How to Cook Quinoa and Recipe for Quinoa Patties

Quinoa Patties and How to Cook QuinoaIt’s the new year and time to try something new … right?

Introducing quinoa!

You may have heard about this little grain-like seed — after all quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) was one the buzziest foods of 2012 – but have you tried it?

This delicately flavored grain-like seed was a staple in the diet of the ancient Incas and has been called “the gold of the Incas,” or “mother grain.” Quinoa is gluten-free, easy-to-digest, and packs a powerful punch nutritionally – it’s a complete protein, and provides a plethora of essential nutrients, like folate, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and iron.

And it’s cute as a bug’s ear.

Where to Buy Quinoa

Quinoa seeds come in a wide array of colors, including black, red, gray, pink, yellow, purple, green, and orange. The most common colors are white and red.

You can find quinoa in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets or you can order quinoa through Amazon.

How Do I Cook Quinoa?

So now that you have this light, tasty, and easy-to-prepare “super grain” in your very own kitchen pantry, what do you do with it?

Quinoa is easy. Simply place 2 cups of water, stock, or broth (scant) in a wide-bottom pan and bring to a boil. Stir in 1 cup* quinoa, cover, and return to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and season to taste.

I use my pan with glass lid so I can see when the liquid is absorbed without lifting the lid (which can affect the cooking time and results).

When quinoa is properly cooked, you can see little curled “tails” emerged from the grains/seeds.

* Quinoa almost quadruples in volume when cooked, so 1 cup of uncooked quinoa will make approximately 3 1/2 to 4 cups cooked, depending on the type of quinoa.

The User’s Guide to Quinoa

Not only is quinoa easy to cook, but it’s ultra versatile too. Quinoa can be used in all sorts of dishes, like tabbouleh, breads, stuffing, pilafs, salads, soup … and these very tasty Quinoa Patties!

Quinoa Patties and How to Cook Quinoa

5.0 from 2 reviews
Quinoa Patties
Packed with super-nutritious quinoa, these patties are easy to make and wonderfully delicious!
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled
  • 1 cup cooked white beans, drained very well *see note
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder, corn starch, or tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  1. Finely chop parsley in food processor. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut carrot into large pieces, place in food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add beans, seasonings, oil, lemon juice, and starch and pulse just until mixed but still slightly chunky.
  4. Add finely diced onion, parsley, and quinoa and process just until mixed. Do not over-process; you want the mixture thoroughly combined but not mushy.
  5. Using approximately 2 tablespoons of mixture at a time, form into patties. (I use a cookie scoop to form the mixture into quick, nice, neat balls and then I gently pat them flat to form quick, nice, neat patties.)
  6. Heat small amount of oil in a nonstick skillet. Cook patties until browned on bottom. Turn over and cook until the other side is browned.

    Serve hot.
If beans are well drained and quinoa is cooked correctly, the patties should hold together firmly. However, if you find that the patties fall apart when cooking them, simply stir one tablespoon flax meal into mixture OR place mixture into refrigerator to chill before shaping into patties.


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  1. Susan says

    I haven’t used quinoa much, so this recipe helped get me started with it. The quinoa was very easy to cook, though your recipe made way more than I needed for the patties, so I had some left over. No problem, though, because I mixed it with steamed veggies for another meal.

    The patties were good. I loved all the veggies in them. I’m wondering if they could be baked instead of cooked in a skillet. I’ll try that next time. I’m also thinking that almost any kind of bean would work, like pinto, red bean, lentils. . . Do you know?

  2. Jennifer says

    Not sure why I didn’t think about how much quinoa you’d have leftover when I wrote the post (probably because it gets gobbled up around her), so thank you for bringing that to my attention. I edited my post to make a note of that.

    I’ve been wondering how the patties would do in the oven too, but I haven’t got around to trying it. Let me know if you do and I’ll do the same.

    As far as the beans, I chose to create the recipe using white beans since they are milder in flavor than most other beans. You probably could make these with other beans, but they would have a different flavor.

  3. Theresa says

    I tried this recipe this past weekend and it was fantastic! I made it for some friends and their three year old daughter kept asking for more. My friend’s husband kept giving me looks when I went back for seconds – he wanted to eat it all! The only changes I made were – I left out the cumin and I used Chickpeas instead of white beans. I also had problems with it crumbling apart but I just renamed it Quinoa Crumble. Next time I think I will try baking it to see if that helps.

  4. Jennifer says

    Hi Theresa,
    Thank you for your comment. Great to here that everyone liked the quinoa patties – even the three-year-old! :) Success!

    Garbanzo beans aren’t quite as binding as white beans, so that may have played a role in the crumble. Also, I’ve noticed that if I cook my quinoa thoroughly (and by that I mean until it becomes slightly sticky) then the patties hold together well; but if I don’t, they do fall apart.

    But I LOVE that you just renamed the recipe! 😉 My kind of cook!

  5. Doug says

    New to using Quinoa , still a fan of meat wondering how Quinoa would hold up as a filler with ground meat if Q was pre cooked , or in salmon

    • says

      Hi Doug,
      Are you thinking of something like stuffed peppers, where you’d have quinoa and ground meat in the stuffing? It would do great there. I often use cooked quinoa in a baked dish and it holds up nicely. Anywhere you’d use rice, quinoa will do the job just as well.

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