Lunchbox-perfect Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes are gluten-free, whole grain, and filled with colorful, familiar veggies.
Here’s an irresistible way to eat quinoa, and get your kids to eat it, too: turn the ancient grain into a tasty and portable baked lunch cake!
I’ve been cooking this recipe for my son since he was a toddler, and it’s one of those feel-good recipes that has it all: fresh vegetables, whole grains, and the melty allure of cheddar cheese. The flavor is mild and familiar for kids, but savory and interesting enough for grownups. (I once served them as hors d’oeuvres at a party. They disappeared!)
These quinoa cakes are more than flavorful and delicious; they’re also a hand-held, mess-free dish. This is GREAT for families with toddlers. For us, it means that when my daughter goes careening through the house with her lunch in her hand… I don’t have to immediately chase after her with a roll of paper towels.
It’s the little things.
Families Who Cook Together
This recipe is fantastic for getting your kids involved in the kitchen. Bigger kids can help with the cutting, grating, and sauteeing…
Toddlers can dump and stir ingredients….
And everybody can pack the mixture into a measuring cup, and whack it out onto the cookie sheet. (It reminds me of making sand castles… with lunch! Who says you can’t play with your food??)
When the piping hot, crispy-on-the-outside Quinoa Cakes come out of the oven, we like to serve them with a side of fresh fruit. Choose purple and red-hued fruit and see a complete rainbow on your kiddo’s plates!
Feel free to get creative with substitutions and additions in this recipe. I’ve added chicken, corn, and even finely-chopped green beans. Just be sure to keep your total volume of add-ins close to the original recipe, so you have enough egg and cheese to bind it all together.
Tuck leftover Quinoa Cakes into lunchboxes, or pile them into a freezer bag for another meal in the future. They freeze beautifully. In fact, I made them part of my freezer-meal prep before my daughter was born. (For a sleep-deprived mama with a newborn, there’s nothing quite so reassuring as a quick and healthy meal for the big kids.)
When you’re ready to reheat, just pop them in the oven for 15 minutes, until they’re heated through.
Here’s to the newest generation of quinoa-lovers!