Life-Changing Pizza

#Vegan & Grain-free Margherita Pizza with Red OnionsI’ve been experimenting with vegan recipes for a long time now. I love making vegan ice cream, and even wrote a book on it! I love the challenge of baking without eggs or dairy and I love some of the new foods and recipes I’ve discovered in the vegan “blogosphere” but it wasn’t until last week that I decided to commit to a fully-vegan diet & lifestyle for a month as a trial.

So far I’m finding it enjoyable and feel good about my decision but it was a big change and I needed to find some new food staples in my life. As I tend to avoid gluten, this made things extra challenging but I love a good challenge…

#Vegan & Grain-free Margherita Pizza with Red OnionsAfter a major craving for pizza, I looked online (mostly on Pinterest) for some gluten-free and vegan inspiration. I was excited to discover you could make a pizza crust from quinoa!! And I had quinoa to hand too, hurrah! The pizza sauce was easy but I really wanted some mozzarella to go on top…

#Vegan & Grain-free Margherita Pizza with Red OnionsI’ve been warned off shop-bought vegan cheeses and frankly they’ve never appealed to me anyway. So I took some inspiration from a few different recipes and after a few experiments I came up with something I believe to be very close to mozzarella in taste, looks and texture! I used vegan yoghurt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and water. See how I made it here.

#Vegan & Grain-free Margherita Pizza with Red OnionsTo add extra flavour, I added some (lot’s of) sweet red onions on top. This pizza is so amazing and totally hits the spot in every way. It slices really well and holds up just like an ordinary wheat-based pizza. In fact, you won’t notice the difference between this and an “ordinary” pizza! For someone on a gluten-free and vegan diet, it’s LIFE-CHANGING!

Don’t be put off by the seemingly long recipe below, it’s really very simple and easy to make. Plus, a lot can be done in advance.

#Vegan & Grain-free Margherita Pizza with Red Onions

5.0 from 1 reviews
Life-Changing Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A pizza with no gluten, grains, dairy, eggs or meat yet totally satisfying and delicious!
Serves: 2
For the quinoa crust
  • 280g / 1½ cups quinoa, soaked overnight and drained or 140g / 1 cup + 2 tbsp quinoa flour (you may need to add extra water if using the flour)
  • 120ml / ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • (optional) ½ tsp garlic granules
  • (optional) ½ tsp onion granules
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
For the pizza sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 300g / 1⅓ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
For the toppings
  • Homemade Vegan Mozzarella
  • ½ medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh basil, torn
  • Olive oil - I used garlic olive oil for extra flavour
To make the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C (fan 200°C) / 450°F and place a 10-inch iron skillet in the oven to heat up.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. You may need to stop to scrape down the edges and adjust the amount of water, as necessary. You should be left with a thick, smooth mixture that resembles a pancake batter.
  3. When the oven is hot and the skillet has heated, remove it from the oven and carefully and drizzle with the olive oil, tilting the pan to make sure it's evenly coated.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pan immediately. If it needs smoothing, use the back of the spoon to spread the mixture gently. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until the top is turning golden. Remove from the oven and flip it over to the other side. Cook for another 10 minutes then carefully remove from the oven. Keep the oven heated...
To make the sauce:
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and cook the garlic and onion on a medium heat until softened. Add to a blender with the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and set on a medium heat. Leave to cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes until it's reduced. It should be thick enough to spread on the pizza.
To make the toppings
  1. Follow the instructions here on how to make homemade vegan mozzarella or use your favourite cheese substitute.
  2. To make the sweet red onions, mix the sliced onions with the coconut sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion mixture. Cook until softened.
To make and assemble the pizza
  1. Once the base has cooked, spread the pizza sauce on top. Chop or break the mozarella into small slices or chunks and add to the pizza. Top with the sweet red onions and some torn fresh basil.
  2. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has begun to melt and turn slightly golden and the toppings are well cooked.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Any leftovers can be kept well-wrapped in the fridge to reheat later on.


#Vegan & Grain-free Margherita Pizza with Red Onions



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  1. says

    I was so intrigued by this recipe as I’m trying veganism (is that the word) for this week as a health project and looking at recipes has really inspired me, but what always puts me off committing is “But what about ice cream and pizza?”

    So thanks for quelling some my fears with your last two posts!

    I am seriously excited to try this!!
    Emma @ Fork and Good recently posted…Awesome vegan snack bitesMy Profile

  2. says

    As a contented meat- and dairy-eater, I couldn’t imagine going vegan full stop but I love the creativity you’ve brought to it. I also love that you haven’t used any soy. I stopped eating almost all soy products (unless fermented and only in small quantities) to reverse my hypothyroidism. Since it’s worked, I’m not tempted to eat soy any time soon, which is a major turn-off for me when it comes to most vegan recipes.
    Lauren Hairston recently posted…#1day12pics June 2014My Profile

  3. says

    This pizza looks amazing! I love pizza and always make homemade ones, I do usually use wheat just because it’s easier but this looks so yummy and interesting that I want to give quinoa a try! I’ve been vegan for so long now that I never even think of using a cheese substitute anymore but again, your cheese invention looks really good! I can imagine it going well with garlic mushrooms too :) thanks for sharing! x

  4. says

    I never would have guessed that this was vegan and grain-free! It looks delicious. I’m so impressed you’re trying out vegan for a month. I don’t think I’ll ever be quite ready to do that, but this is making me want to try out vegan recipes every now and then!
    Natasha recently posted…Crunchy Top Lemon CakeMy Profile

  5. says

    This really is life changing! The whole thing is amazing! I quinoa pizza crust? Um yes! I’m considering going vegan for July, I’m also having a dry month. I know I’ going to struggle with cheese, but wow, this homemade mozzarella is awesome! I’m looking forward to reading more about how it goes!

  6. says

    Aimee, this is ridiculously impressive! I’ve been experimenting a little with eating less gluten, too,so I’d be keen to give it a try. I can’t believe that quinoa pretty much by itself can end up tasting like bread.
    Give yourself lots of pats on the back for this one! :-)
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane recently posted…Tropical chocolate granolaMy Profile

  7. says

    I’ve made quinoa pizza crusts before but even though I rinsed and rinsed the quinoa, a bitter taste came through. I may try again now pre-rinsed quinoa is available just to see if it makes a difference. Your pizza certainly looks inviting and lush!

    I think your cheese recipe is absolutely awesome. If I’m going vegan with pizza, I just leave the cheese off, I’ll have to spread the word about your pizza cheese, a very inventive recipe, well done!!

    As always, I am in awe of your photos :)
    Vicky recently posted…Grain Free Rhubarb Crumble GF SCDMy Profile

  8. says

    Congratulations on going vegan, I’m happy that you are loving the challenge of baking without eggs or dairy! Welcome to the vegan blogosphere and if you have any questions or concerns, always reach out to me whenever you can! Darn that pizza with red onion looks so yum – have you tried Miyoko’s cheese cookbook? I find her homemade vegan cheeses so yummy! I’ve always wanted to make a GF crust for a long time, I must give your quinoa crust a try…


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