Red Lentil Quinoa Fritters – spiced with turmeric, cumin and a touch of cinnamon, these crispy fritters are oil free and baked, not fried. An easy, high protein, meatless dinner that will delight your senses.
I’ve made these spiced lentil quinoa patties no less than 3 times this past month. I can’t get enough of them. They’re super healthy. And my kids love them too, which is a huge score. As we had them yet again the other night my son said, “Oh, these again?” I was waiting for the eye roll and groan, but he quickly followed it up with, “Yay!”. The spices give such great flavor, but are subtle enough for tiny tastebuds. Served up with a simple tomato cucumber salad and a savory Tahini Yogurt Sauce, this is one delicious meal you will make over and over again.
No, it’s not Monday today, but most people could benefit from a few more meatless days in their lives. Why should Monday get all the fun? I have nothing against Taco Tuesday – actually I LOVE Taco Tuesday – and if you do too, then check out my collection of must have taco recipes here. But, these quinoa fritters are a good choice for any night of the week. They take about 45 minutes, but nearly all of that is hands-off time. If you have leftover quinoa and lentils or simply want to cook it the night before, these gluten free fritters will come together in no time at all.
I have been on a huge turmeric kick lately. It’s best known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods website, turmeric can also decrease cancer risk and has the potential to improve “cognitive function, blood sugar balance, and kidney function, as well as lessening the degree of severity associated with certain forms of arthritis and certain digestive disorders.”
Turmeric has an earthy flavor with hints of citrus. I find that it pairs exceptionally well with cumin and I’ve used both in this quinoa fritter recipe.
I’ve even been drinking it at night in a mug of warm almond milk with cinnamon and cocoa powder. It’s so good!
“But, Where Do You Get Your Protein?”
There is one question that vegans and plant based eaters get the most and that’s, “Where do you get your protein?” I promise my bank account would be bountiful if I had a dollar for every time I heard that question. It’s actually really easy to meet your protein requirements on a plant based diet, as nearly all whole foods contain some protein. What’s difficult is trying to meet your daily quota for vitamins and minerals on the standard American diet, but I’m not discussing that today. 😉
Quinoa is a complete protein, as well as boasting high percentages of manganese, copper, phosphorus, fiber, folate and zinc. Lentils are high in protein and also contain fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. So, if you are indeed worried about your protein intake, serve up a couple of these Red Lentil Quinoa Fritters and relax.
The Sauce Makes the Meal
What makes this meal really come together is this easy Tahini Yogurt Sauce. It only takes a few ingredients and few minutes to whisk together. My kids even loved dipping their steamed broccoli in it. If you want to eat these vegan fritters on a bun, that would certainly work, just spread the sauce on the bun. Otherwise, I like to serve them up with a little cucumber tomato salad on the side and a drizzle of the Tahini Yogurt Sauce over everything. Make sure to get a little bit of everything in each bite – so good!
If you like mixing different components of a meal into one perfect bite, then you must try my Millet Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Avocado Salsa and Spicy Chipotle Sauce! Total heaven on a plate right there!
Red Lentil Quinoa Fritters
I hope you love these quinoa fritters as much as we do! I love hearing from you guys, so if you give them a try, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I’m sure to see it! Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa (I like tri-color quinoa, but any will do)
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- dash pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour) (brown rice flour would work too)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Rinse and drain the quinoa and lentils. Place in a pot with the broth (or water), cover, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to med-low and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pot. If there is still liquid in the pot, remove the cover and continue to simmer on low for another 3-5 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, stirring as needed to prevent sticking. Set aside to cool while you gather the rest of your ingredients. *You can also use quinoa and lentils that have been cooked ahead of time to save time.
- Once the quinoa/lentil mixture has cooled a bit, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the parsley, tahini, dijon, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to incorporate. Add the cornmeal and chickpea flour and stir again very well. The mixture should easily come together to form patties. It will be slightly sticky, but not wet. If your mixture is too wet, add a little more chickpea flour, 1 tbsp at a time, mixing well after each addition, until you can easily form patties.
- Bake for 15 minutes, gently flip each one over and bake another 10 minutes.
- Serve with a simple cucumber tomato salad and Tahini Yogurt Sauce (below).
- While the Fritters are baking, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
To save time, you can cook the lentils and quinoa in advance and store them in the fridge until ready to use.
I like these patties on the small side - about 2 inches in diameter.You'll get about 20 patties making them this size. Larger patties, like burger size, will work perfectly as well, but obviously you will get less.