Pizza Quinoa Pasta Salad


This next Pizza Month recipe starts in a similar way to my Superfood Pizza, but the end result is a completely different—and completely delicious—treat. Rather than a crust, today’s “pizza” gets a healthy dose of whole grains from quinoa.

While I’ve cooked with this a couple times here on Healthful Bites before (see my Southwestern Stuffed Peppers and Honey Wheat Bread), we haven’t really discussed the perks of this ancient grain! According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, quinoa…

  • Has been named the 2013 food of the year by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization
  • Provides a small amount of heart-healthy fatty acids
  • May lower total cholesterol and boost HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Is a fantastic grain option for those with gluten sensitivities
  • Packs as  much protein as one large egg in each half cup


And one more non-scientific fact: It tastes delicious! Especially with a load of topping mix-ins. This dish is totally customizable and could even be served as a DIY “pizza bar,” by setting out cooked quinoa and bowls of:

  • Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Tomato
  • Mushroom
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Cheese
  • Pepperoni (regular, turkey or vegetarian)
  • Sausage (regular or vegetarian)
  • Grilled chicken
  • White beans
  • Marinara sauce

Here’s one version to get you started!


Pizza Quinoa Pasta Salad

Serves 2

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce shredded mozzarella or Parmesan cheese (regular or vegan)
  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower heat to simmer, add quinoa and stir. Top pan with a lid and simmer for about 2o minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour quinoa into a large mixing bowl, toss in vegetables, spices and cheese (if desired).

 Nutrition information per serving: 232 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g fiber, 11 g protein, 373 mg sodium


Have you tried any home-cooked quinoa recipes? If so, please share your favorites in the comments for all to try!

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