Photo Collage of Making Quinoa CakesQuinoa Cakes - On a White Platter On Wooden Board

These Crispy Quinoa Cakes are flavored with fresh herbs, garlic, and parmesan cheese, then pan-fried in olive oil until golden brown and crispy on each side. It’s a great side dish for dinner!

If you’ve got leftover quinoa that you don’t know what to do with, this is a great way to use it up.

Quinoa Patties - On a White Platter On Wooden Board with Parsley in Background

Quinoa has a reputation as one of those expensive trendy healthy foods, but I have to say that I really love it.

Some grains can be relatively flavorless granules of starch, but quinoa has a really nice nuttiness and flavor to it, and has a wonderful fluff in its texture.

And it can also be mega crispy if you toast it or fry it in some olive oil. A local chocolate shop a couple blocks from my apartment has an award-winning quinoa chocolate bar, where the toasted quinoa gives it a Crunch-bar-like texture comparable to crispy rice!

These crispy parmesan quinoa cakes give you the best of both worlds in quinoa — that crispy, crunchy golden brown top, and a fluffy quinoa exterior.

Quinoa Cake Recipe Served On a White Platter On Wooden Board

My favorite part about quinoa cakes has to be the versatility. I have made these many, many times, and each time I make it the mix-ins are slightly different. Give it any flavor theme you want, and use your favorite herbs and cheeses.

Though this rendition has a parmesan herb theme, a Greek-style quinoa cake with feta, olives, and tomatoes is a close second.

You can really play around with the ingredients.


How to Make Quinoa Cakes:

First you need some cooked quinoa.

You can either use leftover quinoa, or take 15 minutes to cook some fresh (instructions are in the recipe box, but basically just quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt):

Fluffy Cooked Quinoa in Nonstick Pan

While the quinoa cools, we’re going to prep a few mix-in ingredients.

A scallion, parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, and garlic:

Scallion, Garlic, and Herbs on Board with Cheese

Add those to the quinoa:

Grated Cheese and herbs In Cooked Quinoa Pan

Then stir in panko bread crumbs, salt, and pepper:

Bread Crumbs and Seasoning Added to Quinoa Filling in Pan

Finally, add 4 beaten eggs to the mix:

Beaten Egg Added to the Quinoa Mixture In Pan

Stir this all together until the quinoa is evenly moistened:

Leftover Quinoa in Pan with Herbs, Egg, and binding Ingredients

Pack the quinoa mixture into a 1/4 cup measuring cup very firmly, then tap it on a flat surface to release each cake:

Shaping the Quinoa Patties Using a Measuring Cup

Pan-fry the quinoa cakes in olive oil for 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy:

Quinoa Patties Frying in Olive Oil in Skillet

I also recommend these 15-minute Zucchini Fritters which are similar to these, or this wonderful Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. Enjoy!

Quinoa Cakes On a White Platter On Wooden Board

Crispy Parmesan Quinoa Cakes

These Quinoa Cakes are flavored with fresh herbs, garlic, and parmesan cheese, then pan-fried in olive oil until golden brown and crispy on each side. A great side dish for dinner!

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  • 1.5 cups raw quinoa*
  • 1 scallion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • olive oil for pan frying
  • salt
  • black pepper


  • To cook the quinoa, rinse it well in a strainer with cold running water for a minute, then place in a saucepan with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, reduce to a simmer over medium low heat, and cook for 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork or spatula, and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the scallion, garlic, parmesan cheese, parsley, oregano, and panko bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper to the quinoa, and toss to combine. Then add the beaten eggs, and stir until the quinoa is moistened.
  • Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, pack the quinoa mixture very firmly into the cup, then tap the cup on a flat surface to get the quinoa cake to release. Repeat with the remaining quinoa mixture.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan over medium heat, then fry the quinoa cakes for 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the quinoa cakes to a paper towel to drain. Serve immediately, and enjoy!


*If you already have leftover cooked quinoa, you will need 3 cups of cooked quinoa for this recipe.


Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 122mg, Fiber: 2g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated August 2018 with re-edited photos, more writing, and new tips. Originally published February 2016.