Cakes without sugar. Not sure how I feel about this baloney.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

I thought they might rank up there with my husband’s lack of sleeves on shirts, biting into an unsuspecting fennel seed (haaaate) on my pizza, the googly eye that the Target cashier gave me when I purchased three neon bras from the junior section and anything – and I do mean ANYTHING – that requires me to have patience.

But I was wrong. I’m in lust.

A few nights ago it dawned on me that we hadn’t eaten potatoes – like, regular Idaho’s or russets or whatever – in ages. No idea why, other than pure lazi-and-forgetfulness. So I was absolutely craving them, and more specifically I wanted mashed potato pancakes cooked in bacon grease and delivered to me on a warm plate with a few dipping sauces while I stayed firmly planted on the couch.

That didn’t happen.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

Wah! Life is sooooo unfair.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

THIS is what happened though. Messy hands.

I had two lonely sweet potatoes left, a container of cooked quinoa ready to go for breakfast, and I wondered what the heck would come of combining the two with some cheese and bread crumbs and herbs and stuff. And patting them into little cakes for a dinner side. Oh and topping them with fruit salsa! Because I am clearly incapable of going one week without cutting some fruit into little cubes, combining it with onion, lime and cilantro and proclaiming it the best salsa on Earth. Again.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

The sweet and the savory, the warm and the cool, all combined with fluffy cakes that possess a tiny bit of quinoa chew might just be my new favorite side dish. For now anyway. And maybe tomorrow. I mean it’s not like I’m fickle or anything.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

[adapted from Heidi Swanson]

makes 4 cakes, is super easily multiplied

1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.

Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Serve with blackberry salsa!


Blackberry Salsa

1 pint fresh blackberries, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

the juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and mix.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa I

I totally think these should be cooked in bacon grease too… I was fresh out. Sad day.

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218 Responses to “Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes with Blackberry Salsa.”

  1. #
    Amy — June 4, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

    Is one enough per person? I can’t tell how big they are.


  2. #
    olivia — June 5, 2012 @ 1:24 am

    these look amazing! I make veggie burgers with quinoa all the time, but never thought to add sweet potato. Great idea.


  3. #
    Chris — June 8, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    I love strawberry salsa! I’m going to have to try the sweet potatoes! Looks delicious. Thanks for ur idea!


  4. #
    Laura — June 9, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    I have tried so many of your recipes, including this one, and they never fail! My husband and I both look forward to eating your new creations! I have to say, I read a lot of cooking blogs and your’s is by far the most innovative and enjoyable to read. You’d be really great on your own tv show or with some cook books!


    • Jessica — June 10th, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

      Thank you so much Laura!


  5. #
    vrr — June 11, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    Excellent, I followed recipe exactly, and quadrupled for a potluck….these were sooooo fantastic, and I felt so awesome serving them. Thank you so much! I appreciate you sharing this.


  6. #
    Kathi Peterson Thomas — June 11, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    Just made this – it was absolutely delish. A lot of chopping, but worth it. Buy a rather large bunch of cilantro – you’ll need it. We plan to make these for our church small group dinner and at Christmas, and… in big batches….


  7. #
    lauren — June 12, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    Amazing. I didn’t have cilantro so I added fresh grated ginger. I also sautéed in coconut oil- the only thing better would have been the bacon grease :) They were to-die-for! Also, I just baked the sweet potatoes and stooped it out of the skin. Skipped the step of peeling and chopping!


  8. #
    Sheila — July 5, 2012 @ 12:40 am

    Terrific recipe. I used Molokai sweet potato, it’s purple inside, so the burgers were purple and very tasty!


  9. #
    gabriella — July 11, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    i just made a delicious dinner! thank you for the great recipe! i only had frozen blackberries :( at home so i made blackberry chutney instead, it was still very flavourful. my only problem is that i can’t seem to find a quinoa brand that sells their product without dirt… so cleaning and rinsing took a bit longer… any suggestions?


    • Kristina — November 25th, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

      I buy pre-rinsed quinoa at Sam’s Club.


  10. #
    Jeannine — July 25, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

    Wow, delicious! I made these for my toddler so I doubled the recipe but kept just 1/2 an onion, and I used garlic and herb breadcrumbs instead of adding the individual herbs. Even my husband, who hates sweet potato, loved them!


  11. #
    Rolina — July 30, 2012 @ 9:43 am

    After buying all the other ingredients, I discovered that blackberries could suddenly not be found in all of my local grocery stores in Montreal. Wrong season, I guess. The solution? Mangos. Delicious!


  12. #
    Lil'Debbie — July 30, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

    I would also like to say… I LOVE THIS RECIPE. Made it tonight and it was delicious! tasted sorta like crab cakes…. only no crab (obviously) … i also used mangos instead of blueberries only because I had a mango that was about to go bad if I didnt use it…. DELISHHHHH!!! Once again thanks again… looking forward to snooping around this site and discovering more yummmies.


  13. #
    Mallory — August 27, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    Oh my gosh, these are absolutely amazing! I substituted blueberries, peaches, and strawberries because I didn’t have any blackberries on hand. I also served them on wilted spinach and had them as a meal. Yum!!! This is definitely a keeper :)


  14. #
    Shannon — September 8, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    I just made these for lunch and it was amazingly delicious. Thank you so much for such a simple recipe. I paired mine with steaks marinated in BBQ sauce that I quickly pan fried. For anyone wondering, 1 is enough as a side or part of a full dish. 2 with 6oz of steak definitely filled me up.


  15. #
    Morgan — September 13, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    can these be reheated?


  16. #
    Laura — September 24, 2012 @ 6:16 am

    Those look absolutely delish.
    PS I am still giggling at the googley eye. :)


  17. #
    Betsey — September 29, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

    This recipe turned out FABULOUSLY! Extremely flavourful and crisp. Thank you so much for posting it – the sweet potato Quinoa Cakes are going to be a new essential on my meal plans. Thanks so much!


  18. #
    Ebony — October 2, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    Just found this on Pinterest. This was DELISH!! I added a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the sweet potato. YUMMM! Thx!


  19. #
    kathy — October 23, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    I was googling something else entirely and this recipe came up….and I have BACON GREASE and a GINORMOUS yam and cooked quinoa. this is going to be lunch thanks for idea


  20. #
    Elizabeth — December 17, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    Just made these after finding them on Pinterest and they are amazing Did cajun catfish with these cakes and mango salsa thanks


  21. #
    Jackie — January 19, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

    OMG! I just found this on pinterest and made these. Made mine with a strawberry chutney as that is all I had fruit wise. AMAZING! Will be following you from here on out.


  22. #
    Kristen Buccini — January 31, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    Found this recipe on Yummly and made them tonight, DEELISH :-)
    I did the same as the last girl and made a strawberry salsa since that’s what I had.
    I’m a new fan :-)


  23. #
    Heidi — February 24, 2014 @ 1:52 am

    Hi! These look amazing–what could I substitute for the bread crumbs? Doing a gluten/processed food-free cleanse:)
    Thank you!!


    • Laura — March 24th, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

      I would also love to know this! Thanks!


    • Peg — August 11th, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

      I cook gluten-free and always use rice crackers ground up in a food processor or blender as a substitute for bread crumbs. For a recipe like this I might use the wasabi rice crackers.


  24. #
    Denise — March 28, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

    Loved them!!! I did make a bit different. I had some baked sweet potato so I used that I also did not cook the onion or garlic. I used oat bran and some coconut flour in place of the flour. I cooked in a non stick pan so no oil. The salsa I made exactly. Thank you for sharing!


  25. #
    Morgan — May 8, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

    OMG these are amazing! I created these tonight and ate two they were so good! I topped mine with a sautéed portabella and a side of corn salsa which has corn, tomato, avocado, cilantro, and lime juice.
    So good!!!! Thanks


  26. #
    Juie — June 16, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

    I bought all of the ingredients and have been trying to make these for FOUR days now! I finally made them this morning for breakfast and LOVED them just as much as I hoped that I would! Thank You!


  27. #
    Maria — June 21, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

    This was a delicious recipe, loved the blend of flavors, I might try patting sesame seeds on both sides before cooking. The Blackberry salsa is fabulous too!
    Thanks for sharing!


  28. #
    marie — August 15, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

    Just tried them for supper, both me and my roommate kept out moaning each other in delight lol it was so good! I skipped the fruit salsa as it’s not really my thing but i made a yogurt based lime sauce and it was very good with it. Thanks for the recipe!


  29. #
    Marji Oliver — January 26, 2015 @ 5:10 pm

    ive just been introduced to quinoa and cooked some for the first time last night. It is amazing stuff and I want to start using it in place of rice. I can’t wait to try these cakes. I also make mango chutney and tomato relish every year so will be able to make some variations. I think serving over chopped kale would be another get healthy alternative.


  30. #
    Jane Campbell — March 30, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

    These look delicious. Love the idea of blackberry salsa. I am not always a fan of tomato salsa, too Commom! Can’t wait to try these!


  31. #
    Eric — June 10, 2015 @ 11:03 am

    Made these last night with the addition of some hot curry powder to the cakes. Also added some maple syrup to the salsa. Put down some mixed baby greens, roasted some beets and onions, layed them on top of the salad topped with the cakes and salsa. Absolutely tasty. Will be doing it again.


  32. #
    Janet — June 21, 2015 @ 10:18 am

    What is the nutritional content ? calories, carbs, fat etc.


    • Mary — June 21st, 2015 @ 7:42 pm

      Based on the ingredients in mine, each cake would be ~185 without the salsa. My sweet potato was 7oz and I used a cage free liquid egg product. I would add ~30 calories for the salsa, I made it as directed and placed a spoonful on each cake.


  33. #
    plasterer bristol — September 1, 2015 @ 3:09 am

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



  34. #
    Sarah — November 3, 2015 @ 10:46 am

    Could you substitute quinoa flakes or something else for breadcrumbs?



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