Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Parmesan Fritters – delicious, healthy snack that everybody in your family will love!
Quinoa tastes AMAZING in this recipe! If you like quinoa you will like it even more after making these savory mini cakes.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
These fritters taste amazing with a dollop of sour cream on top:
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
2 green onions, chopped
dollop of sour cream or Greek Yogurt
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):
Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, on to how to make fritters:
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.
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.
Serve as is, or top with the dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt and chopped green onions (delicious if served this way!).