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Appetizers/ Entrees/ Recipes/ Sides/ Vegetarian Recipes

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Recipe

Who loves quinoa? WE do! It’s healthy, easy to cook with, and delicious. And these quinoa cakes? Crazy-versatile. Whip them up as an appetizer, serve them as a side or a snack, even put them on buns and top with some roasted veggies and this cashew cream sauce for an amazing spin on a veggie burger. They do the work!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Recipe

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.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

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.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Craving more veg-friendly recipes? Shop our collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks!

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65 Comments

  • Reply
    Julia Mueller
    January 13, 2014 at 8:13 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Yay team quinoa!!! I hope you love these cakes as much as we do, they are seriously addicting.

    • Reply
      julia
      March 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      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. 🙂

    • Reply
      Laurie Siegmund
      April 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      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 🙂

      • Reply
        Meg van der Kruik
        April 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        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. 🙂

        • Reply
          Laurie Siegmund
          April 25, 2014 at 5:58 pm

          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!

        • Reply
          Laurie Siegmund
          April 26, 2014 at 4:34 pm

          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!!

  • Reply
    marquis @realrawkitchen
    January 13, 2014 at 11:25 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      Marquis,

      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

  • Reply
    dishing up the dirt
    January 13, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Yum! these little quinoa cakes look perfect. That cashew cream sounds spoon worthy!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Thank you so much!!! I may have to use the term “spoon worthy” one day its pretty awesome.

  • Reply
    Patricia
    January 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    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. 🙁

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:23 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen
    January 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    High five for quinoa! Quinoa cakes are the best, and I’m totally loving this cream, Meg!!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Yay Kelli!
      High five back at you.:)

  • Reply
    The Wimpy Vegetarian
    January 13, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Quinoa lovers unite! I love these little cakes. I had just pulled out my recipe to make quinoa cakes, but now I want to make these. Love!! Pinned!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Thanks so much! I think we should start a quinoa fan club. We could swap recipes and gossip about all things quinoa related. You with me?

  • Reply
    Jess
    January 13, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    This looks so delicious! The roasted pepper and cashew cream both looks and sounds absolutely amazing! 🙂

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    January 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    You had me at quinoa…but then I saw the roasted red pepper cashew cream and nearly died. What a fabulous way to kick off Meatless Monday!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Thanks so much Alexis!

  • Reply
    Harriet
    January 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Harriet,

      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!

  • Reply
    Stuart
    January 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      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.

      • Reply
        Stuart
        January 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

        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.

        • Reply
          Kiersten Frase
          January 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm

          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!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    January 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Thank you so much Joanne!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
    January 14, 2014 at 11:15 am

    These look perfect! Especially with that red pepper sauce. I made sweet potato quinoa fritters recently and I was a huge fan so I know I would love these too.

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Wow Sarah! Sweet potato quinoa fritters? I am completely intrigued and suddenly very hungry. Is the recipe posted on your site?

      • Reply
        Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
        January 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

        Yes, I just posted it today. How about I cook you mine and you cook me yours? 😉

        • Reply
          Meg van der Kruik
          January 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm

          Done deal Sarah! I just saw your fritters and they are totally drool worthy. How long will it take me to get to your house from Southern California? ha! ha!

  • Reply
    Connie
    January 14, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Oh that red pepper cashew cream looks just soooo good!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Thanks Connie!

  • Reply
    Jane
    January 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    January 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I love quinoa cakes, and this cashew roasted pepper cream sauce sounds divine. Thanks for sharing Meg!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Grace!

  • Reply
    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective
    January 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

    These quinoa cakes look amazing! Love the red pepper cashew cream too!

    • Reply
      Meg van der Kruik
      January 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Thank you Sommer!

  • Reply
    kristi
    January 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
      January 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Sonya Smith
    January 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    February 6, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Beverly
    April 10, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    May 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    Archa
    September 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Ann
    April 26, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Jenifer Naiser
    May 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Valerie M
    October 5, 2015 at 12:40 am

    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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