Dishing Up the Dirt

Quinoa Pizza Crust with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas, and Tahini Sauce

Taylor loves a good slice of pizza. His ideal pizza is thin crust, kind of greasy with lots of cheese, and usually involves chicken.  This particular creation has nothing in common with what my husband considers “a good slice of pie.”

One of the things that I love most about Taylor is that he is a simple and honest man. He loves what he loves, dislikes what he dislikes, and somehow he still has this amazing capacity to surprise me at any given time. My meat eating husband is my recipe tester for all of my Dishing up the Dirt recipes (which just so happen to be vegetarian and vegan most of the time.) If he gives a thumbs up to a recipe it automatically makes the blog.  As long as I don’t over emphasize the “V” word he doesn’t even blink an eye. This pizza is a great example of my husband surprising me.

Me: Hey babe, I’m making a pizza crust out of quinoa and topping it with butternut squash puree, chickpeas, and a creamy tahini sauce. What do you think?

Taylor: Doesn’t sound like pizza to me. But I think I’d be down as long as we can go out for “real” pizza tomorrow.

Me: Deal.

Will you believe me when I tell you that instead of going out for “real” pizza the next night we made this again instead? The only difference the second time around is that we had a growler of local IPA beer from Solera Brewery.  Pizza and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. According to Taylor, beer was the only thing missing from the first night of this meal. Easy fix.

This quinoa pizza crust is delicious. It only requires 3 ingredients (quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt.) It involves a little bit of planning ahead since you need to soak the quinoa for about 8 hours. I find it works best to soak the quinoa in the morning before you go to work. Once you come home all you need to do is drain it, throw it in the food processor with a tiny bit of water and salt and whirl away until it reaches a constancy of pancake batter.  Once that’s done bake it in the oven for 20 minutes and voila! Anyone can do this!!

I’m going to go ahead and state the obvious here. This is not a New York City style kind of pizza. It’s healthy. It’s made of quinoa. There’s no cheese and butternut squash is involved. But here is the kicker…. it’s super delicious. If Taylor decides he wants a second night in a row of this “pizza” then you know it’s a keeper. If you are open to being a little adventurous give this quinoa crust a go. It’s crispy on the outside and slightly “doughy” on the inside. The Butternut squash puree was a great “sauce” and the addition of creamy tahini, chickpeas, and cilantro brought this pie to a whole new level. I can honestly say this is my new favorite pizza. However, if you are a marinara sauce and cheese person go ahead and try that with this curst. I think you will be surprised with the outcome!!! Pour some beer and have a fantastic and healthy pizza night at home! Enjoy.

Quinoa Pizza Crust with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas & Tahini Sauce

Prep Time: 8 hours (for quinoa to soak)    Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: Two 8-inch pizzas.

For the Quinoa Dough:
  • 2 cups quinoa (thoroughly washed to eliminate any bitterness and soaked in water for 8 hours)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
For The Butternut Squash Puree:
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
For the Creamy Tahini Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (we like organic sriracha sauce)
  • 1 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Prepare the butternut squash sauce by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add squash cubes and cook until fork tender. About 10 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle add to a food processor with the oil and salt. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the Tahini sauce by combing all the ingredients together and whisking until smooth. This works well with an emersion blender (a hand whisk is fine too)
  4. Once quinoa has soaked for 8 hours rinse and drain it. Add the quinoa, 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Process until the quinoa reaches a consistency of pancake batter. Adjust water as necessary.
  5. Layer two 8 inch pie pans with parchment paper (this will insure the pizza doesn't stick!!) You can also use two 8-inch cast iron skillets too but I'd still recommend the parchment paper even with these. Spread quinoa evenly and bake in the oven for 20 minutes (check around 15 minutes). Once the crust is cooked remove from the oven. Spread a thin layer of butternut squash "sauce" and top with chickpeas. Place back in the oven for about 3 more minutes until everything is warmed through.
  6. Evenly distribute the chopped cilantro and chickpeas between the two pies and drizzle with tahini sauce and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy!


*Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. * The inspiration for the quinoa crust comes from the blog Almonds & Avocados.

Leave a Reply

49 thoughts on “Quinoa Pizza Crust with Butternut Squash, Chickpeas, and Tahini Sauce

  1. Mary Jo says:

    I read my husband the recipe as he was ga-ga-ing over the pictures. His response: “Woooooowww! Serious yum factor!” Guess we’ll have to try it, sooner than later… 😉

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy your husband is on board with this pizza!!! Let me know how it turns out when you make it 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    This looks fantastic beyond belief! Hippie sauce FTW again.

    1. Andrea says:

      Hippie Sauce is a game changer!!!

  3. This pizza has all my favorite ingredients, but in a combination I never would have thought of. So intrigued by the quinoa crust! Good thing it got the Taylor seal of approval so it could make the blog 🙂 Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. Andrea says:

      Girl, you NEED to try this crust. It’s so simple and truly delicious.

  4. Elissa says:

    Hey, there is no mention of the chickpeas in the recipe, do you just dot a few around on top?

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you so much for the catch! I just updated the recipe.

  5. Isn’t is great to have husbands who may like what they like but are still open to trying new things?! What a fantastic twist with the quinoa crust, I like the way you think!

    1. Andrea says:

      Yes, it really is amazing to have husbands that are true to themselves but can still be open minded.

  6. This looks amazing! I love the idea of a healthy high protein crust for pizza – even if it doesn’t taste anything like pizza I’m sure it would be fantastic as its own creation!

    1. Andrea says:

      It really is delicious!

  7. Love how creative this is! And when it passes a traditional pizza lover’s platte and ousts regular pizza for a round two, it tells me I need to make this. ASAP. I have one butternut squash left from last fall. Hope to put it to use on this!

    1. Andrea says:

      When Taylor gave it two thumbs up I knew this recipe was a winner!!!

  8. Lauren says:

    What an intriguing recipe. Wholesome but still gives you that hand-to-mouth pizza experience. Pizza is my all-time favorite food and I am going to give this a try. Might be good with a little goat cheese sprinkled on top?

    1. Andrea says:

      We made this a 3rd night in a row and I melted a little goat cheese with some pesto and sun dried tomatoes. Cheese will definietly taste good on here!!! Let me know what you think!

  9. Girl, you are a genius! I’ve made pizza crust with quinoa flour but would never have thought plain old quinoa would hold up so well. It looks amazing and I’m sure that IPA made it taste even better.

    1. Andrea says:

      IPA makes everythign better 🙂

  10. Ahhh.. beer + pizza = true love! This butternut squash pizza with quinoa crust (so cool!) looks like a slice of heaven!

    1. Andrea says:

      Thank you! It really is a slice of heaven!

  11. Yes and YES!! I am SO making this. (On a night when my husband is working because I’m thinking this would taste “too healthy” for him) 😉

  12. Hi! oh my gawd, quinoa pizza crust? This is brilliant. I’m totally trying this. . and my husband will probably not be so willing ..

  13. Quinoa crust is a genius idea. Don’t you love it when you make something that your hubs adores. I always feel like I’ve accomplished some huge task when I make something that my husband asks for 10x in a row.

    1. Andrea says:

      Totally! When the men are blown away it feels like a million bucks!!!

  14. Oh my goodness, Taylor sounds like my Todd! He is strictly a conventional pizza man. Though, now that we’re vegan that means Amy’s pizza…..I like this type of pizza better! Yummmm!

    1. Andrea says:

      haha! It’s hard to mess with men and their pizza! I think if Taylor loved this then you have a chance with Todd. Let me know how it goes!!!

  15. Diane Orcutt says:

    I’m thrilled to find your blog, and to meet you personally tonight at Solera 🙂 I feel like i’ve met you before…someplace.. 🙂 I will def be trying some of your recipes….they look absolutely delish and tasty!!
    I love all you pictures of your farm!! Especially your Lab!! What is his name? We have a Lab…Sweet Sadie, and she is 13 yrs old. She is our joy!
    Happy Blogging!! Happy SPRING!!!
    Diane aka: Lavender Lady

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m so happy we were introduced at the pub! Thanks for checking out my site. I hope we get to see more of each other during the summer! Glad to know we are neighbors 🙂

  16. Welp, I pretty much just pinned your entire blog. Such gorgeous pictures and tasty recipes! So glad Julia fro the Roasted Root introduced me to your beautiful site 🙂 I love!

    1. Andrea says:

      woohoo! So happy you found the blog and are liking the recipes. Thanks for the lovely comment!

  17. Ale says:

    Trying it tonight! Sounds great!

    1. Andrea says:

      Awesome! Let me know how you like it!

  18. Meredith says:

    This looks delicious! Can it be made with pre-washed quinoa, like Nature’s Earthly Choice?

    1. Andrea says:

      Absolutely! Let me know if you try this and how you like it!

  19. Shannon says:

    Would it be possible to do this crust with the pre-cooked quinoa in the freezer section from Whole Foods?

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m not sure since I haven’t tried that quinoa before. It may be worth a try. Let me know if do!

    2. Andrea says:

      Shannon, I just re-read your comment. You definitely do NOT want to use pre-cooked quinoa. Sorry I misread your original comment. The quinoa needs to soak uncooked for 8 hours. I hope you give this a whirl!

  20. Jacquie says:

    Made this tonight and loved it! Lots of room for playing as well. Thanks for a great recipe!

  21. Adaire says:


    When I saw this recipe, I thought about how I loved every ingredient in it. That being said, I admit I was skeptical–it just didn’t sound like it would end up being very good as a pizza. I thought about how your husband wanted it two nights in a row, though, and that was enough motivation for me to at least give it a try.

    The night I decided to make this pizza, I prepared it alongside a 3 cheese, pancetta, and mushroom pie (no joke). While I made the meaty pie for those in the house who I knew wouldn’t be adventurous enough to try this recipe, I thought about how it would also serve as my back-up meal in case this didn’t turn out. As I prepared the two dinners, coating one pie with cheese and another with butternut squash puree, I wondered what I was thinking.–how could one possibly compete with the other? Pureed butternut squash instead of heavenly fontina? My hesitation was only confirmed when my boyfriend remarked on the baby food qualities of pureed butternut squash. But I tasted the squash, and it was good. And so I kept going, until. the “pizza” was assembled.

    Verdict? I feel like SUCH a nerd being this enthusiastic about food, but I am obsessed with how good this turned out!!! When I turn into Bob (from that ridiculous dinner scene from that ridiculous “What about Bob?” movie), you know it’s really good food.

    Thank you for coming up with something so unique, incredibly healthy, and unbelievably tasty! You deserve all of the extreme adjectives I’ve used to describe how I LOVE THIS RECIPE!

    1. Andrea says:

      Woohoo!!!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed this as much as we did. This is absolutely the best comment EVER! I love that you had back up pizza just in case. Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

  22. Stephanie says:

    Hi! I plan to make this for dinner this week but had one question. Is it possible to make the batter the night before and then cook it the next day? I like to make my weekday planning as easy as possible! I’m so looking forward to trying it!

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thanks for you comment. I’m so excited for you to make this pizza! I think making the batter the night before should work fine, however, since I haven’t tried that way I don’t want to guarantee how it will turn out. I will say, I find it super easy to soak the quinoa in the morning while I drink my coffee. Just leave it in a bowl of water all day. Once your home making the batter takes about 30 seconds! Whichever way you to choose to make it keep me posted! Have fun and enjoy!

      1. Stephanie says:

        It was DELICIOUS! I topped the crust with a roasted parsnip puree, spinach, marinated mushrooms and a cashew alfredo sauce. This crust is a definite keeper! Thank you so much for the recipe inspiration!

  23. Rachel T says:

    I’m very excited to be making this tonight, although husband is away, so can’t test it on him. I’m soaking the 2 cups of quinoa as we speak, but only want to cook one pizza tonight as 2 would be too much for just me! Would the drained quinoa be ok in the fridge for a couple days?
    Thank you!

    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Rachael,

      I’m happy you’re making this tonight! I haven’t tried refrigerating the “dough” but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I’d make sure to bake it within two days though. With that being said, I can’t guarantee the results since I haven’t tried it myself. Keep me posted and happy pizza night!

  24. Rachel Taylor says:

    Ok, so it worked! I refrigerated the processed, uncooked quinoa for 2 days and also the puréed butternut squash. Both were absolutely fine. The quinoa separated a bit, but with a stir was fine.
    First time, followed your recipe to the letter and was amazing. Second time added some leftover massaged kale and feta. Was also divine. Now to introduce to the husband…….
    Many thanks.

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy!!!

  25. Sarah says:

    Hello! Curious if you could eat this crust cold? I’m considering making it as an easy appetizer (and where I won’t have oven access just before serving), and then adding some different toppings than the recipe calls for. Thanks!

    1. Andrea says:

      I would keep it at room temperature rather than cold. I hope that’s helpful!

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