These Zucchini Fritters can be pan-fried or baked to perfection, with a crispy outside, tender middle, and only 5 simple ingredients! Even better, these zucchini patties can be prepared gluten-free and dairy-free and are perfect for summer zucchini surplus and will disappear at the table whether served as an appetizer, side, or snack!
Table of contents
- Easy Pan-Fried or Baked Zucchini Fritters
- Why This Recipe for Zucchini Patties Works?
- Ingredients for Zucchini Fritters
- How to Make Zucchini Fritters
- Tips for Best Fritters Recipe Results
- Add – ins and Variations for Zucchini Fritters
- Zucchini Cakes FAQs
- Zucchini Pancakes Serving Recommendations
- Making This Shredded Zucchini Recipe in Advance
- More Zucchini Recipes
Easy Pan-Fried or Baked Zucchini Fritters
When it comes to zucchini, I’ll admit I’m usually hiding it in recipes to add a ton of moisture- like these turkey meatballs, healthy black bean burgers, and even healthy lemon bread! For these crispy zucchini fritters, though, we’re instead squeezing out all the excess liquid from the zucchini to make it ready to pan-fry or bake into wonderfully crispy zucchini fritters!
Honestly, these zucchini pancakes are a bit of “a blast from the past.” As a kid, I ate a lot of vegetable-based fritters to stretch seasonal produce to the max. In fact, I even have a tuna zucchini fritters recipe and canned salmon cakes (for when fresh produce is lacking) on the blog too.
However, these zucchini patties are also a great way to use up your summer bounty of zucchini and summer squash! In fact, this recipe uses 3 medium zucchini! – and I recommend you double or even triple the recipe to save in the fridge/freezer because these zucchini patties are a sure crowd-pleaser!
Even better, these fritters work out at just 50 calories each – which means they are great even for those watching their weight. Serve as an appetizer, healthy side dish, or snack, and you’ll always end up with empty plates! Serve them with a simple sauce or a side to dishes like grilled shrimp skewers.
And if you have even more zucchini to use, why not try this low-carb ground turkey and zucchini, Caprese chicken and zucchini, healthy chocolate zucchini bread, or browse my list of 45 healthy zucchini recipes!
Why This Recipe for Zucchini Patties Works?
- These crispy zucchini fritters use just 5 simple ingredients – with veggies and pantry essentials!
- The patties are also fairly versatile, with tons of optional add-ins and variations (keep reading!)
- Enjoy these zucchini patties as a healthy appetizer, snack, or side!
- You can prepare baked zucchini fritters (healthier but not as crispy) or pan-fried (crispier but uses more oil)
- Prepare these zucchini pancakes with the flour of your choice; meaning they can be gluten-free if needed! You may also be able to substitute the egg for a dairy-free, egg-free option!
Ingredients for Zucchini Fritters
- Zucchini: Smaller zucchini are best flavor-wise – shredded with a hand grater or food processor grating disk (to save time). Feel free to use yellow summer squash, too.
- Flour: You can use the flour of your choice, which helps to bind the zucchini fritters. I used whole wheat. Gluten-free options like rice flour and chickpea flour should also work. However, if you’re using almond flour, I recommend 1 cup flour and 3 eggs.
- Egg: Two large eggs are needed as a binder. Check the FAQs for substitutes.
- Garlic: Will pack in extra flavor. Adjust the amount to personal preference
- Herbs: You can use fresh dill, parsley, or green onion (scallions) – finely chopped.
- Salt & Pepper
- Topping: You can use Greek yogurt or sour cream as a topping/dip. Alternatively, keep reading below for serving suggestions.
Keep reading below for a list of recipe add-ins and variations!
How to Make Zucchini Fritters
- Salt the zucchini: First, add the shredded zucchini to a large bowl (or colander), mix with 1 tsp of salt, and allow to sit for 10 minutes to extract any excess liquid.
- Prepare the batter: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the eggs, garlic, flour, herbs, and salt and pepper.
- Squeeze the zucchini: Using your hands or a cheesecloth/nut milk bag, squeeze all the liquid from your zucchini as much is possible then transfer it to the bowl with the batter.
If you use your hands, you’ll have to do this in batches, a handful at a time. If you use a cheesecloth/nut milk bag, you can squeeze it all at once.
- Shape and cook the zucchini patties: Once the batter is ready, there are two ways to cook the zucchini fritters including pan-frying (crispiest results but more oil used), or baking.
Pan Fry Instructions
- Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium heat with 2 tsp oil. Then, using a large ice-cream scoop, portion the batter into the pan and press down lightly to flatten.
- Fry for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown – do this in batches until all the zucchini fritters are ready.
- Preheat the oven to 400f/200C and prepare a pan with lightly greased (I use cooking spray) parchment paper. Use an ice-cream scoop to portion the zucchini patties and press lightly to flatten.
- Then bake for 20-24 minutes, flipping the baked zucchini fritters once halfway through.
For slightly crispier results, you can broil the zucchini fritters at the end of the baking process.
Once they’re baked, you can serve the zucchini pancakes warm or cold and topped with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Tips for Best Fritters Recipe Results
- For crispier zucchini fritters: You can substitute 1-2 tsp of flour for cornstarch instead. This helps to yield crispier results. I’ve also found that a mixture of rice flour and cornstarch yields particularly crispy results.
- Preparing the zucchini: There’s no need to peel or de-seed the zucchini. Just shred, salt, squeeze, and mix into the batter!
- To shred the zucchini: You can do so using the medium holes of a manual grater or save time and use a grater disk for your food processor.
- Chill the fritter batter: If you plan on pan-frying the zucchini fritters then chilling the batter for at least 30 minutes before frying the patties can help yield crispier results (because of how the cold batter reacts to the hot oil).
- Thinner fritters: You can press the fritter mixture down more for thinner, crispier fritters. Just make sure now not to press too much otherwise they may fall apart.
Add – ins and Variations for Zucchini Fritters
- Baking: I originally posted this recipe as baked zucchini fritters. All you have to do is bake them in a preheated 400F oven for 10-12 minutes per side.
- Scallions: These crispy zucchini fritters are similar to Korean scallion pancakes with zucchini. So feel free to increase the amount of scallion and serve with an Asian ‘dumpling sauce’.
- Other vegetables: These zucchini pancakes are also fairly versatile in terms of the veggies used within (as long as the same volume of vegetables is used). Corn, peppers, carrot, and cabbage will all work (around 1/2 cup).
- Grains: You can beef up the zucchini fritters with the addition of leftover cooked grain; brown rice and quinoa work particularly well.
- Types of zucchini: Any color zucchini/summer squash will work – green, light green, or yellow. Any shape and size as well.
- Herbs/Spices: If you don’t have any fresh herbs, feel free to skip and fritters will still turn out amazing. You can also pump up the flavor with extra spices like onion powder, paprika, chili flakes (or powder), etc.
- Cheese: Crumbled feta, ricotta cheese, parmesan, or cheddar are all optional add-ins. I recommend about 1/2 cup but feel free to adjust the amount to personal preference.
Zucchini Cakes FAQs
You can have sweet or savory fritters – they are essentially some kind of meat, fish, fruit, or vegetable which are batter or breaded then traditionally fried. In fact, some varieties are simply dough batter that is deep-fried as-is.
You sure can – allow them to cool entirely before freezing for up to 3 months (read storage instructions below for full instructions).
At just 58kcal per fritter, these zucchini fritters can be a very healthy appetizer, side, or snack when served with other healthy foods – especially since they’re packed with zucchini. The fritters will be slightly healthier, too, when baked rather than fried.
There are several reasons that zucchini fritters can be soggy. First, if you don’t extract enough liquid from the zucchini, then they’ll be soggier. The flour you use can also have an impact. These fritters also benefit from a little extra oil in your pan if you want super crispy results. Lastly, baked zucchini fritters will also be less crispy than pan-fried versions.
First, it’s important to use the correct ratio of egg and flour to bind the patties and avoid them falling apart. However, if your patties get stuck to the baking pan, this can also lead to them falling apart – so ensure you grease the pan well.
You could try this recipe with an egg alternative like a chia/flaxseed egg (combine 1tbsp ground flaxseed with 3tbsp water (per egg), mix and leave to thicken for 10 minutes). I haven’t tried this, though, so I can’t guarantee results.
Zucchini Pancakes Serving Recommendations
There are several ways you can enjoy these zucchini pancakes- including warm or cold. In Ukraine, the zucchini fritters are traditionally served for dinner or breakfast, instead of potato pancakes, with sour cream or Greek yogurt for a lighter option. Sometimes, I like to stir in a bit of horseradish with yogurt.
However, you can also enjoy these zucchini fritters in several other ways, including:
- With pita: Similar to falafel pita, you can serve these zucchini fritters in a pita wrap with salad and sauce.
- Salad: Whether you serve the zucchini patties as part of a salad bowl or with a simple leafy green side salad, this is a simple and nutritious way to enjoy these fritters. They also pair well with side salads like healthy coleslaw, potato salad, and creamy cucumber salad.
- Grains: For more of a complete meal, serve the fritters alongside a salad and the grain of your choice.
- Casseroles: They make a great vegetable side for casseroles such as turkey quinoa casserole or black bean casserole.
- Proteins: These fried/ baked zucchini fritters also pair well with all kinds of proteins like crispy tofu, Greek chicken kabobs, and other chicken dishes.
- Other sauces: You can also enjoy these zucchini patties with other simple sauces like an Asian-style dipping sauce, healthy ranch dressing, avocado Greek yogurt dip, or even Pico de Gallo and other simple salsas.
Making This Shredded Zucchini Recipe in Advance
Make-Ahead: You can prepare the shredded zucchini and the batter (separately) up to 2-3 days in advance and store them covered in the refrigerator. Combine and proceed with the recipe when ready. You can also prepare the patties (uncooked), then freeze and store in the freezer for up to 3 months – to cook from raw (though I prefer reheating the cooked ones).
Store: Store any leftover zucchini fritters for healthy lunch ideas in an airtight container lined with double-folded paper towel for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Freeze: Allow the zucchini patties to cool entirely before placing them in a single layer on a baking tray. Freeze until solid then transfer the zucchini fritters to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to three months. Allow the fritter to thaw on the counter for five hours or in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: You can reheat the zucchini pancakes in the microwave (soft), oven (crispy-ish), or skillet with a drop of oil (crispiest) until warmed through.
More Zucchini Recipes
- Zucchini lasagna
- Zucchini boats
- Chicken, zucchini and corn
- Zucchini tomato bake
- Tex Mex chicken and zucchini
Or feel free to browse through my entire list of all zucchini recipes!
- 3 medium (2 lbs) zucchini shredded (6 cups)
- 2 small garlic cloves grated
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup any flour I used whole wheat (see notes for almond flour)
- 1/2 cup dill, parsley or green onion finely chopped
- 1 3/4 tsp salt divided
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Greek yogurt or sour cream for topping
- 4 tsp oil for frying
- In a large bowl, add shredded zucchini mixed with 1 tsp of salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In another large bowl, whisk eggs, garlic, flour, herbs, 3/4 tsp salt and pepper.
- Using your hands, squeeze liquid from zucchini in batches as much as you can and add to the bowl with batter. Stir well to combine.
- Fry: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl 2 tsp oil. Using trigger ice cream scoop, place zucchini mixture on a skillet and flatten with the back of a scoop. Can use large spoon as well.
- Fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, flip and fry for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining mixture.
- Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Fill large ice cream scoop with batter, place on prepared baking sheet and flatten with the back of the scoop. You can also use big spoon or a small ladle. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 – 12 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Serve: Serve hot or cold topped with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container lined with double folded paper towel for up to 3 – 4 days. Reheat in the microwave (soft), oven (crispy-ish), or skillet with a drop of oil (crispiest) until warmed through.
- Freeze: For up to 3 months. Then thaw on a counter for 5 hours or in the fridge overnight.
- Double the recipe if serving more than 3 people and/or would like to have some leftovers. I usually do that since these are very popular.
- If using almond flour: Use 1 cup almond flour and 3 eggs.