These vegetarian Broccoli Quinoa Cakes can be made in 30 minutes flat & are a delicious healthy meal that your whole family will love! Video. See 20+ Fresh Yummy Broccoli Recipes or our 20 Best Quinoa Recipes!

broccoli quinoa cakes with vegan cilantro crema drizzled over top, served in bowl with green salad and red cabbage.

Do not try to save the world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then, will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.

Martha Postlewaite

Here’s an easy healthy recipe for Broccoli Cakes that are made with simple ingredients you probably have on hand. It’s a quick and healthy nutritious meal that really satisfies! Filling yet light, I love these best served with a generous side of salad or simple sauteed greens.

If you would like to add a flavorful sauce, the possibilities are endless here and I’ll list a variety of options in the recipe notes. Here I’ve served them with this Vegan Cilantro Crema that I had from leftover tacos.

Also, I intentionally left the seasonings pretty basic here, to make them easy and accessible—and I know you will find ways to jazz these up to your liking!

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Easy, 30-minute recipe. Made in 30 minutes flat for quick lunches or dinners.
  2. Healthy and vegetarian. Quinoa is an energizing superfood and broccoli is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
  3. So versatile! Jazz these up with your favorite spices, and serve with greens, as a burger, in a wrap, or on top of a bowl.
  4. Family friendly! A freezer-friendly meal with veggies that kids will love.

Ingredients

  • Broccoli: Fresh broccoli florets are preferred, however you could use frozen broccoli if it’s all you have.
  • Quinoa: 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa or 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.
  • Scallion and fresh herbs: Basil, dill, Italian parsley, or cilantro. Use what you have!
  • Egg: Essential for binding the cakes together.
  • Garlic: Use a garlic clove or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic.
  • Almond flour: Or sub breadcrumbs (use gluten-free if needed).
  • Grated cheese: Cheddar cheese, jack, mozzarella, or vegan cheese (you could add parmesan cheese in addition to any of these).
  • Spices: This recipe just calls for salt and pepper, but feel free to jazz the cakes up however you like with spices like onion or garlic powder or chili flakes.
  • Oil: For searing. Use olive oil or whatever you prefer.

How to Make Broccoli Quinoa Cakes

Step 1: Cook quinoa. Bring rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water to boil in a small pot. Cover and lower heat to simmer 10-12 minutes until tender and water is gone. Turn off heat and cool 5 minutes, covered.

uncooked quinoa and water in small saucepan to cook.

Step 2: Steam broccoli. While quinoa cooks, steam broccoli until fork tender, being careful not to overcook. Drain, cool, and pat dry.

fresh broccoli florets in saucepan with lid over top steaming on stovetop.

Step 3: Combine and pulse. Place broccoli, scallions, herbs, cooked quinoa, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, and cheese into a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground. Pulse in the almond flour.

ingredients for broccoli cakes in food processor.

Step 4: Form patties. The mixture should slightly sticky and easily form a patty. If it seems too wet, add a tablespoon almond flour at a time until manageable. With damp hands, form 4 large patties, pressing them together. 

Tip: You shouldn’t need to coat these in flour or breadcrumbs, but if they feel very wet then feel free too. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.

broccoli quinoa cake batter in bowl with spoon.

Step 5: Sear. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Carefully place broccoli fritters in the skillet, lowering heat to medium-low or low. Resist the temptation to fiddle with them! As they form a golden crust, they will naturally release from the pan. Flip after about 5 minutes.

broccoli quinoa cakes formed into patties on cast iron skillet, frying.

Pan-sear the other side until slightly puffed in the center (indicating the egg is cooked through), lowering heat more if need be.

Tip: You can also finish cooking these through in 350F oven after pan-searing if they are getting too dark on the stovetop.

broccoli quinoa cakes frying on cast iron skillet with top side already seared.

Step 6: Serve. Serve with a slaw, side salad, or sauteed greens. Top with a flavorful sauce if you like!

stack of broccoli quinoa cakes with one sideways, showing seared sides and crisp quinoa edges, on white serving dish.

How to Serve Broccoli Quinoa Cakes

Serve with a side dish of greens or a salad with sauce drizzled on top, or serve for breakfast with Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Storage & Reheating

These Broccoli Quinoa Cakes are perfect for making ahead of time to refrigerate or freeze for later when you need a quick meal!

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 375F for about 6-8 minutes until warm. You can also place them in the toaster oven.

FAQs

Why are my Broccoli Quinoa Cakes not sticking together?

When steaming the broccoli, be careful not to overcook and make sure to pat dry thoroughly. This ensures that the cakes stick together! The quinoa should be dry and not watery as well.

What can I use instead of quinoa?

You can substitute 1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice for the quinoa in this recipe.

Health Benefits of Broccoli Quinoa Cakes

Creating delicious vegetarian dishes like Broccoli Quinoa Cakes is not just about pleasing the palate, but it’s also about nourishing the body with essential nutrients. Broccoli and quinoa, the main ingredients of these cakes, bring a powerhouse of benefits to your table.

  • Broccoli: Packed with vitamin C and K, contains good amount of folate, potassium, and iron, and is high in fiber to aid digestion and maintain low blood sugar. Antioxidants, like sulforaphane, can help reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic disease.
  • Quinoa: Contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein that builds and repairs tissues. Rich in fiber for digestive health, with a low glycemic index, having less impact on blood sugar levels. Quinoa is also high in magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and folate.

When brought together in a tasty cake form, broccoli and quinoa offer a balanced meal with complex carbohydrates, protein, and essential nutrients, keeping you satiated and energized! Pair with even more vegetables with a side salad!

crispy broccoli quinoa cakes in serving dish with side salad and cabbage.

Let us know what you think of these Broccoli Cakes. I’ve made several batches this week and all have quickly disappeared. Always a good sign. 😉

Have a lovely weekend.

Sylvia

More recipes you may like!

Broccoli Quinoa Cakes! |30-sec video

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These Broccoli Quinoa Cakes can be made in 30 minutes & are a delicious healthy meal that your whole family will love!

Broccoli Cakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.4 from 107 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 patties 1x
  • Category: main, vegetarain
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These vegetarian Broccoli Quinoa Cakes can be made in 30 minutes & are a delicious healthy meal that your whole family will love!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  1. 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or sub 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
  2. 45 cups fresh broccoli florets (8 ounces)
  3. 1 scallion, diced
  4. 1/4 cup chopped herbs- basil, dill, Italian parsley, or cilantro (use what you have)
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  8. 1 garlic clove, finely minced (or 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic)
  9. 1/4 cup almond flour (or use bread crumbs), more as needed
  10. 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, jack, mozzarella or vegan cheese)
  11. 23 tablespoons oil for searing.

Instructions

  • Cook Quinoa: Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Drain. Bring quinoa and 1 cup water to boil in a very small pot, cover, lower heat to low and simmer 10-12 minutes until tender and all the water is gone. Turn off heat, let stand 5 minutes covered.
  • Steam broccoli: While cooking the quinoa, steam the broccoli until tender, being careful not to overcook. Drain well, let cool, and pat dry. (It is imperative that broccoli is not overcooked and is patted dry in order for cakes to stick together.)
  • Combine and Pulse: Place broccoli, scallions, herbs, cooked quinoa, egg, salt, pepper, garlic, and cheese into a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground. Pulse in the almond flour, mixing in well. The mixture should easily mound on a spoon and just be slightly sticky, easily forming a patty. If the mixture seems very wet, continue adding almond flour a tablespoon at a time until manageable.  With damp hands, Form 4 large patties, pressing them together. You shouldn’t need to coat these in flour or breadcrumbs- but if they feel very wet, feel free to.
  • Sear: Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Carefully place patties in the skillet, lowering heat to medium-low or low — resisting the temptation to move or fiddle with them. As they form the deep golden crust, they will naturally release themselves from the pan, and not stick- making flipping so much easier.  (I like to use a thin metal spatula here. Rubber spatulas have thicker edges, much harder to get under delicate things.) Flip when golden and releasing, about 5 minutes.  Pan-sear the other side until slightly puffed in the center (indicating the egg is cooked through) lowering heat more if need be. You can also finish cooking these through in 350F oven after pan-searing if they are getting too dark on the stovetop.
  • SERVE: At this point, you could refrigerate if making ahead, and reheat down the road. Or keep in a warm oven until serving. Serve with a slaw, side salad or sauteed greens. Top with a flavorful sauce if you like (see options in notes).

Notes

Feel free to sub 1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice for the quinoa.

Making sure the steamed broccoli is as dry as possible (pat it dry) will allow you to use less flour or bread crumbs. The first time I made this, I did not pat dry the broccoli, and it needed 1/2 cup almond flour. The second time, I patted the broccoli dry, and only needed 1/4 cup flour, if that.

Make sure the quinoa is dry and not watery.

Pick a sauce to serve these! 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Broccoli Cake
  • Calories: 255
  • Sugar: 2.6 g
  • Sodium: 743.5 mg
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.5 g
  • Fiber: 5.1 g
  • Protein: 13.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 43.5 mg

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Comments

  1. Delicious and filling. I used panko crumbs not almond flour. I stove top cooked for close to 10 minutes to get a firm and lightly toasted patty. I place two in the oven at 350 for 10 min. to see how different they would be from pan fried and they were puffier. I pan fried them for at least 6 min prior to baking, I made the avocado dressing but would spice it more next time. My husband rated this 10/10 . They held their shape by not checking on them or flipping them too early. Two patties are in the freezer. I served on sauteed swiss chard, cranberry sauce and left overs from Easter dinner.






    1. Great question, Kathy! I have not tried freezing it. The crema should last 7-10 days in the fridge!

  2. I made these last night and would absolutely make them again. Thank you for the great recipe. The flavor, texture, etc. was perfect. Only question, has anyone tried baking in the oven instead of frying? If so, did that work? I was thinking that way I could make ahead of time, store in fridge, then pull out and pop in the oven. Thanks!

  3. Hiii this looks amazing and am going to make it this week. Just wondering what sauce is in the picture out of the listed sauces you mentioned?

  4. Yummy flavor and basically a one dish meal. When we squeezed the buns together some of the patty came squishing out so my mix was not dry enough from the quinoa. The broccoli was microwaved for 2 min and left to cool in a kitchen towel. Perfect. I also added 10 drops of liquid smoke and a bit of Worcester. Don’t ask me why because the hubs douses every patty in ketchup anyway! I made 6 using a muffin scoop and am baking the leftovers to see if I can get them drier. Bread crumbs would have been better for mine since I think it would absorb more moisture than the almond flour. Will definitely make again!






  5. The flavors were delicious and I liked the crunch that the quinoa gives to the crust. I added a 2nd egg to get them to stay together; I had to toss the first batch because they were falling apart.






    1. Thanks Lara. If the cakes were falling apart, my guess is either the grains did not fully cook through and “open up” or the broccoli was watery?

  6. I’m always looking for ways to use leftover quinoa and this was perfect. I thought these were delicious. They have a nice, nutty character and are perfectly seasoned. I did have to bake them in the toaster oven to finish the cooking. I also ended up with 8 patties, using a muffin scoop. I made the avocado lime sauce to go with them.






    1. Hi Sophie! I was wondering how much psyllium husk and water you used to sub for 1 egg for this recipe?

    1. Hi Nancy- You can try flax egg- but the mixture can get crumbly, a little tricky to get it to stay together.

  7. Sooo good! Great and easy to follow. Especially for a guy who is new to vegetarian food and cooking from recipes!
    Thank you!






  8. The patties did not turn out… would not hold their shape and impossible to cook.. no matter how much flour or bread crumbs I mixed in.. super disappointing and a waste of ingredients.






    1. Oh dear! It sounds like the quinoa grains did not break apart. Sorry about that. It’s a little tricky the first time, but once you “get the idea of it”, it works perfectly every time. Sorry, you are disappointed.

  9. Yep these were a big fail. They tasted good, and did brown on the outside eventually, but the inside seemed to almost get softer as they cooked on the outside. And the outside brown crumbs would just fall off. Maybe just baking them would be better, and making much smaller patties.






    1. Do you mean instead of Almond flour? You can use regular flour, GF flour, or GF bread crumbs!

  10. I love your revipies. I recently made the lentil bolgnase and it was deliclous!! Very flavorful and could use this receipe for lasagna as well. I also love the cilatro crema!! I enjoy making your recipes and cooking now. Thank you!!






  11. Loved these ! I used a chopped shallot for the onion, and cooked it in the skillet with a little olive oil first, and added the chopped garlic to cook a bit, before adding to the rest of the mixture in the food processor.

  12. This looks so good! Has anyone eaten them cold? Thinking they may be fun on top of a salad. Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Hi Nicole- feel free to try. They do work, but they are a little more delicate and some people have been frustrated, so I took the option out. But I have done it. 🙂 I used a flax egg.

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