Quinoa Pizza with Meyer Lemon, Goat Cheese, and Basil

quinoa pizza with lemon goat cheese

My new favorite gluten-free pizza crust is made from nothing more than quinoa, water, and salt. I usually add garlic and/or herbs too, but that’s seriously it! It makes such a good crust. You cannot even believe it. I came across the recipe one day when I was looking for something else online and I was totally intrigued. I think I’ve made it at least a dozen times in the last few months. It does require a little planning and an overnight soak, if possible. I have been experimenting with all sorts of different pizza topping combos, but I think this quinoa pizza topped with fresh goat cheese and thinly sliced Meyer lemon is spectacular.

I love the layer of flavors. The goat cheese is tangy and creamy, the lemons are tart and slightly bitter, the basil gives it a nice herby feel. The nuts add a little crunch. I toyed with the idea of using white truffle oil instead of olive oil, but went with the latter. Mostly because I didn’t want to interfere with the other flavors going on there – truffle oil can be kinda overpowering. This is a FANTASTIC pizza. Just so good you can’t believe it. Take advantage of those Meyer lemons while they’re still around for a few more weeks and MAKE THIS PIZZA.

lemon goat cheese quinoa pizza

Because everyone loves a good pizza, I’m joining in on some of my blogging pals for PizzaWeek hosted by NoshOn.It. Every day there will be several new delectable pizza recipes to check out. You can follow along on social media using #PizzaWeek. I’m seriously blown away by these amazing pizza my bloggy friends are coming up with.




Check out these other fabulous homemade pizzas for #PizzaWeek: (will be updated throughout the week)

Breakfast Pizza from Very Culinary
Carne Asada Pizza from Mountain Mama Cooks
Raspberry Brie Dessert Pizza from Completely Delicious
Kale and Artichoke Pizza with Roasted Garlic Ricotta from The Corner Kitchen Blog
Shrimp and Grit Naan Pizza with Cajun Remoulade Sauce from Climbing Grier Mountain
Caramelized Spring Onion and Fennel Pizza with Beer Crust from Girl Versus Dough
Spinach Artichoke Pizza from The Vintage Mixer

lemon goat cheese basil quinoa pizza

5.0 from 1 reviews
Quinoa Pizza with Meyer Lemon, Goat Cheese, and Basil
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • For quinoa pizza crust:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • water, for soaking and blending
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (or another high-heat oil)
  • For toppings:
  • 5-6 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 1 Meyer lemon, very thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • small handful fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts (raw or toasted)
  • coarse ground black pepper
  • coarse sea salt
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  1. For quinoa crust - place quinoa in a medium bowl and cover with water by several inches. Let stand at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain the presoaked quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse well. Place in a blender with a little water (about ¼ cup), garlic clove, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add more water if needed. The mixture should look like pancake batter and not be too thin or thick, but still pourable.
  3. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet into the hot oven. Allow to heat for 5-10 minutes. Carefully add the 2 Tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat for another 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven carefully. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the hot oil.
  4. Pour the batter into the center of the pan and tilt it to create and even layer on the bottom. Place back into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven, turn crust over, and place back in oven for another 10. Remove from oven and transfer the crust to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (At this point you can also place it on a cooling rack and let it cool completely, then prepare the pizza at a later time.)
  5. For toppings - mix the goat cheese with the lemon juice. If the cheese is very crumbly, add a little milk or water to smooth it out. It should be spreadable.
  6. Spread the cheese evenly over the crust. (I removed it from the cast iron skillet and transferred it to a baking sheet.) Layer the Meyer lemons evenly over the cheese.
  7. Place in the 450 degree oven and let bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and turned golden, and the lemons are tender. (For a crispy top, place under the broiler for a few minutes.)
  8. Remove from oven and top with the remaining toppings. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
Crust recipe source: For Life!


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54 Responses to “Quinoa Pizza with Meyer Lemon, Goat Cheese, and Basil”

  1. Amy @Very Culinary April 8, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Oh goodness. Yes to all of that! Goat cheese and lemon? *cries*

  2. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough April 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Love the idea of a quinoa crust for pizza! And meyer lemons + goat cheese = my fave.

  3. Alanna April 8, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    What?! That crust! This is amazing. You are amazing.

  4. kelley April 8, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    I’m so intrigued with the crust. Definitely going to give a go soon. This is a lovely combination, Lindsey!

    • Lindsey Johnson April 9, 2014 at 8:42 am #

      I’d be interested to see what you think of it, Kelley!

  5. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious April 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    The flavors sound amazing!

  6. Bellaisa April 9, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Does the crust hold up well against the toppings? What if I were to add more toppings, do you think the crust would hold up well then too?

    • Lindsey Johnson April 9, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Bellaisa, it does hold up remarkably well. I could pick up the slices and eat them just like regular pizza crust. I’ve used all sorts of topping and it’s been fine.

  7. Rachael April 9, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    I don’t own a cast iron skillet but I would like to try this recipe – is there another way to “bake” the crust? Pizza stone, perhaps? Or is it too runny for that at first? I have a 12-inch stainless steel skillet I could use on top of the stove.

    • Lindsey Johnson April 9, 2014 at 10:23 am #

      Rachael, you can use a metal cake pan that is the same size. Do the same thing – preheating, adding oil, etc, and it should work just fine. Be sure to use enough oil so it doesn’t stick to the bottom!

  8. Kristin @ cheap-chef.com April 9, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Wow, healthy pizza recipes are the best. I cannot wait to give this one a try! Thank you Lindsey!
    The Cheap Chef

  9. Alina April 9, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

    Can you add the calories to your recipes? I love all of them!

  10. Mary Frances April 10, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    This is so original and looks delicious, a perfect addition to pizza week.

  11. Terri April 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Have you ever made the quinoa pizza crusts and frozen them for later use? I’m just curious if that would work.

    • Lindsey Johnson April 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

      I haven’t done that yet, but I was thinking about it when I made this pizza. It seems like it would work fine. I would let it cool completely and then wrap it really well. I could see it needing a little extra time in the oven to crisp it up again before adding the toppings. Let me know if you try it! If I have time over the weekend I’ll see how it goes.

  12. Vickie April 11, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    I just want to bow down and say thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! I have been trying to find a good, healthful, gluten-free, and EASY way to make pizza crust for over a year. I’ve tried the cauliflower crust, the gluten-free mixes in the store, the chickpea flour stuff. None of those compare to the goodness of this! It has a crisp exterior with just a little bit of chew to the inside just pizza crust from the pizzeria! And the quinoa doesn’t overwhelm the flavor like the chickpea crust does. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    • Lindsey Johnson April 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      Vicky! This comment made my week! I am so happy it was successful for you! Thank you ever so much for coming to report back. :)

  13. olive April 20, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Lindsey! This looks amazing…..
    Do you think you could do this on a heated sheet pan? I am looking to make a lot but don’t have time to (or pans) to do one at a time….thanks in advance!

    • Lindsey Johnson April 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

      Hi Olive! I want to say that it would work if you could turn it over…but then it might be okay if you didn’t turn it over too. I would probably at least double the recipe for a sheet pan. Make sure to use a rimmed one so the batter/dough doesn’t run all over your oven. :)

  14. Stephanie May 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    This is probably a stupid question….but you leave the peel on the lemons for the topping? What if can’t find Meyer lemons? Have you tried it with just regular old lemons? Or maybe lemon zest?

    • Lindsey Johnson May 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Hi Stephanie! Not a stupid question at all! You could do either thing. I find that if they are really thinly sliced, the bitterness doesn’t bother me, so I leave the lemons intact, peel and all. You could just use the zest, or you could peel the lemons with a sharp knife, then thinly slice. Regular lemons would probably be just fine. Meyer lemons are just a tad bit sweeter, but otherwise the flavor would be about the same. Thanks for asking! :)

  15. Lisa May 8, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Can you use this same crust for normal pizza toppings?

  16. kitblu May 24, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    How did someone decide to put lemon on pizza? I’ve never had Meyer lemon but it is a LEMON even if a bit sweeter.

    • Lindsey Johnson May 25, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      I’m not sure where the idea originated, but lemons are incredible on pizza. Lemons and condiments made from whole lemons are popular all over the world. Don’t knock it until you try it, I say!

  17. Joyce Vandenberg Porter May 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    I have a meyer lemon tree and just made goat cheese, so was excited to try out your recipe. I am always looking for alternative crust pizzas and I really like your quinoa crust. I love the combination of goat cheese, lemon and basil and will make it again using just the zest instead of whole lemon slices, as you suggest for a less intense pizza with the same flavors. Then I will blog my results later in the week, crediting you, of course for the brilliant idea..

    • Lindsey Johnson May 26, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      Oh! I’ve always wanted to make goat cheese at home. I bet it’s AMAZING! I’ll watch on your blog for your report. :)

  18. JenB July 17, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    This looks amazing! Do you think the “batter” could be made up ahead of time, say to make in a day or two if I needed to save time?

    • Lindsey Johnson July 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      I haven’t tried that, Jen, but it could work. I would probably say two days max though. Great question!

  19. lindsey August 7, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    Hi! This looks amazing and I’m attempting to make it but my batter is not getting ‘smooth’. I tried blending after 8 hours with no success so I put it in the fridge overnight with more water and tried again this morning. Better, definitely batter-like but big pieces of quinoa are still visible, so its not smooth. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Lindsey Johnson August 7, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      Hey Lindsey! I’m so sorry it’s giving you trouble. What kind of blender are you using? My first thought is that it should still be okay and will still work even with the pieces of quinoa. You could go to the trouble of fishing them out, but I really think it will be fine to proceed with the recipe. E-mail me at cafejohnsonia@gmail.com and I can trouble shoot with you!

  20. Kris yak April 8, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

    So I had a little trouble preparing the crust to a large size, it only fit in the middle of my cast-iron pan it was more like a large pancake however it was just me, so it worked out and it kept the calories lower :-) I was a little hesitant to see it come out more like a pancake but it ended up being really good especially with the lemons basil and goat cheese and pinenuts! I actually used quinoa flour instead of going through the whole process of the quinoa breakdown. It seems simpler but I guess you need more :-)I will definitely make it again!

  21. Katie September 21, 2015 at 5:36 am #

    This certainly looks like an interesting pizza recipe, I can’t wait to try it. I just hope my attempt comes out as nice as the one in your pictures! :)

  22. Jeanne DeCoste April 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    I’ve made this recipe many times! I love it:) I’ve used different toppings every time, it’s got crispy edges and everything..

  23. Eden Passante June 10, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    I love pizza!! This recipe sounds amazing and I love that you used quinoa!


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