These scrumptious little mini cakes are not only going to please your palate, but also pack a nutrient-rich power punch. I combined quinoa and chickpeas as the base of these cakes which added firmness, moisture, and a great texture. Quinoa also has a creamy, nutty and somewhat crunchy texture that always makes it a great addition to recipes. Quinoa is a complete protein that provides all nine essential amino acids and it’s a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, and cooper to name a few. It has lysine, which is essential in helping the body grow and repair tissues. It’s been shown to help ease migraine headaches, prevents clogging of the arteries, and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Then we have our garbanzo bean a.k.a. chickpeas, a yummy legume that is a valuable course of fiber and protein. Garbanzo beans contain antioxidant rich nutrients like vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene. Garbanzo beans aid in detoxification, build immune defenses, aid in digestion, and are good for the heart. Garbanzo beans are so delicious in many recipes too….and both are soooooo YUM in this one! These also have some other nutrient-rich veggies in there; zucchini, red pepper, red onion, and celery. Oh, and we have raw cashews in the sauce! Did you know they have a lower fat content than other nuts and have the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Cashews are definitely one of my favorite nuts. And this cashew cream sauce recipe is so heavenly I could eat it alone with a spoon! But, instead of doing that, I did however thin it out with some raw apple cider vinegar to use a dressing over mixed baby romaine. I’m going to make another batch just as dressing so I can use it all week.

Mini Quinoa-Chickpea Cakes [Vegan]



For the Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Cream Sauce (Makes 1 cup)
  • ½ cup of raw cashews soaked in water for 4 hours
  • 1/2 tsp dill weeds
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • ¼ cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
For the Mini Quinoa-Chickpea Cakes
  • 1 (15 oz) can low-sodium chickpeas
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tbsp finely diced red onion
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh minced parsley
  • 2 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tbsp warm water
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional, just adds a little kick, but if you don’t like it, don’t add it)
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • Fresh scallions, thinly sliced for garnish


For the cashew cream sauce
  1. Soak 1/2 cup of cashews in water 4 hours. Drain cashews; add to the food processor or blender with remaining ingredients. Puree until creamy and smooth. Chill for 30 minutes in refrigerator before serving.
For the mini cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package instructions, but cook until all liquid is absorbed, you do not want quinoa moist. Allow to cool. Mix 1 tbps flaxseed meal with 3 tbsp warm water and set aside. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans with cold water. In a large mixing bowl, add garbanzo beans and coarsely mash with potato masher or fist (I recommend using your fist…good way to get the stress out) until all beans are nicely smashed. Add all remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
  3. Lightly spray non-stick mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon batter into each muffin cup filling almost to top. Press down firmly with back of spoon and fingers. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on top if desired. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool for five minutes. Run knife around edges and gently remove from pan.
  4. Place on a serving platter with some cashew sauce on top and garnish with chopped scallions or chives.
  5. We had this for dinner, not an appetizer this time and served it with a large mixed baby green salad with the thinned out cashew cream sauce as a dressing. SOOOOOO GOOD!


If you do not have a mini-muffin pan, you can line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spoon mixture onto parchment paper and form them into 1 1/2 inch cakes. Take your time with these and make sure they are firm. The batter will seem very moist, but I assure you they will cook just fine.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 1461 | Total Carbs: 186 g | Total Fat: 44 g | Total Protein: 55 g | Total Sodium: 804 g | Total Sugar: 15 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.