Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream
Hello there Oh My Veggies readers! My name is Meg and I write a little gluten-free, vegetarian blog called Beard and Bonnet. We met once before when Kiersten asked me to guest post in her What I Ate This Week series, but just in case you didn’t catch that post, here are a few things you should know about me. I have been cooking and eating vegetarian dishes for over 7 years, but it wasn’t until my son was born with a gluten intolerance almost 3 years ago that I delved into the world of gluten-free cooking in our home. My husband Todd and I are artists and designers by trade and since we share design ideas with clients every day, sharing the food that helped to heal our family was a natural transition for us.

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream
Who likes quinoa? Me too! I knew we would have a lot in common. I just adore quinoa; it’s good for you, easy to cook with, and it’s downright tasty. Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient that no pantry is really complete without it. Quinoa can be milled into flour for gluten-free baking, baked up into big batches of crispy granola, or formed into delectable little cakes like these. I have served these cakes on gluten-free buns like burgers and simply on their own as a main dish with a side of roasted veggies. Either way they are delicious!

What is your favorite dish to make with quinoa?

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

These Crispy Quinoa Cakes are a meatless main dish everyone will love! Inspired by Little Quinoa Patties from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day.


  • 2 1/2 cups cooked white quinoa, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup finely minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (since I cook gluten-free, I made my bread crumbs by pulsing an Udi's bagel in the food processor)
  • Olive oil or clarified butter for coating pan


  1. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt; stir to mix well. Add the basil, red onion, cheese, garlic, and breadcrumbs to the bowl; stir, then let the mixture sit for a few minutes so that the bread crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. If your mixture is too wet you can add a little more breadcrumbs at this point and if it is too dry add a small amount of water.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil or clarified butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Form the mixture into 12 small patties; when the oil is hot place enough patties in the skillet so that it is full, but the patties still have room in between them. Cover, and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the bottoms are crisp and deeply browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second side for about 7 minutes more. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.


Make about 1 cup of dried quinoa according to package instructions to get 2 1/2 cups cooked.

I cook my patties in a cast iron skillet on medium-low. If you see that your patties are not browning after the first side has cooked for 10 minutes crank up the heat on your stove a bit and continue to cook the patties until they are browned.

You can serve these Crispy Quinoa Cakes with a number of different sauces; if you’re short on time, a good jarred marinara will definitely work, but I love using this Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream. If you have leftovers, it makes a tasty veggie dip or sandwich spread!

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, seeds and skin removed (from a jar is fine)
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt to taste


  1. Add all of the ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend on high, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary. Blend until the cashew cream is smooth and silky with no chunks. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

About Meg

Meg van der Kruik is the blogger, photographer, and recipe developer behind Beard & Bonnet, a gluten-free vegetarian blog that celebrates style, design, food, and family.   Read more from Meg →

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  1. Julia Mueller says

    These look amazing, Meg! I’m on team quinoa too and have never tried making crispy little cakes with it. Can’t wait to get my hands on these with spoonfuls of that cashew cream!

    • says

      Looks like a great recipe, but when pan frying and trying to get good color, I would not recommend covering the pan. It will create condensation and drip water into the oil and splatter all over. Instead just let them pan fry in open air. I can’t wait to try them. :)

    • Laurie Siegmund says

      I am catering an event for a friend….need recipe’s with “cake” in the name. I love quinoa and it would be a good gluten free option. Does this recipe really only serve 4-6? I am needing around 40. That’s lots of quinoa :) I really need to make these before I go….can they reheat if I fry (hate that word) them at home?
      Thanks for any advice from all who have actually made this recipe :)

      • Meg van der Kruik says

        The recipe calls for precooked quinoa so, 2 1/2 cups divided between 4 people really isn’t that much. This recipe makes 12 patties with each person having 2 or 3 patties. It’s a pretty easy recipe to double or even triple though. You can definitely cook them in advance and reheat at the event just be sure to have a dipping sauce because they could get a little dry. :)

        • Laurie Siegmund says

          Thank you for your quick reply! I am having a dinner party tomorrow and thought that I would make a trial run cooking them in the afternoon and then reheating them. Can’t wait to try them!

        • Laurie Siegmund says

          I just made a half of a recipe for friends tonight to see what they thought before I made a grand amount of them for the small catering event. I was a bit leery of the sauce as it took me a bit to get to the right consistency…a bit grainy starting in the food processor so I finished it up in a blender. Still a bit grainy but I HAD to try it with the quinoa cakes. A half of a recipe made 12 small cakes for me and they still could be a bit smaller. I tasted the first batch right out of the pan, nice and hot. Yummy and very pleased with how they set up. I seriously didn’t think that they would. Also, they are great with the sauce. I really wanted it a bit thicker to mound on top but we will drizzle instead.
          So, (sorry so lengthy)…tonight, I will heat them up and see what happens. Also wondered about keeping in them in my moist chaffing dish to keep warm? Have you ever tried that?
          Still not convinced that this is a good one for a lot of people but definitely full of flavor and a keeper!!

  2. says

    Meg, these look SO yummy! I tend to bring a lot of fresh salads and fruits to potlucks with family and friends mostly because that is what I like to eat, but then I end up eating it all alone .. this looks like the perfect compromise and incredibly delicious :) thanks for sharing! And I’m happy to have discovered your blog, I’ll add it to my reading list now!

    • Meg van der Kruik says


      I am so glad that these little quinoa cakes will give you another option to take with you to potlucks and I am so happy that you have found Beard and Bonnet too. I

  3. Patricia says

    Darn it has eggs in it! I was all set to try it based on the title alone. I’m betting they wouldn’t taste nearly as good w/o them. :(

    • Meg van der Kruik says

      I have never made these without eggs before, but if you give it a whirl please, come back and let us know how they turn out!

    • Meg van der Kruik says

      Thanks Jess! I use this cashew cream on practically everything from dipping chips and crackers to smothering enchiladas. It is so versatile and easy that I cannot get enough of it.

  4. Harriet says

    This look so tasty! My only problem is I am allergic to eggs. Do you think I could swap out the eggs for Chia seeds?

    • Meg van der Kruik says


      I have never tried swapping out the eggs for chia or flax eggs, but I would love to hear how it turns out if you do!

  5. Stuart says

    Although I’ve eaten quinoa before, this is my first time cooking with it. This recipe didn’t turn out as expected. So, question: how much quinoa? I cooked 2.5 cups of dry quinoa and that was a lot. The seasoning wasn’t prominent. Plus I couldn’t cook it in all at once in the saucepan.
    That got me to thinking that it really meant 2.5 cups of cooked quinoa. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a recipe that measures after cooking, especially with something that changes size, like rice and apparently quinoa. In that case, it would be helpful if it said how much dry makes that quantity cooked. Also, it makes me think how big these cakes would be and how they qualify as 4-6 servings.

    • Kiersten says

      I’m sorry to hear they didn’t turn out for you! The recipe does call for 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, which is pretty standard phrasing for recipe ingredient lists; if the quinoa was supposed to be uncooked, it would state that. You’re right, because quinoa can cook up differently depending on how much water it absorbs, calling for a dried amount can result in different amounts cooked, which is why it’s best to measure the cooked quinoa for a recipe like this. Most quinoa packages have cooking instructions, but in general, it expands 2-3 times–because of this variation, we choose to measure cooked quinoa, not dried.

      • Stuart says

        Not to argue, but there are recipes where it measures uncooked but tells to cook beforehand. It might be listed as 2 c rice, cooked, which is what I thought this was calling for. I followed the directions on the package and it didn’t say how much the size would change, but I can understand why you need to measure the cooked quinoa for the right proportions. Maybe this should be amended to say, 2.5 c cooked white quinoa (about 1-1.25 c uncooked). Just helpful for us newbies.

        • Kiersten says

          Again, “2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa” is standard for ingredient lists and I think it’s less ambiguous than “1 cup quinoa, cooked,” which is often interpreted both ways. We’ll definitely add a line to the notes section about the amount of uncooked quinoa to use. Thanks for your feedback!

  6. says

    I love stuffing quinoa into as many of our meals as possible! These little cakes look super tasty, especially smothered in that creamy red peppery sauce!

  7. Jane says

    I was so interested to read this recipe and will try. A question: Could they be cooked up and served like meatballs over pasta with a marinara sauce?

    • Meg van der Kruik says

      Jane that is a great question! I think these cakes would taste great smothered in marinara sauce, but I don’t know if you could relate the texture to that of a vegetarian meatball. If you give it a try let me know how it works out!

  8. kristi says

    Any idea if you could make the quinoa cakes ahead of time and freeze them? Anyone know how quinoa freezes? Also if I froze the cakes you think I should do that before I cook them in the pan?

    • says

      I haven’t attempted to make them and then freeze them, but I think they would work. I have been known to make the quinoa mixture ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a day or two until I get around to making patties out of it. I would probably make the patties, freeze, then cook in the pan at a lower temp for longer. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!

  9. Sonya Smith says

    I just made these with a Vietnamese flavor base! Lotsa cilantro, lime, lemon grass & red chili sauce!! YYUUMMBBOOO! AND I got too lazy to make pattys and fry … so I plopped them into muffin pans :) thanks so much!

  10. Shannon says

    I made this for my family and it was a huge hit!!! I absolutely loved the sauce! I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and dipped carrots in the left over sauce. Thanks :) I’m really enjoying your recipes and the meal plans are amazing.

  11. Beverly says

    I’ve got to say, that finding this week’s menus on your site is just the “kick” I needed to get me out of the winter doldrums!

    Last night I was so exhausted after work, that I didn’t get to make the Quinoa patties, so I made those this afternoon, then made the Roasted Sweet Potato/BlackBean Tacos. My family loved them! “Didn’t even miss the meat!” according to hubby and daughter both! :-) Finally I am preparing vegetarian food that they enjoy as well.

    Thank you so much!

  12. says

    Well I’m definitely on Team Quinoa and I’m always blown away with your fabulous burgers. What I’m sure sends this recipe over the edge is the cashew cream sauce…oh my! I need some of that right now :)

  13. Archa says

    Haven’t tried the Quinoa yet but the cashew cream dip is the yummiest dip I’ve had! Tried it for the first time today and had a tough time saving it for the black bean enchiladas ! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Ann says

    I made this for supper tonight, and really enjoyed it. The quinoa crisped up nicely, and paired well with the cashew sauce. I may cut back on the garlic a little next time, but there will definitely be a next time.

  15. Jenifer Naiser says

    My daughter and I are rather new to vegetarianism so I was skeptical that a creamy sauce could be made with cashews. Boy was I wrong. This was fabulous! I did add cayenne pepper to the sauce which balanced the sweet of the bell pepper really well. I served this wih steamed brocolli. The quinoa mixture would make really great meatballs too! Thanks for helping to make our transition so easy.

  16. Valerie M says

    These cakes were sooo yummy! Reminded me a little of crab cakes. I probably won’t bother with the cashew cream again (it just wasn’t my favorite) but instead use a vegan tarter sauce. I also subbed the eggs in the recipe with aguafaba. I used about 1/2 cup and that was a little much, so next time I’ll use less. Thanks for the yummy dinner!

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