Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt-Dill Dip


To say I fell behind on spring cleaning this year would be an understatement.  I didn’t start until a few weeks ago–in the middle of summer.  Enough was enough.  My photography props have found their way into almost every room in my home, my pantry was a serious mess and my closets were a joke.  To visiting friends and family my home may have looked clean and inviting but I knew that my closet and pantry doors protected a lie–they hid the serious disarray that I couldn’t ignore any longer.



So over the last few weeks I’ve been cleaning up closets, kitchen drawers and my pantry.  I was tired after each day of clean-up but happy and satisfied, too, knowing I was getting closer to having a tidy, orderly home again.  I finally made the time to empty out one closet to dedicate the space for prop items only and for a few days I found myself opening the door just to admire the organized stacks of plates, bowls and color-coded fabric swatches and napkins.  I would smile at my handiwork and mentally pat myself on the back. Do you ever do that?

In my pasta/grain cabinet, I discovered multiple bags each of spelt, barley, bulgur wheat and quinoa.  These items don’t get used as often as they should in the kitchen but I obviously like to buy them.  Finding three bags of quinoa prompted me to finally make a dish I’ve been meaning to make, a quinoa salad which I will share on another post soon.

These cakes were merely a by-product of that salad but I was so happy with the way they turned out I had to share them first.  I cooked two cups of raw quinoa and ended up with much more than I needed for the salad.  I had to use it all up.  You always hear me say that I used what I already had in the kitchen but it was true in this case, too.  I threw together the quinoa with bell peppers, green onions, parsley, Parmesan cheese and spices but I’ll admit that I was not optimistic as I formed the patties.  Would they have enough flavor?  They also seemed very fragile and I wondered if the little bit of flour and two eggs I added to the mixture would be enough to hold them together as they baked.

Not only did these cakes smell fantastic as they baked–I didn’t realize that toasted quinoa would go so well with Parmesan cheese and the spices I used–but they held their shape perfectly.  There was no need to be gentle with them as I flipped them over to brown the other side nor did they give me trouble when I transferred them out of the baking sheet.

And the taste?  These were not bland like I feared they might be.  Toasted nutty quinoa with the sharp Parmesan, fresh veggies, the cumin adding some depth and the cayenne pepper a bit of kick–this was a winner especially with the yogurt-dill dip I served alongside the cakes.  Crab cakes are usually my first choice for savory cakes but I didn’t miss the meat at all in this vegetarian version.  They’re baked instead of fried; healthy and tasty.  There’s no question now how I’ll use up the rest of the quinoa in my pantry.



4.9 from 10 reviews
Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt-Dill Dip
These quinoa cakes are packed with flavor and they're baked so they're healthy, too.
Recipe type: Appetizer, Side Dish
Serves: Makes 9 cakes
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (a little less than one cup uncooked)
  • 1 stalk green onions, chopped using both green and white parts
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I used half green and half yellow)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or use 1-2 cloves fresh, finely chopped)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon no-salt seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (you can substitute with zest of one lemon)
  • A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ***For the Dip***
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt (I use nonfat yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon Mayo (I use Vegenaise), optional. You can just use 4 tbsn yogurt instead
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. I cooked two cups raw quinoa in 3½ cups vegetable stock and ended up with 5-6 cups cooked. I used two cups cooked for this recipe. If cooking quinoa for this recipe, wait for the quinoa to cool before using.
  2. To make the dip, combine the dip ingredients in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the cakes.
  3. To make the cakes, combine the cooked quinoa, Parmesan, green onions, bell pepper, parsley, garlic, cumin, no-salt seasoning, cayenne pepper, sumac, black pepper, flour, baking powder and eggs in a large bowl.
  4. Form into roughly two-inch patties by first rolling into a ball in your palms then flattening a bit. They will seem fragile but they won't fall apart at all. Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or nonstick foil.
  5. When you're ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes on one side them flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes until they're golden and crisp. Serve warm with the yogurt-dill dip.




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  1. These cakes look crisp and golden, and I love the spices you added. The yogurt-dill dip sounds like it would be delightful with fresh veggies too! I haven’t fallen in love with quinoa yet, but these cakes and Liren’s salad today are both encouraging me to give it another try :).

  2. I just love the color and texture of course of these yummy cakes 🙂 it looks a bit difficult, but I am going to try 🙂

  3. quinoa is one of those foods that doesn’t get all the attention it deserves in my house as well.
    these patties look great, love the golden color. would make a great substitution in a burger with some lettuce, tomatoes and dill yogurt. mmm

  4. I ADORE quinoa cakes. These look so great! I am definitely going to be trying this recipe out soon!

  5. These look so good. I would love some right now for lunch.

    Now that you have your spring cleaning done, any tips for those of us who have missed one too many Springs? 🙂

  6. I really need to try Quinoa cakes, they are on my make soon list, and have been for far too long!

  7. Great recipe! The fact that they are baked and not fried is quite a bonus! Hehe…so I can say one thing, Jean? Great minds think alike (LOL!). I guess we were on the same wavelength when I made the amaranth cakes and you made these! I enjoy quinoa cakes but I usually pan-fry them. Next time, I will try baking them.

  8. I know what you mean. I normally keep everything spic and span in the outside. Just don’t unlock the closets…Don’t get me wrong i am not the showy kind of person. It’s just that I work well when everything that reaches my eyes are organized. I am keeping a list of what drawers and closets do I need to organize when I have the time. At least I don’t see the clutter…
    Well, this recipe is neat! Appearance, check! Flavors, check! Nutrients, check! Everything blends well and falls in its proper place. A must try, you know I always make time for cooking ahead of cleaning up the clutter so I am sure I’ll have time for this dip and quinoa cakes =)
    Anyhoo, We have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours have caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo gallery http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery/ that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

  9. I’ve never tried quinoa cakes! These look so good!!!

  10. This looks like a perfect way to get more quinoa in my diet. I usually just use it as one would use rice or cous cous — with veggies mixed in or served over top. But this looks much more fun!

  11. Hi Jean! These quinoa cakes look delicious and a perfect use of the leftover quinoa. I made a quinoa salad with veggies for dinner this week and also used Parmesan cheese-I would go as far as saying that quinoa needs Parmesan cheese because it tasted so good, I kept grating more these into the quinoa;-) I used rainbow quinoa which I hadn’t seen before, I just love the way it looks cooked up, with the little tails;-)
    I will have to try for recipe for the cakes and love the dip to go with, just yummy Jean. I’m glad you organized your house, would you mind organizing mine too? lol! I have a mess on my dining room table, which I’ve taken over for my ‘food photography’! Take care, have a great weekend;-)

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Patty, I agree with you–quinoa needs the Parmesan cheese; it makes it so much better. I would love to try the rainbow quinoa next time, I just have to get through my current supply. 🙂

      Hope you’re having a great weekend, too. 🙂

  12. Delicious looking and so healthy! Perfect with a salad or some veggies.



  13. If spring cleaning leads to this kind of recipe, I vote for spring cleaning everyday! This is such a fantastic way to use quinoa. As for obsessively looking at a newly cleaned closet and patting myself on the back…yep, I’m guilty.

  14. Look at your beautiful quinoa cakes! As I read your description of these cakes -toasted quinoa and Parmesan cheese – hmm sound fantastic! Presentation is beautiful too. My focus is on the one quinoa and the rest is bokeh beautifully! Yogurt dill dip sounds perfect for cumin flavor too! Have a great weekend Jean!

  15. I love patties which hold together and flip well.
    Funnily enough, the other day I did the same thing and emptied a cupboard so I could set up my special dishes and props for photographs. I am so pleased about it.

  16. Hi Jean,
    So proud of you for organizing your props, now can you come and do mine:) I also go back and look at the nice clean and organized areas afterwards. Sometimes I bring my hubby to see, hehe. What a great way of using the quinoa. I love it, thanks for sharing:)

  17. Oh my house is the same way but on returning home from my mom’s house I realize I am organized in comparison 🙂 I want to do the same here though enough clutter, and yes I do look at my organized things just to pat myself on the back and say good job. Glad you cleaned out your pantry and gave us a new idea for quinoa. I will have to try these out soon. Have a great weekend.

  18. You have inspired me to do some organizing of my blog props – need to finish this weekend. I have only had quinoa salad and need to try these – they look amazing. Loving the dill sauce. Your photos are mouthwatering! Hope your weekend is great!!! 🙂

  19. I just embarked on cleaning up my closets all over the house. Enough is enough! I was getting too comfortable with the mess behind the doors. Every closet that gets organized gives me a wonderful feeling too. And my grain area has the same contents as yours does but I never get to give them too much attention too. Thank you for the idea of how to use my quinoa. Your cakes looks so crunchy and delicious!

  20. I know exactly what you mean about the doors keeping everything safe that nobody can see. I just started few days ago and not even close to done…I think that I need one more huge walk in closet to fit everything nicely :))
    Now those cakes look amazing and very interesting recipe….i love yogurt dill dip.
    Beautiful presentation and pics! Wishing you awesome weekend!

  21. What a task, organizing all the blog props! I loved seeing that photo you posted (was it on Instagram? Or maybe FB?) of the organized closet. I have given myself an imposed hiatus from buying any more props, but I seriously want to get some new backgrounds done soon. ANYWAY, I’ve been on a quinoa kick lately, too, and I just think this recipe is brilliant!

  22. Hehe I’m glad I’m not the only one that gets a kick out of looking at everything all perfectly organised 😀 I definitely do that. Good on you for having a spring clean. I need to do that soon too.

    I love your quinoa cakes. They look so healthy and delicious. Definitely the type of thing I need to be eating more of in the lead up to the wedding. Bookmarking this.

  23. You mentioned parmesan several time, but I don’t see it anywhere in the recipe. Can you specify how much you used?

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Carrie, thanks for catching that. I used 1/2 cup Parmesan which I grated with a Microplane grater. I’ve updated the recipe. Thanks so much!

  24. These were so crispy and good! I had leftover quinoa; so, they were fast and easy, too. Thanks, so much!

  25. Oh, and I didnt have fresh parsley, so I used cilantro…yum!

  26. Quinoa has become such a popular item in the last 6 months… I love how versatile it is!!!!!

  27. These are really fab. I used chopped coriander rather than parsley, and it was really good that way. Will definitely make again, as they were throughly enjoyed by all who tasted them. Thank you!


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