Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 wedges)

The two-slice portion on this summer pie is nice and hearty: For a lighter lunch or brunch for eight people, serve one slice with a simple spinach salad. For extra flavor, try tossing 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme into the crust.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°.

Step 2

Place quinoa on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool. Place half of quinoa in a food processor; pulse 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining toasted quinoa, almond meal, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon oil and egg; stir until mixture is crumbly but holds together when pressed. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes.

Step 3

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add leeks; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Combine leek mixture, tomatoes, thyme, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add egg whites, stirring to combine.

Step 4

Arrange tomato mixture in crust; sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until filling is set. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into 8 wedges.

Ratings & Reviews

My first cooking light fail

August 12, 2015
I have enjoyed every single meal I've made from Cooking Light, until this one.  While it was mostly the crust (too heavy, flavorless, and an unpleasant texture), the filling was also underwhelming.  I usually don't feel like I am eating light food when I cook out of Cooking Light, but this felt like a bad recipe from a diet in the 1970s (updated with quinoa, of course).  Better luck next time!

Great Potential!

June 28, 2015
I used artichokes, green onions and feta for the filling.  It was tasty.With the crust, I toasted the quinoa for a lot longer than 10 minutes, just to make sure it was golden brown. I also cooked the finished crust longer than 5 minutes, before adding the filling.I liked the consistency of the crust-- it was hearty. The texture reminded me of graham cracker crust.  I do agree with the reviews that it didn't have too much flavor, But I kind of liked how it was neutral. This crust could go with a savory or sweet filling. I hope CookingLight publishes some new recipes to improve on it.In the mean time, I'll definitely make this crust again. I'll just use less of the quinoa to make it thinner and experiment with some spices.

Eating Uncooked Quinoa Not Good!

June 24, 2015
This recipe sounded good and the filling was good, but I got a pretty bad tummy ache.  I knew it was from this pie but didn't know why until I read this:  Raw QuinoaRaw quinoa cannot be digested properly and its undigested starches are likely to cause you gastrointestinal discomfort. Moreover, raw quinoa is covered by a substance called saponin, a toxic soap-like substance that can bind with some of the minerals you eat, preventing them from being absorbed, according to "Nutrition Research."

A great way to use up tomatoes

May 28, 2015
I agree with sedutta that the crust needs a bit of work, but I didn't find it bland.  I used my spice grinder to make my own almond meal, and the rest of the crust came together easily.  But after being baked it was very crumbly and made cutting the pie into 8 slices a challenge.  The tomato filling was very tasty, even though I had only 1/2 cup leeks, and it wasn't soggy as I thought it might be.  I served this with CL Romaine Salad with Edamame and Creamy Horned Melon Dressing.  I would make this again but maybe with another egg in the crust, or no egg and the oil cut in like a traditional pie crust.

Could use improvement

May 19, 2015
First off, the filling for this pie was wonderful- light and very flavorful. A very good summer meal. The crust, however, left much to be desired. I subbed ground flax for the almond meal, but followed the rest of the recipe. While the toasted quinoa added a nice crunch, the crust was too thick and had a weird consistency and not much flavor. If I make this again, I'll use a different crust. Either a potato crust or regular pie crust.