super supreme pizza quinoa salad


It’s no secret I could eat pizza pretty much everyday.

Lately, we’ve been spending a little too much time at Transfer for GFGF (gluten free girlfriends) dinners — I wouldn’t say I’m getting sick of pizza (impossible!!!) but my waistline might be in need of a break.

Instead of giving up my pizza, I just shift it to other arenas….like quinoa salads!

My sister-in-law asked me to bring a quinoa salad to my niece’s graduation party recently– CONGRATS, CELESTE!!! — last time people weren’t quite sure about it (one nephew said he wouldn’t eat something he couldn’t pronounce) but this time, when you throw in the word PIZZA, there were more willing to try it.

Grab your favorite pizza toppings and let’s do this!


4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 cup pepperoni, sliced
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 cup scallions, sliced thin
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup packed, fresh basil, chopped



1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette salad dressing (I used Cindy’s Kitchen Barcelona Vinaigrette, which I love for its very few ingredients and no sugar added, but Annie’s also has some good ones or make your own!) 

1 clove garlic, minced (use your garlic press!)

1-2 tablespoons Penzeys Pizza Seasoning (add 1 and see what you think, I love that stuff and can’t get enough, if you want it super pizza-y, keep adding a little until you get the flavor you want — know that the flavor will intensify as it sits in the fridge!)

1. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Prep toppings and combine in large bowl with quinoa.
3. Pour dressing onto salad and stir to combine. Refrigerate until serving.



Sarah’s Notes

  • For measurements: you don’t have to follow mine, I often use leftover quinoa from another dish the night before for this salad. Just add your toppings to your liking until you have the ratio you’d like, then add dressing bit by bit until it’s coated.
  • Substitute less or more of any of the ingredients to make a salad that works for you! (you can also chop the toppings in larger pieces to make them easier to take out for picky eaters.)
  • Dairy-free: just skip the cheeses
  • Vegan: no meat or cheeses needed, add more veg!
  • Make your quinoa in advance! You need to allow time for it to cool, this salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for several days after as well. (the flavor gets better each day, and I keep adding more toppings each time I eat it!)
  • ANY of your go-to pizza toppings will work: mushrooms, artichokes, banana peppers, jalapeños, green olives, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, asiago or feta cheese, Canadian bacon, plain ol’ bacon, sweet roasted garlic, you name it!
  • This doesn’t have to be a cold salad either, you can serve it warm as a meal!


Quinoa Cakes – Pizza Style

Just popping in to share this recipe with you right quick.

I’ve been quarantined in the apartment all weekend, bound and determined to ditch this cold. It’s left me a little stir crazy — so the cleaning has been in full force and some projects I’ve been meaning to get to, are finally getting the attention they deserve.

My Mamasita pinned some quinoa bites on Pinterest and then she did something that few pinners do… she made them! She told me about the recipe, then I fussed around with it — you should make these today.

Quinoa Cakes – Pizza Style 

adapted from So Very Blessed

These little nuggets would be pretty tasty with any combination of ingredients: buffalo chicken, taco flavors, lime chicken and black bean – all sorts of options. Perfect for football Sundays, appetizer parties, or just a light lunch. Dip them into a little pizza sauce, and if you’re smart, stash some away before your husband snags the last one. 🙂

1 cup cooked quinoa

½ cup (heaping) mozzarella cheese

½ cup pepperoni or ground Italian sausage

¼ cup onion, diced

¼ cup green pepper, diced

2 tablespoons pizza sauce

1 beaten egg

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh basil

1 teaspoon Penzeys Pizza seasoning

Salt & pepper to taste

Olive oil to grease pan

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and grease mini muffin pan, greasing to the top of each cup. (this made 18 to-the-rim cakes – but try putting less in each and going for 24 mini cakes) Mix all ingredients in a medium size bowl and combine well.

Using a cookie scoop (1 ½ tablespoon) or a spoon, fill each cup with mixture. For best results, do not overfill. Press down to pack mixture firmly into cups.

Bake for about 15 minutes, heating through. Cheese will start to bubble, creating a nice, crispy top. Allow to set in pan for at least 5-10 minutes, after removing from oven. Use a spoon to gently release from sides of cup.

Dig in!

We finally popped open our bottle of sparkling wine that was supposed to be used to celebrate Valentine’s Day — but with both of us feeling down and out, and me spending the entire week bed-ridden, the celebration was put on hold. So today, while I clean and work on some organizing projects, I’m doing it in style.

Cheers to a productive Sunday!

What are your Sundays reserved for — laundry, cleaning, shopping for the week, or do you combine cleaning with a beverage too? 

This post is part of Thank Goodness it’s Quinoa (TGIQ) over on The Queen of Quinoa, check out her site for all kind of quinoa goodness!