Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt Sauce

Maybe you had a pretty great Thanksgiving.

Maybe you ate too much of your Gramma’s chopped chicken liver.

Maybe your new cousin Matt wore corduroys to the family football game and nobody cared.  Maybe you spent the whole game running in circles and giggling with your other cousin, Katie, anyway, except for the time you caught two passes and did a little Tebowing.

Maybe you made Deb’s sweet potato biscuits and ate them with too much butter.

Maybe you and your Aunt Maggie tried a new pecan pie recipe that totally rocked.

Maybe you clinked lots of glasses, and drank lots of wine, and hugged lots of hugs, and sang made-up songs with your cousin Teddy at the piano.

Maybe you miss it.

Maybe you have leftover sweet potato!  Make these.


Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt Sauce

Let me just put it out there: these little cakes aren’t inherently sweet potato-ey.  They don’t scream sweet, or potato, but instead have a pleasantly grounded, cheesy, herby flavor.  The potato is definitely there, but it feels like more of a background note, a binder for the more dominant chewy quinoa, salty cheese, bright lemon and fresh herbs.  I love these warm, served over a handful of arugula with a splash of olive oil and a few spoonfuls of the cold, tangy yogurt sauce on top.


For quinoa cakes:

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 cup sweet potato purée (canned or homemade)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • canola oil, for cooking

For yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plan Greek yogurt (I used 0% Fage)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • pinch each salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


For the quinoa cakes, first cook the quinoa according to package directions, and allow to cool.  (This can be done a day or two in advance, and the cooked quinoa can be held in the refrigerator until ready to use – we need 3 cups of cooked quinoa for the cakes.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the sweet potato purée, eggs, salt and pepper until smooth.  Use the large holes on a box grater to grate the onion into the bowl, and mix to combine.  Next add 3 cups of the cooked quinoa, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, thyme and sage, and season with a bit more salt.  Mix everything well.

Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to divide quinoa mixture into 15-20 cakes, about two inches in diameter and 3/4-inch thick.

Coat the bottom of a large sautée pan with canola oil and heat over medium low heat.  Once hot, cook the quinoa cakes in the oil for 4-5 minutes a side, until nicely browned and warm throughout.  Allow to cool slightly on a paper towel-lined plate, before serving warm, with yogurt sauce.

To make the yogurt sauce, whisk together the yogurt, mustard, salt, pepper and chopped parsley until fully combined.  Serve atop warm quinoa cakes.

Makes 15-20 small quinoa cakes and 1 cup yogurt sauce.

This entry was posted in Dinner, Recipes, Smooth & Creamy, Snacks. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt Sauce

  1. kgro says:

    i miss thanksgiving. and molly.
    although i’m not sure if the word “running” is fair when referring to us in the family football game…


  2. Emily Smith says:


    You inspired my lunch! I can’t even pretend to have followed your recipe but, it had your name written all over it. With your approximate structure, I took some odds and ends from the fridge- a few mushrooms, pecans, a few artichoke hearts (all took a few trips round the food processor), quinoa, 2 eggs, a fist full of rolled oats, a sprinkle of parm…. and turned them into cakes in under 5 mins. I am currently eating them with some avocado and tomato, and doing multiple fist pumps.


    LUNCH. Brought to you by Molly!

    • molly gilbert says:

      Emily! Your version sounds SO tasty — and so quick! I think next time I’ll try them with mushrooms & artichokes!

  3. Morgan says:

    This sounds great! How much sweet potato puree would you recommend using?

  4. this sounds good. Something new to try as well. thanks for sharing this recipe.


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