When my friends first took a look at these appetizers, they thought these were crab cakes. After all, with the dollop of Greek yogurt and the sprinkle of chives, they do look like crab cakes. After a few bites and a few mmm-mmm’s, they started to politely comment that they couldn’t taste the crab, and then one asked if these were vegetarian/”fake” crab cakes?
Sure, that’s close enough.
These Mini Quinoa Patties are actually closer to mini veggie burgers. Packed with heart-healthy quinoa, garlic, chives, eggs, parmesan cheese, and herbed breadcrumbs, they taste almost meaty. And with a nice crunch on the outside, and a slight chew inside, I can imagine making mini sliders with them too.
I only started cooking quinoa last year, but I haven’t been very creative with it, usually just using it as a substitute for brown rice or even oatmeal. So far my favorite recipe is to make Pumpkin Yogurt Parfaits but after these mini quinoa burgers, I now want to experiment with different flavors for vegetarian patties.
Maybe I can make a Mexican flavored version, with black beans and salsa. Or Mediterranean, with feta cheese and spinach. Or maybe I could try recreating the flavors of crab cakes, with some Old Bay seasoning. Mmm-mmm.
But I will definitely be making these quinoa patties again. They’re healthy, flavorful, and best of all – easy to put together!
Mini Quinoa Patties
(adapted from Heidi Swanson’s recipe in Super Natural Every Day)
1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa, at room temperature
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup seasoned whole grain bread crumbs (I used garlic and herb)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives (but reserve about 1 tablespoon for garnish), cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Make small patties (around 2 inches in diameter, 1 inch in height), they don’t have to be perfect – just make small balls using your hands then gently flatten.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the patties and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the bottoms are deeply browned. Flip the patties and cook for 7 minutes, or until golden. I seared the sides too, but it’s not necessary. Serve with plain Green yogurt and remaining chives.
They do look like crabcakes but that’s their only similarity – these mini quinoa patties are low-fat, inexpensive, and filling.
Do you have a favorite veggie burger/patty recipe?