Quinoa Cakes with Spinach and Goat Cheese

11 Mar 2009 by Claire, 30 Comments »

A little leftovers magic today – I made a bunch of quinoa earlier in the week, and while it is tasty stuff all on its own, I was craving a change. So combining some of the quinoa with goat cheese and spinach, and frying it all up into little patties was just what I was craving for my lunch!

These would be great as appetizers – I’m thinking that some kind of yogurt-y dip, maybe with some chili would make a nice accompaniment.

Quinoa Cakes with Spinach and Goat Cheese
makes about 20 small cakes

2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 ounces goat cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying

how to:
1. Wash and chop the spinach, pat dry. Mince the garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon
of olive oil in a small skillet. Cook the garlic until lightly browned, about a minute, then add the spinach. Cover, and cook until wilted. Set aside and let cool.

2. In a small saucepan, mix the quinoa and the goat cheese over low heat (to help melt the cheese). Remove from heat when well combined.

3. Chop the cooked spinach finely, mix with the quinoa and goat cheese. Beat the egg and mix in until everything is combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat a layer of olive oil in a non-stick skillet.  Form the quinoa into 2″ patties about 1/2 inch thick. Drop into the oil and cook until well browned on one side, 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, then set on paper towels to drain.

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  1. kellypea says:

    These caught my attention right away. What a lovely combination of flavors! Wishing I had some lined up for my lunch today. Starving!

  2. Esi says:

    I love quinoa and would never have thought to use it in this way. The cakes sound so good.

  3. Paul says:

    Brilliant! Love the Quinoa! Lacking goat’s cheese, I substituted aged white cheddar. Also added some chili flakes for kick…delicious!

  4. Sandy says:

    Just bought some quinoa this weekend, and now I know what I’m doing with it. Yum!!!

  5. Natalie says:

    Wow these look good! This is what i’m using my leftover quinoa for tonight!

  6. Natalie says:

    Yummy! This is what I will be using my leftover quinoa for!

  7. I almost always have a bit of leftover quinoa when I make a pot of it for a recipe. This is a lovely way to use those leftovers, and would be a great side dish for roast chicken.

  8. 8chocolate says:

    I’ve only used quinoa for salads and never thought of frying with it. I love all the ingredients so I look forward to making this real soon. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. melina says:

    great idea. i’ll have to try this one..

  10. tim says:

    awesome. I made way too much quinoa last night, and I’d been thinking about something like this. Thanks.

  11. Nivekian says:

    Thanks for this, I will try it with salmon sometime

  12. I made quinoa for the first time last night in place of rice for some yellow curry chicken. My 18 month old Loved it plain! I made way to much and these look like the answer!

  13. Claire says:

    I love using up leftovers, and I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  14. I had some leftover quinoa that I had cooked in a roasted red pepper/tomato soup (that organic boxed kind). With this recipe in mind I chopped up some spinach and beat up a couple eggs and made little burger/cakes. Yummy, high protein, healthy burgers or quinoa cake appetizer! Next time I’ll add garlic and some other spices to the mix. Thanks for this great recipe :)

  15. [...] Oh, and if you have extra quinoa?  Make them into patties. [...]

  16. I really love goat cheese it is really delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.

  17. Alex says:

    I made this today-taste was absolutely delicious…..but i had a problem with forming the patties. I had to drop the mixture into the frying pan-kinda like pancakes. It seemed my mixture was too runny. Any tips on what i did wrong?


  18. Claire says:

    Hmm – it does sound a bit runny. The patties should hold together in your hands so they can be set in the pan. Maybe next time try adding just half the beaten egg at first, to see how they hold together. Glad you liked them, though!

  19. Erin says:

    I liked the skeleton of the recipe. I used Chard rather than Spinach because I think Chard holds its structure better when cooking and adds better flavor. I added a little Panko to ensure the cakes stayed together while cooking and used feta rather than goat cheese. They turned out great! love the quinoa cakes!

  20. Tricia says:

    Well, I made these. I ommitted the spinach and only had garlic powder so I improvised there as well. Came out really good. The entire time I was cooking husband kept asking what that stench was. Don’t worry, he has an ultra sensitive nose, and if he hasn’t had something before it’s just his normal reaction. Well anyway the whole time he kept complaining. When I was all done I made him try a bite.

    My biggest pet peave is someone not willing to try something before they say they don’t like it. I actually have a rule with my cat that I established day 1. I looked him right in the eyes and said you can turn your nose at anything, but you have to at least try it first. Now he’s hooked on human food and obeys the rule.

    Anyhow, I regret that I made hubby try them. I almost didn’t get my plate back! It’s his #1 request for me to make next time we cook dinner for a group. I also created a honey butter glaze to go on dinner rolls that turns them into a dessert really. Those are #2.

    Kudos on this one. I had something like it once in a restaurant here in town (they served the cakes with pork chops and jalepeno jam) and was trying to find another recipe for something like it. Yes, it does take some work and time to make these, but so worth the wait and effort. I could eat these every day. Sadly the restaurant I loved no longer has these on the menu, there is another side with the pork chops and this is not a side to anything else. The owners haven’t changed, so must be the chef that changed. No corn bread on there any more either. Now I’m REALLY glad I found this one!

  21. Sultan says:

    These are a nightmare to cook! Every single one of my patties split in the frying pan! What a mess…

  22. Sheila says:

    Exactly what I needed–we had quinoa and kale for lunch and I wanted to use up the rest of the quinoa instead of composting it or giving it to the goats.

    I’ll be making these with chard and omitting the cheese because all we have is cows’ milk-based and hubby’s lactose intolerant. I’ll also be using an egg substitute because he’s vegetarian (essentially vegan these days, save for a little goat’s milk from our girls).

    Thanks for the recipe! LOVE that it’s gluten free too!

  23. Liesel says:

    I had trouble with the patties really falling apart in the pan – much more likely to stick to the bottom of the pan than to itself. I added a couple of spoonfuls of whole wheat flour and tried baking the patties, but that didn’t really work either.

    What did work was spreading it into a glass baking dish and baking it more like a casserole (but only about an inch deep) for about 20ish minutes. It firmed up nicely, had a delicious flavor and was easier to serve (and much less time-intensive than forming and baking multiple batches of patties), plus I used less oil.

    Thanks for the suggestion – we had tons of leftover quinoa this week and needed to use it up fast!

  24. Claire says:

    Oooh, the casserole version sounds excellent. And much less labor-intensive. Thanks for the tip!

  25. MaryWitzl says:

    I’ll bet these would go very well with chutney AND yoghurt/garlic sauce.

  26. Barbara Chase says:

    We made the cakes and used a Feta cheese that had tomato/basil seasoning. It was delicious – and even better the day after. Makes a lot, can be frozen. Delicious.

  27. A. says:

    Found this recipe (& your site) when Googling for “quinoa cakes”. We had all the ingredients handy & always have quinoa in the fridge. I did use frozen spinacg vs fresh (made sure to drain well!) I tried to rush & did not work the steps in order. The mixture was too warm & would not pull together as a patty. I added another egg and a little more chevre goat cheese then put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. The patties were fragile but once they hot a hot skillet, they firmed up nicely! These are delicous and they are so many variants you can make off this basic recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

  28. Claire says:

    Love the idea of freezing! Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Alice says:

    I just made these for an afternoon snack and they are a perfect savory treat. I made them smaller, almost bite size. Mine did not fall apart, maybe because of the size. I did end up adding a lot of salt and pepper, which made them just that more delicious!

  30. marietta says:

    Thank you for this. I didn’t have quinoa, so I made them with bulgar (to which I added a few good pinches of salt and pepper while cooking) and they were great – with the spinach, goat cheese and fresh thyme, just 1/2 beaten egg, and a few tablespoons of bread crumbs. They held together just fine, but I found that the heat has to be turned up to med-high on my stove to cook them in 3-4 minutes. I then put them on some bread with cheese on top, melted under broiler. A grilled veggie cheese burger that even my teen son liked.

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