a dairy free pizza if I had some delicious alternatives to make it appealing. 🙂
this would still work in a 8 inch normal pan…trust me…jus bake it and it’ll be fine