Cheesy Fritters & Simple Salad

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: These crunchy-edged, melty-centered patties come together with two ingredients: quinoa and goat cheese. A lemony arugula salad turns them into a light, easy dinner. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: Make 2-Ingredient Cheesy Fritters, Win Dinner Tonight.The Editors

Serves: 2 to 4
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 22 min


For the quinoa patties

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 tablespoons fresh goat cheese (90 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

For the salad

  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons just-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
In This Recipe


  1. Cook the quinoa. Combine the quinoa, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the water has absorbed.
  2. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and let sit for a few minutes to absorb any remaining water. Add the goat cheese and stir until completely melted. Season with salt to taste. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to cool and set a bit. Now form into 8 patties, each about 2 inches in diameter. (At this point, you can wrap and refrigerate the patties, then fry them within a couple days.)
  3. Set a preferably nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, adding more as needed to create a circa 1/8-inch thick depth. When the oil is shimmery and hot, add the quinoa patties. (If they can all fit in one pan, great. If not, no big deal—just do batches.) Pan-fry for about 4 minutes until the crust is deeply golden brown. Gingerly flip and fry for another 3 minutes or so. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. Meanwhile, add the arugula to a big bowl. Dress with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Toss and adjust each ingredient to taste. Serve the salad with the hot quinoa patties on top.

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Reviews (16) Questions (0)

16 Reviews

Austin B. July 6, 2018
Very good, easy and cheap. Second batch was flawless. Parroting some of the commenters below, you might as well update the recipe and specify a 10-min rest for the batter, after mixing in the cheese. Makes a world of difference. Also would recommend smashing them into the pan, gives them a good crust.
Author Comment
Emma L. July 8, 2018
Thanks for this note, Austin! I've updated the recipe with that timing detail.
Natalia July 4, 2018
Delicious recipe! The binding takes some skill but once you get it, they’re flawless.
Natalia July 4, 2018
Also, instead of forming patties, you can drop spoonfuls in the hot pan and then smash them flat. The crust forms as they cook if the oil is a good temperature.
Janet W. July 4, 2018
Just made them for lunch & were so delicious.
Amy July 3, 2018
Hi! Can I freeze these? If so, how do you recommend that I freeze them?<br />
Author Comment
Emma L. July 5, 2018
Hi Amy! I've refrigerated them for several days, but haven't tried freezing them. I've read that goat cheeses freezes just fine, so I'm optimistic this would work. I would: wrap each one individually; collect these in a freezer-friendly bag; not keep them in there longer than a month; and thaw overnight in the fridge before using. If you try, tell us how it goes!
Hollis E. July 1, 2018
how about Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grana Padana, Pecorino Romana, Asiago, or even Ricotta or Ricotta Salata?
Author Comment
Emma L. July 1, 2018
Hi, I haven't tried those myself with this recipe. I know that ricotta doesn't melt well, but Asiago might work. If you give it a go, let me know!
Alicia V. June 29, 2018
Tasted good, but I think it needed another binder since it fell apart on me while cooking. I'll try adding and egg or something next time.
Natalia July 4, 2018
Just try draining the quinoa better, make sure your oil is hot and let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes. If you do all that, it binds perfectly. I’m making them as we speak for the second time.
shannon June 20, 2018
What other cheese would work? I'm not a huge fan of goat cheese.
Author Comment
Emma L. June 20, 2018
I haven't tried another cheese, so I can't speak to the exact measurements, but I imagine that most melty cheeses would work. Say, grated Monterey jack, provolone, or gruyère. Let me know if you try!
Rhianna M. June 19, 2018
Do you think you could form the patties in advance and put them in the fridge? If yes, how far in advance?
Author Comment
Emma L. June 19, 2018
Great question! Absolutely. If they're well-covered (say, on a plate sealed with plastic wrap), they should be good in the fridge for at least 3 days.
Bob Q. July 2, 2018
This will also solve the "falling apart" syndrome as the crust will form ahead of the internal melt.