Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spicy Quinoa Patties

I was immediately drawn to these quinoa cakes when they started making the blog rounds a while back.  My mom and I whipped them up a couple of months ago and everyone in the family loved them.  Despite the word 'patties' in the name, I wouldn't consider these to be a burger-substitute.  Rather, they're simply crunchy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, pan-fried scoops of quinoa with lots of flavorful add-ins.  We served these with a salsa my dad made with black beans, tomatoes, ground cherries, and corn, but they'd be fantastic with pretty much any salsa, relish, dip, or pesto.  We added raisins to half the patties after we thought of the idea midway through plopping them into the skillet, and we thought chopped walnuts or pecans would be a great addition as well. Despite the name, these are not overly spicy, so feel free to double the crushed red pepper flakes or add a minced chile if you like.  These do keep well in the fridge - simply reheat in a non-stick pan until warm.

Spicy Quinoa Patties (adapted from Super Natural Every Day via Soup Addict)
Serves 4

2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (leftover quinoa is perfect)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 very small sweet onion, finely chopped
1 scallion, green parts finely chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
A few grinds of black pepper
3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed
A palmful of raisins and/or chopped nuts, optional
Water, as needed
Oil, for the pan

1. Stir together the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the onion, scallion, cheese, garlic, crushed red pepper, and black pepper and stir to combine.  Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let the mixture rest for a few minutes.
2. Test the mixture to see if it will hold together when a palm-ful is pressed together  Add water or more breadcrumbs if needed.  Optionally, stir in the raisins and/or nuts.   
3.  Heat the oil in two large skillets over medium heat until shimmering.  Shape the patties by tightly packing the mixture into a 1/4-cup or 1/3-cup measuring cup (depending on the size you want), and then gently plop into the hot oil, using the back of a spoon to gently press everything together.   
4. Cook 8-10 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned.  Carefully flip with a flexible spatula and cook the other side for about 7 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.
5. Remove from the skillet and serve.


  1. What a tasty way to use leftover quinoa! I always have some in my fridge, and I love discovering new ways to put it to use. Thanks for this! :)

  2. Ooh, what a great way to use quinoa! These patties look tasty.

  3. These sound absolutely delicious, thanks for sharing!

  4. I have been curious about these, they sound delicious! What a healthy side dish for the whole family!

  5. That sounds really good! Quinoa is new to me and I'm seeing it used in so many neat ways. I like your description of them being crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. mmm

  6. These sound awesome! I pinned them so I can remember to make them soon--I love quinoa so I already think I'm going to love these.