These baked chickpea cakes with quinoa and vegetables make for a healthy and delicious finger food for babies and toddlers (and adults!). Shape them into patties or even nuggets to invite more fun! These are the perfect dunkables so be sure to serve alongside a dip!
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What will I come up with? Only time will tell 😉
What makes these perfect for babies and toddlers?
These vegetarian chickpea cakes are:
- low in sodium but full of flavor
- a great source of iron, protein, and fiber
- easy to hold
- a great texture experience – slightly crispy on the outside soft on the inside
- a non-messy way to serve quinoa without the tiny grains going everywhere but inside the child’s mouth
- a delicious way to get extra veggies in
- a great vehicle for dips/sauces, inviting more variety and nutrition
- Chickpeas – can use canned (look for no-salt-added or low-sodium) or 1.5 cups cooked dried beans.
- Quinoa – can use any variety.
- Vegetables – feel free to use whatever you have on hand. You can use a hand grater, food processor, or a blender so they will mix in with other ingredients easily. Be sure to squeeze out excess moisture.
- Seasonings – follow this recipe the first time and then don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavorings! Perhaps try Italian seasoning, go South of the border with cumin, coriander, chili powder, etc., or bring an Asian flair with garlic powder, sesame, ginger, sesame oil, a dash of soy sauce, etc.
- Egg – can use flax or chia eggs as a substitute.
Step by Step Instructions
- Finely chop the vegetables in a food processor/blender.
- Cook in a skillet with the seasonings. This step is essential in building flavor.
- Blend the chickpeas with tahini, lemon juice, and oil until smooth.
- Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Shape into even-sized patties.
- Bake, flipping once! This is hands down my FAV baking sheet. I also like to line it with a silicone baking mat.
For all the details, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Cook quinoa in advance so it’s one less thing you have to do the day of. Go ahead and cook a large batch to enjoy throughout the week. You can enjoy it in Korean beef and broccoli, meatballs, and overnight quinoa, the perfect make ahead breakfast!
Don’t force flip! Depending on the size of your cakes/patties, you may need to cook for longer before flipping. They should flip easily. If they don’t, return the pan back into the oven and cook for a few more minutes until they do. Otherwise, they will break.
Store in an airtight container once they’re cool enough to handle. Since they aren’t fried, there’s not enough oil to keep them moist and the cakes will dry out.
Because plant based burgers do not have natural fat like meat burgers, they tend to be drier. That’s why I highly recommend serving with a creamy dip/sauce.
But what if I told you that you can make ANY bean or yogurt dip with whatever you have on hand RIGHT NOW? With my formulas, you can whip up endless balanced and delicious concoctions without relying on recipes!
To learn more, check out my ecookbook – Veggie-Centered Delights! The recipe for this pizza hummus is also found in there.
In the fridge. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
In the freezer. Flash freeze and store in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Did you make this baby and toddler-friendly Baked Chickpea Veggie Cakes? Follow me on Instagram post a photo and tag me, post a photo on my Facebook page, or save it to Pinterest. I love to see what you’re making!
Baked Chickpea Veggie Cakes
- 1 cup (155g) finely chopped vegetables of choice (I used broccoli and red bell pepper)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic power
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 15 ounce (260g) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cups cooked)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup (135g) COOKED quinoa
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (optional but highly recommended)
- 1 egg , or flax/chia egg
- shredded cheese or nutritional yeast, optional (amount to your liking)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Add veggies into a food processor/blender and pulse until finely chopped. You still want some bits and pieces in your patties, so be careful not to let it get too mushy. Squeeze out any excess water.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the veggies until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Lower heat and add cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Cook for an additional minute.
- Add chickpeas to the same food processor/blender along with tahini, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Blend until smooth.
- In a large bowl, add cooked veggies, chickpeas, and the rest of the ingredients.
- Form into a ball and press down into even-sized patties (see note).
- Transfer to prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes or so (see note).
- Serve with your favorite dip/sauce!
- Don’t force flip! Depending on the size of your patties, you may need to cook for longer before flipping. They should flip easily. If they don’t, return the pan back into the oven and cook for a few more minutes until they do. Otherwise, they will break.
- Store in an airtight container once they’re cool enough to handle. Since they aren’t fried, there’s not enough oil to keep them moist and the cakes will dry out.
- Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days or Flash freeze and store in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Need SIMPLE, REALISTIC tips and strategies for adding variety to your child’s diet? Join my FREE email series! you’ll also receive a super handy Vegetable and Spice Pairing chart!