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Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

“What the hell am I going to do with all of this #$@%^& zucchini?!” Or, in other parts of the world, “What the hell am I going to do with all of these #$@%^& courgettes?!”

Have you been asking yourself that? I haven’t. Yet. This is our first year with zucchini in our garden. Well, scratch that--the first year we’re actually getting zucchini growing in the garden. It was a failure the last time we planted it. This year, though--it’s all good! Happy!

These zucchini quinoa cakes were the result of extra grated zucchini and an unopened bag of quinoa that I didn’t even know I had. The stars were aligned for this Meatless Monday special. Think potato pancakes, but with zucchini and quinoa instead of the humble potato.

Yesterday, there were two very large, fresh zucchini sitting on the counter. After using a bunch to make two loaves of double chocolate zucchini bread, I still had quite a bit left. It hit me that if I made some of the quinoa, I could mix it with the grated zucchini and some other magical ingredients to make these little cakes.

They’re incredibly simple to make, and really, almost everyone needs more zucchini/courgette recipes. Plus, they’re very versatile! Change up the spices in this recipe and you could end up with a sweeter breakfast version--and serve with a nice fruit sauce. I went the Tex-Mex-type route, but you could do parmesan and basil, or use some thyme, tarragon, oregano--whatever you like!

Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

makes one dozen

1 cup dry quinoa, cooked (approx. 2 cups cooked quinoa)
4 cups freshly shredded zucchini (I kept it in a strainer while prepping) *See Note
1 tsp adobo
pinch of black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp (or more, if you like) hot sauce
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup panko bread crumbs
6 TBSP flour
2 eggs, beaten
oil, for cooking

Serve with:
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the eggs and oil. Taste for seasonings, and adjust if necessary. Then go ahead and add the eggs. Stir until well blended.

Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat. Don't drown them in oil, but you want at least a good coating on the bottom of the pan. Drop the mixture into the pan using a 1/4 cup measure. Slightly pat the mounds of batter down so they're flat-ish. In my 12" cast iron skillet, I could fit about 4 per batch.

Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown and firm in the center. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add more oil as needed for cooking the rest.

Serve with salsa and plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

  • *Most importantly, make sure that your zucchini isn’t too wet. This is why, as I was prepping everything else, I kept my grated zucchini in a strainer. I also pressed it down with my hands a few times right before using it to get rid of some of the extra moisture in it.
  • If after mixing the ingredients, your mixture seems to be very leaky (juice in the bottom of the bowl), add extra flour, but just one or two more tablespoons.
  • Don’t be worried about the list of ingredients. It’s so quick to measure out the spices! And like I said, it’s a very versatile recipe, so you can go ahead and use whatever you like to flavor the base.
  • One last thing! I mixed everything together in the bowl, but held the eggs back so I could taste for seasonings. Once I was satisfied with the flavor, I mixed the eggs in.

I love those crunchy bits!

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Reader Comments (19)

I've been meaning to make quinoa cakes & the addition of zucchini is great!

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkat

I haven't had the crazy amounts of zucchini this year but I'd love to make these regardless! Yum :)

I love finding all these new zucchini recipes lately! Everyone has an abundant amount of them lying around ;) These quinoa cakes sound excellent!

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

We don't get zucchini here in Florida like they do up north. I do remember my mom quit growing it because it would grow a foot if she turned her back on it for a minute! :D

I like what you did with it though, love veggie cakes, fritters, patties or whatever you want to call them. I'm bookmarking this one. I just posted a black bean, sweet potato burger...sorta on the same wave length :)

Love the use of quinoa in these cakes. Zucchini is also a favourite. Perfect!

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I like this! Unfortunately, squirrels have completely killed my zucchini plant. But, I definitely want to try this and I like the idea of pairing it with salsa too.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPsychgrad

I have been wanting to use a box of quinoa I've had for awhile, every time I see a recipe with it as an ingredient I meant o make it but then I forget! Guess it's a good thing it's not a fresh item that can spoil! Great job on these little cakes, they sound tasty and are topping my quinoa cooking list.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin

This recipe will definitely go into my "Things to Try Thursday" :)

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

My lament is “What the hell am I going to do with all of this #$@%^& quinoa?!”

After a shopping trip to Costco and the purchase of a 4 lb bag...well, I have a bigger quinoa issue than a zucchini issue!

Sounds like a great combination of the two Elle.

These would be great for my lunch! My husband doesn't like zucchini, so I never make it for dinner. :-(

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Oh wow, these look great too!

August 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Leftover Queen

super creative! I love this one

I'm totally loving these!!

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

I don't have enough zucchini. Sure wish I had some friends around that had too much! These look yummy!

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelby

you are so smart Elle!! i bet these are terrific . . . although i MIGHT have to put just a tad bit of potato in them . . . i did say might . . . just might . . .

August 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSMITH BITES

This is a great idea, Elle. That's practically a balanced meal in a fritter! :-) And congratulations on finally getting zucchini!

August 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ Flamingo

I am very excited to try these although I don't fry food I will try experimenting with baking them.

September 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I made these last night after a similar recipe failed miserably. These turned out great. My 1 yo and 2.5 yo sons gobbled them up. My wife made a dill/lemon/sour cream/feta sauce that went great with them. Thank you for the great recipe. It'll be part of our rotation when zucchini piles up during the summer.

June 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

These are delicious!! thanks for the recipe! :-) yum!

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTanya B

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