Spinach and Quinoa Patties on a white plate, topped with sour cream and chives

There are a lot of things about my life that have changed since I became a parent. I now consistently go to bed while it’s still light out. I do adult things like pay for life insurance. Each room of my house is littered with toys. And my diet has totally changed. I definitely didn’t foresee such a huge shift in what I ate back when I was prepping for parenthood.

There are a number of reasons why the change happened. First of all, obviously, my time is limited. And a lot of that limited time is spent holding a baby, which means I no longer have two free hands to cook and eat food with the wild abandon I once had. Secondly, we discovered a few months back that my JuneBug has a milk and soy protein intolerance, meaning I’ve cut out all soy and dairy from my diet. Thankfully, most kids grow out of the intolerance within the first year, and I’ll eventually be able to drown myself in cheese again, but for now, my diet is limited. The two things combined mean my diet is drastically different from what I was eating pre-baby.

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Spinach-Quinoa Patties

And let me tell you, this combination isn’t very conducive to balanced eating. More of my diet than I like to admit is made up of granola bars (I have a specific brand and variety that I know is soy- and diary-free) and trail mix. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either, but when they make up a large portion of your daily calorie intake, it’s not a very balanced way of eating. And I’m feeling it. The sugar overload has me feeling completely run down (well, that and having a four-month old).

I decided this past week I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and decided to (a) complain about it on the internet for the whole world to see and (b) do something to fix it. So I headed to the kitchen and powered through a bunch of cooking in order to whip myself up some new mom friendly foods. Healthy, fast, not packed with sugar, soy or daiy, and preferably easy to eat with one hand. The first of my Mommy munchies are these super tasty quinoa patties.

Spinach-Quinoa Patties

These are like little health food superstars wrapped up in an easy grab-and-go package. They are a source of complete, vegetarian protein (thanks to the quinoa), they are packed with nutrients because of the carrots and spinach. They are both filling and nourishing. And, if you think all of this sounds like a recipe for tastebud boredom, you’ll be happy to know that these patties are incredibly flavorful. I was so impressed with the explosive flavor of these guys.

I’ve been eating them straight out of the fridge (see previous note about lack of time), but you can also top them with sour cream, tzatziki, or hummus to add a bit more punch. These patties are so versatile! Crumble them onto a salad. Eat them as a side dish for dinner. Form them into bigger patties for a veggie burger substitute. Pack them into a lunch. Freeze them up for later eating. It may seem like this recipe makes a ton, but I promise you’ll find a way to use them—and then wish you’d doubled the recipe.

Spinach-Quinoa Patties

I cooked these up by pan-frying them in a touch of avocado oil (it has a nice high smoke point), which made them crispy and crunchy, but you could also bake them in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. 


Spinach and Quinoa Patties on a white plate, topped with sour cream and chives

Spinach-Quinoa Patties

Yield: 36 small patties
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Showcase the power of two vegetarian superfoods in these spinach and quinoa patties. Perfect for snacks, lunches or dinner!


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (for extra flavor, cook in chicken or vegetable broth)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1-2 cups whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (I like these)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil


  1. Combine all ingredients, except the oil, in a medium mixing bowl until well mixed, adding in more breadcrumbs if necessary to achieve a mixture that will hold its shape when formed into patties. Let the mixture rest for 5-10 minutes to allow melding.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Form the mixture into small patties (about 2" wide) and, working in batches, cook patties in heated skillet for two minutes on one side, flip and cook for an additional two minutes, or until both sides are golden brown. Let quinoa patties cool on paper towels.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 3 patties
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 1gProtein: 11g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. Thank you for this recipe, I can’t believe how many this made! They are going in a freezer bag to keep at work for a healthy meal, no rushed poor nutrition meals now! And there are so many ways to mix up the spices/veggies in these to keep it from getting boring, sautéed mushrooms, peppers, even black beans, so excited to find this recipe!!

  2. Nice texture. Needed more spices and kick. Next time, I’m adding garlic salt and a chopped jalapeno or chili flakes. I would definitely make larger patties and make a vege burger with all the trimmings

  3. I liked these a lot. My only issue is that my hands ended up coated with the mix and at the end I scraped what was on my hands and made a small patty! Any recommendations to make the process less messy?

  4. I just made these for our Sunday dinner, and wow were they delicious! I chopped the carrots instead because I like the texture and made them more “burger sized”, and they had wonderful flavor and texture. They are very versatile and so easy! Definitely a keeper recipe!

  5. I made these as a side dish and they were delicious! I definitely didn’t read the part where it said how many patties it makes, though. My husband and I will be eating them for a while. 😉

    1. I’m so glad you like them! They’ll freeze really well, too. Just pop ’em in a freezer bag, and the zap them for a few seconds when you want a fast meal. 🙂

  6. Can the mixture be put in a greased/buttered dish and baked for say 15 minutes?

    I made these tonight and they are super delicious but I don’t like frying. (Too messy)

    1. I’ve never tried it, but I think it could work. I would recommend elevating them on a baking rack in a dish, and then spraying them with cooking spray and baking them at a highish temp (around 400°). Let me know how it works!

  7. Where the brocolli in the ingredients list? Which has in the photo above. How much is the portion please mention and preview before posting. Thanks

    1. Sure, just toast some bread, and then blend them in a food processor or blender until a little smaller than the size of a pea.