May 31st, 2015

Quinoa Crust for a Savory Southwest Veggie Tart


Whether we can tolerate gluten in our diet or not, there’s one thing for certain: We all have benefited from the gluten-free food revolution. The mass introduction of alternative grains has added wonderful variety to our pantry, replete with taste and nutrition. Beyond corn and rice there’s amaranth, kasha, millet, teff, and quinoa, just to name a few. And alternative flours? I can’t keep up.

We don’t have any problems with gluten in our family, thank goodness. But I’d like not to rely on wheat as much as I have. (Sorry, pasta!) Living with a vegetarian, I am always on the lookout for meat-free protein-dense recipes to satisfy a hearty appetite. Over the past months I’d noticed several dishes from Cooking Light that use a quinoa pastry crust. The idea intrigued me.


I’ve had success with cornmeal crust in the past, why not quinoa?

The folks at Cooking Light have developed 2 pastry crust recipes using the New American grain—one with already-cooked quinoa, the other with uncooked, toasted and ground. For this Southwest-inspired vegetable tart, I opted for the former. It couldn’t be easier to make–combine the grains with egg and oil, press the mixture into the pie pan and bake. (It’s a good way to use up any leftover quinoa too.)


The crust has integrity–it holds the roasted vegetables and custard while imparting its toasty nut-like flavor. We like the smoky taste of the poblanos with the other summer vegetables, a Southwest spin—but you can use your imagination and veggies at hand to create whatever filling you like. The quinoa crust is an amenable canvas.

The latter, which also has ground almond meal and cornstarch in the mix, seems like a contender for fruit pie, maybe plums—if the devil-squirrels don’t wipe out the potential bounty from my backyard tree.


QUINOA CRUST from Cooking Light
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix quinoa, egg, olive oil and salt together in a bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a pie pan.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.


1 zucchini
2 yellow squashes
1/2 red bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 poblano pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheese: combination of white cheddar and cotija

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise. Coat with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet.
Slice peppers (red bell and poblano) into strips, onions into thick slices. Coat with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each pan with salt and black pepper.
Place both into the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool.

Beat the eggs with half-and-half, salt and black pepper until no traces of yolk can be seen.

Sprinkle a little cheese over the bottom of the crust and place the first layer of roasted vegetables. Repeat until you fill the shell.

Pour the custard mixture over the vegetables. Top with remaining cheese.

Place into the oven and bake until the custard is set and the top is golden—-25-30 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4-6


Posted in Egg/Cheese Dishes, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rice/Other Grains/Legumes, Vegetarian Dishes

14 Responses to “Quinoa Crust for a Savory Southwest Veggie Tart”
  1. Gerlinde @ sunnycovechef Says:

    Nancy, what a splendid idea to make a healthy crust. I have been eyeing an asparagus quiche, maybe I make it using this crust. Thank you for the tip. Have a great week!

  2. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI Gerlinde,
    It really is an easy, delicious and versatile crust. I think it would work well for the asparagus quiche you are eyeing. Enjoy your week! Nancy

  3. Johanne Lamarche Says:

    Alternative crusts have been intriguing me also Nancy as I have many gluten free friends. I never have alternative flours on hand but always have quinoa! This is a gorgeous quiche and I love all the veggies in it. Thanks for sharing. I will be making it!

  4. Barbara Greene Says:

    Oh my, that looks fabulous! And it looks like I can make it too! And nice and healthy. Well done Sis!

  5. ernestine Says:

    Will have to make this quiche..
    Thank you

  6. Barbara Says:

    Love those roasted, caramelized veggies in your tart, Nancy. I think I’m going to opt for another crust. While I love adventuring with grains, I am not a fan of quinoa, although I have used it in several ways for the blog, even made some pancakes with it. But mostly I keep it in the pantry for those times when my daughter is home as she IS a fan. I confess, your crust looks dark and crisp so that may make a big difference in flavor.

  7. Julie Greenberg Says:

    HOORAY for g-f crust with such a delicious filling & beautiful presentation! Thanks, as always, Nancy for offering such exquisite, seasonal ideas – can’t wait to try it :-)

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Julie—I think this recipe is custom-fit for you.

    Barbara–I always appreciate your comments–straightforward and honest. I do like quinoa, Bill likes it just okay—but he really enjoyed the tart with this crust.

  9. Teresa Blackburn Says:

    I love this crust Nance. I am interested in alternative crusts for both savory and sweet pies and this one is very wonderful looking. I do not eat a gluten free diet, but on the other hand I do try to cut down on too much breading/wheat/carbs when I can. Quinoa is just a fascinating grain isn’t it. I eat Quinoa pasta which is nutty and delicious and often cook with Quinoa flour both gluten free. I will definitely use this crust recipe in the future.

  10. Tammy Says:

    Beautiful tart Nancy and I bet that I can even get my husband to eat quinoa this way.

  11. goodfoodmatters Says:

    HI Terese–You’ll enjoy making this crust, I feel certain. It was so easy. I do want to try the uncooked version soon that also has almond meal and a touch of cornstarch in the recipe.

    HI Tammy–I bet you can!

  12. mark Says:

    I appreciate your creativity and the use of new ideas and making them your own. I love roasted veggies using them in an custard based tart is great. you can change the whole complexity of the dish just by choosing different herbs or spices, or even the cheese.

  13. Juliana Says:

    Oh Nancy, I absolutely like the quinoa crust…and all the vegetables in this tart…looks fabulous!
    Have a great day :)

  14. Beth Says:

    What a gorgeous tart! I’m like you – no GF eaters in our household, but I don’t mind cutting some flour out of our diets, and I love the huge variety of grains I can choose from.

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