I have exactly one strategy when it comes to Skinny Jean Survival during the holidays and it is this – Operation: Avoid Leftovers.


Every year my parents will try to thrust upon me at least three quarters of a pie (that I made, no less, and thus am fully aware of just how much blood, sweat, and butter went into it), most of a tray of sweet potato casserole (seeing as how I was the only one who ate it in the first place), an extra-large spoonful of some kind of congealed cheese hot mess, and bread. So.Much.Bread.  All to bring back to my apartment where I am expected to eat it singlehandedly over the course of the next week.

And every year I find a way to somehow “forget” the entire doggie tray that they have prepared for me…in their fridge.

I mean, I do love me some orange veggies smothered in marshmallows ad brown sugar (or, this year – maple syrup, espresso, and bourbon)…

…but I love not having to trek into a clothing store on Black Friday to buy a whole new wardrobe even more.


For some of you, this is just not feasible.

Maybe you’re the host, or maybe you have a significant other with the metabolism of a bull who insists that refusing Thanksgiving leftovers is unpatriotic, or maybe you have enough self control to not eat that whole pie in one sitting the morning after so having leftovers around is not some kind of apocalyptic circumstance.

Whatever the case may be.  Whether you have leftover mashed potatoes (sweet or otherwise!) hanging around in your fridge and haunting you or not.  You should make these croquettes.  They are really the perfect way to turn those taters into something that you can feel good about eating and are a great way to kick off your post-T-Day-binge recovery.  Stuffed with cheddar cheese and a hint of spice from some jalapenos, they are so downright delicious that you won’t even miss the marshmallow brown sugar butter topping.

Pinky swear.


I served these with some mult-grain onion rings that were sent to me by Alexia Foods!  These babies turned out to be super addictive.  Case in point – The.Boy. was absolutely certain that making the whole bag would be “too much”…and then he proceeded to eat more than half it.  But given that these were so crisp and salty and the outside while also being sweet and tender on the inside…who can blame him?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

PS – The winner of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair is Charlie Louie of Hotly Spiced!  Email me at [email protected] with your mailing address and I’ll arrange to have it sent to you as soon as possible!


Quinoa and Sweet Potato Croquettes
Serves 5 (about 3 croquettes), adapted from The New Way to Cook Light


  • 12 oz sweet potato
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko
  • cooking spray


  1. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork and place on a paper towel in the microwave.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes or until the fork pierces the potato flesh easily, turning the potato after 3 minutes.  Wrap in a towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Peel and mash potato.
  2. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the quinoa and salt.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add 2 tsp oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add the onions, cilantro and jalapeno to the pan. Saute for 1 minute.  Add the cumin oregano, black pepper and garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Combine the potato, quinoa, onion mixture, cottage cheese and cheddar cheese in a bowl, mixing well.  Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the egg.
  4. Shape the potato mixture into 15 patties.  Carefully dredge them in the panko. Place on a baking sheet. Cover and chill for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add 5 patties to the pan. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Keep warm. Repeat with remaining patties.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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60 Responses to Quinoa and Sweet Potato Croquettes

  1. Those croquettes look awesome! I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Simply Life says:

    Oh these look fabulous! i’m hoping for some stuffing leftovers this year 🙂

  3. Big Dude says:

    Have a happy Thanksgiving Joanne

  4. SallyBR says:

    You are on a roll with great recipes, must be the post-marathon thrill! I wonder if I can get there by doing 50 pushups? 😉

    I am pinning these croquettes, and I WILL make them before 2012 is over!

    Have a peaceful Thanksgiving….

  5. what a great way to remake leftovers 🙂 happy thankgiving!

  6. Danielle says:

    We are making the sweet potatoes with espresso, maple syrup and bourbon too – a bon apetit recipe I think.

  7. Those onion rings look super amazing.

  8. These look so so so good! Sweet potatoes are always a sure winner!

  9. The sweet potato Croquettes look amazing!! Yummy!! I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  10. Mo 'Betta says:

    You should eat with my family. There are very little leftovers…except maybe sweet potato casserole 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving love! Will be thinking of you and your family. I know the holidays will be difficult.

  11. london bakes says:

    These croquettes sound delicious – what a great way to use up any leftovers!

  12. Leftovers are totally unavoidable on holidays for me. My family insists that I’m a starving student and literally give me EVERYTHING! Blah! I like this idea. Great way to use up some of the leftovers I ALWAYS have. I’ll need this at Christmas though…Canadian Thanksgiving was in October 🙂

  13. Mary says:

    These look and sound amazing. Excellent photos, Joanne. I’m with you on avoiding the crazy amount if leftovers. I host a dessert and drinks Open House each Thanksgiving night and I send 95% of whatever is left at the end of the night home with my friends. I get to bake my heart out without the crazy sugar-coma hangover for the entire following week.

    Although, I have to admit that it just isn’t the day-after Thanksgiving if I don’t have a slice of pie to eat for breakfast. So, I ALWAYS save enough for that to happen.

  14. Alisa says:

    Mmm, I’ve been loving all of the “leftover” croquette recipes floating around. These look amazing! Happy Thanksgiving Joanne!

  15. Delicious!! I haven’t not mastered the art of the quinoa patty — but these croquettes look flavorful, substantial and not at all crumbly. Nice work!

  16. Not only do these sound amazing but i am in LOVE with those onion rings. I had them last night in fact!

  17. This is a great idea! I love thanksgiving leftovers…but they can be seriously dangerous…

  18. Erica says:

    I love quinoa and these patties look absolutely delicious,Joanne! Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. I have never made Quinoa patties which is crazy b/c I eat Quonia all the time. I am bookmarking this – these look really good. Happy Thanksgiving Joanne xoxox

  20. Great job getting them to stick together – sometimes my veggie patties don’t like to hold together very well 🙂

    Happy TG!

  21. Quinoa patties are awesome. Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Gloria says:

    dear Joanne I love quinoa is so versatile and nice:)
    These patties look amazing!!
    DearHave a nice Thanksgiving send you loads of love and blessings!

  23. Eileen says:

    These croquettes do look like a perfect way to use up leftover sweet potato! I mean, as long as the leftover sweet potato isn’t covered in marshmallow goo… 🙂 I kind of like being subsumed in leftovers after the most food-centric holiday of the year–especially if it means I can transform them like this!

  24. OohLookBel says:

    Great idea to use leftover mashed potato, I must try that next time (I always have leftovers). These croquettes will certainly feed my fritter mania, they sound delicious.

  25. Happy Thnaksgiving 🙂 These do look awesome! Well done on staying strong with the leftovers. I hear them calling me from the fridge. Even when I’m out 🙁 Must. Stay. Strong!

  26. Hannah says:

    Leftovers are absolutely the best part of Thanksgiving! They’re equally delicious as the day they were made, if not better, and all the pretense of the ritual, tradition, and formality go out the window, so you’re free to experiment. This is the perfect example- My family would not go for such a deviation on the typical spread on the Big Day, but croquettes would be ideal for brunch the day after!

  27. daphne says:

    Are u kidding? We LOVE LOVE NYC! 😉 great meeting u as well! I love the idea of the coquette, especially since it is baked and not fried!

  28. Kari says:

    These look brilliant, and definitely the sort of leftovers I would like to have hanging around!

  29. Saguna says:

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, Joanne! I’ve been wondering how to sexify my quinoa and I think this is it. And those onion rings, ah, my gosh, they look tempting too. Need all of this with a pint and I’d be very happy indeed…

  30. Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Joanne! Wishing you a wonderful sweet potato and squash-filled holiday. Love those croquettes and I’ve never met an onion ring I haven’t loved 🙂

  31. Mary says:

    Joanne, this is such a good idea. These sound delicious. I hope you have a good holiday. I’ll be thinking of you and your family tomorrow. Take care. Blessings…Mary

  32. That Girl says:

    Is it weird that I could recognize those as Alexia onion rings even before I read that’s what they are?

  33. What a great idea! They look so good. Have a great Thanksgiving Joanne 🙂

  34. Kerstin says:

    What yummy little cakes. They would be a perfect veggie main dish for Thanksgiving!

  35. Wow what a delicious vegetarian recipe. I like these onion rings. It looks tempting. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Hotly Spiced says:

    I was about to comment on the gorgeous looking food but then I read that I have won that cookbook that I was secretly coveting and I’m so excited. Thanks so much Joanne. I’ll be sure to email you my details. In the meantime, happy thanksgiving from one who can’t participate to one who surely will put on a jolly good show! xx

  37. T says:

    I want those onion rings NOW! it all looks so good 🙂

  38. Emily says:

    Yum yum yum!! These look delicious 🙂 happy Thanksgiving!!

    I must say, Black Friday has always freaked me out. Over here in Aus we don’t have anything comparable, and that’s fine by me! Seems like a nightmare!

  39. Neel says:

    Holy bananas! I kid you not that I can smell these onion rings as i’m reading this post! total gorge~~

  40. A crispy patty of quinoa, sweet potato, and cheese…now how could that be bad! Great idea and recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!

  41. Amy says:

    “…or maybe you have enough self control to not eat that whole pie in one sitting the morning after…” When is there ever left over pie?? Happy Thanksgiving, my love. I’m thinking about you today.

  42. Pam says:

    Sounds good! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  43. Debbie says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Joanne…the onion rings look to die for along with everything else you post….you make all vegetable dishes look sooo delicious!!!! (and that’s coming from a sweet tooth addict)….

  44. I’m just catching up on your blog now after my trip, and of course the first recipe I see is amazing! I’ve missed reading about all your amazing food! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving – feel free to mail your leftovers up to Canada if you end up with too much 🙂

  45. tpfliss says:

    Guess who’ll be making these quinoa cakes as soon as possible? ME.
    Happy day!

  46. Also, guess who posted as her husband above? (tpfliss)
    Me. Brilliant. Happy Thanksgiving!

  47. Beth says:

    Those look amazing – so delicious.
    Hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving, and congratulations to Charlie.

  48. I’m sure you’ll be so exhausted from cooking and stressing about cooking you won’t want to eat a thing! Sometimes leftovers are nice in such instances–it is often the only time I can enjoy the food (I hate large get-togethers and don’t really enjoy eating at them)

  49. Candace says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Joanne! As full as I am from lunch, those croquettes look amazing. I just pinned them to try when I get back to New Hampshire. I need some healthy meal ideas to make up for the all of the Mexican and Soul food that I have consumed since being down south. 🙂

  50. I have a fridge full of leftovers but thankfully we don’t have Black Friday over here so I’ll squeeze into my old things. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving and I love your Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes!

  51. Laura says:

    I can barely move after all the food I ate, and yet I still find myself drooling at these…

  52. marla says:

    Hi Joanne! hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Linking back to this fab recipe today 🙂

  53. Reeni Pisano says:

    I was just wondering what to do with all my leftovers and here you are with these completely irresistible croquettes! Love the sound of those onion rings too!

  54. grace says:

    quinoa! what a great addition! i hope your thanksgiving was as good as it could possibly be given what your family’s been through–bless your heart, joanne!

  55. Lynn says:

    Oh my – I had the same thing as I was leaving. “Don’t you want some of this? And this?” 🙂

  56. Lora says:

    What a great idea for repurposing leftover mashed potatoes. Yum!

  57. Nicole says:

    Holy mother of goodness – these look fabulous. The MIL made quinoa cakes over turkey and day and we loved them, this sounds even more better! Will have to skip the sweet pot (arg – stupid hubby) – but the rest looks amazing! Smooches!

  58. […] One year ago…Quinoa and Sweet Potato Croquettes […]

  59. […] Luckily, following the recipe (with some minor adjustments) that I found over at the wonderful eats well with others blog, you’ll end up with enough of these bad boys to feed an […]

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