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5 from 6 votes

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes With Black Bean Salsa

These sweet corn tamale cakes are a healthy copycat makeover of the classic Cheesecake Factory recipe! They're gluten free, rich in flavor, and served with a light and refreshing black bean salsa. Perfect for an appetizer or light dinner!
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 276.4kcal
Author: Anjali Shah


Corn Cakes

  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels thawed
  • 2 scallions finely chopped (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp 1% milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp hot pepper sauce I used Tobasco
  • tsp ground black pepper
  • olive oil cooking spray


  • 15 oz black beans, rinsed and drained 1 can
  • cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • Lime juice to taste
  • tsp salt
  • tsp ground black pepper

Optional Toppings

  • Prepared salsa
  • Sliced avocado or prepared guacamole


Corn Cakes

  • Mix quinoa, water, and broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 min. Fluff with a fork.
  • Combine quinoa and remaining cake ingredients except oil in a medium bowl.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Scoop a generous 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture at a time and drop onto skillet, flattening into pancake shape with back of spatula (makes 8 cakes).
  • Cook the cakes until they’re browned on one side, about 5 min. Flip carefully and cook about 5-10 min longer.


  • Mix together all salsa ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Let marinate for 5-10 minutes.


  • Serve two corn cakes with ¼ of the black bean salsa mixture and any of the optional toppings you like!



Top Tips For Making Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes
  • Use a measuring cup or large cookie scoop to make the griddle cakes uniform in size. 
  • Don’t forget to spray the pan with cooking spray, so the cakes don’t stick when you try to flip them over. 
  • Flatten the cakes out slightly, so they resemble a pancake. This allows them to cook evenly and gives you the best result possible. 
  • For faster prep, use a food processor to help you chop up all the ingredients for the salsa and the cakes!
  • You can make the black bean salsa the night before to save time. You can also batch cook the griddle cakes and freeze them so you can use them anytime!
Nutrition Facts do not include optional toppings.


Serving: 2corn cakes | Calories: 276.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.9g | Protein: 16.1g | Fat: 4.2g | Sodium: 175.9mg | Fiber: 10.5g | Sugar: 1.1g