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
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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!

More quinoa recipes to try

Cheesy quinoa
Pesto beef quinoa bake
Quinoa corn fritters

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5 from 1 vote

Spinach and Cheddar Quinoa Cakes with Creamy Buffalo Dip

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
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.


  • 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.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 321kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 12gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 562mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American


Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

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

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Recipe Rating


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