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.
- 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.