What’s That Recipe Again? Quinoa Cakes


quinoa burgersA while back I did a post all about Quinoa and since that time I get asked “What’s that Quinoa Cake recipe again?” all the time.  So much so, that I thought they were deserving of their own post!  I seriously love this recipe.  These days, recipe priorities for me are:

  • Easy to make ahead of time
  • Keeps well/freezes well
  • My son eats it
  • Doesn’t take a ton of time to make
  • Healthy
  • “Forgiving” (i.e. I don’t really stick to recipes; I am more of a “little of this, little of that” kind of person which is one of the reasons I am not a baking fan).  I love recipes that you can easily modify with whatever spices, veggies, herbs etc are in your house.
  • Budget-friendly (as opposed to Crab Cakes which I love to make too but they are exempt from the budget friendly category so they are more of a once in a while treat!)

The Quinoa Cakes are all that, plus, while they are better warm, I can eat them cold or room temperature which often works for me when I have squeezed in a workout at lunchtime and am eating back at my desk. The recipe I base mine off of is HERE and it’s fantastic.

Veggie Quinoa burgers
No-Cheese version with sauteed carrots

My Modifications

Most people, like me, don’t have a Panini press and make it in a pan. If you follow the original recipe, I am sure you will love it.  I have some twists that work for me including doubling or tripling the original amounts so I have plenty of extra for lunches for myself and my little guy.  I also add lentils or black beans for more texture, protein, and fiber, and balsamic vinegar for a great tang.  I usually use the feta cheese but for a no-cheese version, add a variety of finely diced, sauteed veggies like carrots and red bell pepper for more flavor (and nutrition).

Feta-Spinach Quinoa Cakes (makes about 20)

  • 2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  finely chopped onion, or 1 package Trader Joe’s prechopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 3  eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (uncooked)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (or 1 package Trader Joe’s precooked) or 16 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (optional but I love it)
  • 1/3 c. lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (any kind-seasoned, whole wheat, or plain)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (optional)
bite size quinoa burgers
The bite sized version is great for toddlers!
  1. Cook the quinoa by combining the quinoa and water in a pot and covering with a tight fitting lid.  Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 15 min.  Transfer quinoa to a large mixing bowl and let cool completely.
  2. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.
  3. Cook the spinach in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.  Press to drain out the water.
  4. Add the onions, garlic, spinach, feta, dill, lemon juice, balsamic, salt, pepper, and 1.5 cups bread crumbs to the quinoa.  Combine thoroughly.  Taste and adjust seasoning, then, add in the 3 eggs and mix thoroughly.
  5. Form quinoa cakes into patties. (Optional, for an extra crunch, pour panko bread crumbs onto a plate and gently dip the patties in the crumbs on both sides).
  6. Heat a large skillet to medium heat.  Working in batches, add 1-2 tsp. of olive oil and place 3-4 patties in the pan.  Cook for 4-5 min until lightly browned, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes until slightly browned on the other side.  Repeat the process to cook all the patties.  Eat immediately or store in the refrigerator for several days, or freeze. (My son and I will eat these for lunch for the whole week!).

What recipes do you make ALL the time?


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Elysa Cruse is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer and is the Manager of the Corporate Wellness Program for Pitney Bowes (www.pbprojectliving.com). She moved to Fairfield County after college and has been enjoying great ways to be active and eat well in the area ever since, including teaching exercise classes such as Stroller Strides, Pilates and Boot Camp. She is mom to an adorable 3 year old boy and loves getting outdoors whether hiking, biking, or running (really anything as long as it's not weeding). Elysa is still working on the ultimate in work life balance and she's okay if she never quite finds it. Connect with Elysa on Twitter @ElysaCruseRD


  1. Elysa, we had these for lunch today and they were fantastic! I skipped the black beans/legumes but added everything else and WOW did we enjoy them. Thank you! 🙂


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