Crispy quinoa cakes

By Wendy Andresen | Jan 07, 2021
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

Here’s your chance to be creative and make this recipe your own. Although the spices listed here are usually thought of as Indian, you can instead substitute any other herbs or seasonings you prefer. I served these with chutney, tahini sauce and sriracha-laced ketchup, but you can use your favorite sauce or relish.

These cakes can also be served as appetizers if you make them small, or as a substantial addition to a salad, or as a falafel-type filling in pita bread. Such versatility!


1 cup white quinoa, well rinsed in a sieve

2 cups vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. salt or more, to taste

5 ounces baby spinach or kale

1 jalapeno, minced

2 small scallions, minced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Oil for frying


1. To a medium saucepan, add the quinoa, broth, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, gram masala, and salt and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.

2. Stir the quinoa with a fork for at least 1 minute, until the grains break apart and become sticky.

3. Place the spinach or kale in a bowl, cover it, and microwave for 3 minutes, until the greens are wilted and tender. Drain them and when they are cool enough to handle, squeeze them dry and chop them finely.

4. Add the chopped greens to the quinoa along with the jalapeno, scallions, and cilantro and mix well.

5. When the quinoa mixture is cool enough to handle, wet your hands and form it into eight balls about the size of tennis balls. Pack them tightly and then flatten them into cakes, smoothing out any rough edges.

6. Fry the cakes on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until very brown and crispy. If you prefer, you can brush them with oil and bake them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, but they won’t have quite the same crispy crust.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at

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Comments (3)
Posted by: Barry Douglas Morse | Jan 12, 2021 19:42

Karen again!  *Getting the CAKES to stick together!!

Posted by: Barry Douglas Morse | Jan 12, 2021 19:41

Just made these. DELICIOUS. I had a small problem getting the calls to stick together. Added 1 TBS just egg (or any vegan egg substitute) and it stuck better but next tied I think I will add 2 TBS.

Karen Morse


Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Jan 08, 2021 11:26

Sounds terrific Wendy, I will fix it with kale and not deep fry it. thx so much for the ideas!!!!

I have all the ingredients already.


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