These simple crispy quinoa patties are so versatile. They’re a great meatless option that even meat eaters will love. Play around with your favorite vegetables and spices. Makes great leftovers!
Here’s the dessert we had on Sunday night. And before those frosted sugar cookie bars, we enjoyed quinoa patties for dinner. Crispy on the edges, savory, herbed, warm in the center… these meatless patties are one of the best things we’ve put on the table.
(Even my meat and potatoes loving fiancé agrees.)
Kevin’s older sister, Kerry – the one who inspired this recipe, makes these crispy quinoa patties on the regular. I’ve had hers several times, usually in the summer for a light lunch with a salad. Kerry is one incredible cook – she’s even hosting my bridal shower this summer. Cannot wait for all her amazing food.
Let me tell you a few things about these quinoa patties.
- They are so versatile! Serve them warm over salads, serve them warm in pitas (falafel style) with creamy sauce and greens, layer them into a sandwich with avocado and cheese, or even simply drizzled with hot sauce.
- Great make ahead option. Make this entire batch of them (about 20 patties) and freeze them so you always have them handy when you’re in a pinch. Or store them in the refrigerator for the week for a quick grab ‘n go lunch of dinner. They reheat wonderfully in the microwave.
- There are so many variations! Get creative – what’s your favorite cheese? Add it. Love broccoli or cauliflower instead of zucchini? Make the swap. Add your favorite spices like lemon pepper, cumin, dill, or smoked paprika.
The version I’m sharing today has garlic, onion, fresh grated parmesan, parsley, carrot, zucchini, salt, and lemon pepper.
No matter which variety I make, I always use the onions and garlic for their unparalleled flavor. Kerry suggested a dill/feta cheese/zucchini version. I’m going to try that one next!
Like any burger, meatball, or veggie pattie recipe – you need to be careful with your ingredients. There needs to be enough “sticking power” to help the patties hold their shape. Here are a few tips to help keep the quinoa patties together:
- Make sure you have the right balance of veggies and bread crumbs. If you’re gluten free, make sure your bread crumbs are gluten free as well. I have never had luck making these without breadcrumbs.
- Make sure you chop your veggies nice and fine. I find pulsing them in a food processor gets them to the right size. (As well as cuts down your work!) The smaller your veggies are diced, the better they will hold the patties together.
- If you find your mixture is too wet, add a little more cooked quinoa and/or bread crumbs. Alternatively, if you find your mixture is too dry, add a couple drops of water.
Form the mixture into about 20 patties, give or take. They will be about 2 inches in diameter. Cook on a lightly oiled skillet until crispy and brown on each side. I’ve simply used nonstick spray instead of oil before, but the nonstick spray doesn’t give the patties their beautifully crispy texture.
Besides the cooked quinoa patties making wonderful leftovers, the uncooked quinoa mixture also keeps well for a few days. Make the mixture up, cover and store in the refrigerator until you have some time to cook the patties on the stove.
This meatless option is truly a keeper in our house. So many ways to enjoy them, fabulous leftovers, easy, quick, and a great way to use up leftover quinoa, veggies, cheese, and spices. See more recipes in my savory recipes collection!
Crispy Quinoa Patties
These simple crispy quinoa patties are so versatile. They're a great meatless option that even meat eaters will love. Play around with your favorite vegetables and spices. Makes great leftovers!
- 2 and 2/3 cups cooked quinoa
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup gluten free whole grain breadcrumbs (or regular)1
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot and zucchini (1/4 cup each veggie)
- 1 Tablespoon oil, plus more as needed
- Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt, and lemon pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the parsley, onion, cheese, and garlic. Stir in the bread crumbs and chopped carrot/zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the crumbs absorb some of the moisture.
- At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into 20 thick patties. You want the mixture moist, so the patties aren't dry tasting. However, you want the mixture to hold together when cooking. You can add more bread crumbs to firm up the mixture, if needed. Alternatively, you can add a couple drops of water to moisten the mixture. *The uncooked quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days. Cover tightly and cook the patties when you have time.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat, add 5-6 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until the bottoms are deeply browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a large plate while you cook the remaining patties. Add more oil to the skillet if needed between each batch.
- Serve plain or in a pita, on a salad, on a sandwich, with sliced avocado, with hot sauce on top, etc etc. There are so many ways to enjoy them!
Make ahead tip: Cooked quinoa patties keep well in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for two months. A quick few seconds in the microwave will warm them back up to enjoy.
Use any cheese, veggies, or spices you like best. The finer the veggies are chopped/grated, the easier the patties will stick together. I always pulse them in a food processor. No matter what else I add, I always use onion and garlic because they give so much flavor.
1. Update (2015): I've successfully made these quinoa patties using 3/4 cup oat flour instead of breadcrumbs!
Recipe adapted from Kerry, who obtained it from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen By Heidi Swanson
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How to Cook Quinoa
Of course today’s recipe cannot start without some cooked quinoa. I’m a huge fan of quinoa. You see, quinoa is a great gluten-free source of protein, iron, and fiber. It’s also a quick way to get in a serving of whole grains. Toss it into salads or soups, use it instead of rice, or throw it into a pot of chili. Or make these incredible crispy little numbers.
Here is a separate page for you to see exactly how I cook quinoa. It’s so simple and keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator.