‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Zucchini Quinoa Cakes Are a Healthy ‘Irresistible’ Appetizer Recipe

Ree Drummond makes an easy and healthy zucchini quinoa cakes recipe that she fries up and tops with a delicious yogurt sauce. The Pioneer Woman star calls her appetizer “irresistible,” comparing the bites to crispy tater tots.

Ree Drummond smiles and looks on wearing a bright pink top
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond made zucchini quinoa cakes for a gathering with friends

Drummond demonstrated how to make her delicious appetizer on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. “I am making zucchini quinoa cakes,” she said. “They’re little fritters and I’m going to top them with a yogurt sauce. They are out-of-this world tasty.”

She grated a yellow squash and zucchini. “The most important thing whenever you use zucchini in a recipe is to squeeze the water out,” Drummond shared. “Whether you’re making quinoa cakes or zucchini bread … there is so much water in this zucchini. You want the texture of the zucchini and the flavor, but you don’t want all this water because it will definitely mess up whatever recipe you’re making.”

Drummond added, “These little cakes are irresistible. They’re kind of like eating little tater tots or French fries. But they have veggies and quinoa in them so you can trick yourself into thinking they’re healthy.”

She put the squash in a bowl and added flour, cornstarch, eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, cooked quinoa, chopped chives, minced garlic, lemon zest, and chopped dill.

“These are super flavorful little fritters,” the Food Network star said. “I’m going to keep them warm in the oven but you can actually serve them at room temperature and they’re still really good.”

Drummond cooked the fritters and topped them with a delicious sauce

She mixed everything together and used a scoop to form the cakes. “I think I enjoy party food like this so much because I don’t make it every day,” she said. “It’s a departure from my regular fare, let’s just say that.”

Drummond fried the cakes in two batches in a hot oil in a skillet, 2 minutes per side. After frying, she placed them on a wire rack set over a sheet pan. “The beauty of these little cakes is that they don’t have to be perfectly formed,” The Pioneer Woman star explained. “In fact, you don’t want them to be perfectly formed. They should be a little bit rustic looking. No two cakes should look alike.”

She kept the fritters warm in a 170 degree Fahrenheit oven while she made a sauce. Drummond combined plain Greek yogurt, lemon zest, chopped dill, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

“It’s just a light, fresh, really flavorful yogurt sauce,” Drummond said. “It’s such a nice combination with the warm cakes and this really cool herby sauce. And, not only that, it took me about 27 seconds to make it. Cannot beat that.”

She served each fritter with a dollop of the herb yogurt and a sprig of dill.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

Drummond’s easy quinoa fritters recipe earns rave reviews

Drummond’s easy quinoa cakes are a hit, based on the reviews left on the Food Network site. “The greatest fritters,” one person shared. “I added corn and onion … Nice and moist, so be sure to ring out the liquid from the zucchini first or it will be too moist and won’t stick together.”

Another reviewer noted, “Love these zucchini quinoa cakes! I used a non-stick pan instead of cast iron and they came out perfect. About halfway into frying the cakes, I remembered I had some roasted corn in the fridge and stirred some in the rest of the batter and it was delicious! Will definitely make these again!!”

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