Meat Free Monday: Cheesy Quinoa Cakes with a Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli

by Angela on January 23, 2012

This recipe caught my eye on Pinterest, my new addiction.  I’m always trying to find new ways to prepare Quinoa and we have featured a few on this site already:

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

Quinoa Salad with Toasted Almonds

Red Quinoa Avocado Salad

Breakfast Quinoa

Okay, maybe it’s more than a few.  I didn’t realize we had featured so many (pat on our backs).  But I have yet another one.  This one was delicious.  The aioli sauce made the dish for sure.  I’ve never made an aioli sauce before, so I had to look it up on Wikipedia to see what makes a sauce an aioli:

Aioli  /aɪˈoʊli/; is a traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and (typically) egg. There are many variations, such as the addition of mustard or, in Catalonia, pears. It is usually served at room temperature. The name aioli (alhòli) comes from Provençal alh ‘garlic’ (< Latin allium) + òli ‘oil’ (< Latin oleum).

Interesting huh?  Bring that up in your next conversation and you’ll sound like a professional chef, promise.

So the way this quinoa was prepared had the right flavors to be complimented by the tangy sauce.  The cheese was Fontina, another new one for me.

Fontina Cheese

I loved the flavor…very mild and milky.  Reminded me a bit of Monterey Jack, but I’m not a cheese expert so my taste buds could be way off.

Ingredients were pretty simple and preparation was easy.

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes Ingredients

My only complaint was the patties were a little greasy.  After I fried them, I put them on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.  Next time I will either reduce the oil, use coconut oil, or even just try a light cooking spray.

But they were still delicious.  Serve along with a soup or salad for dinner, or just eat alone for a light lunch (which is what I did with leftovers the next day).  Can’t wait to make this one again!

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes Finished

Recipe courtesy of

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes with a Roasted Garlic and Lemon Aioli

Servings: 10 patties


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2/3 cup grated Fontina cheese
  • 3 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste


For cakes:

  • Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Season with salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Pour oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat.
  • Form ¼ cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan. (this will have to be done in batches)
  • Cook quinoa cakes for about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked. Set aside.

For aioli sauce:

  • Place all ingredients into a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and serve alongside the warm quinoa cakes.
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admin February 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Leigh, quinoa is so good for you! Glad you are trying it out! At Harris Teeter you can find it where the rice and grains are…it’s usually by the couscous. If you shop at Costco they have large bags of it for much cheaper. Just remember if it is not pre-rinsed you need to wash it first to take out the bitter taste. Enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Leigh February 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

Ok I hate to admit, but I don’t know what quinoa is ( I did look it up, so now I know. LOL!) or where to buy it at the store. I usually shop Martins or Harris Teeter. Will they have it? This dish looks easy to make and once I find the quinoa I will be trying it out on the family. Thanks

NJ January 25, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Looks delish! Fontina is also very good on homemade pizza:)

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