Savory Millet Cakes

Savory Millet Cakes

10 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2009

In this recipe, millet is cooked to a polenta-like consistency with shredded vegetables, lemon zest and grated cheese, shaped into patties and browned in a skillet. The result is a unique pancake that's a little crunchy on the outside and creamy inside. Try them as a side dish with chicken or fish for dinner or over mixed greens for lunch.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup millet, (see Note)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ⅓ cup coarsely shredded zucchini
  • ⅓ cup coarsely shredded carrot
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in millet and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, for 20 minutes. Stir in zucchini, carrot, Parmesan, thyme, lemon zest and pepper. Cook, uncovered, maintaining a simmer and stirring often to keep the millet from sticking, until the mixture is soft, very thick and the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and let stand, stirring once or twice, until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
  2. With dampened hands, shape the millet mixture into 12 cakes or patties, 3-inch diameter (a scant ⅓ cup each).
  3. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add 4 millet cakes and cook until the bottoms are browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn the cakes with a wide spatula and cook until the other side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes more. Coat the pan with cooking spray again and cook the remaining cakes in batches, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1 up to 2 hours in advance.
  • Note: Millet, a small round golden-hued grain, is sustenance for much of the world's population. In the U.S. it is most often used as bird feed, but it is the most-consumed grain in India and is also widely eaten in Africa, South America, China and Russia. Millet provides some protein, B vitamins, fiber and trace minerals, such as magnesium and copper. Look for it in bulk bins at well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
  • Keep It Warm: If you need to cook in batches, keep your first batch warm by tenting it loosely with foil. Tenting lets steam escape, preventing sogginess while keeping food warm.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 cakes
  • Per serving: 173 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 3 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 33 mcg folate; 4 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,088 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 52 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 184 mg sodium; 127 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (22% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1- ½ starch, ½ vegetable, 1 fat

Reviews 10

February 08, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Not tasty at all Not very tasty at all, I'm afraid. I need to find a much better recipe. the pancakes stuck terribly, too. Sorry!
August 22, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Jury's still out I'm kind of on the fence about these. Fresh off the griddle, they're ok. I ate one after it had cooled and it really wasn't very good, so serving warm is important. I did like the lemon, but I think the thyme may have been a bit much. I liked them well enough, but I wouldn't call them easy, and I'm not sure the effort to make them and to clean the saucepan make it worth it. No final decision yet, but I may scrap this one. Cons: A bit labor-intensive, stuck to pan
May 24, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
This is the second time that I made this recipe, the first time the cakes were bland. This time I substituted 2 cups of chicken STOCK (not broth) for the water (using 1.5 cups of water). I also added 1/3 cup chia seed, corn, bell peppers and fresh basil. This time the cakes taste great. I am going to add quinoa as well next time. Pros: Healthy and fairly easy to prepare.
January 13, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
What about trying this with Quinoa? This is an excellent recipe. I too would at least double the seasonings. I think next time I'll try it with QUINOA This is a complete protein grain. I would have to adjust the cooking times and water. But then it would be even more nutritious. Always looking for more grain recipes other than wheat or corn. Thank you.
April 05, 2011
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By: v-wojcik
Yummy yummy yummy I made these for dinner tonight with the Louisiana catfish, corn, and okra (, and they were fabulous. The whole family loved them, and I got a request to double the recipe next time so that everyone can have more. The lemon zest sets the flavour off perfectly, and I loved the creamy centres. I will definitely make these again. A few more notes - the millet absorbed all the water in under 20 minutes, so I added the extras (zucchini, carrot, etc) and just cooked it for two minutes more before letting it cool. Also, make sure you use a good non-stick pan. I have pan that's a few years old and seems to be intact, but the cakes stuck to it. I made the second half on a new pan, and they turned out much better. Pros: Easy and delicious.
November 21, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I agree the cakes were bland, but adding about 1C nutritional yeast plus celery salt, ground mustard, and more thyme seemed to do the trick.
November 18, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Agree that the cakes were bland. I doubled the thyme, added celery salt & mustard powder and about 1C nutritional yeast for depth of flavor. Seemed to solve the problem.
August 15, 2010
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By: charyllr
This looks like just the thing. I can't eat polenta but love and can eat millet. I will try it. Thank you. Charyll
February 28, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Texture was good but needed more seasoning. A bit bland.
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