Vegetable Quinoa Cakes

by Gavan on July 20, 2010

This recipe came about when I was doing a dinner party and needed to come up with a vegetarian alternative for one of the guests. My missus, also being of said persuasion, means that we eat a lot of veggie dishes often experimenting with new recipes. Having worked in the catering game for a while I’ve seen guests being served the famous vegetarian option of sauteed vegetables with rice or a veg risotto or whatever. Point being it’s not that exciting or interesting is it? I like to try and do something a little different and substantial to keep the veggies happy, especially my one! We even tested this recipe with our carnivore neighbors who said it was the best thing we had ever made and demanded the recipe (ahem here you go). I made smaller hors d’oeuvre bite sized ones this past weekend with a slice of avo and a dollop of roasted red pepper aioli. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Serves 4ish (if you’re 4 Irish guys)
Maybe 6 is better

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 large carrot – grated
1 zucchini – grated
1 medium sweet potato – grated
1 cup fava beans – blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain
1/2 cup red onion
1 garlic clove – minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper – small dice
2 corn on the cob – kernels removed
2 tbsp basil – chopped
2 tbsp oregano – chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 organic egg whites
S&P to taste

The hardest part is all the grating but once that’s accomplished making the pancakes is a cinch.


Preheat oven to 350°F.
Preheat skillet on medium heat for 30 seconds. Add olive oil and saute onions for 30 seconds. Add garlic, red pepper and corn and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Cook the quinoa as per the instructions on the box. Meanwhile add everything else into a large mixing bowl including the quinoa and onion mixture along with 2 egg whites.
Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Taste and season with S&P.

To make: Preheat large non-stick skillet and drizzle olive oil in pan. Add golf ball size amount of mixture in pan and gently push down to make patty size. Sear for 1 minute until browned and gently flip over for another minute or so. Place on foiled oven tray.
TIP: This can be done up to 24 hours ahead of time.
Once all cakes are seared place in oven for 10 minutes to cook through. The egg will firm up the cake when baked in the oven.

(Being used in place of the fish)

I bet kids would even like these because all kids like pancakes don’t they? Could be as a good way for them to eat their veggies so if you try them with your family let me know!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth August 2, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I tried this and it tastes delicious- never got a pancake though. If following the recipe, it would feed far more than the 4ish as the recipe states. The mixture filled a huge bowl. 3 cups of cooked quinoa to 2 egg whites? Is that right? I never got a pancake- too crumbly and falling apart. I ended up turning it into a stir fry which was fantastic. Blended equal parts water and soy sauce (1/4-1/3 c), ginger (2T), cilantro (1/2 c.), garlic (1-2 cloves) and agave syrup (2T) and added it at the very end of the stir fry without ever transparting them to the oven, falling apart the way they were. I would like to get back creating the delicious looking cakes. Gavan, can you please let us know if the ingredients are accurate? If this calls for 3 c. quinoa cooked, I imagine maybe more egg white is needed? Thanks so much for a delicious recipe, regardless.

Gavan August 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Liz, Liz, Liz you’re spot on. It should be 2 cups to 2 egg whites. I changed the recipe and sorry for the hastle. I was never any good at math when i was younger! The mixture should be wet but once you sear one side gently use a spatula to turn it over. They will work.
I love your stir fry idea too btw so thanks for passing that along for everybody.
Thanks for the input.

Catherine January 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Quick question – could you use egg replacer in place of the egg whites to make these vegan do you think? Any other suggestions for omitting the eggs?


Gavan January 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Hi, I’ve never used it but it should work. The egg acts as a binder to help all the ingredients stick together and help the patties together when cooking.

Brooks February 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm

These look amazing, I can’t wait to try them! I have made similar cakes using zucchini but I love the idea of all the carrot and sweet potato and quinoa, (oh my!) I am Vegan and I use egg replacer in those recipes and it works great! Thanks for the recipe!

Maneesha July 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I tried this with boiled potatoes and some chickpea flour as a substitute for the eggs and they turned out wonderful. I flattened the patties and refrigerated them overnight and cooked them on a panini grill for dinner the next day, they were awesome!
My 1 year old son ate one too! 🙂

The second time I tried adding an Indian flavor to it instead of the oregano and basil…I used some cumin powder, paprika and some “channa masala” spice mix and they were equally good.
Thanks Gavan for the recipe!

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