Mini Quinoa Patties

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


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


  1. Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives (but reserve about 1 tablespoon for garnish), cheese, and garlic.
  2. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve with plain Greek yogurt and remaining chives.

adapted from Heidi Swanson's recipe in Super Natural Every Day


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?


40 Responses to “Mini Quinoa Patties”

  1. #
    Meghan posted June 7, 2012 at 8:12 am

    These look great! I love making quinoa muffins or some sort of black bean/veggie burger with pumpkin.

  2. #
    Michelle posted June 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I love using quinoa as a filler for burgers. It is so healthy and adds a nice nutty flavor!

  3. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat posted June 7, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I think I might add crab to these – they look amazing!

  4. #
    Samantha Angela posted June 7, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I’ve been meaning to make that recipe from Heidi Swanson. It looks delicious! I like how you made them as appetizers.

  5. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted June 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Who needs crab when you have all that other good stuff in there. However, I am sure you could adapt these any number of ways. Great recipe!

  6. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted June 7, 2012 at 9:11 am

    These are adorable!! I made quinoa sliders once and enjoyed their flavor but they were a bit crumbly. Yours look like they stand up wonderfully!

  7. #
    christina posted June 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    oh they’re so cute! they look really good.

  8. #
    Michelle Collins posted June 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I adore quinoa, and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. These look fabulous – thanks for the idea!

  9. #
    Daisy posted June 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    I love how everyone was fooled by their appearance!

  10. #
    cassie posted June 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    SUCH a big quinoa fan right here. love these!

  11. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted June 8, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I just saw this recipe on blogher, the mexican version, this looks amazing. i still need to cook with quinoa.. would be so fun to try something new, i’ll work on it this month. :-)

  12. #
    Megan posted June 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I would love these! Great use of quinoa!

  13. #
    grace posted June 8, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    quinoa seems to have faded from the spotlight a bit, and that’s a shame. this is a marvelous and inventive way to prepare it, bianca!

  14. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted June 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    They really do look like crab cakes, and I love the idea of trying out old bay in them!

  15. #
    Erica posted June 8, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    What a great idea!I love quinoa or quinua and these looks delicious!

  16. #
    Kailey posted June 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

    wow these look great! I might actually enjoy quinoa if they are made into patties :)

  17. #
    Simply Life posted June 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    YUUUM! I definitely want to try this! what a great idea for quinoa!

  18. #
    Elizabeth posted June 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I love quinoa cakes of any kind. They’re awesome made with sweet potato mixed in

  19. #
    Rhonda posted June 10, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    what a great alternative! I have never made my own veggie burgers but I love to eat them :)

  20. #
    Megan posted June 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    These sound absolutely amazing. I’ll have to make them!

  21. #
    OliePants posted June 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Yet another one of your recipes that I have bookmarked. I will be making this!

  22. #
    Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings posted June 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Bianca,
    I’m so glad you stopped by my blog! Because of that, I got to visit yours! I’ll be sure to catch up on your previous posts :)
    …and these mini quinoa patties…they look delicious! Like you, I haven’t tried anything creative with them just yet, although I do bake with quinoa flour. But I think this recipe is a keeper! Bookmarking it now…

  23. #
    Kim K posted June 11, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    i am absolutely 100% making these – i have a bag of quinoa and have made it twice, but it just seems to be lacking so much flavor that i was turned off from it. but i have all the ingrediants to make these little gems this week. thanks for the recipe!!!

  24. #
    Lea @ Healthy Coconut posted June 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    when I saw the pictures, I immediately thought of Heidi’s recipe. I was already ready to comment that I’ve been meaning to try her recipe but haven’t yet (I think because it’s hard for me to find chives?).

    I cook quinoa almost every week and never prepared it this way.

    Thanks for reminding me of this recipe, your pictures are wonderful. Makes me want to reach out for one.

  25. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted June 15, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    These look really good (and cute, too). I bet they’d make a great party snack.

  26. #
    Shannon posted June 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

    those sound awesome, and such a great, versatile party appetizer!!

  27. #
    Erica posted June 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    These look seriously amazing!!!!

  28. #
    Michelle posted June 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Those are adorable! I love little savory cakes of all kinds. I remember my mom making them with leftover mashed potatoes. Problem is: we never have any leftover mashed potatoes!

  29. #
    Dana posted June 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Funny enough, I always like the look of crab cakes, but don’t actually like crab. These would be perfect for me!

  30. #
    Meghan @ After the Ivy League posted June 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

    This recipe looks great! Simple, everyday ingredients combined to something super cute and healthy! Definitely saving this one!

  31. #
    Justine Raymond posted July 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    These look amazing! Do you think I could bake them in a mini muffin tin instead of frying?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Yup definitely, that’s a great idea!

  32. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted August 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    made these today, they were spectacular. thanks for posting. i’ll post soon and give you credit. :-)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted August 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Yayyy glad you liked it. Thanks girl!

  33. #
    Natalie posted November 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe idea! Please tell me how many patties this recipe makes. Thanks!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Hi, Natalie. I ended up with 7 little quinoa patties, all pictured above :) I hope you get to make it, it’s become one of my go-to quinoa recipes!

  34. #
    PT posted April 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I doubled the recipe and baked them for about half an hour at 350 in muffin tins. They turned out beautifully – golden and crispy on the outside. Thanks for the great recipe.


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