Quinoa Cakes and Poached Eggs

I think it’s no secret to anyone by now that I am a breakfast junkie! At night, when I go to bed, I often dream about the breakfast that I will get to enjoy the next morning. I always really look forward to that moment. And when it finally gets here, I savor it almost as if it was for the last time.

I do tend, however, to eat mostly “sweet” breakfast: coldย  cereal,ย  warm cereal, all sorts of different kinds of oatmeal, overnight oats, pancakes, stuffed french toasts, toasts with peanut butter and banana slices, toasted banana bread, buckwheat pancakes, basically all things that lean more towards the sweet side.

Once in a while, though, I do I like to go for something that’s a little more on the salty side, namely, eggs! I can’t say I’m an egg fanatic, but I’ll never say no to a beautiful poached egg IF the yolk is runny. I don’t know if it’s more because I think they taste good or because I think they look good, though. I don’t know why, there is something about a runny egg yolk that I find particularly attractive.

So when I saw that post over at Verses from my Kitchen, I just thought I HAD to try those. Look how beautiful that yolk is! All perfectly yellow and shiny, slowly going down that parsley and quinoa cake. YUM! Oh, and to place a poached egg on top of quinoa cakes to me was pure genius! Eggs benedict have absolutely nothing on those, if you ask me!

Quinoa Cakes and Poached Egg

I have to say that I was a bit intimated, though. First, at the thought of making poached eggs. Second, at the thought of having to make my egg look as pretty as Mike’s. Let’s just say that he’d set the bar pretty high…

So poached eggs… I’d only attempted to make those once before in my life, and the experience hadn’t been what I can call conclusive. In other words, it was a mess! I was determined to succeed this time, however, for if I was going to show you guys something, it had to be pretty>. So I turned once more to my ever faithful resource, the Internet, for guidance and tips. I found this great video and it helped tremendously! The only thing is I used lemon juice instead of white vinegar for I don’t keep white vinegar around the house. I was also missing quite a few of the ingredients that the recipe called for, so I adapted it somewhat to fit the contents of my cupboard.

Frankly, this dish did not disappoint, and although it does take a long[er] time to make, which doesn’t make it your breakfast of choice for mornings when you have to go to work,ย  I think that it’s very well worth taking the time to make on a quiet week-end day…

You don’t have time to make such extensive breakfasts? I’ll let you in on a little secret. I actually had this one for dinner, not breakfast! Hey, there are no rules against that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quinoa Cakes and Poached Eggs

Yield: Serves 6

Quinoa Cakes and Poached Eggs


  • 2ยฝ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ยฝ cup (or 4) egg whites
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 45g extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • ยฝ tsp salt
  • ยผ tsp black pepper
  • About ยฝ cup watercress leaves
  • 6 poached eggs


  1. Combine the quinoa, eggs, egg whites, green onion, cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Form into six patties.
  2. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties, if theyโ€™ll fit with some room between each and cook until the bottoms are deeply browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Transfer to serving plate, top with a pinch of watercress leaves and a poached egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. The quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days; you can cook patties to order, if you prefer.



Quinoa Cakes and Poached Egg

Quinoa Cakes and Poached Egg

Quinoa Cakes and Poached Egg


  1. says

    I, too, often fall into the trap of eating sweet breakfast after sweet breakfast everyday. However, most of the time when I do crave savory food first thing in the morning a drippy poached egg is at the top of the list! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll definitely be making it soon!

    By the way, your photos are beautiful! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. says

    I love this idea…with quinoa…and eggs. Yes, yes! I’m an egg crazy person because of their high protein count and if you paired it with this amazing looking quinoa cake, then the protein would be even higher. Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    I am trying those quinoa cakes for sure. I love things like that in the form of burgers or patties, I make some with lentils or even millet, but I don’t think I’ve used quinoa before. It sounds so good ๐Ÿ˜€ And I completely agree with eggs and the runny yolk. So beautiful and so good! Although I don’t think I’ve ever poached an egg for myself before. That has to change soon ๐Ÿ˜€

    • says

      Poached eggs are a beautiful thing, really! So simple, yet so complicated. I was amazed to have succeeded at making such a delicate dish. You HAVE to give it a try. I’d say it’s extremely self-rewarding and satisfying! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. says

    These sound so tasty and healthy – and really easy to modify for gluten-free. Next time husband says ‘poached eggs?’ I’ll make some of these before he poaches the eggs!

  5. julie winnington says

    I am with you on the beautiful site of a perfectly runny egg yolk! Quinoa pattie, what a great idea…put them together? Bound to be magic. Thanks for the recipe, I always enjoy your posts.

  6. j82 says

    Oh I am SO excited to try these! I think tomorrow will be the day. Love quinoa, love eggs oozing over stuff…MMM!! Yes, I’m salivating right now :o)

  7. says

    I love breakfasty things at any time of the day! This looks like the perfect dinner for this week! Thanks for the great post! I have been wanting to make quinoa cakes and eggs so this recipe is perfect right now.

  8. Charlie says

    Hi Sonia: We are neighbours! Im from NB.

    If you were to make these cakes the day before, and keep in the fridge overnight, it would make the cooking time shorter.

    I can’t see why you couldn’t freeze them also.
    It would be worth the try.

    And speaking of tries……I will certainly be trying these!

    • says

      Howdie, neighbour! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Well, I have 2 of those cakes left in the fridge and I am planning on eating them tonight, topped with a fresh tzatziki sauce! We’ll see how good they are when they get reheated. If that doesn’t work, I am pretty sure that the quinoa mixture could be made the previous day, which would save an awful lot of time, too!

      Not sure about freezing, though. If you ever try it, let me know how it turned out! :)

  9. Irene says

    this is the same recipe that’s being featured at Heidi Swanson’s most recent book…. i thought there should be at least a mention of this as it’s pretty much the exact same thing.

    • says

      You are very right, Irene and thanks for pointing it out.

      Heidi does get mentioned in Mike’s post, though, who I cite as my source, twice. He did make this recipe after seeing it in her book, and I then made it after seeing it on Mike’s site. If this was one of my recipes, I’d be very comfortable with this kind of “rebound” credit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. says

    After seeing this photo in the Top9 I will never question why after three years I never make it… your pictures are spectacular… you are a very talented photographer… this is beyond mouth watering bravo well deserved and presention is fabulous! Claudia @Whats Cookin Italian Cuisine~ :)

  11. says

    Love this version! And thanks for the mention, much appreciated. I’m sure Heidi would be impressed, I know I am. Congrats on the foodbuzz love!

    • says

      Thanks so much Mike! Your being impressed is just sooooooo flattering to me! And it’s only natural that I would mention you, you were my inspiration after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Plus like I said, you had set the bar really high for those pictures! Yours are simply gorgeous!

      Thanks for inspiring me!

  12. Amy says

    just reading this- and I LOVE poached eggs too… so last year for Christmas, my brother brought me these silicone egg poachers- they are little silicone cups, you put in the building water- egg is perfectly shaped and doesn’t go all over the place in the water – I use them all the time ! they are the cats meow… :-) you can get them at lots of ktichen stores. oh and thanks for this quinoa recipe. definitely going to try it.

    • says

      I dunno… I kinda like the “rebel” look of regular poached eggs. Those made in the little molds are all perfectly formed and perfectly even. I think it takes away a lot of their appeal. But I will have to give them a try eventually, if only to see how good they actually work! Thanks for the tip! :)

  13. Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine says

    I often find that I like the vegetarian version of a home style classic (e.g. Eggs Benedict) better than the actual classic, so this looks wonderful! The quinoa + egg combo looks fantastic :)

    Wonderful recipe and congrats on being featured on the Foodbuzz email!

  14. says

    I love this recipe, I will totally try this tomorrow morning, and link it to my blog thanks! Hey, I really like my website and would love to have you as part of my blogging friends and blogroll, would you like to??


    i’ve never tried making a poached egg but still trying to perfect the perfect egg over easy. unlike you, i know why i like my whites cooked and the yokes running…uncooked white to me are just snotty looking and slimy tasting. for a faster breakfast, i can just see this over half an english muffin toasted, of course! i think ii like the last picture best where you can see the yoke caressing the patty. it makes me feel like you had to take the picture quickly before you finished the whole thing!

  16. says

    Whenever I delve into someone’s archives I always check out the breakfast category, because like you, I love breakfast and I’m always looking for new ideas. Being as I have recently discovered quinoa, that makes this recipe quite appealing. The poach egg on top of these cakes looks perfect! I will be giving this a try!

    • says

      Oh, and you won’t regret it. This is suprisingly tasty and has a texture that is to die for. It’s a very simple dish but I wouldn’t hesitate serving it to guests, even for dinner. It’s that good, really! Hope you like it!

  17. Julee says

    We had this for dinner tonight — absolutely wonderful! We’ll definitely make this a part of our repertoire.

  18. natalie says

    This was a hit! Snuck in some flax seed (about a tablespoon) too! My 12 month old nephew and 2 yr old niece loved the cakes on their own, while the adults enjoyed it with fried eggs and spinach and a dollop of greek yogurt on top! YUM YUM YUM Thank you so much for a winner recipe!

    • says

      Thank YOU so much for your awesome feedback, Natalie. Glad to know the recipe was a big hit with your family. It’s always so great to see kids enjoying a meal that is actually good for them. ๐Ÿ˜€

  19. says

    Thanks for the wonderful idea of a poached egg on top of my quinoa cakes! I already had made some cakes this morning, modifying a recipe I found on the Whole Foods website, but I really wanted to make this a meal without too much fuss. The poached egg was perfect, and your photo was so stunning that I just had to make one for myself! I didn’t have the watercress, but I topped my cake with some homemade basil mayo and then placed the egg on top, garnishing the entire thing with green onions and a spicy red pepper condiment from a local Indian restaurant (I made my quinoa with some tandoori masala seasoning!) My poached eggs did not turn out quite as pretty as yours, but the entire things was still yummy. Who needs toast?!

    • says

      Oooh, that sounds really yummy! See, that the the great thing about food. There are so many ways to improvise. You can take basically any recipe and turn it into something completely different depending on what you have on hand, or what you’re craving at the moment. I’m really glad that these quinoa cakes inspired you to create this delicious sounding dish. But now you got me craving them, big time! Guess what I have in the fridge right now? Cooked quinoa. Guess what I’ll be having shortly? Quinoa cakes, of course!

      Thanks a bunch for taking the time to leave such awesome feedback and share your impressions with me, Trish. I really, truly appreciate that! =D

  20. says

    the quinoa cakes look great! quick question though – would there be an acceptable substitute for watercress leaves? please let me know whenever you get a chance. thanks! this blog is great, I discovered it from Pinterest. Will be making recipes from this blog soon :)

    • says

      Hehe, glad to hear you like my blog, thanks a bunch for letting me know! Make sure you let me know how the recipes you try turn out! :)

      As for replacing watercress, any greens will do really! The original recipe called for parsley if I remember correctly, but you could use coriander, spinach leaves, arugula, mache, young sprouts, shredded kale or collards… whatever leafy green tickles your fancy, really! :)

  21. Carolyn says

    WOW! Just happened upon your recipe and was so intrigued (got to say the pics of the poached egg was the hook!) that I had to make them. I love quinoa and try to find new ways to use it…this one is a definite keeper. I seasoned them up a bit with some Garam Marsala – love that cumin! I made 6 patties and they were very plentiful. Even brought them into work for my officemates to try. Of course it was a hit! I’m thinking about making smaller, bite-size patties for appetizers and letting my imagination go wild with the toppings! Such a great recipe…thank you!

    • says

      What a brilliant idea! Turn them into little canapes… OMG, I so want to do that now. I need to organize a party just so I can make quinoa canapes! Love the addition of cumin too! Thank you so much for the inspiration Carolyn, and thanks for taking the time to leave such great feedback too! You’re awesome! =D

  22. Jamie says

    I had something very close to this today at the Portage Bay Cafe. It was quinoa cake eggs bennidict with arugula and a squash based sauce. It was the best!

  23. Jo Teefy says

    I love the sound of this recipe! I am calorie counting using myfitnesspal, so if you have any nutritional data for the quinoa cakes (especially calories!) I would be most grateful! Thanks Jo


  1. Food for Thought 30 trustudio | imagery that touches your soul | a Chicago based lifestyle photography duo trustudio | imagery that touches your soul | a Chicago based creative lifestyle photography duo says:

    […] Quinoa Burger & Tzatziki Sauceย If you don’t read these entire posts please note, you use the quinoa burger patty recipe with the tzatziki sauce recipe. You do NOT use the poached eggs. *note: I don’t care for fresh parsley that is not cooked. It overpowers the flavor, and I would suggest you use very little or completely discard it from the recipe of the tzatiki sauce. It’s typically not used anyways.ย  […]

  2. […] of mini things, and settled on mini quinoa patties with fried quail eggs on top (insipred by this). I wanted to poach the quail eggs, but I have no experience with poaching eggs, and didn’t […]

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