Quinoa Pizza Balls

A big complaint from people who are gluten-free is that doughs made without wheat flour are “grainy” and don’t taste authentic. This means no pizza, bread and all those other wonderful doughy foods. For this recipe, instead of subbing out wheat flour for another kind, I just skipped the dough completely.

Quinoa and beans are the bulk of these pizza balls, with tomato paste to hold it together. Add in tons of spices and some cheese, and you’ve got a pretty good appetizer; whether you’re gluten-free or not.

These are great for parties or just for taking to lunch because they’re easy to make, packed with protein and look impressive. I used these as meatball supplements in pasta, and just ate them on their own with some dipping sauce.

This recipe has been adapted from On Anna’s Plate.Tower of Quinoa Pizza BallsCheese Quinoa Pizza Ball


  • 2 cups cooked red or white kidney beans, drained
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 2 cups cooked plain quinoa
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/3 tsp. agave nectar
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 24 1/2-inch cubes mozzarella (optional, leave out if making vegan)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash beans until smooth. Add tomato paste, hot sauce, quinoa, parsley, basil, oregano, agave nectar, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Mix with wooden spoon (or hands if you don’t care about a mess) until it has formed into a soft “dough”. Roll mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls, then press a cube of cheese in each one and form the dough around the cube.

Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper, and bake balls for roughly 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. The outsides should be crispy and golden-brown, and the insides will be soft. Be careful when removing them from the pan to serve; they will be a bit fragile directly after being in the oven. Serve hot with your favourite dipping sauce, or eat them on their own. You can store them in an airtight container for about 5 days, so you can cook them in advance and take them for lunch.Close-up Quinoa Pizza Ball

18 Comments Add yours

  1. I really love this. I’m curious about the outside texture of these balls… are they crispy or soft?

    1. Hi Julie, the outside it a bit crunchy and the inside it soft. They’re crunchy enough that after they cool a bit they hold together really well and you can microwave them to re-heat without problems!

  2. nicoleshare says:

    Reblogged this on nicolescher and commented:

  3. trangquynh says:

    these pizza balls look so beautiful and mouth-watering, I’m not gluten-free but I fall in love with them already πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

  4. Oh, these are the best idea I’ve seen in a long time!

    1. I’m glad you like them! They are ridiculously easy to make haha

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  6. tristyn says:

    Tasty, but all of mine leaked cheese!

    1. Only 2 of mine leaked, I’m sorry to hear! I’m not sure why that would happen to be honest

  7. Sarah says:

    Mine leaked as well, alas. My dough also seemed too soggy–I added some flower, but it ultimately didn’t help. I think I should have done a better job of making sure the beans and the quinoa were more dry. I think if the dough hadn’t been so mushy, it would have done a better job of containing the cheese. Still yummy, though!

    1. I was a little skeptical when I was making them because they seemed so soggy I was afraid they’d leak, but only very few of mine did. I’m sorry to hear that 😦 I’m happy that they at least tasted good!

  8. happy says:

    These are delicious! I made them tonight. Great for appetizers. I used sharp cheedar instead of mozzarella and also had a side of Sweet chili sauce for dipping. BRAVO!

    1. Sweet chili sauce sounds like a great addition, I’ll have to give that a try next time I make them πŸ™‚

  9. Megan says:

    Can these be prepare in a large batch and then frozen for future use?

  10. Alena says:

    sharing the information on Quinoa pizza balls
    I tried it.It is good & tasty. Quinoa seeds are very healthy for a body
    It has a rich amount of fiber, antioxidants, and iron
    we provide the Organic Quinoa Seeds.so let’s start to buy Quinoa seeds at Nourish you

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