Quinoa Kale Fritters

The origins of this recipe began on Facebook. Well, that is not entirely true. It actually all started when a dear friend forwarded me this article which discussed how kale was the new beef.  I found it interesting and it made me feel a bit bad that I had yet to jump on the kale bandwagon.  Sure, I’ve made it a few times.  I’ve used it in this quinoa kale confetti salad, as well as in this quinoa protein bowl but I’m not what you’d call a huge enthusiast.   As healthy as it is, I should be eating it several times a week!

I decided to share the article on my Facebook page and as the readers there if they had any favorite ways that they enjoyed kale.

I was so excited with all the great responses – kale chips, Tuscan quinoa kale, sauteed kale, Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup – I could go on!  I copied a bunch of recipes into a word document and am working them into our meal plans for the next few weeks.quinoa kale

The one thing that really excited me was kale chips, because I am a salty snacky girl much more so than sweet and I have missed my salty snacks lately.  I have been trying to do my best to look for alternatives to processed oil when I can.  I haven’t eliminated it from my diet all together as you see below, but I am trying to be aware of when there may be another alternative.  So when I remembered that there were Salt and Vinegar Kale chips that didn’t use oil in Thrive Foods, I knew I had to give them a try.

Sadly, they will not be making an appearance here.

And it’s not because they weren’t good.  It’s because I ate them ALL before I got around to snapping a picture.  Seriously, I was sneaking kale chips while my coffee was brewing this morning.

I would have made some more but I used all the kale and was feeling too lazy to go to the store.

Later on, I remembered that I had blanched and frozen some kale a few weeks back.  Cooked quinoa was in the fridge.  My mind started working on a recipe and being that fritters and quinoa patties are a known obsession, these quinoa kale fritters were born.

I think I am officially a kale enthusiast!  :)  Now….off to the store so I can make more kale chips.

Quinoa Kale Fritters

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups Kale, blanched and chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seeds mixed with 1 cup water
  • Coconut oil or olive oil, for cooking (I used a tablespoon – more will yield a crisper crust)

  1. Coconut oil or olive oil, for cooking (I used a tablespoon – more will yield a crisper crust)
  2. Combine ground flax seeds and water and set aside for 10 minutes, until the mixture resembles a gel.
  3. In a large bowl combine quinoa, kale, onion, Tabasco and apple cider vinegar. In a separate bowl combine whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper. Combine the flour mixture with the quinoa and toss until well coated.
  4. Combine flax mixture with the quinoa mixture and stir well. The mixture should be very moist. Form into small balls or patties.
  5. Preheat a skillet to medium low heat for five minutes. Add oil and allow to get warm for another minute and then add patties. Cook until the edges start to turn brown (about 5-8 minutes) and flip. Cook 5 minutes more.
  6. Makes 24 small fritters – nutritional data does not include frying oil so adjust depending on how much you use.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 13 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 6

Calories: 216

Fat: 5.9

Protein: 11

5 :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Recipe by Cooking Quinoa.

  • Kathy

    Do I need the nutritional yeast? I don't have any.

    • Wendy Polisi

      No, you could leave it off. If you want, add in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

    • Wendy Polisi

      No, you don't need it.  For flavor you could add 1/2 cup shredded cheese but it would still be good without it.

      Sent from my iPad

  • Tricia

    This sounds delicious! I'm curious if you think chia seeds would possibly work instead of hemp?

    • Wendy Polisi

      I think chia seeds would be fine but I haven't tried it this way!

      • Tricia

        Chia seeds seemed to work just fine! They were delicious!!! I just made them and devoured more than I care to admit! I'm going to have to make them for the next family brunch as a more nutritious alternative to hashbrowns!

  • Amy

    Do you have gluten-free suggestion to replace the whole wheat? I don't consume gluten or GMOs, so I will probably try substituting ground amaranth for the ground flax seeds.

    • Wendy Polisi

      Any type of flour would work – brown rice, quinoa flour, etc.  If you use organic flax seeds it is my understanding you don't have to worry about the GMO issue, thought I would appreciate any information you have on this as I also try to avoid GMOs.  The purpose of the flax/water mixture is as an egg replacer, so anything that binds should work.

  • Amy

    Thanks Wendy. Here's a link about flax:

    Basically, flax is one of Canada's six cash crops for the Summer. Organic farmer's began to lose their certification because their flax was testing positive for GMOs. Because of this cross-contamination, Europe closed it's doors and would no longer accept our flax exports. So, guess where we ended up shipping it? Seems really strange that flax is really getting a boost as a health super-food in North America the past few years, doesn't it? North America doesn't currently label GM ingredients. Anything that is on the GM list, I just avoid. Most of it, like wheat, corn, and soy, are allergy-producing anyway and have little nutritional value compared to a lot of gluten-free grains such as quinoa and amaranth. Anyway, that's my anti-GM spiel for the day. Hope it was informative. I am a food activist! I can't help myself. Love your recipes, btw! :)

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much for sharing this great information!  The GMO issue is one that I've been trying to follow more closely.  I always spend the money for USDA Organic for anything that is on the GMO list – which means that I should be avoiding them but sometimes I really wonder if that is enough.  A very LARGE home garden is sounding better and better all the time. :)

      • Amy

        Honestly, urban (home) agriculture is the way of the future. It is the only way that folks are able to promote and utilize wholesome and nutritious food in modern society. When I first took an interest in what I call "real food" I wasn't sure if I could change my diet, so, I started small. I tried out a quinoa recipe. I loved it so much that I continued to seek out foods that aren't necessarily consumed by the general population. It is my extreme hope that this changes. I like to say now that I know more about food than any person reasonably should, but the TRUTH is EVERYONE should know where their food comes from and how it travels from production to consumption. Trying out your recipes has definitely been one way that I have learned how to cook and seek better alternatives than those provided by industrial agriculture. I have a very specific diet these days. I feel better than I ever have and my grocery bill is reduced by two-thirds of what it previously was. I hope to spread the word as much as I can and encourage others to eat real, nutritious food that will help change the current state of affairs in food production. Thank you so much for your part in this movement. If you need/want other resources, please feel free to pick my brain. :)

    • cristina

      i had no idea flax was being genetically modified…big bummer!!! i use chia for most of my binding needs, but i will mix the two aslo….thanks for the info…

  • awannabevegan

    Made these for dinner tonight and they were scrumptious! Thank you so much for such a great 'base' recipe that I can experiment with. It should be fun finding a bunch of great combinations that everyone will love and even using them as patties instead of the store-bought versions.

  • Laurie

    I'm so glad I found your blog wendy! As soon as my kale grows this year I'm going to have to try these!

    • Wendy Polisi

      I'm glad you did too…but I have to confess that I am jealous!  I wish I was growing kale….. :)

  • Patrick

    Would baking these be an option if you did not want to fry them? If so what temp/time would you suggest?

    • Wendy Polisi

      I would bake them on a parchment line baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Flip and cook another 10 minutes.  Let me know how it goes!


  • monkeyrose

    I have no Kale available in my area right now. I bought all the ingredients for these but can't find Kale. ): Do you think these would taste good with spinach instead of Kale?

    • Wendy Polisi

      Sorry I missed this when it came over – yep spinach would be just fine!

  • lorraine lantz

    where can i purchast hemp seed and chia seed? I have been trying your receipes and all have been good. a subustitute for hemp seed and chia seed please

    • Wendy Polisi

      I typically get them from either Whole Foods or Amazon.com<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=httpwwwfin075-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001CGTN1I&quot; width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />. Flax seeds would be a good alternative.

    • Linda Layton

      You can get Chia seeds at the Vitamin Shoppe

      • w wilson

        getchia.com is the cheapest I've found it- very easy to order and fast shipping too.

  • monkeyrose

    wow i just made these. So yummy! They fall apart so easy though.. I used flax seed meal isnt of ground flax seeds… would that have affected the consistancy

    • Wendy Polisi

      It may have – I actually just bought flax meal for the first time and haven't tried it in a recipe like this yet. Does it form a "gooey" paste? If quinoa patties fall apart it is most likely because you flipped them too soon. You should see the sides of the fritters cooked prior to flipping. It's kind of like a pancake…

  • triccio

    Hi Wendy! love your website. I JUST started to eat Kale……3 days ago. LOL. Newbie question for you..how do I blanche the Kale? Also, are you planning on coming out with Hardcover cookbooks in the future? Thanks!

    • Wendy Polisi

      I was late to the Kale party too! Here is a step by step on blanching it: http://www.livestrong.com/article/473284-how-to-b

      I have one out now and my new one (which is much better than the first) will be coming out in a couple months. You can see it here.

  • Lesley

    Would any low carb flour work as a substitute for whole wheat flour ? Which would you suggest?

    • Wendy Polisi

      Quinoa flour would work great though I'm not sure if it is considered a low carb flour. You could use coconut flour but you would need to add a little more moisture if they seem too dry and aren't holding together.

  • Wendy Polisi

    I agree so much with everything you are saying.  The fact is that we have all been raised to be ignorant about how our food gets to us and what does or doesn't happen in the process.  Movies like Food, Inc are a start in education but chances are very few people will ever see it.  (I personally think that it should be required viewing in High School.)  I am learning as well and very open to any information, resources, books or websites that you want to share!

  • Amy

    I "liked" the Cooking Quinoa page on facebook, so I'll post food things there, then you can decide if you want to share them elsewhere. Don't worry. My posts won't be too overwhelming, I hope. I'll try to keep it to quinoa, cooking and real food. :)

  • Wendy Polisi

    I look forward to it!

  • Wendy Polisi

    Yeah!  I figured chia seeds would work well.   I use chia gel all the time as an alternative to oil in my salad dressings.  It's actually probably even more binding than the flax/water mixture.  I'll have to try it next time I make quinoa fritters or quinoa patties.  Thanks so much for letting me know.

  • Wendy Polisi

    It is really sad that so many crops are GMO now. :(  I have had some success finding USDA organic flax but I am probably going to be using chia seeds more.  There are just so many advantages…higher in calcium & Omega 3's, longer shelf life….I should really do a post!