Hurray, It’s Meatless Monday! Breaded Chickpea Cakes with a Garlicky Tzatziki Cucumber Sauce

by Jennifer A. Gardner, M.D. on June 24, 2013

The star of this week's meatless Monday is in the legume family—chickpeas, also called cici beans or garbanzo beans.

These filling cakes are tasty and good for youany day of the week—but they make an ideal Meatless Monday entree!

I serve these with a Tzatziki cucumber sauce, but you could also try hummus, mango chutney or guacamole. If you don’t want to make the sauce, try store bought Tzatziki.

To make this a complete meal serve with beets, or carrot sticks to dip into the Tzatziki. For a hearty sandwich, serve on pita or a bun. Make extra, these freeze great. This recipe can be easily halved or doubled.

Breaded Chickpea Patties

Time: 20 minutes     Servings: 8+ patties

2 cans (19 ounce) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unseasoned (preferably Panko) bread crumbs, plus approximately 1 cup extra added to a shallow bowl for breading
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garam masala (or curry)  (I use 2, but I like the flavor! It is not spicy even with 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
6 scallions, sliced thin (green plus white)
1 lime cut into 6 wedges, for garnish
canola oil, for pan frying


1. Mash beans in a large bowl until fairly smooth (see picture). Add bread crumbs and toss. 

2. In a large measuring cup, mix the remaining ingredients (yogurt, eggs, milk, oil, garam masala, scallions, salt, and pepper). Add yogurt mixture to the bean mixture, but do not over mix the beans or the cakes may become mealy.

3. If the mixture is extremely sticky, add a third tablespoon of breadcrumbs. Shape into 1 inch thick cakes using a generous 1/4 cup scoop. Coat well with bread crumbs and add to pan.

4. Heat a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons of canola oil to high (you can use olive oil but do not heat above medium high or it will burn) and add patties when a drop of water added to the pan crackles and snaps. Pan fry about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown, reduce heat if browning too fast.


Optional add ins: (any combination)

1 small to medium shallot, minced (omit the white part of the scallion)
1/4 small onion (omit the white part of the scallion)
2 tablespoons very finely minced red pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 to 2 teaspoons Za'atar (Middle Eastern spice mix)

Cucumber Mint Tzatziki Sauce

2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
4 cloves of garlic, grated or minced very fine
1 hot house cucumber peeled (I Ieave a few strips of green skin for color)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped mint (can use cilantro, scallions, basil or oregano or omit herbs)

1. Seed by running a spoon down a halved cucumber, then shred on a grater.

2. Toss salt with the shredded cucumber and add to a colander. Place a heavy bowl on top of the cucumber and let it sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze excess water out by pushing down on the bowl. Alternatively, you can roll the cucumber in a clean dish towel.

3. Mix the yogurt with the cucumbers, garlic, and herbs. Season with pepper. Ideally refrigerate for 30 minutes, but often I skip this step to save time.

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Did you make this or are you thinking about it? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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