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Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Parmesan Fritters

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Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Parmesan Fritters – delicious, healthy snack that everybody in your family will love!

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Quinoa tastes AMAZING in this recipe! If you like quinoa you will like it even more after making these savory mini cakes.

spaghetti squash quinoa cakes with sour cream, fritters with Greek yogurt

To make these spaghetti squash cakes, you will need to precook the spaghetti squash in the oven as described in the instructions below. IMPORTANT STEP: After you baked the squash, cooled it, and scraped it with a fork to remove the flesh in long strands, wring out the spaghetti squash by wrapping portions of it in paper towels and squeezing hard with your hands over the sink. Be careful not to drop the spaghetti squash into the sink if the paper towel breaks. Try to get rid of as much liquid as you can. Then, mix in the spaghetti squash with the rest of the ingredients:

mixing cheeses, quinoa and spaghetti squash to make cakes or fritters

The key to making fritters successfully and making sure they don’t stick to the pan is to heat your skillet very hot before adding fritters. By that, I mean that you will need to heat the skillet before even adding oil (otherwise oil will burn). Once the skillet is heated and very hot, add oil which should sizzle immediately and roll all over the pan. Then add tablespoonfuls of fritters. They should not stick at all. They would stick, however, if your skillet is not hot enough. Experiment and you’ll see. 🙂 Get your skillet very hot only for the first batch of fritters, then you can reduce the heat because the skillet will already be heated through enough.

frying fritters on the skillet

Note that the recipe includes spinach which I mainly add because it makes fritters more colorful, and it also adds nice flavor. You can see that spinach is OPTIONAL in my ingredient list, as I mainly add it for color.

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If you ever made crepes, you will find that making fritters is very similar to making crepes in terms of how hot you want to get your skillet for the very first batch of fritters.

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These fritters taste amazing with a dollop of sour cream on top:

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Or just plain – you’ll love them either way:

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Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Parmesan Fritters

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 14 fritters

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Parmesan Fritters

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup flour (for gluten free version, use multi-purpose gluten-free King Arthur flour)
  • 2 cups spaghetti squash, cooked and wringed out (see below)
  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup fresh spinach, finely chopped (OPTIONAL)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For garnish:
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • dollop of sour cream or Greek Yogurt

Instructions

    The recipe requires 2 CUPS COOKED spaghetti squash. First 3 steps describe how to cook spaghetti squash (this can be done 1 or more days in advance):
  1. Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the squash in 2 halves, scrape out the seeds and the fiber out of each half. Spray oil over the cut sides of the squash. Spray the baking sheet with oil and place the squash on the baking sheet cut side down.
  3. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Remove it from the oven when it's cooked through and soft, and let it cool. Flip the squash so that cut side faces up – that will speed up the cooling. After squash cools, scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands and transfer to a bowl. Let it cool.
  4. Important: Wring out the spaghetti squash by wrapping small portions of it in paper towels and squeezing hard with your hands over the sink. Be careful not to drop the spaghetti squash into the sink if the paper towel breaks. Try to get rid of as much liquid as you can.
  5. Cooked spaghetti squash can be refrigerated for 5 days. I prefer to cook spaghetti squash, refrigerate it and make fritters the next day or 2 days later - that allows spaghetti squash to drain the liquid out and get dryer, which is preferable for fritters.
  6. Now, on to how to make fritters:
  7. In a large bowl, using electric mixer, beat 2 eggs on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and continue beating for about 30 seconds to combine. To the same bowl, add spaghetti squash, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, finely chopped spinach, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix very well until all the mixture has uniform consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, even though it should be just perfect.
  8. Heat a large skillet on high-medium heat until VERY hot. Only then add olive oil. It should sizzle and smoke right away. Using a tablespoon, spoon the tablespoon-ful of the batter for each fritter and drop on the skillet. Using a spatula, correct the shape of each fritter, making it flatter and rounder. Cook until the bottom side of each fritter is golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Using spatula, flip fritters to the opposite side, and cook 1-2 more minutes. When flipping the fritters, you can use a spoon on the opposite side of spatula to help push each fritter onto the spatula and then flipping. Turn off the heat and let the fritters sit in the skillet (uncovered) for 2-3 more minutes (check the bottom to make sure it's not burned - if it is too dark, remove fritters from the skillet immediately). Do 4 fritters at a time.
  9. Serve as is, or top with the dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and chopped green onions (delicious if served this way!).
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{ 65 comments… add one }
  • Jacqueline Meldrum October 25, 2014, 5:36 am

    I am loving these fritters. They would make a wonderful Sunday brunch with a poached egg. Ive never actually cooked or even eaten spaghetti squash before. Never seem them for sale. They must be in short supply in Scotland.

    • Julia October 27, 2014, 2:44 pm

      You’re absolutely right! I love to eat these for breakfast! 🙂 Spaghetti squash is sometimes hard to find here too – not all stores sell it. It’s definitely not an everyday grocery item that’s easy to buy. 🙂

      • toni September 26, 2015, 8:34 pm

        How many calories

  • Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine October 25, 2014, 7:23 am

    These look fantastic. I’m thinking they would be great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

    • Julia October 27, 2014, 2:45 pm

      Absolutely, I love to have these for breakfast!

  • ahu @ ahueats October 25, 2014, 2:55 pm

    What a colorful and delicious looking recipe! I adore quinoa – pinning this to my ‘to try’ list!

    • Julia October 27, 2014, 2:46 pm

      Thank you! I love quinoa and it goes pretty deliciously with squash!

      • Jennifer August 4, 2016, 6:02 pm

        Hi!
        Excited to makes these tonight!! Do I have to cook the quinoa first before I had it to the mixture?

        Thanks!

      • Jennifer August 4, 2016, 6:12 pm

        Hi!
        Excited to make these tonight!

        Do I have to cook the quinoa first before adding to the mixture?

        Thanks!

  • Carole from Carole's Chatter October 25, 2014, 7:02 pm

    Hi Julia, great dish! How about adding it to the Food on Friday: Cheese collection over at Carole’s Chatter? Cheers

    • Julia October 27, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Thank you!

  • Matt October 25, 2014, 8:17 pm

    Yummmmm

    • Julia October 27, 2014, 2:48 pm

      Yes! Is it Matt from running savvy?

  • Marissa | Pinch and Swirl October 26, 2014, 12:54 pm

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never found a recipe with spaghetti squash that I’ve cared for. But this!!! I believe you’ve done it. 😉 Truly can’t wait to try this recipe.

    • Julia October 27, 2014, 2:49 pm

      I so agree with you! I’ve been trying to come up with new recipes with spaghetti squash, and I am having a hard time. 🙂 I like these fritters the best so far! 🙂

      • Grite Storm April 5, 2015, 8:55 pm

        These are delicious, and fun to make.
        Any idea how many calories?

  • sarah k @ the pajama chef October 27, 2014, 5:27 pm

    mmm, these look tasty!

  • cheri October 27, 2014, 7:53 pm

    Hi Julia, your fritters look so delicious, love this combination. Pinned!

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 29, 2014, 5:28 pm

    We love making spaghetti squash fritters and this looks so yum 🙂

  • Sarah November 7, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Can I use nutritional yeyeast in place of the parmesan or will the fritters not bind together properly?

  • Heather @ HeatherOMade November 13, 2014, 11:35 am

    yum! have to try for sure!

  • Kelly M November 15, 2014, 9:41 am

    These definitely look delicious and easy! Do they freeze well?

  • Kathy November 15, 2014, 8:38 pm

    I thought these were just ok. I don’t foresee making them again in the future.

  • Jill S December 1, 2014, 6:29 pm

    Tried these tonight and they were awesome! I modified the recipe slightly and wanted to pass along my changes in case anyone else wanted to try them…

    I made my quinoa in a rice cooker and added some minced garlic and chicken boullion cubes when cooking for a little extra flavor.

    Also, I had some leftover corn in the fridge (about a 1/2 cup) so I dumped that in to the mixture.

    I fried 2 of the fritters as per the directions – no problem! Delicious! But, because I like to avoid fried foods whenever possible, I spooned the rest of the mixture into a small non-stick muffin pan. I’d estimate each cup took a generous tablespoon full of the mixture. I baked it at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Yield: 24 delicious little squash bites!

    They came out perfectly and tasted just as delicious as the fried fritters. I’m planning on throwing them in the freezer and taking out a few at a time whenever I’m in the mood.

    Thanks for a GREAT receipe! Loved it!
    Jill

    • shayna December 14, 2014, 12:21 pm

      i like the idea of baking them like you did. I don’t like frying either. thanks for the tip, cant wait to try !

    • Liz February 4, 2015, 9:51 am

      wonderful idea…i was going to try baking on a cookie sheet but your muffin idea is great thank you!

  • Jennifer December 17, 2014, 6:12 pm

    I guess this may be obvious to most people, but I need clarification on the amount of quinoa. As written, “2 cups quinoa, cooked” would indicate to me that you start with 2 cups raw quinoa, then cook it. But this seems like a lot. Should it be 2 cups cooked quinoa?

    • ann April 25, 2016, 7:44 pm

      Just in case anyone else is looking for the answer to this question. I searched a few other recipes online & yes…. you cook the quinoa & then measure out the 2 cups.
      Made this for Meatless Monday & my husband actually put back the leftover chicken fingers & had these fritters w/a nice serving of Brussel Sprouts! They were very good. I’ll maybe add a little more onion or seasonings next time. I baked them in the oven, too.

  • Sharon January 4, 2015, 3:08 pm

    Just made these and they were awesome! I actually used some leftover spaghetti squash from the previous day and didn’t use spinach but did put some fresh parsley in it. Yum!

  • Daisy January 10, 2015, 3:28 pm

    So if i only have one half of squash i should cut the ingredients in half right?

  • Heather February 2, 2015, 8:15 pm

    I make mine in Coconut Oil and definitely freeze them in individual servings for later use in some wax paper!

  • Janette February 11, 2015, 11:51 pm

    I’m always looking for recipes that involve quinoa to make it looking like I”m trying to be healthy;-) This one I’m for sure going to make! Thanks for sharing!

  • Deb LeMay March 18, 2015, 6:51 pm

    I can’t do flour are there any alternatives? Almond meal/flour???

  • Tanya May 6, 2015, 7:10 pm

    I just made these, replacing the flour with Panko and added extra basil – instead of frying I cooked them in the waffle iron! My kids and husband couldn’t get enough.

  • karen May 21, 2015, 10:39 am

    Can’t wait to try these,yummy!

  • Amanda June 5, 2015, 3:22 pm

    Anyone figure out the calories on these delicious bad boys?

  • michelle June 24, 2015, 7:32 pm

    Can you please let me know how many calories?? Thank you! Can’t wait to try this!

  • Mary July 6, 2015, 9:10 am

    Is there a way to make these without egg?

    • shel September 19, 2015, 3:45 pm

      I use flax meal (ground flax or ground chia seeds work too)
      Wisk together 1 Tbsp ground flax and 3 Tbsp warm water per egg you are replacing. Refrigerate for 15 mins to allow to thicken then add to your recipe. I’ve made these using that with nutritional yeast in place of cheese and they turned out great!

  • Sara September 4, 2015, 7:10 pm

    do you think I could substitute cooked rice for the quinoa

  • Jen Mitri October 1, 2015, 12:08 pm

    These were AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the helpful tips too…going to try another recipe tonight!

  • Donna October 12, 2015, 10:56 pm

    My whole family loved these fritters! My 6 year old son ate 4 of them and my 8 year old ate 3. Neither of them will eat quinoa or spaghetti squash alone. Will definitely make again.

  • D October 21, 2015, 5:04 pm

    Is the quinoa cooked first

  • Ana October 24, 2015, 1:12 pm

    Did it last night, actually thinking my baby can like it, and all the family is in love with this squash-quinoa cake! tks!

  • Miranda October 27, 2015, 7:50 pm

    I substituted kale for spinach and added some leftover sweet potato too. They were delicious!

  • Karen Troiano November 16, 2015, 12:55 pm

    I just made these and they’re delicious! I’ve made fritters before with zucchini, I omitted the quinoa because I’m not a fan but they still turned out fabulous, although they are time consuming.

  • Vadne December 5, 2015, 1:25 pm

    I’m wondering if you have tried substituting a different kind of squash in this recipe. The idea of using quinoa in the fritters is intriguing , but it is difficult to source spaghetti squash where we live.

  • Insherah Asadi January 11, 2016, 10:31 am

    Didn’t make them yet, but figured out the calories. If you make them exactly the total calories 900. One Tbs olive oil is 135 calories. So you can add to the total.

  • Insherah Asadi January 11, 2016, 12:51 pm

    Can you post the instructions for cooking the quinoa? Thanks

  • Rachel February 16, 2016, 5:52 pm

    These look delicious! But I urge you, please research what happens to olive oil and most other oils when you heat it, especially to smoking point. They turn into trans-fats and are toxic to the body! The only safe oil to heat is ghee or coconut oil. Please encourage people to use these and leave the other oils for eating on salads and other cool snacks and dips.

  • Diane November 3, 2016, 4:44 pm

    Can I use Almond Flour instead? Thanks.

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