Quinoa Breakfast Cakes

As featured in Buzzfeed (see #17)Quinoa Breakfast Cakes-3

When I open my refrigerator on a lazy weekend morning (or any morning during this federal government shutdown!) and see healthy ingredients left over from the week’s meals, I pat myself on the back and pretend I planned the whole thing. Then I usually scramble up whatever is there, with a few eggs. Pretty good, but I wouldn’t mind a little sparkle now and then.

This recipe for Quinoa Breakfast Cakes gives those healthy ingredients some purpose. Try it first with the ingredients and ratios as set forth here, and then try to mix it up just a bit, substituting a different herb for the basil, sweet potato for the white potato, or Gruyere for the Parmigiano Reggiano.

If you make a whole batch on the weekend, they will last for a few days into the week – just reheat them in a pan or in the microwave, and enjoy the cakes on their own – definitely a healthy breakfast in their own right – or with some scrambled eggs and salsa. Before your coffee is done brewing, you are on your way to THIS:

Quinoa Breakfast Cakes-6

Pretty good-lookin’ weekday breakfast, right?

p.s. I won’t tell a soul if you also eat these for lunch or dinner. Or snack.

Quinoa Breakfast Cakes
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Side
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1.5 to 2 c portobello (1.5 to 2 caps) or cremini mushrooms, diced very small or minced
  • 1 c baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 baking potatoes, skins removed, chopped, boiled, and mashed (or use ¾ c leftover mashed potatoes)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ c Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 5 - 10 leaves basil, chopped finely
  • ¼ t red pepper flakes
  • ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat a medium or large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is warm, add extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion and saute it starts to brown and soften.
  2. Add the mushrooms and spinach, and cook 2-3 minutes more, until the mushrooms are tender and the spinach is bright.
  3. Transfer the onions, mushrooms, and spinach to a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and stir to evenly distribute.
  4. Form into patties (this recipe will make about 12, give or take). Make sure the patties aren't too thick, or else the egg won't cook through (1/2" - ¾" thick should be great).
  5. Wipe out the skillet, and re-heat over medium-high heat. When warm, spray with olive oil and place 4 patties in the pan. After about 5 minutes, check the bottom of one of the patties. If it is browning, flip it, and repeat with the others in the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Continue with this process until you have cooked the entire batch.

Quinoa Breakfast Cakes-4

Original recipe: Adapted from December 2012 Women’s Health Magazine, “Eat Smart: Quinoa Meatballs”


      • says

        Hi Hannah,
        I could not wait any longer to defrost and try these.
        In the microwave, they were soft but good – definitely would work served on a plate as part of a larger meal.
        My preferred method for defrosting (when feasible) is always in a pan coated with spray oil, and this worked well for the Quinoa Breakfast Cakes as well – I love the renewed crisp on the edges.

    • says

      Thank you, Deena! Great question.

      They are crispy on the outside where they have touched the oiled pan, and like with anything cooked with oil, the more oil you use, the deeper the crunch will be. But unless you make them very thin, the center will remain a little softer, from the mashed potatoes.


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