Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce ♥

Chickpea Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, another Healthy Vegetarian Weeknight Dinner Idea ♥ A Veggie Venture. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.
Oh people, if you're looking for a weeknight-easy veggie burger, this recipe belongs on the top of your make-now list. I call them Chickpea Cakes (this word dancer does love alliteration ...) but really, you might call them chickpea patties or even chickpea burgers. What is the difference between a "cake" and a "pattie" and a "burger"? Nothing but semantics so never mind, just grab a can of chickpeas and supper is 30 minutes away. Serve these moist, nubbly patties with a little Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce aka tzatziki on the side. These are great!

Moist & Nubbly With Lots of Fresh Flavor. Easy Weeknight Vegetarian Dinner. Low Fat. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

February 29th. Just One Day, But A Special Day.

One thing's for certain, we each get 24 hours in a day. No matter who we are and where we live. No matter our age, our education, our bank accounts, our weight, our ambition, our baggage, our Facebook friends, our cars, our clothes, our homes, our good intentions. Nobody is shorted for 23 hours, no one can buy 25.

So February 29th is a special day, a day that comes just once every four years, often enough to take notice, rare enough to not waste. Every four years, we get the gift – all of us – of an extra day, a whole day, an entire yet-to-be-explored, yet-to-be-lived day.

How do you spend February 29th? Is it a day of contemplation? of carefree live 'n' let live? Is it a day to play it safe in simple gratitude for oh-so-many gifts or one to toss gifts to the wind, risking plain gifts for gifts with ribbons? Is it a day to step forward or step back? And oh yes, is taking a step back really ten steps forward? Or is it the other way 'round, that a step forward really means slipping twenty steps back? Life math so confuses me.

February 29th. Make it a good one.

Chickpea Cakes Made the List!
Best Vegetable Recipes of 2012


Hands-on time: 10 minutes for cucumber-yogurt sauce, 20 minutes for chickpea cakes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 4 chickpea cakes & 1 cup cucumber-yogurt sauce

1/2 an English cucumber, grated
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 green onion, white and green parts, chopped fine
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

15 ounces canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 large egg
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garam masala
1/16 teaspoon cayenne
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko (what is panko?)
1 green onion, white and green parts, chopped fine
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 - 2 tablespoons Chickpea Liquid
Light film of oil, for frying

CUCUMBER-YOGURT SAUCE Spread the grated cucumber across a colander in the sink and sprinkle with salt. Let drain for 10 minutes or until the chickpea cakes are cooking, whichever is longer. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

CHICKPEA CAKES While the cucumber drains, drain the chickpeas but if you like, save the Chickpea Liquid, then mash the chickpeas with a fork in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg, then whisk in the yogurt, olive oil, spices and seasoning. Stir in the panko, green onion, cilantro and if using, the Chickpea Liquid, combining without overworking. Divide the mixture into four, then gently form four one-inch thick patties with your hands, compressing the mixture just enough to hold it together. If made ahead, chill for up to an hour.

COOK THE CHICKPEA CAKES In a large skillet, heat oil on MEDIUM until shimmery. Add the Chickpea Cakes and cook without moving for four to five minutes per side or until golden and hot clear through.

TO SERVE Serve the hot Chickpea Cakes immediately with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce on the side.

ENGLISH CUCUMBERS VS GARDEN CUCUMBERS English cucumbers have tender skins and fewer seeds. If you use a garden cucumber, you may want to peel or "stripe" the skin if it seems tough and scoop out the center seeds if they're large and tough.
WHY SALT & DRAIN CUCUMBERS? Salt and a little time helps a cucumber release its excess water, it's a good step to make time for, otherwise the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce can be a little watery.
0% VS 2% GREEK YOGURT The inspiring recipe called for 2% Greek yogurt and usually I would agree, since I find that 0% fat products range from awful to so-so. But I'm a fan of the Fage 0% yogurt and since I was buying yogurt especially for this sauce, went for it, no regrets.
GREEK YOGURT SUBSTITUTE No Greek yogurt? Or is Greek yogurt a tad expensive? I hear you on both counts. A decent substitute is to drain plain yogurt through a paper towel lining a colander or strainer, releasing the whey and leaving a thicker, creamier yogurt.
MASHING the CHICKPEAS The inspiring recipe specified using a food processor for mashing the chickpeas. But it was really easy-peasy to smash the chickpeas, half at a time, in a flat bowl with sides to stop the chickpeas from flinging themselves onto the counter. A side benefit? An small upper arm workout.
DRAINING the CHICKPEAS I did drain but did NOT rinse the chickpeas before mashing. But after publishing, a reader asked if the chickpeas should be drained and y'know, I like the idea of saving a tablespoon or two of the chickpea liquid to mash in. Your choice.

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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2012 & 2020 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Are we suppose to drain the chickpeas? I don't think so, but want to make sure. Thanks for all the great posts Alanna.

  2. Anonymous ~ First, thanks for the kind words!

    Second, you know, you are right. I DID drain the chickpeas -- and failed to specify so in the recipe, oops, thanks for careful reading. But I actually like your idea of NOT draining them, or at least incorporating some of the liquid, not all of it, maybe a couple of tablespoons.

  3. YUM! I love the thought of using chick peas for veggie patties!

  4. This is a really nice recipe. It's been ages since I've made chickpea cakes (patties, burgers, etc etc ;-) Nice info in the notes. As I was reading I was wondering whether you'd discuss the difference between English and regular cucumbers, and of course you did. Good post - thanks.

  5. Sounds like a great recipe!

  6. Wow there are really great recipes here!! Glad I found you!

  7. I'm not a vegetarian but you have expanded my repertoire and we now eat meatless suppers about 3 days a week.

    I was awarded a 'Versatile Blogger' award and got the chance to nominate 15 other blogs I enjoy. I was so pleased to have an opportunity to recommend blogs I enjoy that I accepted.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna