Spicy Quinoa Patties

Spicy Quinoa Patties | SoupAddict.com

You’re probably thinking:  Whoaaa, wait, quinoa in the middle of the Christmas baking frenzy? Are you crazy? Where’s the sugar, SoupAddict? Where’s the sugar!!

Here’s the thing: I’m getting a little overwhelmed by all the sweet-treat recipes zooming around the Interwebs. Yes, I’m doing my fair share of baking, and I even participated in the 1st Annual Food Blogger’s Cookie Swap (hosted by Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen — more on that Monday, the 12th, with a recipe for my favorite. cookie. ever), but there are moments throughout the day when I feel like I’m getting sugar highs simply from browsing those lovely and highly addictive food photo gallery sites (Food Gawker and Tastespotting).

I’m not done with Christmas sugar carbs yet, but I do need the occasional break. And protein-power-packed quinoa is my BFF in this momentary escape.

Spicy Quinoa Patties | SoupAddict.com

Spicy Quinoa Patties

Quinoa is a grain that is not only healthy, but absolutely delish (technically, it’s a seed, but you can use it like a grain, from cooking to grinding into a flour). A little aged cheese, a bit of herbs. Some onions and garlic and eggs to bind it all together. Pimp it up with a generous dose of crushed red pepper. Form little patties (à la distant cousin, arancini) and toss it in the pan.

See the extra dark bits in the photo above? Those are chopped onions on the surface of the spicy quinoa patties that caramelized against the hot pan. Caramelized onions, people. Take a moment to absorb the wonder of it: healthy quinoa, fresh herbs, aged cheese … and caramelized onions.

I serve these spicy quinoa patties with poached eggs for dinner, and make extra for the next day’s morning snack.

Spicy Quinoa Patties | SoupAddict.comNow you can bring on the sugar, Interwebs.

Karen xo

Spicy Quinoa Patties
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 patties
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature (leftover quinoa is perfect)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs, plus more if needed (I sometimes use a ground millet/wheat bread mix)
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Yield: Yield: about a dozen patties
  1. Combine the quinoa, beaten eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, garlic, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Add the bread crumbs, stir well, and the let the mixture rest for a few minutes. To test that the mixture has the proper texture to form patties, pick up a palm full, squeeze and release. If the mixture holds together in a clump, then it’s ready. If it’s dry and crumbly, add water a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the mixture passes the test. If the mixture feels wet and mushy, add more bread crumbs.
  2. Form the mixture into thick patties (about 3/4?), 2? round. (My shaping method: Place some mixture in one palm, then use your other palm and your thumbs to smoosh and shape the patty very tightly.)
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until shimming, swirling to throughly coat the bottom of the pan. Working in batches, gently place patties in the pan, leaving space between for easy flipping (depending on the size of your skillet, 4 to 6 will fit). Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the other sides for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove patties from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.
  4. Serving suggestions: Perfect for a light meal with a side salad, or roasted brussels sprouts, or a bowl of soup. I adore them for breakfast. Made slightly smaller, these would be awesome party appetizers with raita or tzatziki for dipping.
  5. Make ahead: the quinoa mixture keeps nicely in the refrigerator for a few days.
  6. How to cook quinoa: Combine 1 cup of well-rinsed uncooked quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and you can see the rings around the quinoa grains.

Source: adapted from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Every Day


  1. You are speaking right to my “please keep the cookies the heck away from me” heart. This is the time of year when I long to “sheltering in place” against the onslaught – I do make an exception for banana bread & good apple pie…
    I love these (and I love that cookbook).

  2. I am so excited to try this recipe. I am a fan of quinoa and have a industrial size bag in my pantry as we speak. I have used in in place of rice, in soups and now this. Very excited and can not wait to try in on my family and friends.

  3. I love those food photo sites also…

    Another one I enjoy that’s similar is foodiecrush.

    The quinoa patties look amazing….

    My vegetarian son in law will love them!!

  4. I’m jealous that your cakes stayed in tact! I tried these on 2 different occasions and after they turned into “hash” I have yet to revisit this recipe. Can you come over and make me these? Maybe that is the trick…

    • SoupAddict says:

      LOL! I think the secret is to pack ’em tight – press them between your palms, shaping the sides with your thumbs. They’re stubborn – you have to show them who’s boss! :)

    • I shaped the patties by pressing the mixture tightly into a 1/3 cup measuring cup, and that worked really well to compact it (I had no luck pressing the mixture with my hands).

  5. I love the crust on these patties. Beautiful coloring!

  6. Thought about this recipe for a bit and decided I have to try it. I’ve never had quinoa before and wanted to try it, but hadn’t come upon a recipe that seemed easy. I love salmon patties, so I’ll give these a try! The outside crustiness is scrumptious looking.

  7. My neighbor is always trying to get me to eat quinoa, and finally this seems to a great way to try. Garlic and onions and cheeeeese. How can you go wrong.

  8. Wow! These look fabulous. I am always looking for interesting ideas with Quinoa and this is definitely something I am going to have to try. Thanks for posting.

  9. Yum- I just discovered your website- looking forward to the quinoa burgers!

  10. I just whipped up a batch of these tonight, and they are deeeeelicious! So easy with my leftover quinoa… I cooked a double batch when I made some quinoa & black bean stuffed peppers the other day. Now I have these patties that are crispy scrumptious; I’m in quinoa heaven. Thank you for yet another great recipe!

  11. Made these for dinner – they are awesome! Super delicious and love the crunch on the outside. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  12. These are incredible! I made them a couple times for my parents throughout December, and all three of us really enjoyed them. My mom was a little hesitant at first because she had had quinoa before and didn’t like it, but she loved them just as much as my dad and I did. Thanks for the great (and healthy!) recipe!

  13. These are delicious! I can’t have cheese so I omitted it, but I added olives and beets for fun. Then, I baked them in the oven at 400 for 25 minutes. I sprayed olive oil on them, flipped them halfway through and they turned out perfect!!! I am super excited to have this recipe in my repertoire AND to have discovered Soup Addict!!! Making quinoa salad next.

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