Quinoa Crab Cakes – Baked & Gluten free!

This week and next are going to get rough around here. These are the last days of school and things are amping up. Time is filled with final exams (writing, grading, etc), final projects (sob stories, panic, and more) and the whirlwind of administrative work that MUST – absolutely MUST get done RIGHT NOW.

And when I’m not twirling in the midst of teenage-job-boss-mania, I’m completely out of it tired. It is NOT helping me one bit that we still have rainy, drizzling spring weather here without a ray of sunshine in sight. OH! My kingdom for summer!

In the meantime, my recipes are getting more eyeballed than recorded in my notebook. Whatever is in the fridge is fair game. Whatever takes a long time to make? Not gonna happen. And… there must be leftovers. That way I have lunch covered.

This is the week when my bento box is either filled with sandwich goodies (love this lavash wrap – quick, easy, flexible for days!) or leftovers. I no longer have time to make my rice/egg molds for lunch or even salads for that matter. Heck. It’s grab-go-run-drop and start all over again.

One lovely break did come about this weekend. We hosted five teenagers for an overnight. OH! It was SO fun! We had exchange students from Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Thailand and one sole American young lady who we have known for four years. (She is graduating this year with both her high school diploma AND her AA Degree – WAHOO!)

Aren’t they fabulous!?!

The kids were SO much fun to have around the house – and SUPER easy too! We went to a ceramics store in town where we all painted a piece of pottery with glazes, signed our names on each other’s artwork, and laughed for hours. We didn’t even eat dinner until 11:00PM! After the ceramics and dinner, they played Wii Guitar Hero, watched movies, played games, and sat around laughing until about 5AM on Sunday morning. (We so didn’t last that long…. trust me.)

After we got all of them home on Sunday afternoon, we were really surprised at how quiet our house was. It renewed our discussions, dreams, aspirations, etc for adoption… we still have not found an agency yet. =(

While we debated and discussed it all again, I opened the fridge to make something for dinner…. with leftovers for lunch…. and this is what I found: crab meat, fresh basil, piquillo peppers, eggs, some leftover quinoa, and a few other remnants. So these crab cakes were born. We baked them as neither of us was in the mood to fry anything and neither of us had the energy to wash a pan. LOL

Please forgive the quantities here and adjust for your taste. Everything was eyeballed in the making. Nothing was measured.
Next time, I’ll measure.
If I haven’t been awake until 3 the night before.
I promise.

Baked Quinoa Crab Cakes
Recipe makes 6 substantial crab cakes or a meal for 2 with leftovers for one.

1/2 pound crab meat (we used Dungeness crab meat), picked over for any hidden shells
6 piquillo peppers – or one red bell pepper, roasted
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion, minced
1/4 cup basil leaves, minced or sliced thin
1/2 cup precooked/leftover quinoa
1/4 cup gluten-free oats
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 squirt of lemon juice
1 egg
Salt/pepper to taste
1 cup GF Bread Crumbs or Cracker Crumbs, process in a food processor until fine or use Gillian’s Italian Bread Crumbs (Oh! We love these!)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together crab through egg well.
  3. Season with salt/pepper.
  4. Form each crab cake by dividing the mix into six equal balls and flattening to a 1/2 inch or 1 inch thick crab cake.
  5. Gently place each crab cake into the bread crumb mix and cover with crumbs. Slide the cakes out and place on to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake crab cakes until golden and set (about 12-16 minutes depending on your oven).
  7. Serve hot with cocktail sauce (ketchup + horseradish + lemon juice) and a salad. You can’t go wrong.

Leftovers? Oh yea… I had the best Crab Cake Sandwich for work the next day! I think I might just have to go out and get some crab next week to celebrate the ending of the school year!

But by then I will be preparing for our incoming family from Chicago for a three week visit!
Hooray! Gonna be a GREAT summer!


  1. This sounds like a wonderful recipe. The only seafood dish I like more than good crab cakes is softshell crab sandwiches. Your recipe has inspired me to try incorporating the quinoa here as well. We love quinoa and have produced the first ever vodka made from organic, fair trade quinoa. check it out: http://qino1vodka.com or http://qino1vodka.jimdo.com/index.

  2. You are one BRAVE teacher for bringing teenagers to your house, on a weekend, at the end of the year. I can’t imagine having the time to have a conversation with a student outside of class at this time of the year, never mind having five of them at my house. You must be the teacher of the year!

  3. Honey (glutenfree) pie, would you slip one of those crab cakes in an envelope and mail it to me?
    I am going to make those when I get back to Tampa — I have a great purveyor of crab, and I’m “KEEN on Quinoa.”

    YAY and much love for a happy school year’s end. You’re tops, teacher!

  4. oh my god those sound so good. and baked! what a good idea.

  5. glutenfreesteve says:

    Three weeks with your family – you are a brave woman. So long as you’re mailing one to Ginger, send one of the crab cakes my way, please!

  6. Those sound delightful! This is a keeper, for sure…and quite healthy as well!

    My husband and I are working on adopting as well, so we understand your heartache. I hope things look better for you soon…it is quite difficult.

    Happy summer vacation! 🙂

  7. Awesome recipe! I’m so new to preparing meals gluten-free for my littlest one, and the recipes found on your blog are so helpful! Thanks for sharing them!

  8. Sounds simply fabulous! I think the combination of quinoa and crab would stunning together.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  9. I always loved having a house full of teenagers when my sons were of that age. This recipe looks great!

  10. AWESOME darling kids! Also I could just die over that recipe!!!

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