These crispy zucchini fritters are easy to make, easy to freeze for later, and really easy to eat! Serve them with a tangy lemon herb yogurt for an awesome appetizer, side, lunch or vegetarian main.
I love a fritter in every form. Whether it's made with lobster or chick peas, I've never met a fritter I didn't like. These Zucchini Fritters, also called Zucchini Pancakes, are one of my favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of summer squash that we grow in the garden every year.
I love serving them with this tangy lemon herb yogurt, but they are equally as delicious with tzatziki, marinara sauce, pesto, guacamole or homemade hot sauce. Or skip the dip altogether and just squeeze a little bit of lemon on top!
Why this recipe works
- Few ingredients and simple instructions that yield great results.
- Salting the zucchini releases extra liquid for a better fritter texture.
- A little bit of corn starch in the batter gives them an extra crispy crust.
- Can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, side or snack with the lemon herb yogurt or on their own.
- Can be made gluten free with one simple swap.
- Zucchini - Conventional green zucchini, or courgettes, is the most common, but this recipe can be made with any summer squash such as yellow squash, yellow zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa squash, zephyr squash or 8 ball zucchini.
- Cornstarch - Cornstarch is the secret to getting the zucchini fritters extra crispy on the outside - don't skip it. Substitute potato starch if corn is not in your diet.
- Yogurt - This is used in the dipping sauce. For best results, use a full fat plain Greek yogurt. My favorite is from Cabot - it's so rich and creamy. Sour cream or a dairy free sour cream can also be substituted if preferred.
Step by step instructions
- Grate the zucchini using either the grating attachment on a food processor or the large holes on a box grater. Sprinkle the zucchini with 1 teaspoon of salt and gently mix.
- Spread out onto a large kitchen towel and let sit for about 20 minutes to release its liquid. Fold up the towel and wring it our over a bowl or sink to extract the liquid. Be aggressive and really squeeze out as much liquid as your can.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the chives or scallions, egg, flour, corn starch, baking powder, pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Add the zucchini and mix until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Heat about a ¼ - ½ inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then line a baking sheet with paper towels and set it aside nearby. Carefully drop heaping spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture into the hot oil and lightly press with the back of the spoon to flatten. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. About 4 per batch is usually just right.
- Cook until the edges are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side for another 2-3 minutes, until nicely browned, then remove to the paper towels to drain
- To make the sauce, add the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chives or scallions and herbs in a small bowl and mix to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve the fritters while they're hot with the lemon herb yogurt on the side.
Tips for success
- If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, use that to grate the zucchini. It will be quicker and also produce longer strands of zucchini which give the fritters an even better texture.
- Be sure to squeeze as much water out of the zucchini as possible. The more liquid you can remove, the crispier the fritters will be.
- I like to fry in a 50-50 mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil because it gives the zucchini fritters better flavor from the olive oil but still a high smoke point from the vegetable oil.
- Don't crowd the pan with too many fritters at once. It will lower the temperature of the oil, causing them to be soggy, and will make them harder to flip.
What to Serve with Zucchini Fritters
Serve these zucchini fritters as an appetizer or as a light meal along with a salad. Here are a few recipes that would pair well:
Faq about Zucchini Fritters
Either your batter was too runny because you didn't extract enough liquid from the zucchini or your oil wasn't hot enough. Test your oil before frying by adding a tiny bit of batter. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is hot enough. Don't overcrowd the pan or it could cause the oil temperature to lower.
They might be raw inside because they are too thick and didn't have a chance to cook all the way through in the pan. To remedy this, try flattening them out more as they cook. Or if you prefer them thicker, transfer to a sheet pan after frying and bake for an additional 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Yes! Just substitute the flour for an all purpose gluten free blend. My favorite is Cup4Cup.
The fritters keep well in the refrigerator for up to a week and can easily be reheated in the oven, air fryer or toaster oven at 350 degrees. To freeze, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the fritters in an even layer, and place in the freezer until solid. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or air tight container and keep for up to 6 months.
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