Winter Quinoa Croquettes with Satsuma Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

vegan-gf-quinoa-croquetes These may not be your typical croquettes, but they are delicious. The outer crunch of croquettes typically comes from a deep-fried bread crumb coating, but the quinoa used here for the body of the croquette crunches beautifully with only a light frying in oil, and sans breading. 

The earthy, nutty flavors of quinoa and buckwheat are brightened with lemon zest and tangy fresh cranberries chopped with sea salt and a touch of sugar. Lightly-toasted pecans bring even more nuttiness and crunch, and fresh aromatic rosemary balances it all out its peppery, piney flavor.  Use red or black or a mixture of different-colored quinoa and serve with a couple slices of satsuma mandarin for a party-worthy presentation. A sprig of rosemary never hurts, either – plus it looks just like a mini pine tree sprig and is perfect for a Christmas dinner.


These are definitely fit for a party, especially during this time of year, with the bright red cranberries and pops of green scallions. They are also quickly put together and can be made a couple of days ahead. I think I might make them again for Christmas Day – I love the loungy day of doing nothing. My little sister always makes french toast and that’s about all the cooking that happens that day, so I will be able to just fry these up and still be able to serve a healthy, delicious lunch without the stress.


Winter Quinoa Croquettes with Satsuma Sauce
  1. 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  2. 1 scallion, minced
  3. 1 clove of garlic, minced
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. zest of 1/2 lemon + 1 tsp lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour*
  7. 2 tablespoons oat flour*
  8. 2 tablespoons tapioca flour or cornstarch
  9. 1/3 cup pecans
  10. 1/3 cup cranberries, chopped with a sprinkle of salt and a teaspoon of sugar
  11. 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
For the Satsuma Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup satsuma mandarin juice (about 3 mandarins)**
  2. 2 tsp soy sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  4. 1 inch knob of ginger, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca flour
  1. Bring the quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil. Lower the heat and cover. Simmer gently for fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat and let set for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. While you are waiting for the quinoa to finish cooking, make the Satsuma Sauce. Mix together the mandarin juice, soy sauce, maple syrup and ginger. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Spoon a little of the mixture into a small bowl and whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Add this to the rest of the satsuma sauce and simmer for up to 5 minutes or until thickened. The sauce will thicken more as it cools.
  3. Mix scallion, garlic, salt, lemon zest and juice, and all flours into the quinoa mixture until well combined. Add the pecans, cranberries, and rosemary and mix until well distributed.
  4. Form a 1-inch ball of the quinoa mixture in the palm of your hand, put it on the lined baking sheet, and flatten slightly. They should be about 1/2 inch thick and 1 to 1 1/2 inch wide***. Continue until the quinoa mixture is used up.
  5. Over medium heat, preheat a skillet (preferably cast iron) with a generous amount of canola oil. When a drop of water skitters on the top of the oil, it is hot enough. Avoid splashing hot oil by carefully laying the croquettes on the pan, about 1/2-1 inch apart. Fry for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and brown the other side, about another 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oil and lay on a paper bag or waxed paper and fry the next batch.
  6. Serve croquettes hot with the dipping sauce.
  1. Makes 33 croquettes.
  2. *Or substitute your favorite flours.
  3. **Definitely switch out for orange juice if you like.
  4. ***A cookie drop with spring-loaded handle works great with these.
chel rabbit

4 thoughts on “Winter Quinoa Croquettes with Satsuma Sauce (vegan, gluten-free)

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