Healthy Diet

Baked Quinoa Patties

Quinoa patties are portable, packed with protein, and adaptable. Even people who are undecided about quinoa tend to love them, especially the ones you see here. This version is crusted with sesame seeds and enriched with lots of herbs and kale. However, you can play around with a variety of accent ingredients and cooking techniques. I initially featured a pan-cooked version in my book Super Natural Cooking (2007), but you can also bake it with great results, and you can see that here.

How to make quinoa patties

Quinoa patties come together quickly, especially if you have a few cups of leftover quinoa on hand. I always make extra quinoa because I know it makes for a quick lunch if I plan ahead. To make quinoa patties, simply combine cooked quinoa, eggs, herbs, breadcrumbs, and spices in a bowl. The patties are shaped by hand and then baked or fried. They can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, and I definitely love them with some hot sauce.
Quinoa patties on a baking sheet before baking
Above you can see the patties before baking. And then after baking below. I like to sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for extra crunch. Really press them into shape with your hands so they hold their shape.
Quinoa patties after baking on a baking sheet

Quinoa Patties: On the go

I initially highlighted these quinoa patties (below) when some of you were asking about packing meals for flights. I was on my way to London – so a long flight from San Francisco. My in-flight meal strategy is an ever-evolving system that (currently) involves a collapsible container, two thick rubber bands, and a plastic fork/spoon thingy. All food goes in one container and I avoid letting liquids get through security. A good dash of sauce seems to be in order, however. I packed these potstickers for my flight to London. What you didn’t see was the way I buried them under a layer of these baked quinoa patties. Not pretty, but good to have on hand. I use a folded piece of parchment paper to separate the dumplings from the patties.
Quinoa patties packed in a little box for lunch
When staying close to home I tend to go the bento or tiffin route – take a look at this page if you’re interested in more grab-and-go lunch ideas.
Quinoa patties in a bowl served with a side salad


As long as your basic ingredients (quinoa, eggs, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs) stick together into a patty, you can play around with different accents and ingredients. Here are a few ideas that I’ve had success with over the years.

  • Za’atar Quinoa Patties: Follow the recipe as follows and add 1 tablespoon of za’atar to the quinoa mixture. This is a favorite, especially paired with a sesame crust.
  • Lemon Madras Quinoa Patties: Skip some of the herbs and stir in 2 teaspoons madras curry powder and the grated zest of a large lemon.
  • Gluten Free Quinoa Patties: Niki commented: “I substitute ground almonds or walnuts for the breadcrumbs – works perfectly.”
  • Brussels Sprout Quinoa Patties: VL remarked:”Just want to say I made these for a trip this weekend but used Brussels sprouts instead of the kale. They were awesome!” I also imagine finely chopped cabbage would work great in a similar way.

There are also tons of other great replacement ideas below in the comments.
Travel photos in London

Some tips!

One thing I’ve learned over the years making it is that the quinoa mixture is easier to shape if you let it sit refrigerated overnight. It just holds together better.

Linda Marie commented, “I found that wet hands made shaping the patties easier. Made them in the pan. Arrived great. Will try to bake next time.”
Quinoa patties in a bowl served with a side salad

Related Recipes

Here’s a post on how to cook quinoa along with a number of related quinoa recipes. And here you can get even more inspiration for feel-good lunch ideas. These quinoa patties are great in a bento situation, along with edamame, some coleslaw, and some spiced avocado.

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