Easiest Lentils & Zucchini Cakes Recipe

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Ok, let me just say that you are about to try little savory bites of heaven!  Crispy outside, soft and warm inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are so satisfying!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil.

Delicious and Good for You!

Lentils are not just a vegetarian staple, they are actually VERY versatile and very healthful. They have high levels of soluble fiber. Fiber is important for helping keep cholesterol low, supporting heart health and digestive health. Lentils are also high in protein, and a good source of iron. If you are a newcomer to the world of lentils, try this recipe and I promise, you will be Loving Lentils too!  

BTW, Lentils are a great protein to make a ton of and use in different ways.  You can use in soup, in these cakes, or in my Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe.  Click here to get 30 More Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas.

Zucchini is also healthy!  I mean, obviously, it is a veggie.  But here’s how!  Zucchini is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A.  Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants that are linked to benefits for your eyes, skin, and heart.   I love using Zucchini in my Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Zucchini recipe and my Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For shredding the zucchini, I simply used the large-hole side of a grater. You could also use a food processor with a shredding insert if you have it.

You also need a large frying pan to cook the zucchini cakes. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

Cook the lentils on the stove in water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the lentils, then mash with a fork so that about 50% are mashed.
Fork mashing cooked lentils for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Can I add or swap ingredients in this recipe?

Yes, as long as you have the general measurements and include the flour and egg to bind it all together.  You can swap the Parmesan out for another cheese.  Shredded cheddar, gruyere, or manchego would all be fantastic.  You can swap out the lentils as well.  In their place you could add black beans or chickpeas.  Or you could add more of the zucchini.  You may need a tablespoon more flour if you remove a creamy bean from the recipe just to help it all hold together.

You can also add herbs, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic, and a great many other seasonings.  I kept these simple in flavor as that’s what I found my kids wanted.

Can I make this Zucchini Cakes Recipe ahead?

Yes, you can make the mixture and store it in the fridge sealed airtight for up to 3 days before cooking them.  You can also form the cakes and freeze them raw.  From the freezer, you can bake them in a 400 F degree oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and browned on the outside.

COOK YOUR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.  Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes cooking in a frying pan. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Lentil Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Crispy outside, soft inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are such satisfying little bites of heaven!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil. They make a perfect main dish or side! #zucchinicakes #lentilrecipes #zucchinirecipes #vegetarian

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword Lentils, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 cakes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large zucchini 2 cups grated
  • 1/4 cup scallion finely sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked lentils drained cook according to directions on bag
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • ½ cup parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Cook the lentils by adding 1/2 cup of uncooked lentils to 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover and let cook for 15 minutes until tender.

  2. While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

  3. Drain the lentils and then transfer to a large bowl. Mash the lentils with a fork so that about 50% are mashed. Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

    Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  4. Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.

Cook the Lentil and Zucchini Cakes!

  1. Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
    Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  2. Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

Light & Easy Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

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This creamy and silky Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash will blow your mind!  I’m talking, one bite and your taste buds sing, you think, wow, these are deliciously creamy mashed potatoes.  Someone tells you its cauliflower mash and just like that, mind blown!

The texture is perfectly creamy and mimics mashed potatoes.  The flavor of the cauliflower when pureed like this is so mild, it completely takes on the beautiful aromatic roasted garlic, Parmesan Cheese, and the chicken bouillon flavoring.  It’s delicious by itself or with a savory sauce or gravy!  

CAULIFLOWER IS SOOO GOOD FOR YOU!

Cauliflower is a great low-calorie and low-carb food full of health benefits!  This recipe has only 65 calories per serving, even with the parmesan and milk!   While it’s low in calories and carbs, it’s high in Fiber and contains so many vitamins and minerals.  Cauliflower is a Cruciferous Veggie, just like Broccoli and Kale, which we all know are extremely good for us.  So, it also contains important Antioxidants which can help to reduce the risk for heart disease and may have anti-cancer effects.  

Try these other delicious and healthy Cauliflower recipes:

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED FOR GARLIC CAULIFLOWER MASH

For roasting the cauliflower and garlic, you will need a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11).

For making the Mash, you need a food processor. If you are like me and only have a mini food processor, no worries, just blend in 2 batches and then mix all of it together.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR GARLIC CAULIFLOWER MASH

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. This entire recipe can be prepared in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge for up to 4 days in advance.

It starts with chopping up the cauliflower florets into small pieces so that they cook faster.  You want them to get really soft so they blend up smooth.

TIP: I place my cutting board right inside my pan, so when I’m done chopping, I can simply slide the cutting board out dumping all of the cauli pieces onto the pan!  No Mess!!  

Cauliflower on cutting board in sheet pan with knife for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Knife cutting cauliflower on cutting board in sheet pan for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Dumping chopped cauliflower from cutting board onto sheet pan for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Before roasting the cauliflower, I simply drizzle olive oil over top and then rub it around with my hands to ensure all are coated as well as the bottom of the pan.  I don’t season with salt and pepper at this stage because I want to taste and control how much goes in after the other ingredients.

To the pan, I also add 3 cloves of garlic!  They can go right on the pan, skins and all.  The roasting brings out the most amazing buttery flavor.

Cover and roast!

Adding olive oil to chopped cauliflower on sheet pan for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Aluminum foil covering chopped cauliflower on sheet pan for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Once the garlic and cauliflower are roasted, they get mashed!  Save the parmesan, salt, and pepper until the end.  First blend the cauliflower, garlic (skins removed), milk, and chicken bouillon or base.

Once blended, then you can add the parmesan salt and pepper in.  Pulse to combine, taste, and add salt or pepper as needed to make sure it’s perfect!

cooked cauliflower and other ingredients in food processor for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Cauliflower Mash puree in food processor for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.

Can I freeze the Garlic Cauliflower Mash after it’s made?

Yes, you can freeze it, however, it will retain water.  Therefore, when reheating it, you will want to bake it in the oven for 20 minutes 350 to ensure that any excess water evaporates.  Add milk and/or butter to bring it ‘back to life’.  It will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Can I leave the Parmesan out?

You can leave out the Parmesan Cheese, but you may need to add a touch more salt, so just taste for seasoning.  You can also swap with shredded cheddar!

What can I serve with this?

Oh, my friend, so many things!!!  The #1 recipe on my site that is perfectly paired with this Mash is my 5-Ingredient Meatloaf and it’s delicious!  Try my Oven Fried Chicken with Bacon & Honey for a Southern dinner with a twist.  Or if you want something on the grill, how about my Garlic Steak Kabobs?  Or a very flavorful Hungarian Paprika Chicken where the peppery flavor goes so well with this Mash!  And, if you want something really saucy to pour over this Mash?  Well, then try this Tarragon Mustard Chicken! 

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash in a bowl with spoon. The texture is perfectly creamy and along with the flavor, mimics mashed potatoes.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

This creamy and silky Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash will blow your mind!  The texture is perfectly creamy and mimics mashed potatoes.  The flavor of the cauliflower when pureed like this is so mild, it completely takes on the beautiful aromatic roasted garlic and the chicken bouillon flavoring.  It's delicious by itself or with a savory sauce or gravy!  #cauliflowermash #glutenfree #easysides

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower, gluten free, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 65 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 head Cauliflower (about 5 cups florets)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp Chicken base (or crumbled bouillon)
  • 1/2-1 cup 1% Milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.
  2. If your cauliflower is not cut, then cut off the florets and then give them a rough chop to get to small pieces that can cook faster.

    Knife cutting cauliflower on cutting board in sheet pan for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.
  3. To a large Sheet pan, add cauliflower florets and whole garlic cloves (with skin is fine as you can remove later). Drizzle or Spray everything with 1 tbsp Olive Oil plus salt and pepper, then rub it all around with your hands. Spread out into a single layer. Put the pan in the oven center rack and roast for 20 minutes.
    Adding olive oil to chopped cauliflower on sheet pan for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.
  4. If the skins are still on the garlic, remove or squeeze the roasted garlic out. Discard the skins and then transfer the garlic and the cauliflower to a food processor. Add the milk, chicken base. Pulse to get going, then puree until smooth. Add the parmesan cheese and pulse to combine. Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed.
    Cauliflower Mash puree in food processor for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash.
  5. To serve, garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
    Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash in a bowl with spoon. The texture is perfectly creamy and along with the flavor, mimics mashed potatoes.