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.

Marie Simmons
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2009


Recipe Summary

2 hrs


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • With dampened hands, shape the millet mixture into 12 cakes or patties, 3-inch diameter (a scant 1/3 cup each).

  • 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 Facts

173 calories; protein 5.2g; carbohydrates 26.6g; dietary fiber 3.3g; sugars 1.2g; fat 5g; saturated fat 1.3g; cholesterol 3.8mg; vitamin a iu 1088.4IU; vitamin c 3mg; folate 32.8mcg; calcium 52mg; iron 1.1mg; magnesium 44.2mg; potassium 126.7mg; sodium 184.5mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (10)

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10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I cut the time from 2 hours to 1 hour! I made the recipe as directed only rather than letting it cool and forming the cakes by hand I used a medium-sized disher (scoop) and fried them up right away--they ended up being smaller portions so we got about 20 cakes out of it. They were really really good. In fact we had a couple as appetizers while we waited for our main course to finish cooking. My 7-year old son added a dab of ketchup to his and said "I love 'em!" Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This looks like just the thing. I can't eat polenta but love and can eat millet. I will try it. Thank you. Charyll Read More
Rating: 1 stars
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! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Texture was good but needed more seasoning. A bit bland. Read More