Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes

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Lunchbox-perfect Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes are gluten-free, whole grain, and filled with colorful, familiar veggies.

veggie quinoa cakes

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.

veggie quinoa cakes

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!

Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes

Lunchbox-perfect Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes are gluten-free, whole grain, and filled with colorful, familiar veggies.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes
Servings: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup, chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cup broccoli, florets
  • 2 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup green peas, frozen
  • 2 large egg
  • 2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cup Quinoa, cooked


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • In a medium pan over medium heat, warm olive oil, then add onions, broccoli, and peeled and grated carrots. Saute until bright and translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Stir in frozen peas, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then fold in the cheese, cooked quinoa, and veggies. Add more salt to taste.
  • Pack the mixture into a quarter cup measuring cup, then knock the cakes onto a greased cookie sheet, spaced evenly.
  • Bake at 375 for 10 minutes, then flip, and bake 5-8 minutes more.
  • Cool slightly and serve.
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Hi Nicole! I’ve never tried these without eggs, because they definitely need something to bind them together. You could try using a “flax egg” as a binder. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!

Can the quinoa be cooked a day before and use that leftover quinoa? Or does it need to be freshly cooked quinoa?

Nathalie, you can absolutely use leftover quinoa… that’s a great way to prep ahead and make this recipe come together fast!

Hi Beth! The recipe calls for two cups of COOKED quinoa… which is about one cup raw. I usually cook more than I think I’ll need to make sure I don’t come up short. (I throw any leftovers into a soup, stir-fry, or breakfast porridge.) I hope this clears things up!

Like Amy I am wondering about making these and freezing them. My husband is deployed so it is just my 2 year old and I eating things like this, the 9 month old hasn’t gotten this far yet. Thought this might be an easy snack for my daughter but if it doesn’t freeze well I am afraid half of the amount will end up wasted.

I have a child with a legume allergy. Could you make a recommendation on what would be a good substitute to peas in this?

Hello! The recipe should work if you simply leave out the peas. Or you can increase the amount of carrots or broccoli, if you like. I hope this helps!

Thank you for a wonderful receipe. I substituted the Quinoa with sprouted green lentils and added 1 zucchini – also some bread crumbs. the result: the only veggie cakes my kids and I absultely love

Thank you!!!

I’d like to make this recipe tomorrow, but I don’t have any frozen peas and don’t plan to go out to get any in the near future. Do you think frozen corn would work as a good replacement for the frozen peas? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!