Southwest Quinoa Patties with Avocado Sauce

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains – not only is it naturally gluten free, it’s versatile and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes…plus it’s good for you – Quinoa contains all of the essential amino acids and makes for a well-rounded protein!

I had some leftover cooked quinoa from the other night, and instead of using it as a side dish or a bed for stir-fry like usual, I decided to be a bit more creative. There was also cilantro in the fridge calling my name, so I went for a southwestern dish. I threw in some veggies to bulk up the nutrition and flavor and added some sharp cheddar cheese and black beans for binding.

For a little freshness, I whipped up an easy avocado-lime sauce in my Magic Bullet blender that pairs nicely with the black beans, quinoa and spices. I enjoyed the sauce, but you could also serve these with sour cream or a corn-tomato salsa if desired.

Since this recipe made about 12 patties, I tried cooking them two ways to see which way I liked best – sauteed in refined coconut oil (refined does not have a coconut flavor) and a few baked in the oven. Ultimately, I chose the pan-sauteed version for the better texture due to a slightly crisp crust – I am all about texture and mouth-feel! If you do opt to bake these for a lower-fat version, make sure and grease a baking sheet well and cook for about 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F.

These quinoa patties are delicious served as a vegetarian entree but would also make a yummy veggie burger or a nice base for a fried egg for brunch or breakfast. I am looking forward to serving our leftovers for brekkie in the next day or so!

Southwest Quinoa Patties with Avocado Sauce 


For Quinoa Patties
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled (if quinoa is warm, it doesn’t bind as well, thx MC!)
2 eggs
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/4 cups black beans
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4- 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (could probably use regular chili powder)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or monterrey jack)
1 Tbsp refined coconut oil, vegetable oil or butter, divided

For Avocado-Lime Sauce
1 avocado, coarsely chopped
juice from one lime
2 tbsp cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
water to thin
(I like the tartness and citrus flavor of the sauce but if you prefer a sweeter version, you could add a little bit of honey or stevia)


1. In a food processor add 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa and ingredients eggs through salt. Combine for 15 seconds or well incorporated.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the quinoa-bean mixture along with the remaining 1 cup of cooked quinoa and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. While quinoa mixture is chilling, prepare avocado sauce. In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients avocado through water, starting with 1/3 cup water and add 1 Tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. I added about 1/2 cup for a slightly thick sauce that is spreadable, add more or less to your preference. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet*, heat 1/2 tbsp oil or butter over medium heat (oil is divided since you will be cooking in 2 batches). Meanwhile, form 12 patties about a 1/2 in thick (I used a 1/4 measuring cup to divide mixture up evenly, then slightly flatten). Cook for about 6-9 minutes on each side or until browned and a crust is formed. Using a spatula, carefully flip over and cook an additional 6-9 minutes or until browned. Heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil or butter in pan and cook remaining patties for about 6-9 minutes on each side or until golden crust is formed. Serve with avocado sauce and enjoy!

*If you do not have a large enough skillet to hold 6 patties, divide oil up evenly and cook in 3 batches (4 at a time instead of 6 patties in the pan).

This recipe is featured at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Amy’s Simply Sugar and Gluten Free blog this week!


31 thoughts on “Southwest Quinoa Patties with Avocado Sauce

    • Our internet went out Saturday evening when I was trying to post 🙂 All these crazy afternoon and evening storms we’ve been having is messing up my food photos and my posting routine haha

    • Great question Allison! They haven’t lasted long enough for me to find out 🙂 Although, you could probably freeze a few then toast them in a toaster oven to crisp them up a bit? My avocado sauce lasted 3 days, hope this helps!

  1. Made these tonight! They are awesome!

    One change and one tip–

    Tip for readers– if you have just made the quinoa, like I did, you should probably chill it a lot longer than 20m. My burgers didn’t hold together very well. They were delicious, but I should have definitely chilled it longer.

    My change, because I love avocado, I doubled that amount in the sauce and made it more avocado-y.

    I can’t tell you what a huge hit they were. I had them on a toasted sourdough with lettuce and tomatoes. I can’t wait to eat another one tomorrow for lunch. I pinned them earlier and have to update my post with how fantastic they are!

    Thanks for a fantastic dinner. I will make these again!


    • Thanks for the feedback! So glad you enjoyed these 🙂 I will make a note in the recipe to make with chilled quinoa– nice call since I didnt use the fresh quinoa like you, good to know! I wonder if adding another egg would help if you are in a rush? And you definitely can’t go wrong with doubling the avocado, I love the flavor!

    • Hi Christy! You could probably omit the dairy but you might want to add more quinoa or some breadcrumbs (gluten free if needed) to help hold the patties together. If you try these, let me know how it turns out sans dairy! 🙂

  2. These look great and your avocado sauce sounds wonderful with them! I have some leftover quinoa in the refrigerator as well, so I may be copying your idea 🙂

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  5. Is there an Food Bloggie Award? Just made these for dinner and they were AMAZING! And mine didn’t even have the cheese…Also ate the avocado sauce on my salad and it was good there too.

    Thanks for the great food!
    Can’t wait to try some of your others…

    • Aww THANK YOU! I am SO glad you enjoyed the quinoa patties, I love southwestern flavors and the avocado sauce is definitely versatile! I appreciate the feedback too 🙂 It’s always so nice to hear when someone enjoys your recipes!

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  7. what is the best way to incorporate all the ingredients if you don’t have a food processor? Thanks! ps, i love you blog, so many yummy/healthy recipe ideas!

    • Hi Cara! I am happy you have found some recipes that spark your interest 🙂 Thanks for saying hello!
      In place of a food processor, the best option would be to chop ingredients really fine and possibly use a potato masher to help incorporate everything into a patty. Do you have a potato masher?

  8. Has anyone tried it successfully without the cheese? I followed the recipe exactly, except i didn’t add the cheese, so naturally, they were falling apart 😦 Would an additional egg or maybe some GF flour to get a thicker consistency work?? They were crispy on the outside and fluffyish on the inside. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this little scrumptious experiment! Thanks for the inspiration!

      • That would be awesome if you could! 🙂 Maybe an extra egg would cut it, I heard chickpea flour is a good binder flour, but who knows how well it will hold up mixed in with the other ingredients.

  9. Love the idea of adding avocado sauce to quinoa patties! Now you got me wanting to eat just that for dinner tonight. With a slice of lime or two!

    I think I have to stop visiting this place. You always manage to make me crave stuff… 😉

    Did your avocado sauce discolor a lot? After 3 days, it must have been more brown than green, right? Oh, how I wish avocado always looked nice and beautifully yellow/greenish like when you cut them right open. They have the most gorgeousest color! Too bad they have to turn greyish / brown in no time.

  10. Delicious!! I chilled the quinoa but the two eggs I had were extra large. I added a handful of GF oats and that did the trick. The recipe also works well with dairy free cheese. Thanks for my new favorite. I’m officially addicted to the avocado lime sauce!!

  11. I made these tonight..YUMMMMM! You can’t get canned black beans here in Australia…so I used kidney beans and WOW, my whole family loved them. There was enough for the kids school lunches the next day too. I’ll be making these again….! Thanks xxx

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