Zucchini Quinoa Patties

Zucchini Quinoa Patties | In Jennie's Kitchen

It happens every year. The first sight of zucchini sends me into overdrive, and next thing you know, squash is spilling out of every corner of the fridge. I’m not sure where this zucchini insecurity came from, but maybe one year I’ll be able to get it under control.

Throw in the summer squash growing in the garden, and well, my squash cup runneth over in a big way. One thing on the cooking menu for today are these Zucchini Quinoa Patties I developed for The Spruce a few months ago. I almost forgot about the recipe because it was created long before the zucchini seeds were even in the ground, and with out-of-season zucchini shipped thousands of miles.

I can barely contain the excitement I feel knowing I can now make these with squash harvested right from my garden. Before I get to that, though, it’s worth mentioning the squash blossoms that come with growing zucchini. I figured everyone knew they were edible, but a dear friend saw my photo on Instagram last week, and said she had no idea they were edible.

My favorite way to prepare them is with a quick egg batter. Whisk up an egg with some milk and salt, add enough flour to make a thin, but not too thin, batter. Some people prefer to make a water or seltzer batter, omitting the egg and milk. If I’m making something else that requires an egg batter, I find it too fussy to make a separate one for the squash blossoms. I’ve never found the egg batter to be too heavy so long as it’s thin enough, but give them a try both ways, and be the judge for yourself.

Zucchini Quinoa Patties | In Jennie's Kitchen

Once coated, dip the blossoms in the batter (I leave the stems on to make this part easier, and less messy), then fry them in a skillet (make sure the oil is hot first, you can tell when the oil has ripple-like waves). You can sneak a peek at them here. I know my need-to-follow-a-recipe folks will want something more concrete. I’d like to say maybe I’ll get around to it, but truthfully, I prefer to keep some recipes as no recipes in my cooking routine. This might be one of them. If you must have more guidance, or are curious of other things you can cook with squash blossoms, this is a great article with some ideas from Yotam Ottolenghi from last week’s New York Times.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming: Zucchini Quinoa Patties.

When the project was assigned a few months ago, it was simply create a zucchini fritter recipe. Simple enough. Almost too simple, and a bit boring in my mind. Did the world really need another standard zucchini fritter recipe? I think not. My thoughts immediately went to these Broccoli & Quinoa Patties from last fall.

A few tweaks to that recipe, most importantly swapping out the broccoli stalks for shredded zucchini, and a cousin of that recipe was born. I love the new addition of red pepper flakes. They catch you right at the end. This didn’t go over well with my sensitive palate kids, so leave it out if in doubt (or leave it in, and rejoice in not having to share them!).

Zucchini Quinoa Patties | In Jennie's Kitchen

Resist the temptation to skip wrapping the zucchini in a towel to wring out excess liquid, and if you do skip that step, please don’t come back here and complain. I told you so. Zucchini is very in high in water. It’s imperative to get as much of it out as possible so the patties hold together properly. I’ve not made these using gluten-free breadcrumbs, but if you do, and have a brand you love, outside of making your own crumbs out of GF bread, please leave a note in the comments for anyone else interested.

One last thing. My project also required creating a dipping sauce. Admittedly, I’m not a dipping sauce kind of gal, and likely wouldn’t have created one on a whim myself. In this case, though, I love the cooling contrast of this Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce with the subtle spice from the red pepper flakes in the patties.

Okay, Tuesday, Let’s do this. I’m not sure I’ll survive the week long forecast of rain and thunderstorms, but I’m going to give it my best try.

Zucchini Quinoa Patties | In Jennie's Kitchen

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Zucchini Quinoa Patties {Use Up Your Leftovers}

5.0 from 1 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: makes 10 to 12 patties

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded (about 4 cups worth)
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 cup cooked, leftover quinoa
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
  • Sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce, to serve (optional, recipe here)

Instructions

  1. To make the dipping sauce, combine sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, and dill in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Season with salt, cover, and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. To make the patties, place the zucchini in a clean, lint-free (not terry cloth) dish towel. Fold up to completely cover the zucchini, and squeeze to wring out any excess liquid.
  3. Add the eggs to a deep bowl, and beat them lightly. Add the zucchini, onion, quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, red pepper flakes, parsley, salt & pepper. Stir until well combined. May be prepared up to 2 hours in advance (store, covered, in the fridge)
  4. Add a swirl of oil to a wide, shallow skillet, and heat over medium flame until shimmering.
  5. Add ¼ cup of the quinoa mixture to the skillet (an ice cream scoop works really well here, and dipping your hands in water so the quinoa doesn’t stick is helpful, too). For smaller patties, scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture. Use the tip of a fork to flatten the ball into a 3-inch patty. Repeat with the remaining mixture, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (you’ll need to fry them in batches most likely).
  6. Cook until golden around the edges and set, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip, and cook until golden all over, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel lined dish to drain.
  7. Serve with the dipping sauce.
  8. CLICK HERE TO CONTRIBUTE

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7 Comments

  • Jennifer Dickerson

    This looks so tasty – I’ll definitely make a batch! I have realized that I can make all sorts of veggie based fritters and my 5 year old will eat them IF I call them pancakes. After a few years of really picky eating on his part, being able to serve fritters without any complaints is akin to hearing angels sing 🙂

  • cmartcookie

    Sounds really good (and a good way to hopefully disguise quinoa). One questin about ingredients: Small yellow? Is this yellow squash? How much?

  • Donna Dragonette

    Jen,
    The mustard is not listed in the ingredients for the dipping sauce…just listed in the directions.
    How much mustard should be used? The recipe for the zucchini quinoa patties sounds delicious!
    Thanks.

    Donna

  • Jennie

    Hmmm, not sure how that mustard snuck in but there’s none in the recipe. Edited accordingly. 😉 -Jennie

  • Jennifer Dickerson

    I wanted to follow up and let you know that my 5.5 year old gave these fritters (known in my house as pancakes) an enthusiastic thumbs up 🙂 Seriously, he loved them and ate 6! I laughed to myself as I squeezed the liquid from the shredded squash and I forgot to add the Parmesan but they were delicious! Definitely going into my fritter/pancake dinner rotation! Any thoughts on how well these would hold up in a kindergartner’s lunchbox?

  • Jennie

    They’re perfect for lunch, Jennifer. I take them all the time into NYC. No need to heat them up, as they come to room temperature by time lunch rolls around. If your son prefers hot food, you can heat them, and put them in a thermos to keep them warm. 🙂 xo-Jennie

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