Southwest Quinoa Cakes

Southwest Quinoa Cakes

20 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2014

This healthy quinoa cake recipe is packed with protein from the black beans, eggs, cottage cheese and quinoa. We like to serve the quinoa cakes with a mouthwatering and incredibly easy blender salsa; if you don't like the heat, leave out the chipotle pepper. We like the look of red quinoa, but any color quinoa will work just as well.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, preferably red quinoa
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • ¾ cup reduced-fat cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch, divided
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (see Tip)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, chopped


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the grains are tender and reveal their spiraled germ, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, beans, cottage cheese, scallions, flour, baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt to the quinoa and stir until well combined. Divide the mixture among the muffin cups (about ¼ cup each). Top each quinoa cake with about 1 tablespoon cheese.
  4. Bake the cakes until puffed and a little brown on top, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Gently loosen and remove with a paring knife.
  5. Meanwhile, place tomatoes, garlic, chipotle pepper and a pinch of salt in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in cilantro.
  6. Serve the cakes with the salsa and avocado.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the salsa (Step 5) for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Equipment: Nonstick muffin tin with 12 ( ½-cup) cups
  • Chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful, spicy sauce. Look for the small cans with Mexican foods at large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 cakes & ¼ cup salsa
  • Per serving: 363 calories; 17 g fat(6 g sat); 7 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 128 mcg folate; 141 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 904 IU vitamin A; 16 mg vitamin C; 283 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 656 mg sodium; 527 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Folate (32% daily value), Calcium (28% dv), Vitamin C (27% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, ½ vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

Reviews 20

July 19, 2017
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By: JoMarieNo
I baked these in two Marie Calendar pie pans. The salsa really made these. And day two, OMG. As with other reviewers the sky is the limit as to what changes you make. Looking forward to making this again.
January 17, 2017
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By: Lisa Valente
I love that I can eat these for breakfast lunch and dinner and still feel satisfied. A very satisfying vegetarian meal and a really fun way to use quinoa!
October 28, 2016
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By: TomatoBasil
This is one of my all time favorite recipes. Lots of flavor and healthy too. I always make a double batch of the sauce, freeze part and use later with another batch of this dish or with other dishes. I have made this recipe a lot, is really good.
January 04, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Hearty in liquid form Like others, I made a few substitutions. Instead of beans, I used strawberries. Instead of quinoa and cottage cheese, I used protein powder and vanilla yogurt. I skipped the other ingredients which I don't really like. Rather than baking, I put these ingredients into a blender with some ice and made a smoothie. It was delicious! My only negative comment is that it doesn't seem very southwest to me. Otherwise, a great recipe!
October 04, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious! Following advice from other reviewers, I added 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp celery seeds, and 1 minced clove of garlic to the cakes and OMG SO DELICIOUS. I also substituted the shredded cheese for crumbled queso fresco. I baked mine in the pan with liners; if you allow the cakes to cool first, the liner peels away well and leaves the cake in good shape. Next time I make these, I'll be trying the greased muffin pan instead; I'm curious to see if I can get the sides and bottom to crisp up. Pros: quick, tasty, low carb
May 30, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Loved this basic healthy recipe, but have a chemistry question As others report, these cakes are bland without salsa and need to be modified to suit your taste. I love the healthy ingredients and portability but must use liners. I oiled my almost new, nonstick cupcake tins and when removed, the nonstick surface peeled off onto the bottoms and sides of almost every cake. Using liners, taking out immediately and allowing to rest 10 minutes works. Also, 1 cup of black and white quinoa ballooned to over 2 cups cooked. Makes 24 cakes easy. Will continue to make and freeze these! Pros: convenient, portable, can be tailored to individual preference, makes way more than 12! Cons: Ingredients caused chemical reaction,non stick finish adhered to cakes
January 18, 2015
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By: marti.freitag
Added more spice like other reviewers and really liked it! I made this recipe adding a little corn, chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano and just a dash of cayenne. The muffins taste good on their own, but the salsa is really good as well. Pros: ease of preparation Cons: without adding some spice, it might be bland
January 03, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Turned this into a breakfast muffin... I replaced the black beans with a cup of chopped, sauteed broccoli and skipped the salsa aspect. I used mozzarella cheese- a little on the bottom and a little on top as suggested by other reviewers. I think using a knife around the edge and allowing to cool for 10-15 min helped the removal process. I have wrapped these individually so I can quickly grab on to warm at work after the gym. My husband stole one beforehand and was totally raving about them. Pros: Perfect post-workout meal!
November 30, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
A great base to start with I read the other reviews and bumped up the flavour. I added a tbsp. of taco seasoning and approx. 1 tsp of dried oregano. Instead of the pepperjack cheese I found a habernero cheese! Lots of great flavour in the muffins. I had to cook them longer than 20 minutes ... almost 30. I will definitely make these again and keep switching up the flavours.
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