Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Patties with Lemon Caper Sauce

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Do you ever get stuck in a dinner rut? Where you feel incredibly uninspired to prepare meals, so you end up fixing the same things over and over again? That’s been me this past week, although fortunately it doesn’t happen often. Oddly enough, this recipe for Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Patties with Lemon Caper Sauce was a direct by product of my dinner rut. I’d finally had it and wasn’t going to settle for fixing an old standby… again.   

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When I set out to create these quinoa patties my refrigerator was running on empty. I wasn’t going to the store anytime soon, so I wanted to use what I had on hand. A green vegetable was logical (thank goodness for the last remaining broccoli head ALL the way in the back of the fridge), but I also wanted to include another protein, so I choose tuna. I thought the results were wonderful, but my opinion was confirmed when the critics (a.k.a my children) taste tested them. They gobbled the patties up and kept asking for more. The girls even went as far as asking to have them for breakfast the following morning. 

Score one for mom!! 

On its own, quinoa is packed with healthy protein, fiber, and other minerals, but combined with tuna, broccoli, eggs, and almond meal, these Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Patties are nutrient powerhouses. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack… you decide when to eat them, but these little babies are versatile, portable, kid-friendly, and are TO DIE FOR dipped in Lemon Caper Sauce (again, just ask my girls about the sauce… they love it!). 

Enjoy these!
All my love,
xo Megan

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Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Patties with Lemon Caper Sauce
Serves: 12 three-inch patties
For the Lemon Caper Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon capers, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Patties:
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup diced broccoli
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 cup drained & flaked tuna or salmon (about a 7 ounce can)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour or gluten free bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying
To make the Lemon Caper Sauce:
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to serve.
To make the Tuna & Broccoli Quinoa Patties:
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions, or use The Better Way to Cook Quinoa method. Drain and cool.
  2. In a medium sized skillet, sauté the broccoli and onions in 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil over medium heat until they are beginning to turn soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from burner and cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, broccoli and onions, tuna, almond flour, garlic, and dill. Season with lots of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in the eggs.
  5. Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a 10-12 inch skillet (this is the one I recommend) over medium heat.
  6. Pack a 1/4 cup metal measuring cup with patty mixture and carefully ease the mixture out into the skillet. Use the back side of a spatula to press the mixture into a three inch patty, about 1/2-3/4 inch thick.
  7. Reduce temperature to medium low, and fry the patties for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. Keep adding more coconut oil to the pan as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature with the Lemon Caper Sauce.
Recipe Notes from Megan
I like having a good amount of coconut oil in my frying pan, about a tablespoon, because it makes the outside of the patties nice and crunchy (but that’s just my preference, feel free to do what you like).

If you are using left over cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa equals about 1 3/4 cups of cooked quinoa.

This recipe is linked to Mostly Homemade Monday, Natural Living Monday, Teach Me Tuesday, Healthy Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wellness Wednesday Link-Up, Gluten Free WednesdaysFrugal Day Sustainable Ways, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Full Plate ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Healing with Food Friday, The Paleo Rodeo and Gluten Free Fridays. 

This post may contain affiliate links which I may receive a small commission from (without any additional costs to you). The money earned from these commissions helps me maintain this website. Thank you for your support in this way!  


  1. Jennifer says

    These look amazing, Megan! Tuna sounds great (my kids love it, too), but your salmon idea sounds even better to this Alaskan with tons of salmon in her pantry! :) Maybe I’ll get crazy and throw some smoked salmon in there as well! Great recipe! Your photography is wonderful, too!

    • Megan says

      Thanks so much, Jennifer! I wanted to use salmon originally, but this is the first time in years I don’t have any canned salmon in my pantry. Kind of a weird feeling (although thankfully I have fresh in my freezer, I just was lazy and didn’t want to cook it). I bet smoked salmon would be amazing! 😉 And thank you for the photography compliment. That means a lot coming from you!

  2. says

    Hi Megan,

    I am going to make these for dinner tonight since I have all of the ingredients on hand. Winter is the season when I get into a rut for meals. This seems like something we all would eat even my 19 year old who is not fond of fish. Thank you for the inspiration!



    • Megan says

      Hi Joanne,
      I agree. The ruts seem to happen more to me in the winter too. Must be the darkness and cold. ;(

      And you’re so welcome! I think all of you will enjoy this recipe! 😉
      Hugs back,

      • says

        I had not thought of the dark and cold, but of course in Alaska you would have this for many months. This makes your photography even more amazing! You have managed very well to still make your photos look like they are taken in natural lighting. That is a talent! Joanne

    • Megan says

      No, sorry I don’t. You can easily pop the ingredients into an online calorie counter and it will give you the nutritional break down.

  3. says

    Hi Megan,

    Gasp. You just need to write a cookbook already!!! You are such a talented gluten free chef and your pictures are just stunning. This recipe looks amazing and those burgers, well, they look good enough to use as decorations. Ha ha.

    I have to tell you, i have some leftover red quinoa in the fridge. I have all the other other ingredients (except the tuna). So…yes, I will be making these ASAP.


    • Megan says

      Hi Amber,
      I haven’t tried using rice, so I’m not sure, but I think I’d be more inclined to try substituting millet. Can you have millet? Just make sure you use 1 3/4 cooked grain (millet or rice, whatever you decide to try).
      😉 Megan

  4. says

    I just love your Tuna Broccoli Quinoa Patties, and the Lemon Caper Sauce is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  5. says

    I’m so excited to find a new blog for allergy friendly recipes! These look delicious and we love that we can find quinoa that has no nut cross contamination. Please feel free to share this post or any other real food recipes over on my Tuesday Greens linky. I’d love to have you join us. Have a great weekend!

  6. says

    Holy Moly…these lovely little patties are gorgeous and sound super tasty.

    I recently found your blog and am in love with it. Keep up the great work on fabulous recipes AND your amazing pictures.

    Thanks for stopping by *Mostly* Homemade Mondays last week and sharing this recipe. I will be shouting this recipe from the rooftops all week AND featuring you on tomorrow’s new edition.

    I hope you’ll stop back by and share some more with us tomorrow. Feel free to grab a button, too, if you like.


  7. Debbi says

    These look yummy and so filling. :-) One question….I am allergic to eggs. :-( Do you think the egg replacer would work or would it work to leave out the eggs?? I never put eggs in my meatloaf and it seems to bind together pretty good. Your thoughts…..Thanks :-)

    • Megan says

      Hi Debbi,
      A Facebook reader, Erica, recently made these patties using flax gel to replace the eggs. Here’s what she had to say about it:
      “I made these for din-din tonight and they were awesome! Substituted flax gel for the eggs and oat flour for the almond flour but still amazing. Hubs loved them and kept saying, “These are the best salmon patties I’ve ever had!” I agree! They were good!”

      :) Megan

      • Debbi says

        Thanks Megan for your reply. :-) I stumbled upon your blog from Facebook from someone’s post of this recipe..once I left here, I went and “Liked” your Facebook page for more tips and then saw the above post. I will give that a try!! I am happy to find another Allergy blog, Besides eggs, I am also DF, GF, soy and corn free…hope to have more time to read through your recipes……I also hope to make it to Alaska someday. :-) Thanks again.

  8. Tatyana says

    Cooked these today with cauliflower in place of broccoli. It took a while to get all the ingredients prepped, but the effort was worth it. Everyone liked it! Kids didn’t touch the sauce but my husband and I enjoyed it. Thanks!

  9. Eric says

    These were amazing. I work until late and generally throw a bunch of vegetables together for a massive meal of about 80% water. I’m no vegetarian, but eat little meat naturally. Love tuna once or twice a week however and had it in my house along with quinoa. A quick search online led me to your fantastic site.

    I have to admit, not only did I not make the sauce, because it was late and I was exhausted, I ended up simply mashing everything together in a large pan and pouring whisked eggs over it as it cooked golden brown. What came of this was something with the texture of a potato latke along with those little pops of each bite of quinoa… Essentially an earthy mish-mosh of utter goodness, which I dipped bit by bit in a little bit of tomato sauce. (I also ate it right out of the pan!) I plan to make this following your directions to the “t” for my girlfriend on our first outing in two weeks time. (I substituted with pearled barley and chicken the next night, equally good, but I guess at that point a different dish!) Salmon sounds amazing, too!

    Thanks a great deal for this great dish!


  10. Neha Patel says

    Do you know what the nutritional value is of the broccoli tuna quinoa patties with lemon caper sauce? (Grams of carbs, protein, fat, etc…)

  11. Sylvan says

    Have you tried freezing these? How well do they turn out?
    I made them tonight and they took me about an hour from start to finish. Unfortunately, that’s way too long for me. I’d like to make them ahead, freeze, thaw in the fridge and fry.
    Really enjoyed them though. Even my boyfriend, who does not like fish, went back for seconds!

  12. Amanda says

    I made these last night & they were absolutely delicious! My whole family loved them.
    I did find however that when i was frying them, they kept falling apart. Is there a way of keeping them in shape?
    Amanda :)

    • Megan says

      Hi Amanda,
      I’ve experienced them falling apart, too, when I haven’t chopped the broccoli small enough. Next time dice it really fine, and see if that makes the difference. 😉

  13. KC says

    Tried this last night with a few modifications to accommodate my digestive issues – I left out all of the garlic and onions and used egg whites instead of whole eggs.

    I had a little trouble with them falling apart and browning unevenly (I think this has more to do with my cooking skills and cookware than anything) but they were still absolutely delicious. My husband was thrilled. I had 3 for dinner and 2 more for lunch!

    I loved the taste of the coconut oil, and the sauce came out excellent as well. We both hate plain mayonnaise but gobbled this up! I served it with raw dandelion greens with a homemade olive oil/acv dressing.

    Printed and added to our recipe file. Thanks so much! I love your site.

    • Megan says

      Hi Cassady,
      Yes, you can freeze them (I’ve frozen them before and then taken them on road trips). I definitely prefer them straight out of the pan, but the frozen does the job if you need to eat them that way. 😉


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