Looking for a delicious, heart-healthy dish? Kale and Quinoa Patties pack a Superfood punch that will keep you satisfied for hours.
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Everyone who knows me, knows that I love to eat. And I love to eat food that’s not necessarily the healthiest. However, I do try to regularly eat on the healthier side. That’s the primary reason I cook lunch and dinner at home nearly every day, because it’s much easier to make better choices when I make my own food. And besides, that way my friends can’t tempt me with their less healthy choices!
I’ll be honest, I don’t eat grains as often as I should, but quinoa is one of my favorites. Quinoa is a complete protein, is very high in fiber and iron, and has a low glycemic index. In other words, it’s a good-for-you superfood. So you would think that I would eat quinoa on a regular basis, right? Well, of course not. When I’m on a quinoa kick, I will eat it at least twice a week. But other times I’ll go weeks at a time without it.
The first time I made quinoa I cooked it in water, according to the recipe instructions. One bite, and I nearly threw it out. Quinoa cooked in water tastes like wallpaper paste. I was super gun-shy after that, and it was several months before I tried cooked it again. The next time I used store-bought vegetable broth, and the result was night and day. Once I learned to make my own vegetable broth, I realized I was completely missing out. There is no comparison between the the box and homemade, and it made the quinoa taste even better.
My friend Shawn has told me numerous times that I need to make more healthy recipes, to help inspire him to eat better. I agree, but I do already have a few that are meatless/under 375 calories:
- Loaded Zesty Portobello Burger (meatless)
- Tuna Pasta Salad (under 375 calories)
- Roasted Vegetable Couscous (vegetarian)
- Egg Roll Stir Fry (under 350 calories)
One of my favorite recipes I discovered about 5 years ago is Kale and Quinoa Patties. It’s not under 375 calories, but with 2 superfoods in the main ingredients, you’re definitely eating healthier.
Kale and Quinoa Patties is definitely one of my favorite dishes. I love the hearty texture, the bite, and the beautiful crispy exterior. I originally cooked with white quinoa, because it’s what I found at the grocery store. My mom introduced me to tri-color quinoa, a combination of white (most delicate texture), red (richer taste and chewier texture) and black (earthy flavor). Because of that combination, tri-color quinoa has a much heartier texture than white quinoa.
KEY INGREDIENTS IN KALE AND QUINOA PATTIES
- Quinoa: I use Chosen Foods White Quinoa for Kale and Quinoa Patties, because I love the fluffy texture of the white quinoa. I have made them with the tri-color quinoa, but I find it creates a more dense patty
- Avocado Oil: I recently discovered avocado oil, and am a huge fan. It has a 500° smoke point and a wonderful silky texture, so it’s perfect to pan fry the patties. Before I found avocado oil I used Canola oil, and it works well
- Panko Bread Crumbs: I really like the light and fluffy texture of these Japanese bread crumbs. The great thing is, you can also find them in whole wheat and even gluten free
- Parmesan Cheese: I strongly recommend using fresh grated parmesan cheese. There is a distinct difference in flavor, texture, and bite between the fresh chunk and the can in the grocery store. Yes, fresh parmesan cheese can be a little pricey, but it’s well worth it. And it will last for weeks in your fridge.
- Egg: the egg acts as a binder, to hold the Kale and Quinoa Patties together. I use Eggland’s Best eggs, because they have 25% less saturated fat and more than double the Omega 3s than regular eggs
- Vegetable Broth: use the broth to cook both the quinoa and the kale.
I was such a picky vegetable eater as a kid, but kale was always on my favorites list. It doesn’t have the bitter bite of other leafy greens like bok choy or collards, and it absorbs whatever flavors you add to it. Kale is low in calories, high in fiber, antioxidants and protein, and is one of the superfoods. Kale significantly reduces in size when you cook it, so don’t be afraid to use a lot. What looks like way too much raw, will end up looking like the perfect amount when it’s cooked.
I cut the kale into bite-sized pieces to help it cook faster, and also to distribute it more evenly throughout the Kale and Quinoa Patties. I saute the kale with onion and garlic, but I also add garlic powder and onion powder to the mixture. There’s no such thing as too much garlic in my book, and the powders add an extra punch of flavor.
TIPS FOR PERFECT KALE AND QUINOA PATTIES
- Cook the quinoa a few hours ahead of time. I usually make Kale and Quinoa Patties for lunch, and cook the quinoa in the morning before I leave for work. If I forget, and cook the quinoa right before adding it to the mixture, at least one patty will fall apart in the pan.
- Let the complete mixture rest for about 10 minutes before frying
- Use a scoop for equal-sized patties. I use a quarter-cup scoop, and it works perfectly
- Use a skillet large enough that the patties don’t touch, otherwise they won’t brown properly
- Press the patties down slightly once in the pan, so they cook more evenly
Both the kale and quinoa go into the mixture fully cooked, so when I fry them it’s just to bring everything together and create the beautiful golden crust. I try not to fry food very often, but when I do, I pan fry. In the beginning I made Kale and Quinoa Patties on a griddle, and only used cooking spray. It worked, but the patties had no color. You don’t have to use much oil at all, and when the oil is hot enough the Kale and Quinoa Patties won’t absorb much of the oil.
The first time I made Kale and Quinoa Patties, I did them as a side dish. However, it was way too much food for that. I now eat four patties as a hearty lunch, which keeps me satisfied through the afternoon. To make these as an appetizer or side dish, make patties that are about half the size.
Kale and Quinoa Patties is one of my favorite dishes, and is on my regular lunch rotation.
Recipe adapted from Everyday Dishes & DIY
- 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
- 2 cups kale, ribs removed, chopped into bite sized pieces, rinsed
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
FOR BEST RESULTS, MAKE QUINOA SEVERAL HOURS AHEAD
In medium saucepan, toast quinoa over medium heat for a few minutes, to release nutty flavor
Add 1 cup vegetable broth. Be careful, because broth and quinoa may bubble. Reduce to low simmer, and cook for approximately 18 minutes
In large bowl, add quinoa, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan
In skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray or add 2 teaspoons avocado oil
Add onion and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent
Add kale and remaining broth, and cook until kale is softened, 5-10 minutes.
Allow kale to cool for 3-4 minutes, and add to bowl.
Beat egg, add to mixture and combine thoroughly. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Wipe skillet clean. Add avocado oil or vegetable oil, and turn heat to medium-high
Form patties. I use 1/4 measuring cup, , and pack mixture into cup, so that all patties are uniform and stay together. I also spray the inside of the cup lightly with cooking spray, so the patties release easily
Carefully add patties to oil. Press down lightly with the back of the cup or a spatula, to flatten them slightly.
Cook for about 5 minutes, or until you see the golden crust begin to form. Carefully turn using spatula, and allow other side to cook. You may lose a little of the patty, but that's okay!
When patties are done, remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Top with additional grated parmesan and a little more red pepper flakes, if desired. Enjoy!
For more delicious recipes, click on the photos below!