The rich, buttery flavor of shiitake mushrooms and nutritional power of the quinoa make this entrée as substantial as it is elegant. Even though these cakes will disappear faster than the amount of time it took them to arrive on the table, they are well worth the effort. We serve two on each plate as an entrée, but a single cake makes a beautiful appetizer as well.

Makes 16 cakes, serving 8 as an entrée

Prepare in advance

Nutty Parm, (See Etc. section)
Roasted Pepper and Tomato Confit (See Sauces)
1 small butternut squash, cooked and puréed
Roasted Vegetable Stock (see Etc. section if using homemade, or see notes)


  • ¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chopped fresh shiitake mushroom caps, stems removed and added to vegetable stock to simmer
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well three times
  • 1 cup puréed butternut squash
  • ½ cup dry white wine or water
  • 2 cups mushroom water combined with vegetable stock
  • ½ cup Nutty Parm
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Cover the dried porcini mushrooms with hot water. Let soften, 5 to 10 minutes, then drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove the stems and chop the mushrooms.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the shallots, porcini, and shiitakes in Earth Balance until the mushrooms begin to brown, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa and cook until glossy and coated with the Earth Balance.
  4. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid evaporates.
  5. Combine all the reserved mushroom water with enough vegetable stock to equal 2 cups of liquid.
  6. Continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. The quinoa should be creamy and starchy, which helps the cakes hold together. Turn off the heat.
  7. Fold the squash into the quinoa. Add the Nutty Parm and parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pot from heat.
  8. Lightly oil a griddle and preheat it to medium-high. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon about ¼ cup of the quinoa mixture onto the pan, and flatten to make a patty about 1-inch thick. Without crowding, repeat with the additional quinoa patties. Cook until lightly brown and crispy, turning once, about 8 minutes per side.
  9. Serve the quinoa cakes with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Confit.


  • If you don’t have any homemade vegetable stock, add the mushroom stems to a cup or 2 of store-bought stock and simmer while you prepare the quinoa. In step 5, you can add this stock to your mushroom soaking water to make a total of 2 cups liquid.
  • Freezes well, cooked or uncooked.