Quinoa cake, Veggie Burger, Quinoa kebab. Whatever you call it. This is a hearty meal or snack that is great to make ahead and keep ready to air-fry or microwave whenever you like.
How to make a Veggie Burger that Doesn’t Suck
The key to a good veggie burger is to make sure it is stuffed with loads of flavour and filling ingredients like quinoa. Since quinoa is high in protein it will fill you up rather than leave you hungry afterward. The flavour in this Quinoa cake comes from garlic scapes which just happen to be in season right now. But you can easily substitute for regular garlic and some green onions.
The crunch of the quinoa actually helps give this kebab an extra delicious crispiness.
Make ahead Quinoa Cakes
These Quinoa cakes or kebabs are great to make ahead and refrigerate or freeze for later. They are especially good if reheated in a pan or in the air-fryer as it will help the outside crisp up a bit more.
The key to making these quinoa cakes is to ensure your quinoa is not over cooked. You want it to just start to turn soft and have a bit of bite to it since it will cook a bit more when you pan fry the quinoa cakes. That is what makes the perfect texture for these kebabs.
Use up Leftover Quinoa
And because nobody asked, this is also a great way to use up any leftover quinoa you might have. This recipe is very forgiving, so even if your leftover quinoa is already flavoured with something else, it can still work for this technique to turn it into veggie burgers or kebabs. Feel free to tweak the other ingredients to your liking, just make sure to add the egg and tapioca starch (or corn starch) so the cakes will hold together while they cook.
If you find that the cakes are not sticking together, add a sprinkle of tapioca starch or corn starch to help things stick together.
It’s a perfect leftover makeover recipe! Let me know if you give it a go!
Veggie Quinoa Cakes/Kebabs with Garlic Scapes
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 6-7 stalks garlic scapes, thinly sliced (or sub for 1 tsp minced garlic and 2-3 stalks of green onion, thinly sliced)
- 1 small onion
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 large jalapeno, de-seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch (or corn starch)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil, divided
- squeeze of lemon, for serving
Prepare the Quinoa
- Throw 1 1/2 cups quinoa into a large saucepan with lots of water (enough to cover by about 1 inch) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 9 minutes until the quinoa is starting to get softened, but still has a bit of a bite to it (not mushy!).
- Drain the quinoa, rinse under cold water for a few minutes and then set aside to cool completely and dry out.
Prepare the Quinoa Cakes/Kebabs
- In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, except the oil and lemon.
- Add the cooked and cooled quinoa. Form the mixture into patties using a 1/3 cup measure (or whatever size you fancy). I got about 10-12 kebabs this way.
- TIP: If you are finding that the quinoa cakes are not sticking together while you shape them or cook them, add another tablespoon of tapioca starch or corn starch to the mixture to help it bind together.
Cook the Quinoa Cakes
- Heat a large frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil. Add the quinoa cakes in a single layer. Cook on medium low until golden brown on the bottom (about 3 minutes – try not to fiddle with them too much or they might fall apart on you!). Flip and cook a few more minutes on the other side to get the same browning. About 3 minutes each side.
- Remove from pan on to a plate, and continue frying the rest of the quinoa cakes, making sure to add a touch more oil to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan and help with browning.
- If you are serving immediately, you will want to cook them a bit longer in the pan (about 3-4 minutes more). Or place them into an air-fryer or on a baking sheet in the oven at 400F for about 6-8 minutes.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top. Or try it with my bomb garlic sauce! 🙂
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