Chipotle Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes


January 21, 2013 by Meg G.

We have a habit of eating out on Friday nights. As much as we menu plan, we often run out of options (or steam) and find ourselves faced with a dilemma – should we get creative or get lazy? (More often than not, laziness wins out.) Lucky for you, this week, we got creative and we were not disappointed.

Quinoa Cakes with Garnish

Taking a look around the kitchen, we found some black beans and half an onion that needed to be used. Somehow, Heather came up with the brilliant suggestion of quinoa cakes. Having never made such a thing, but figuring that they couldn’t be that different from homemade bean burgers, we went for it. After some research, we settled on sweet potato black bean quinoa cakes on a bed of sautéed kale and tomatoes. Here goes!

Chipotle Sweet Potato Black Bean Quinoa Cakes with Smoky Tomato Kale – via Closet Cooking and Eat and Relish


For the Quinoa Cakes: (makes 12 small patties; perhaps 6-8 burgers?)

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained (we used slightly less because that’s what we had)
  • 2 cups sweet potato, grated
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chill powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

For the Tomato Kale:

  • 1 small bunch kale (about 1/2 lb)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes (in the Summertime, sub in 3-4 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt & fresh pepper
  • greek yogurt or sour cream for serving
  • olive oil

Baked Cake

For the Quinoa Cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Mash half of the beans in a large bowl, mix in the rest of the beans, shredded sweet potato, cooked quinoa, cumin, chill powder, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, egg, and bread crumbs.
  3. Form the mixture into patties about 3/4 inch thick and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. You can make them whatever size you’d like – smaller cakes or larger burger patties.
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 8-12 minutes per side.

Shaping the Cakes

Pre-Baked Cakes

For the Tomato Kale:

  1. Once the quinoa cakes are in the oven, remove the woody stems from the kale, and chop into bite size pieces.
  2. In a sauté pan with high sides, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add in the minced garlic, and stir continuously for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the cinnamon and smoked paprika, and stir for an additional 15-20 seconds, just until the spices are fragrant and combined with the garlic.
  3. Add in the chopped tomatoes and their juices, raise the heat to medium-high, and stir to combine. When the tomatoes are heated through and the juices start to bubble, add in the chopped kale. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the kale until it is wilted and tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve quinoa cakes on a bed of tomato kale and top with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt.


Kale and Tomatoes

Sauteéd Tomato Kale

Quinoa Cakes, Kale, Garnish

So, if you’re looking to take your Friday night from take-out to from-scratch in just about 30 minutes, this smoky, savory recipe just might be the ticket. The burgers are nice and smoky, thanks to the chipotle. The kale has a subtle sweetness, thanks to the cinnamon. Together, they make a warm, hearty meal that you can feel great about making any night of the week, preparing for that company you’re expecting, or packing for lunch. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Chipotle Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

  1. Hi! I just found you via Joy’s post and really love what I’ve seen of your site so far! These quinoa cakes look divine, as I am mildly obsessed with quinoa, sweet potatoes AND black beans. Definite win. Can’t wait to try them! I’m blogging too (just started in December), you can find me at if you’re interested :).

    • Meg G. says:

      Mere – so nice to meet you here! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Your blog (and life?) looks right up my alley. I look forward to following along. Let me know how the quinoa cakes go! : ) -Meg

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