I had originally planned to share this lovely meal with you as a post-Thanksgiving suggestion, some lighter fare after days of holiday excess and leftovers.  I may be a week behind schedule but I have been chomping at the bit to share this recipe (always the sign of a really good one).  If you are not familiar with quinoa (pronounced keen-WA), I highly recommend giving it a try soon.  Most quinoa recipes I’ve encountered so far are similar to a stir fry, using the quinoa as a base with whatever you like mixed in.  The idea of forming it into patties is genius and a fresh take on this protein-rich grain.  As with fried rice, the quinoa should be made in advance and cooled before making this dish.  And speaking of fried rice, the flavors of this meal were very reminiscent of fried rice to me…a very good thing in my book.  As you might imagine, the patties are fairly delicate but just use a light hand when flipping them and you should be okay.

As a side note, can you believe I’ve never made poached eggs before now?  I have always loved over easy eggs and these taste similar, but healthier.  I know there are lots of special kitchen gadgets you can find to make a perfect poached egg at home but I’ve already got enough stuff in my kitchen.  Thankfully a few seconds of Googling led me to this wonderful explanatory post from Smitten Kitchen.  I really have nothing to add to her instructions so I’ll let you refer there for the basic technique.  It took me an egg or two to get the hang of it, but even the ugly first tries were very tasty.  This meal has already been put into heavy rotation in our home, and I hope you give it a try in yours.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • Olive oil, for frying patties
  • (for serving) Shaved Parmesan
  • (for serving) 6 poached eggs (one for each patty)
  • (for serving) Salt and pepper


  • 01

    In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, chives, shallots, Parmesan, and garlic.  Stir to blend.  Mix in the bread crumbs and stir gently until evenly incorporated.  Form the mixture into six evenly sized patties, about 3-4 inches in diameter.

  • 02

    Heat a bit of olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat and swirl to coat.  Add the patties to the pan so that they are not touching.  Let cook about 4 minutes or until the first side is lightly browned.  Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and let the second side cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes more.  Repeat with the remaining patties, using additional olive oil if needed.  Top each patty with a bit of shaved Parmesan, a poached egg, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

  • This looks wonderful! I have never seen a recipe like this, but I like all the ingredients so I bet it is really tasty. I am going to give this a try over the weekend and see what everyone thinks! Thanks for posting!

  • Keterah

    Very delicious! I made poached eggs for my husband, and scrambled for me!

  • Keterah

    Very delicious! I made poached eggs for my husband, and scrambled for me!

  • Gust

    I was exhausted tonight and almost didn’t make these but I powered through and I’m glad I did. This was a tasty, easy recipe that we really enjoyed. I was worried the cakes were going to fall apart so I ended up using four eggs in the mixture instead of two. They held together, but just barely. Still, it was a healthy recipe that I’m adding to our regular roster. If you’re contemplating making these, just do it!

  • These were a hit with everyone in our family. Thanks for posting!

  • Anissa

    These were awesome. Great recipe for the healthy new year eating. I only cooked about 1/2 cup dry quinoa, which didn’t quite result in 2 cups of cooked, but it was the perfect ratio with the rest of the ingredients and the patties held together great.
    We also thought it needed a type of sauce on it, so we just topped it with some fresh salsa which complimented all the flavors.
    SO GOOD!!!

  • Elizabeth

    Just made these last night to pack into lunches; they are delicious! I ended up using about 3/4 c breadcrumbs and only used one large shallot instead of two (I’m not a huge fan of shallots). Also, instead of adding salt to the recipe I just cook my quinoa in low-sodium vegetable broth… adds a ton of flavor!
    Thanks for this recipe, it’s definitely a keeper and one that not only goes well with salad, but I think also makes for good “meat” to a sandwich. I am tempted to use this as a base recipe for some kind of veggie burger…

    (I will say, too, that these for lunch are following a week of leftover stovetop mac and cheese -listed above- which is really tough to beat!)

  • Alice

    Made these last night for dinner and I am happy to report that my husband and I loved them! I used red quinoa since that’s what I had around and added a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes – they were just delicious! Served them over arugula dressed with a basic vinaigrette and am having the last one today for lunch in a pita pocket with hummus. Thanks for sharing such a healthy and fun new way to use quinoa!

  • Emesisbasinrn

    Found this looking for a meatless patty recipe… can’t wait to try it out (along with your gyro and pita recipes I found from the pics on your page too). As a side note, quinoa really isn’t a grain at all, but a seed (like amaranth)..so its great for those with celiac!!

  • Yay, I finally got to make these tonight! I’ve been trying to work them into the rotation, and finally made the quinoa a couple of days ago while I cooked something else on the stovetop. My 4 year old son ate 2 and we both really loved them. This is a great one, and so nice to find tasty, simple, complete vegetarian meals here. Thanks Annie!

  • Thanks Annie! This looks and sounds fabulous. Your photos are divine. I now know what’s for breakfast in our house Saturday morning~I’ll tell the Brit that the Quinoa Cake is hashbrowns!

  • Liz Sobrino

    You can also bake the quinoa in a preheated oven at 400. I use a cookie cutter to shape the quinoa cakes and place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven. They come out crispy and maintain their shape.

  • Anonymous

    Good to know, thanks!

  • Made this last night with the DH…they were F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S! Thank you so much for the recipe. We’ve been looking for a good recipe that used quinoa and we found one! Love you, Annie’s Eats!

  • Jaclyn

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I’ve never poached an egg before either, but I followed Smitten Kitchen’s instructions and they were perfect! Thanks for the great recipe as always.

  • This looks really good. That runny egg is totally making the photo!

  • nancyc

    I love poached eggs and really needed something other than toast to serve them. Making this!

  • This was my first time making Quinoa… I’ve decided it’s going to become a regular staple in my diet: IT’S DELICIOUS!

  • Christy

    Wondering if you’ve found a place that sells Quinoa for a reasonable price. The cheapest I found is $4.98 for 12 oz at Walmart.

  • Anonymous

    I would consider that reasonable for quinoa, but I honestly don’t pay that much attention. I think it’s a similar price at my grocery store (Meijer).

  • Rachel

    Costco has the best price I’ve found. Something like $10 64 oz.

  • Macaire1

    Costco sells it in a large bag (2-3 pounds) for less than ten dollars.

  • Christy

    Ok – thanks. Just seemed pricey to me considering it’s just a grain. I found it a bit cheaper on Amazon ($.30/oz).

  • payal

    Just saw some organic Quinoa at Trade Joe’s for about $3.50

  • Faith

    I found that Trader Joe’s has the best price for quinoa. It’s not in bulk, but rather a box. Unfortunately, our closest TJ’s is 2.5 hrs away, so I stock up. :)

  • Gwyn Moseley

    Annie, these are out of this world delicious!!! And healthy!! As always, thank you for sharing your creations – my meat-and-potatoes boyfriend made and absolutely loved these, so it’s a winner in my book!

  • Christy

    Fresh bread crumbs or dried? My patties are falling apart. :(

  • Anonymous

    I use dry (panko). They are pretty delicate but if you can get one side cooked, it’s easier from there.

  • Christy

    I used Panko too. I wasn’t very patient so maybe that’s why I had trouble.

  • Meg

    My my these were so yummy… I didn’t have chives or shallots… so I just used what I had on hand… green onions :)…. but they worked so all is good!!

  • Allie

    These are fantastic! I served the cakes on a bed of spinach and smoked salmon, it was delightful.

  • Janet

    This looks and sounds delicious. I will be trying it soon! I liked Allie’s idea of adding some smoked salmon.

  • Siina

    I made this recipe for my family and we all loved it! So delicious. I made the recipe exactly as written, but found a little trick for keeping the cakes together. I squished the mixture into a 1/4 measuring cup to form the patties, then popped them out. They didn’t fall apart during the cooking process at all.

  • Made these tonight without the egg and they were fabulous! Made some minor changes and we had them with fish. I am trying to add quinoa into our diet and knew I would find a great recipe on your site! Thx for sharing!

    FYI – I tried to Pin this using your ‘pin it’ button but the images for this recipe are not available for pinning.

  • annieseats

    That should be corrected now. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Shelly

    These were really easy to make and my husband LOVED them! The egg really topped it off….great blend of textures and flavor. I have never poached an egg before, but I followed the intructions on the link that you attached, and it worked like a charm! I was asked by the hubbs to include this into the regular recipe rotation, so I know this is a keeper! Thanks!

  • Jenna

    I just made these for lunch and it might be the best thing that’s ever come out of my kitchen (I think I say that every time I make one of your recipes..) They were AMAZING, and the shaved parmesan and poached egg definitely took it to the next level. I can’t wait to make these again, absolutely delicious. I was having a little bit of a hard time at first when figuring out how to shape the patties, it was a little messy. But then I got a round biscuit cutter (round cookie cutter would be good too) and packed it down through the top with the back of a spoon, and every patty turned out perfect. Thanks for a wonderful recipe that makes me feel a lot fancier than I actually am! :)

  • Costco in our area also has it and it’s cheaper than TJ’s in case that is closer for you. I also found it fairly cheap at Winco and Sprouts.

  • I have never commented before, but had to when I noticed that your recipes are posted by popularity. These quinoa cakes are amazing!! And more people need to make them!! I almost never repeat a recipe ( there are just too many good ones out there to try!) And I have made these many times. Our favourite way is on salad, topped with tomato, avocado and ranch dressing – hold the egg. Thanks for your awesome recipes!!!!

  • Oh Annie…these were delicious! Just made a batch for brunch with our houseguests, to rave reviews. Thanks for the time and effort you spend on developing and sharing recipes. :)

  • annieseats

    Wonderful! So glad they were a hit. Still one of my favorite recipes, and we make them often!

  • Laurel Nippert Miller

    I made these with farro instead of quinoa because that was all I had on hand. They were fantastic! Thanks for the recipe. P.S. I miss the curvy carrot.