Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Pesto Recipe

Clearly, I’m on some sort of “cake” bandwagon at the moment. And not the birthday cake kind, although that’s always yummy too!  I recently shared a Zucchini & Sweet Potato Pancake recipe (and as I look back, I even see that I photographed them on the very same dish—oops), and now today I’ve got a Quinoa Cake recipe for you. However, these aren’t just any Quinoa Cakes…these are crispy quinoa cakes, flavored with super fresh, homemade spinach/basil pesto. Pesto out of the jar is just one of those things that is NOT the same!

My family usually has all sorts of input when I’m trying new recipes, and I’ll make things over a few times to get it right. However, this was one of those (rare) occasions that right out of the gate everyone just said YUM and chowed down. Plus, not only did these patties end up being a hearty addition to a vegetarian dinner night (we do go for meatless meals a couple of nights a week, more on that here), but they were great leftover in the lunch box the next day. I honestly wished I had made more. So, if you’ve got a hungry brood, like me, be sure to double up on this recipe—you’ll thank yourself later!

How to make crispy pesto quinoa cakes

Crispy Pesto Quinoa Cakes on 100 Days of Real Food

Crispy Pesto Quinoa Cakes

Grab your appetite because we've got crispy quinoa cakes made with fresh spinach and basil pesto.
4.3 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 22 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Print Recipe
Servings: 10 cakes


For the pesto

For the cakes + cooking

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions, about 3 cups cooked
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil for cooking
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh basil optional, for garnish


For the pesto

  • In a mini food processor, blend together all the ingredients until smooth.

For the cakes + cooking

  • In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, eggs, flour, salt, and pesto until well combined.
  • In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a thin layer of olive oil. With wet hands, form the quinoa mixture into about 10 cakes and add them to the pan. 
  • Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes total. Cover with a lid (if desired) after crisping the sides to help them cook all the way through, adding more oil to the pan if it dries out. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm topped with extra Parmesan and basil (optional). Also great leftover. 


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Crispy Pesto Quinoa Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 134 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 131mg6%
Potassium 140mg4%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Crispy Pesto Quinoa Cakes on 100 Days of Real Food

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31 thoughts on “Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Pesto Recipe”

  1. Any ideas for an egg substitute? I’d bet flax or chia would work, but my boys can’t have them. Do you think mashed potato or sweet potato would work?

    1. While we haven’t tried it without the cheese, it should be fine. Many readers have switched up the pesto in so many ways and still have them turn out tasty. – Nicole

  2. Can the prepared cakes be stored in the refrigerator, before cooking them? If so, up to how long? Also, I did see you can freeze them for later. Would you freeze them before or after they cook?

  3. Could you bake these? Maybe spray some coconut or avocado oil on parchment paper on a cookie sheet? When I make any sort of fritter on the stove top, I end up using a lot of oil to prevent sticking/burning – especially when I’m working in batches.

    1. 100 Days Admin

      Hi Brittany, while we haven’t tried this recipe in the oven, you can definitely do so. You just might not get them as crispy as you would on the stove top. Feel free to try it out and let us know how they turn out. – Nicole

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