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?


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