Simple Zucchini Fritters
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Made with 5 ingredients, these simple zucchini fritters are a snap to throw together. This is a great recipe to turn to at the height of the summer when the summer squash is arriving in droves from your farm share or growing before your eyes in your garden. With a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt, these fritters make a great summer appetizer.
If you find yourself overloaded with zucchini or summer squash, here’s a great recipe to turn to: fritters!
Fritters can made from anything from cabbage to corn. In short, they’re finely chopped or grated vegetables bound by flour and egg. The key to making good fritters lies in finding the balance of egg and flour: too much flour and the fritters can taste gummy; too many eggs, and the fritters will taste, well, eggy; too much of both, and you’ll make pancakes!
As with veggie burgers, I love making a test patty not only to see if the fritter will hold its shape while being cooked but also to test for seasoning. This simple step saves a lot of heartache down the road.
As with making potato latkes, the key when making summer squash fritters is to let the grated squash drain in a colander for at least 15 minutes to allow the excess moisture to drain out. Removing the moisture is key to ensure the fritters brown and crisp properly in the pan.
Made with 5 ingredients, these simple fritters are a snap to throw together. When I’m up for it, I’ll make some tzatziki to serve alongside, but they are delicious on their own too, with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Give them a whirl! I know you’ll love them.
How to Make Zucchini Fritters
Gather your ingredients: scallions, zucchini, flour, salt, egg.
Coarsely grate the zucchini and transfer to a colander. Draining the zucchini or summer squash in a colander for 15 minutes at least is critical to removing moisture and therefore ensuring the zucchini brown and crisp nicely in the pan.
Make the zucchini fritter “batter” by combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
Portion the batter into balls …
… then fry in a skillet for 2 minutes a side.
Serve with lemon, sea salt, and tzatziki if you are up for it.Print
Simple Zucchini Fritters
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 fritters
- Diet: Vegetarian
This is an old recipe that I recently updated and simplified, by removing the herbs and onions and replacing them with sliced scallions, which I always have a ton of on hand in the summer thanks to my farm share. I also omitted the lemon zest, opting instead to finish the fritters with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Finally, the original recipe called for some grated potato as well, which is a nice addition if you have it, but not missed if you don’t.
- 1 lb. zucchini or summer squash, coarsely grated to yield 4 cups
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 4–6 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup flour
- grapeseed oil or olive oil for frying
- sea salt
- tzatziki, optional
- Place the grated zucchini in a colander. Spread the gratings out to allow for maximum surface area exposure and sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss lightly. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to drain.
- After the 15 minutes, transfer the zucchini to a large tea towel, bundle it into a beggar’s purse over the sink or a bowl, and squeeze out all of the juices. (Note: The squash will not drain out enough liquid on its own in the collander, so squeezing it out is a critical step to removing that moisture.)
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the zucchini, the scallions, and the flour. Using a spatula, stir the mixture well to combine. Squeeze a small portion of the mixture in your hands. If it holds together (not perfectly), it’s likely good to go.
- Make a test patty to test the mixture for texture and flavor. Pour some grapeseed oil or olive oil into a small skillet. Heat over medium to medium-high heat. Squeeze roughly 2 tablespoons of the batter into a ball in your hands. Flatten the ball into a disc and carefully lower it into the skillet. Season with salt. Cook 1-2 minutes; then peak underneath the fritter to see if it is browning nicely. When it is light brown, flip the fritter over, season again with salt, and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate or board and let cool for a few minutes. Taste. If it tastes nicely seasoned, leave the batter alone. If it doesn’t, season the batter with more salt and pepper if you wish, to taste. If the patty did not hold it’s shape, crack another egg right into the bowl and mix to combine. When you have the texture right, portion the batter into balls: I like using a 1/4 cup measure to do this, and I fill it lightly — it’s easier to make smaller fritters than larger ones.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil into the skillet. Flatten one of the portioned fritter balls into a disc and lower into the pan. Repeat with 2 more. I find cooking 3 fritters at a time is about right. Season with salt. Cook for about 2 minutes. Flip. Season with salt. Cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter while you repeat the cooking with the remaining fritters.
- To serve, squeeze a bit of lemon over top as well as some flaky sea salt. If you have tzatziki, place it in a small ball and serve it alongside.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: fritters, zucchini, summer squash, scallions, simple
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129 Comments on “Simple Zucchini Fritters”
Dumb question, but what sort of pan do you use to fry these up? We gave up on zucchini pancakes a couple of years ago after a series of total disasters – but these photos make me want to try again.
your timing ia amazing…we are just back from greece…loved zucchini in various fried formats and tzatziki on everything…then back home to a garden full of zucchini…i know what i am going to fix tonight! thanks.
I don’t believe I have seen “Greek” yogurt. Is plain a suitable substitute?
You might be surprised to find Greek yogurt in your regular grocery store. There are a few brands out there — Faye and Chobani — that seem to be everywhere. Greek yogurt is thicker, but you can definitely use plain yogurt. If you want that thick texture, however, I would recommend draining the yogurt in a cheese cloth for a few hours, which will thicken it right up.
I used a large nonstick skillet. I think the key is to not have the pan too hot — get it hot at first, but turn it down to medium high once the batter hits the pan. They took about 2 to 3 minutes a side, but I basically gauged their doneness by their color. I did add some olive oil to the pan at some point, too — I think during the second batch. If the pan looks as though it’s getting too dry, definitely add more butter or oil. Good luck!
I do love every little bute of these little morsels!
I love zucchini fritters but I have never had one with potato in! What a great idea!
Made the fritters yesterday. The grated zuchini and potatoes did not drain in the colander, as instructed. After I did the paper towel press and mixed everything up in a bowl, THEN it separated and I could drain off some liquid. So maybe first the colander, then the paper towel press, then put in a bowl and let it sit before mixing, and drain?
But in the end they were really good, and looked just like the pictures
I’ll make a note that during the 30 minutes in the colander, the veggies might release a little bit of liquid but that the majority of the moisture should be soaked up with the paper towels. The colander is used because it is the most appropriate vessel for salting — some of the liquid will drain out, but not all.
I found that some of the liquid separated out while I was mixing, too, but I didn’t drain it because I figured part of that was the egg, which I didn’t want to lose. Glad you gave them a go.
Very yummy and delicious for a quick recipe. I served the fritters with mixed salad and mayo on the side.
Oh my – these were good. And really easy. I have made variations on this theme but the tzatziki was always more complicated…loved the clean flavors here. Many of these ingredients were in my CSA share tonight…I used basil and garlic scapes in the fritters and dill and dried mint in the sauce. Came out great. Thanks!
Dee — That makes me so happy! I bet the garlic scapes added a wonderful flavor. I pick up my CSA today. So excited. We’ve been getting these unbelievable potatoes. I’ve never been excited about potatoes in my life.
A suggestion for the Tzaziki (taratur). Add some chopped garlic instead of onion. Some black pepper, roasted crumbs of walnuts, some dill instead of mint, olive oil and a drop of balsamico. Of course you need some cucumbers too, chopped in very small cubes. It really makes the difference. 🙂 Love your recipe.
I made these for dinner last night, following your recipe to the last letter, and they were just fabulous! The lemon zest pushed it over the edge from very good to excellent. I used basil and mint, because that’s what I had on hand. The only issue I had was that the potatoes started to discolor pretty rapidly – they oxidized and turned brownish – so maybe next time I’ll toss them in a little lemon juice to prevent that.
Thanks for another yummy recipe!
Zoran — Thanks for the tzatziki recipe. It sounds wonderful. Will definitely try that next time around.
Kamini — potatoes are tough. I think certain varieties oxidize faster than others. I think tossing them in lemon juice is a great idea.
Hol-eee wow! I agree that the lemon really pushes this recipe towards the wonderful. The tzatziki with them is an awesome touch too. I got my zucchini-hating husband and 9 yo to admit love for these! The only problem now is the 4 yo who doesn’t even like potato latkes!
Greetings, looks good but I am on a low carb diet. Any substitutions for potatoes? THX!
Maybe just try all zucchini? I think it will work. The potatoes help keep the texture crispy, but they’re pretty crispy as they are. Let us know if you make any discoveries!
These look incredibly good. What would you do for a substitute (if even possible) for potatoes? I have an allergy to nightshade so that rules out potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and some other things that are really essentials. Most of these ingredients can be left out of the bulk of recipes, but the lack of potato in this recipe is going to intrinsically change the outcome. Any ideas?
I think you could actually make the recipe with solely zucchini. The potatoes help crisp up the fritters, but honestly, the flavor of the fritters without the potatoes will still be delicious. I think they will still be pretty crisp, too, just not as crisp as with the potatoes. I wish I had another suggestion for you. Report back if you make any discoveries!
My mouth is puckering just reading this! The Tzatziki with this sounds amazing.
Thank you so much.
Made these with broiled fish for dinner last night. Recipe was easy to follow and delicious. My daughter asked to bring the leftovers for lunch today to school! Thank YOU!
This recipe is a keeper (!) and the site’s photography propelled me into action. I took considerable liberties with the ingredients using roughly grated cauliflower to replace potatoes (as several posters requested). My methods may need a little adjustment but this is a very versatile dish and just works! I also enjoyed the inclusion of directions for the preheated oven. DO IT and you’re efforts will be rewarded … take your time! Five Stars!
These were yummy. I used a cheese cloth to drain the excess water and added about a tbs of bread crumbs to make sure everything held together.
These look yummy. I’ve made similar without the egg. Add a little more flour, just enough to bind. I also add some rice flour if I have in on hand … it makes them more crispy.
Valerie — love the idea of rice flour. Thanks for sharing!
Adelle, are you also allergic to sweet potato – I don’t believe that’s a nightshade. I’m thinking of trying this recipe using sweet potato or yam.
Love the look of these! Do you think using a flax “egg” with a bit of extra flour would work in place of the egg? I need to veganize the recipe 🙂
Hi Erin — I’m not so great with these substituions, but I think your “flax” egg probably will work. I’ve used a vegan an egg replacer (“enerG” I think?) in other recipes that has worked amazingly well. Hope you find something that will work for you!
I made these using sweet potato and almond flour, to make them primal-diet friendly (and a few other slight modifications). I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve posted my version of the recipe on my site, and I’ve linked to you as the original source.
These were so delicious – and very easy too!
Katie — of course I don’t mind! Your substitutions sound fantastic. Love the idea of using almond flour in a savory dish. I never think to use it for more than baking. I’m going to check out your post right now!
Am I the only one that had problems keeping them together? I even added extra egg to the second half of the batch and they still fell completely apart into a mushy mess.
But, the flavor was still delicious! The zest and the mint were wonderful, and the tziki was amazing! I could’ve eaten it by itself, I was only very dissapointed with it staying together, any recommendations?
These were amazing! Thank you for sharing!