Crispy Quinoa Patties.

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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!

Crispy Quinoa Patties - these versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

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.

Crispy Quinoa Patties - these versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

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!

Crispy Quinoa Patties - these versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

Crispy Quinoa Patties - these versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

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.

Crispy Quinoa Patties - these versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

Crispy Quinoa Patties - these versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

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 versatile patties are crispy on the edges, warm in the center, and freeze well for a quick meal. Add your favorite spices and veggies!

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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Recipe Notes:

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.

How to Cook Quinoa

Quinoa is SO good and versatile! It's full of protein and makes the most unbelievably delicious crispy patties!

180 Comments

    1. Kim, the poached egg is an awesome idea. I’m trying that this week because I have a ton of these leftover. Thanks for the suggestion!

  1. OH MY GOSH! These look fantastic! I am a vegetarian and these seem perfect for me to make for dinner. I have dying for a great alternative to the same ol’ veggie burger! Thanks Sally, I will let you know when I try!

    1. Rachael, you’ll simply love these. I eat mostly vegetarian and these patties have some serious staying power. And are so fun to play around with using different veggies/cheeses.

  2. I am SO lost when it comes to cooking quinoa, so I’m glad you decided to make a little tutorial. I always try to wing it every time! And these definitely look delicious! This is definitely something I could make my meat loving family for dinner this summer! :o) And I really love the idea of a pita with some sort of tzatziki sauce!

  3. Yumm I’ve only had quinoa once I a salad with spinach, almonds and sun dries tomatoes. I loved it! I’m definitely making these. Can already imagine the patties on a brioche bun with some spinach and pickles. Pita doesnt sound bad either.. and I can eat anything with sweet chili sauce! .oh the endless options.. <3 thank you for sharing!

  4. We had quinoa patties for dinner last night! I like the idea of switching out your favorite veggies/cheese. I’ll have to try that next time! I usually flash-freeze prior to cooking, then just put them on the counter about 20 minutes before I’m ready to cook. Freshly cooked in a pinch!

  5. I love anything with quinoa. Even my 2nd post was about quinoa patties. Funny, these patties made me nostalgic. How fast time flies. haha
    These patties look crispy and tasty! Will be trying soon for sure!

  6. Mmmm they look so good, Sally! Love the crispy edge/sear you were able to get and I know patties are not easy to shoot. At least for me they never have been 🙂 I love quinoa and it’s so versatile and remember when I had to be strictly GF no cheating at all, quinoa was my lifesaver! pinned

    1. I’m having a lot of fun experimenting with quinoa in the kitchen! And you are right – they were NOT easy to shoot!

    1. I’ve heard that ground flaxseed can do it:
      (from care2.com)

      To replace one egg:
      1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
      3 tablespoons water (or other liquid)

      Stir together until thick and gelatinous.

      You can also use whole flaxseeds:
      1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds
      4 tablespoons water (or other liquid)

      Process seeds in a blender to a fine meal, add liquid and blend well.

      You can make a bigger batch by increasing the ingredient amounts. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

      So, that may be worth a try – maybe use vegetable stock/broth for the liquid? Good luck!

  7. LOVE these little patties. Quinoa has basically been a staple in my house since I first tried it a few years ago. I always love finding new recipes. Thanks for sharing, Sally!

    PS, another way to cook quinoa – using a rice cooker. I just measure out the quinoa and the water exactly as I would for rice, throw it in the rice cooker and set to “cook.” Works like a charm! 🙂

  8. These look amazing – I love quinoa, but the other members of my household aren’t so keen. If I can sell these into them as falafels, they will be a winner!
    Do you think they could be baked on a liberally oiled tray? I much prefer that technique to pan frying, just because it’s so much easier (and cuts down on the oil needed too). Thanks!

    1. My future sister in law, from who I received the recipe, says she often bakes them that exact way. I’ve never tried it though. Enjoy!

  9. These look so good! It’s hard to find decent meatless meal and/or dishes featuring quinoa that aren’t boring. This is something that even my husband and kids would love.

  10. I have been afraid to try quinoa for my family, but my 6 y.o. was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and I know how healthy this is! (I like it, but my boys are picky) I’ve been saving the little ends of our Udi’s bread loaves to make GF crumbs and I think we’ll try these patties next week! (broccoli/cheddar may appeal to them)

    Sally, thank you SO MUCH for working even harder to make some GF recipes! I’m sure I’m not the only one who appreciates it!

    1. Thanks Allyson! I’m really enjoying c=gluten free cooking/baking these days! Hope to start adding more and more to my repertoire.

  11. These sound great!!! I’m definitely making them this weekend; perfect for lunch salads. Is it half a cup of carrot and half a cup of zucchini or half a cup of both? Thanks

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