Crispy Quinoa Cakes Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Crispy Quinoa Cakes

Serve these with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. After trying the recipe as is, mix things up: Replace 1 cup quinoa with lentils, and season with curry powder to make Indian koftas. Or mix in more chopped parsley, and serve in pitas for quinoa falafel. Recipe by Kirstin Uhrenholdt.



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1 large egg
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2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
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1 ½ Tbs. tahini or nut butter
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1 ½ tsp. red or white wine vinegar
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1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
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½ cup finely grated sweet potato
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½ 10-oz. pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
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¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
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¼ cup chopped nuts, optional
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2 oz. crumbled feta cheese, optional
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2 Tbs. finely diced onion
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1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
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1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
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½ tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine egg, flour, tahini, and vinegar in bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, then mash together until mixture is firm enough to shape into cakes. Shape mixture into 1/4-cup patties with wet hands. Bake on prepared baking sheet 25 minutes, turning once, or until cakes are browned.

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
4 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
17 g
31 mg
282 mg
3 g
2 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

@ Be Annoyed Cook..Your name is really be annoyed? You should lighten up a bit. Quinoa is pretty filling and 3 cakes would be perfect, even if at 100 cal a piece. When you're eating healthy food altogether, those extra few calories won't matter. =)

We loved this recipe! Awesome! I did add curry as suggested, and it was wonderful. I love the idea of quinoa with sweet potato and spinach for great protein. Don't skip the red pepper sauce. It really makes the meal. Fed it to my meat eating friends, and they loved it too!

I LOVE this recipe! I have already made them three times. I have used red quinoa each time. Suggestion: boil chopped up sweet potato, then mash and add to all other ingredients, it is easier than shredding.

Any suggestions for what I could use to bind the ingrediants instead of an egg?

Heather, by using sabout a cup of grated baby marrows and replacing the wheat flour with chickpea flour you won't need the egg. The marrows are very moist, just mix everything together and squish it a bit.

I'm trying to cook more vegetarian options for my meat-loving husband and I think he would love this. But it won't be enough. What would you suggest as a side dish for these cakes? Thanks!

You can use tofu instead of egg, to bind them too, right? I like to avoid eggs if i can...anyone? Thanks! @Sue: I would try a rich, hearty soup (maybe some sort of potato or veg chowder) if that's not enough for him, maybe with a salad as well. Just a thought. :)

I can't wait to try this! I am new to being a vegetarian, and I think this will really help me commit to it. Thank you!

Lisa, the egg is in the recipe because it has lecithin, which is a phospholipid and acts as a binding agent... I'm thinking tofu isn't comparable.

Hi Heather! The sweet potatoes in this recipe are the magic binder, the egg is just helping a bit, so leave it out. You can add a Tbs. of ground flax seeds if you have them on hand. And if you cook the quinoa so it is a smidge over cooked they will also hold together better. Good luck and enjoy!

What could replace the nut butter?

@Misty, try unsweetened peanut butter if it is jus because of unavalibility of nut butter.

We loved this recipe! So much unexpected flavor. Instead of tahini, I used sesame oil. I left out the sun dried tomatoes and nuts, and just used italian seasoning. YUM

2 cakes is not 125 calories it ends up being a 601 calories for the whole recipe WITHOUT almonds and feta. That means each cake is about 100 calories. Very misleading and very disappointed.

We don't include optional ingredients (such as the almonds and feta) in our nutritional analysis. So, the total calorie count for this recipe, excluding the almonds and feta, is 750 calories, which makes each cake about 63 calories. Hope that helps!

can this be frozen?

I yielded 9 cakes out of this recipe. Any less than a 3 cake serving would be a snack, even so you need some sides to round this out to be a full meal. That said, these are delicious! I omitted the optional nuts and feta. Also, it didn't specify what kind of sun dried tomatoes- dry packed or oil packed? I used oil packed and it worked out fine. These were rather delicate to shape and I think next time I will let the mixture chill before shaping into patties so they will hold together better.

Ate one with a hearty, whole wheat bun with some fresh spinach and red pepper sauce on top-- was more of a meal than when eaten by itself. Love the rich taste, so many flavors!

Used garlic and herb goat cheese instead of feta. fresh spinach instead of frozen, and almond butter instead of tahini. Dry packed sun dried tomatoes, and the nuts were walnuts and pecans. I also doubled the garlic. These were delicious, full of flavor and crunch. The roasted red pepper sauce is so good I could just eat it with a spoon. Will definitely make both again.

Wow! this was so so amazing. I followed the recipe exactly except mixed red and white quinoa, used parsley, feta and cashews. Also used fresh spinach. It was an amazing light dinner served atop a mixed green salad tossed with an Italian Herb dressing and more feta! The quinoa gets this awesome crunchy texture on the outside when you bake them.

These are insanely good. I followed the recipe exactly and even had a moment of "wow, this is too much work," but the cakes came out like a dream and my husband talked about them for days. I also made the roasted red pepper sauce and put it in the freezer to cool while I made the cakes. I started with a cup of dry quinoa and only used what was necessary for the recipe, which left me with plenty of quinoa to make more or make another recipe. Totally fab.

This is so yummy. Make the sauce it gives it so much more flavor.

I doubled the recipe as I felt (due to comments) that to yield just 9 cakes for the amount of work was not worth it. Doubling made 21 cakes for me but I used carrots instead of sweet potato (thought I had one but was out, used fresh spinach as that's what I had on hand, added two stalks of celery (pan fried the celery and the onion) and used 1 cup of lentils on top of the three cups of quinoa. Also, used the feta but did not add nuts. Doubled everything. Other than the couple of substitutions and one addition (celery and an extra cup of cooked quinoa), I followed the recipe. It was a bit wet/runny and so that was why I added the extra cup of quinoa. I thought that they were delicious and since I yielded 21 (or rather 20 - I just ate one as a "test"), the work was worth it. Just cook your quinoa and lentils in the morning or the evening before so the rest goes together rather quickly. I think the feta makes them, personally. Love the flavor bursts of feta. I am trying to go vegan but it's a tough next step! Great recipe!!!

I followed the original recipe with a few changes I used Almond Butter instead of Tahini Gluten Free Mutli-Purpose Flour And left out the nuts, feta and sundried tomatoes These were sooooo good, I also made the roasted red pepper sauce (OMG) that made these tasty goodies even better! I will definatly make these again!!!!

Can I make these vegan (without egg)?

Love, love, LOVE! Just delicious. I filled a 1/4 cup measuring cup, and carefully turned it out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and then just gently patted the cakes into shape. Easy, and my hands didn't get too goopy!

If using fresh spinach is it necessary to blanch it first? This looks amazing and I can't wait to try these!

Great recipe. Followed it exactly, but used goat cheese instead of feta. Everyone loved it!

Great patties. Served with the RR pepper sauce as suggested and it really needed it as they got a bit dry at the end of cooking time. Really helped bring out the flavors of the patties. Also served this alongside some scalloped potatoes and squash with a bulgher wheat salad. Great combination. Will def make again. Good for dinner party and good for freezing extra patties.

These look awesome! But question: what is a modification for the egg to make it vegan?

Delicious! I substituted the vegetables for mixed juicer pulp, divided the dough into 3 parts and introduced a few flavors: curry, italian and the hot/ spicy types.

Generally, a good substitute for an egg is to combine 1 tbsp of ground flax with about 2-2.5 tbsp of water, stir it together, and then let it sit for about 5 min before using. I imagine that would work fine in this case!

Does this call for raw shredded sweet potato or cooked?

loved this recipe when i forgot to add the tahini... didn't like it as much the second time when i remembered.

Made these tonight for the first time and they are delicious. I made them with mashed sweet potatoes, finely chopped walnuts and the feta and I made my own sauce from roasted red peppers, onions and fresh tomatoes. I served them over my recipe for smoky lentils. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

These are very tasty, however, they did not congile and were rather wet. Any tips? Should I have put more flour in it to form? None the less they yummy.

Yum! I love recipes you can change up and get something a little different.

These are delicious! I cut the sweet potato into small bites and sauteed them first. I also cut up fresh spinach instead of using frozen. I used the leftover patty mix and fried them in a bit of coconut oil the following day. When I make this again, I will double the recipe, freeze leftover patties, and take for lunches. The roasted red pepper sauce was a big hit!!

Followed the recipe as stated, but left out the optional nuts. I also added 1 tbs of vindaloo curry powder (as the suggestion in the recipe says you can do) and they were AMAZING. I made them for a Fleetwood Mac themed party and turned these into "Landsliders." Served on slider buns with cilantro lime yogurt. Recieved rave reviews and was the only dish to be completely gone by the end of the night! Definitely a keeper and easily adaptable to your tastes. Seems like you could leave out or add ingredients as needed. Will certainly be holding onto this one!

I am allergic to red peppers...any suggestions for another sauce to make with these? I was thinking a maple ginger sauce or a curry sauce if I do not add curry powder to the mix. I will use sweet potatoes instead of the carrots and since I am heading towards vegan, rice cheese instead of feta or goat and almond butter instead of the tahini, as I am allergic to sesame seeds too. Can't wait to try these, they sound delicious! Many thanks!

I made these exactly as the recipe calls for but I doubled it and used a 1/4 cup measuring cup and made 26. Absolutely delicious

I have made these four times family cannot get enough of them. The flavor combination is perfection. I added a TBS of curry and it was such a great addition.

Try this

I thoroughly enjoyed these, and the red pepper sauce. I may use these cold with a salad, but not lettuce, rocket

Love new ideas on how to use quinoa, thank you.

Looks good!

yummmm :)

I am sorry I don't consider egg as a vegetable ,it does not grow on a tree !!!! What do I use instead of egg

I know that you can use flex seed as an egg substitute in many recipes, if the egg is just used for binding. You can look into that.