Easy, delicious and healthy veggie cakes! Loaded up with shredded carrots, arugula and chickpea pasta, vegetable patties are a great way to get more veggies into your meals. Top these pan-fried vegetable cakes with a dollop of Greek yogurt to balance out the warm spices.

Ingredients in Veggie Cakes

Pasta or whole grain: we like to make this recipe with either whole grain orzo or chickpea orzo from Barilla. If you can’t find either of those, you can use regular pasta or a cooked whole grain such as millet, freekeh or sorghum.

Shallot & garlic: this combination of aromatics is dynamite.

Arugula: fresh arugula adds and herby, spicy note to these cakes. They are the ideal green, however spinach, radish greens, carrot greens and kale all work well. :

Carrots: we recommend shredding the carrots yourself. Pre-shredded tend to be larger and thicker in size which does not bode well for cake-formation. Use your food process with the shredder attachment or use a box grater to grate large whole carrots.

Curry Powder: good quality curry powder is an important ingredient in these cakes. Aside from the shallot and garlic, this is the main flavor component.

Greek yogurt: a dollop of Greek yogurt adds tanginess and help bind the cakes together.

Eggs: a couple of eggs is key to holding these cakes together. They act as a binding agent with an added bonus of incorporating some protein.

Fresh herbs: since this recipe uses curry powder, we recommend using fresh cilantro. However, if you aren’t a big cilantro fan, you can sub with parsley. Then grab some scallions and slice them up for serving.

vegetable croquettes on a white plate topped with greek yogurt and fresh herbs

How to Make Veggie Cakes

  1. Cook the Pasta or Grains
  2. Cook the pasta or whole grains according to package instructions. Add the pasta or grains to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool. They don’t need to be totally cool before mixing everything together, but you don’t want them too hot or you risk scrambling the eggs.

  3. Cook the Vegetables
  4. Cook the aromatics and vegetables in a splash of olive oil in a skillet until softened. Stir in the curry powder and cook just until fragrant. Feel free to play around with different spices and dried herbs!

  5. Stir Together the Veggie Cake Mixture
  6. Add the cooked veggies, yogurt and eggs to pasta mixture and mix thoroughly to combine. Stir in the cilantro. Again, if you aren’t a cilantro fan, use parsley.

  7. Form Into Patties and Chill
  8. Form the vegetable mixture into patties and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. This is an essential step! The chilling allows the cakes to firm up, bind together and stay together during the cooking process.

  9. Cook the Veggie Cakes
  10. Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil (this combo is the best of both worlds—high heat cooking and butter flavor). Once the fat is shimmering, arrange cakes in the skillet in an even layer. Avoid crowding the pan—the less crowded the pan is the more browning on the cakes you will get.

    Cook until the cakes are crispy and browned on both sides. Transfer the cooks cakes to a paper-towel-lined plate and let drain. Serve with Greek yogurt, additional cilantro and sliced scallions.

vegetable croquettes on a white plate topped with greek yogurt and fresh herbs

Veggie Cakes FAQ

Can I freeze veggie cakes?

Absolutely! Arrange the uncooked cakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen cakes to a resealable zipper-lock bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months. Allow the cakes to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking as directed.

Can I bake veggie cakes?

For a lighter option, you can bake these instead of pan-frying. Bake veggie cakes at 350°F for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Keep in mind, the cakes will not be quite as crispy. For added crispness, coat the cakes in Panko or spritz with nonstick cooking spray.

Can veggie cakes be gluten-free?

Absolutely. If you make these with the Chickpea orzo, they are gluten free! Same thing if you make them with millet, freekeh or sorghum.

Serving Suggestions

These cake are absolutely delicious when topped with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.

They make a great healthy appetizer for parties and get-togethers.

Serve these with a bit of pita bread and some homemade tzatziki for a falafel-inspired dinner.

Make Ahead Meal

These cakes can be made, formed and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. With these already on hand, dinner can be done in just 10 minutes! Serve them with a simple Cucumber Salad, Radish Salad, or Garden Salad for a veggie-ful dinner.

More Veggie Recipes to Try

If you’re looking for another vegetarian dinner, check out our Mushroom Veggie Burgers or Vegetarian Bolognese.

One of our favorite veggie-packed weeknight dinners is our Veggie and Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner. It’s loaded with flavor and ultra-easy.

Mexican Pinwheels are a great appetizer or easy dinner recipe that’s loaded with different textures and shredded chipotle chicken.

Veggie Cakes Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 11 Croquettes
Category Appetizer, Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine American


These delicious and healthy vegetable cakes make for a light dinner or lunch. Prep them ahead of time then pan-fry them whenever you're ready to eat.


  • ¾ cup Barilla Chickpea Orzo, or regular orzo pasta
  • Olive oil and unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • ½ cup minced shallot (~1 large shallot)
  • 4 ounces arugula, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces (2 ⅓ cups) shredded carrots
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt + more for serving
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Sliced scallions, for serving


  • Cook ¾ orzo to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and add orzo to a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium until shimmering. Add ½ cup minced shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in 2⅓ cups shredded carrots and 4 ounces arugula; cook until vegetables are wilted, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 minced cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon curry powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, cook until fragrant, 2 minutes; season with pepper to taste. Add vegetable mixture to bowl with orzo; toss to combine. Wipe out skillet.
  • Add ¼ cup yogurt, 2 eggs, and ¼ minced cilantro to orzo-vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Scoop mixture by ¼ cup and pack into ½-inch-thick cakes. Transfer cakes to parchment-line sheet and chill until firm, about 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon each oil and butter in skillet over medium until shimmering. Gently lay 4–5 cakes in skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 3–5 minutes per side. Transfer cakes to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining cakes.
  • Serve cakes with a dollop of Greek yogurt and scallion greens.



Chickpea orzo adds a boost of plant-based protein. If you can’t find chickpea orzo, you can substitute with regular orzo pasta, cooked millet or cooked freekeh.
This recipe is vegetarian but due to the presence of eggs and yogurt, it is not vegan.


Serving: 1cakeCalories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 12gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 281mgPotassium: 190mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 5gCalcium: 85mgIron: 3mg
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
vegetable croquettes on a white plate topped with greek yogurt and fresh herbs

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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