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!)
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).