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Spinach and Cheddar Quinoa Cakes with Creamy Buffalo Dip

These spinach and cheddar quinoa cakes with creamy buffalo dip are packed full of healthy quinoa, barley and spinach. Dipped in a cream cheese buffalo sauce, they’re an addictive appetizer or side!

Last week, after 3 years without cable and thinking I got absolutely no channels on my tv, I found out that basic channels (2-13 and a bunch of Spanish channels) actually come through.

I won’t get into how dumb I felt for not knowing that or how many nights I wished for a simple episode of Jeopardy to turn on in the background while making dinner so I could scream at the tv when I actually knew an answer (or more correctly, a question).

So obviously, I watched hours and hours of news, bad daytime tv and most importantly, the new episode of Scandal last week to make up for the 3 year hiatus.

Spinach and Cheddar Quinoa Barley Cakes with Creamy Buffalo Dip

Also, I got to watch the Oscars last night.

Quinoa cakes with spinach and cheddar cheese

Normally, I avoid these celebrity gaga fests like the plague. If there’s anything more obnoxious to me than a bunch of celebs strolling down a red carpet while annoying announcers tell them how great they look and gossip over which designer (who 99.9% the population watching will never be able to afford to wear) did their dress, suit or borrowed jewelery, I honestly can’t think of it.

But, 3 years without tv will make you do crazy things and subject yourself to that exact kind of torture.

And so here’s my one observation…

When did getting pregnant before getting married in celebrity world become like the “thing” to do? Seriously, there are way more than just the handful of “exceptions” these days.

And yes, I realize how old this makes me sound but it’s not that I disapprove or anything (I really couldn’t care less about the reproductive habits of famous people) I just don’t get it.

It’s like, “oh, I can totally make my mind up that I want a kid, but marriage? Ehh, I don’t know…”

Um, newsflash people, marriage is reversible, kids aren’t. How is the kid decision an easier one to make than the marriage one? It takes way less commitment to get married than to have a kid.

18 years from now, your marriage could just be a distant memory and an alimony check but that kid will be making a mess of your house and asking for a quarter million bucks to go to college.

Quinoa and barley cakes with a creamy buffalo dip

But I’ll stop bitching about pregnant celebrities and talk about these quinoa cakes.

No tough decisions to make with these, they’re packed with quinoa, barley, spinach and cheddar, insanely good, only get better with a creamy buffalo dip and way less of a commitment than kids.

They make great party food if you you want to keep things vegetarian. If not, make these marinated chicken wings. And you won’t even realize they’re healthy and good for you!

Spinach and Cheddar Quinoa Cakes with Creamy Buffalo Dip

These spinach and cheddar quinoa cakes with creamy buffalo dip are packed full of quinoa, barley and spinach and served with a cream cheese buffalo dip.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup quinoa I used red, but any color will do
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 3 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • oil for pan frying extra virgin, coconut or bacon fat will do

For the Creamy Buffalo Dip

  • 3 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 11/2-2 tablespoons buffalo sauce


  • Combine the quinoa and barley in a small sauce pan. Add 1 cup of water, bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer, cover and let cook for about 20 minutes until water is fully absorbed. Transfer quinoa and barley to a large bowl.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the shallots, cook 1 minute then add the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the spinach and cook for about 1-2 minutes until wilted. Add the mixture to the large bowl with the quinoa and barley.
  • Beat the eggs and milk together in a small bowl then add to the large bowl.
  • Add the breadcrumbs, cheddar and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir everything together until well incorporated.
  • Using the same skillet, add about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil of choice and heat over medium-high.
  • Shape the mixture into patties and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined rack to drain. Add oil to the pan as necessary while cooking the patties.
  • Serve warm with the dipping sauce.

For the Creamy Buffalo Dip

  • Combine the cream cheese and yogurt in a small bowl and stir until mixed together and smooth.
  • Add the buffalo sauce and stir until incorporated.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1SERVING | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 562mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Cuisine American
Course Side Dishes
Keyword cheddar quinoa cakes, quinoa cakes, spinach and cheddar quinoa cakes


Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

Recipe Rating

Nancy Cox Marafioti

Saturday 11th of March 2017

Used all barley. No quinoa in the house. Frozen spinach instead of fresh. Out of garlic. Came out fabulously. Thank you!


Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Yeah !!! now I'll have tasty AND gluten free (if I stick to just quinoa) apps for the football party/ OR cocktail party


Saturday 19th of September 2015

I made these the other night, my changes

1/4 cheddar & 1/4 mozz sub barley for Bulgar like Marley did. used frozen spinach but defrosted and squeezed out as much water as I could.

It was delicious! I ended up using a 1/4 c. to portion them out and froze them for the nights I get too busy to cook from scratch.

Thank you.

The Wellness Wife

Friday 13th of February 2015

I pinned these awhile ago, but I'm going to make these tonight for dinner. I'm getting hungry just thinking about them!

50 healthy quinoa recipes - Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Thursday 9th of October 2014

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