Vegetarian Mains

Italian Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Crispy quinoa cakes make for a delicious vegetarian dinner or a versatile appetizer. Filled with Italian flavors of oregano and parmesan, these cakes are then topped with a basic tomato bruschetta.

One of the highlights of Thanksgiving week was learning to make penne a la vodka from Bry’s mom. Being full-blood Italian, his mom is all about quality ingredients prepared in a simple, intuitive way. The meal was beyond delicious (can’t wait to eat the multiple bags of leftovers in the fridge!), but what was icing on the cake was getting all the leftover fresh herbs, cheese, and tomatoes to take home.

Looking for a less obvious use of these Italian staple ingredients, I decided to make quinoa cakes – a slightly healthier take on fried risotto balls. Making these cakes is super easy and extremely versatile. Simply add in any vegetables, seasonings, and herbs that you have lying around. Bry came up with a great idea of serving these as an appetizer (making them a bit smaller) with a few different dipping sauces on the side. I also think these would be delicious over a salad. However you decide to make them, I just hope you love them as much as we did!

Now I did end up frying them as I really wanted that crispy exterior, but to make these even healthier you could try baking them then broiling at the end to brown the outsides. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

So here’s a toast to cooking as a family!

Italian Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 35 min


  • 2 ½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil
  • For the brussels sprouts:
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • For the tomato topping:
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • Drizzle olive oil and balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil



Preheat oven to 425F and line large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.


To prepare quinoa: place 1 cup uncooked quinoa in pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. You will end up with around 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Place 2.5 cups of the cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. For the leftover quinoa, store in fridge for up to a week.


Once quinoa has cooled, add whisked eggs, salt, fresh oregano, cheese, and garlic. Stir to combine. Next, add in bread crumbs. Mixture should be sticky but still slightly moist – you may need to add additional bread crumbs.


Allow mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes.


While mixture is resting, cut ends off of sprouts, slice in half then place cut-side down on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon canola oil, ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes.


While sprouts are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Divide quinoa mixture into 12 patties. Place 6 patties in skillet and cook 7-10 minutes per side, or until browned. Place cooked patties on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining patties (note, you may need to add an additional splash of oil for the remaining 6 patties).


Once the patties are cooked, quickly chop the tomatoes and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chopped basil.


Place 2 patties on each plate and top each patty with the tomato and basil mixture. Serve brussels sprouts on the side. Enjoy!


Cooked patties can last in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks 

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  • Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen
    December 1, 2017 at 9:02 am

    These look great! Pinning for later!

    • The Healthy Toast
      December 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks Lauren!