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4 from 1 vote

Red Lentil and Quinoa Cakes with Harissa (Gluten Free)

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: entree, Side Dish
Cuisine: gluten free, nut free, soy free, vegan
Author: Gena Hamshaw


  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste or 1/2 teaspoon harissa spice optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1 cup delightfully green tahini dressing optional, for serving
  • Cooked brown rice optional, for serving


  • Place the lentils in a small pot with the 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the lentils with the lid of your pot on but slightly ajar (to allow steam to escape) for 20 minutes, or until they're turning into a thick, mushy mixture. Once all of the water has been absorbed, remove the lentils from heat and set them aside to cool somewhat.
  • Preheat your oven to 350F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set it aside.
  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or cast iron frying pan. Add the onions and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Add a few tablespoons of water as you go along to prevent sticking. When the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant but not burning. Stir in the cumin, paprika, oregano, harissa, salt, and lemon juice, along with the lentils. Mix everything around gently in the skillet or pan to incorporate the seasonings. Allow the mixture to cool for a few moments.
  • Transfer the skillet mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the quinoa and chickpea flour, and use your hands to incorporate everything. The mixture should be easy to shape into cakes but not too mushy, either (if it is super mushy, add another tablespoon of chickpea flour). Shape the mixture into 8 cakes and place them on the oiled baking sheet.
  • Bake the cakes for 25 minutes, flipping gingerly once through, or until the cakes are golden on each side. Serve the cakes over rice or in a pita or over fresh greens, along with a very generous drizzle of delightfully green tahini dressing.


Cakes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days in the fridge, and they can be frozen for up to two weeks.