Italian-Style Cheesy Quinoa Cakes

Italian-Style Cheesy Quinoa Cakes

I love the Christmas season! We’ve been really busy around the house this weekend, getting ready for the holidays, decorating up a storm.

Yesterday was my three-year anniversary with my sweetie, so we decided to make a new tradition- trimming the tree and decking the halls on our special day! The stockings have been hung, the tree put up, and ornaments placed with care. Even our door is decorated!

Christmas Tree
Tinsel door

In order to prepare for the impending gluttony at the end of this month, I wanted to make a quick meal that isn’t too heavy, but high on the delicious factor. As you know, I love quinoa, in many incarnations. So what was to stop me from taking this healthy grain, and making it a little more snazzy with cheeeeese and fresh herbs, then frying those lil suckers to a golden crisp?! The fact that these are made from healthy quinoa negates any bad impact from frying… right? Right?


4.3 from 3 reviews

Italian Style Cheesy Quinoa Cakes
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ⅓ cup parmesan
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste
  • lemon wedges, tomato sauce, or capers for garnish

  1. Cook the quinoa: Add broth, water and quinoa to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is totally absorbed. Let cool for about a half hour.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, heat up 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a pan. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Once quinoa is cooled off a bit, add to a medium bowl along with the sauteed onion and garlic, cheeses, egg, flour, ground pepper, thyme, crushed red pepper, and salt. Stir until it is all incorporated, ad let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat up a saucepan (can be the same one you used for your onions and garlic) with the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Using your hands, form ¼ cup patties out of the quinoa mixture, and add to the pan. This will have to be done in batches.
  5. Let the patties crisp up for about 5 minutes, then flip carefully and fry on the other side. Remove from heat and serve alongside your favorite garnish. Enjoy!

Loosely based off Spoon Fork Bacon– thanks for the inspiration!

Italian-Style Cheesy Quinoa Cakes

I would love to try this as a bottom layer in a more complex dish- maybe some seared scallops or a small paillard of chicken would go great placed carefully on top, accompanied by a nice arugula salad and a lemony dressing. YUM I’m getting myself hungry here!

Happy Eating 🙂

7 thoughts on “Italian-Style Cheesy Quinoa Cakes”

  1. So is this a side dish? My daughter just became a vegetarian and I”m constantly looking for new recipes.

    this is like an italian quinoa latke, just in time for the holidays!

    thanks for posting,


    1. You can totally eat this on its own- maybe up it to like 3-4 cakes per serving though so you don’t get hungry later on. I actually just had 3 of these for lunch, alongside a little salad and some asparagus, and I feel pretty full!

  2. Mally, you have perfect timing! I made these the other night right after you posted this…I needed a snack, and I happened to have some leftover red quinoa in my fridge. These were so easy to make and so delicious! Next time if I use red quinoa I might try a sharper cheese to counteract the nuttiness of the quinoa, but all in all, A+! 😀

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