Crispy Zucchini Fritters are a healthy and delightful appetizer or side! Combine grated zucchini with Parmesan cheese and garlic, lightly pan-fry them, and then bake them in the oven. This quick and easy gluten-free and vegetarian dish is delicious with your favorite creamy sauce.

A stack of fried zucchini fritters with sour cream on top.

It’s zucchini season!!

Home gardens are thriving, and grocery stores are fully stocked. However you get them, zucchini is a versatile ingredient that livens up any dish.

As you may already know, Summer is when they’re abundantly available. And if you grow them yourself, you need a million ways to use them up.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups, Baked Zucchini Fries, and Air Fryer Zucchini Chips are on regular rotation this time of year in our house.

But the most addicting recipe using the Summer squash? Zucchini Fritters!

They’re perfectly crispy, have the best flavor, and are easy to make.

Fritters are excellent as a family friendly snack, appetizer, or side dish.

And why not enhance the deliciousness with a dip like sour cream, Sriracha Mayo, or even Special Sauce!

Flour, zucchini, eggs, and seasoning are the ingredients for these fritters.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients needed to make zucchini fritters include:

  • Zucchini. Well, obvi! You can either buy from your local grocery store, farmers market, or grow your own in a garden. Substituting the zucchini with squash is not recommended since they have a slightly different texture and moisture content.
  • Flour. All-purpose flour is simple and creates the perfect consistency. You can substitute a gluten-free 1-to-1 or a Paleo flour if you prefer.
  • Salt. This is an important ingredient for a reason other than flavor. It actually helps the zucchini release excess moisture so they come out super crispy, and not soggy.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Not only does the Parmesan cheese give a yummy, cheesy flavor, but it also helps the fritters to stay together. A dairy-free Parmesan may be substituted.
  • Egg. One LARGE egg, not extra-large or medium, is used in this recipe. The egg helps to bind the fritters so they do not fall apart while cooking.
  • Garlic cloves. Fresh minced garlic cloves are best, but you can substitute with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder if that is what you have.

How to Make Zucchini Fritters

Making these fritters is a similar process to making Corn Fritters and even Crab Cakes. The basic steps to make this great recipe are easy to follow:

Grate the Zucchini

You have two options to choose from when grating zucchini for this recipe:

The best option is to use a large food processor with a grating attachment. This is relatively quick, easy, and comes out with uniform pieces.

Trim the ends off and then cut each zucchini lengthwise into 4 spears. Add spears to a large food processor and push through until grated. Repeat with remaining spears.

Or, use a boxed grater. This works but is not ideal. It takes a bit longer and the zucchini tends to be more mushy than grated.

Strain Zucchini

Once you have the zucchini grated, the next step is to get rid of the excess moisture. Too much moisture will result in soggy instead of crispy fritters.

Lay grated vegetables out in a single layer or place in a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Place grated zucchini in a cheesecloth or a thin dish towel and strain until all of the moisture comes out.

Make Patties

In a large bowl combine grated zucchini, flour, cheese, egg, garlic, and black pepper. Stir until well combined. The batter will be thick and chunky.

Make 8 equally-sized balls that are each about 2-3 tablespoons.

Fry in a Skillet

Warm a skillet over medium high heat. You will likely need to cook the fritters in more than one batch.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil and 4 balls of zucchini mixture to a large skillet. Smash the zucchini balls with the back of a spatula. Spread them out to around 2 ½ – 3 inches in diameter and about ½-inch thick.

Cook until golden brown. Flip after 2 to 3 minutes so both sides are equally seared. Repeat with the remaining four zucchini balls.

Bake in the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350℉.

Return all zucchini fritters to the skillet. Place it in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Expert Tip: A cast iron skillet is key in getting that crispy exterior and is the best skillet to use. However, a ceramic-coated skillet also works well.

Serve Them Up

Now that you have your zucchini fritters ready to enjoy, it’s time to serve them up! There are many options when it comes to dipping sauces.

Serve these shredded zucchini fritters simply with a side of sour cream or Greek yogurt, either diary-free or regular. Or make one of these easy homemade sauces:

A hand holding a zucchini fritter with sour cream on top and green onions.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: Cook the fritters completely. These zucchini fritters do not do well when mixed together ahead of time and not cooked. 
  • To Store: Let the cooked zucchini fritters come to room temperature. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze: Arrange in a single layer and freeze for 2-3 hours. Then transfer to a freezer safe ziplock bag or container.
  • To Reheat: Return the fritters to a skillet over medium heat, or pop in the air fryer until heated through.
An easy zucchini side dish recipe on a plate next to a zucchini.

FAQs

Why are my zucchini fritters soggy?

If all of the extra moisture is not removed from the zucchini before cooking, the fritters will be soggy.

How can I make zucchini fritters crispy?

Remove extra moisture by sprinkling grated zucchini with salt and straining well with a cheesecloth.

How do you get water out of shredded zucchini?

Let zucchini sprinkled with salt sit for 10-15 minutes. Then use a cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel to squeeze all of the extra liquid out.

Why do my fritters fall apart?

Enough binder may not have been used. Egg, Parmesan cheese, and flour are use in this recipe to hold the fritters together.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Sprinkle with salt. This makes them taste great and draws out the extra moisture from the zucchini.
  • Strain it real good. Use a cheesecloth to squeeze out the liquid from the veggies.
  • Fry then bake. To ensure a crisp crust and fully cooked middle, sear in a skillet first and then bake.
  • Save time and effort. Smash the zucchini balls into ¼-inch thick patties, then cook in a skillet for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Freeze the extra. Learn how to freeze zucchini for future use!
  • Change it up. If you want to get creative, add or top with green onion, use bread crumbs, panko, or almond flour in the batter, or stir in your favorite fresh herbs like dill.
Four zucchini fritters in a stack on a white plate.

What to Serve with Zucchini Fritters

These healthy fritters pair amazingly well with any of these recipes:

More Zucchini Recipes

Have plenty of zucchini on hand? Try these other easy recipes:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Zucchini Fritters Recipe

Crispy Zucchini Fritters are a healthy and delightful appetizer or side! Combine grated zucchini with Parmesan cheese and garlic, lightly pan-fry them, and then bake them in the oven.
A plate full of a fried zucchini recipe with a fork.
Yield 4 servings
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lbs. zucchini grated
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½

    cup flour or GF 1-to-1
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grate zucchini using a food processor with a grating attachment or with a boxed grater.
  • Lay zucchini out in a flat layer and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain excess moisture from zucchini using a cheesecloth or a thin dish towel. You will end up with about 1 cup of grated zucchini and 1 cup of strained liquid.
  • In a large bowl combine grated zucchini, flour, cheese, egg, garlic, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
  • Form 8 equally-sized balls that are each about 2-3 tablespoons each.
  • In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon oil and 4 balls. Smash zucchini balls with the back of a spatula and spread out to about 2 ½ – 3 inches in diameter and about ½-inch thick.*
  • Sear zucchini fritters for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining four zucchini balls.
  • Place all zucchini fritters back into the skillet and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve zucchini fritters with sour cream and enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Video

Notes

  • 2 zucchini fritters equals one serving.
  • If dairy-free, substitute with a dairy-free Parmesan cheese.
  • If you do not want to bake the zucchini fritters simply smash the zucchini balls until they are closer to ¼-inch thick. Sear for the recommended 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned.
  • These zucchini fritters do not do well when mixed together ahead of time and not cooked.  The zucchini will continue to lose its moisture and you will end up with a soggy mess.
  • To Store: Let the cooked zucchini fritters come to room temperature. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 187kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 607mg, Potassium: 459mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 450IU, Vitamin C: 30.9mg, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 1.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
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Comments

  1. Thank you foryou yummy recipe been looking for this as had it one before at a eatery fabulous find thank you 😁😋

  2. 5 stars
    The best fritters EVER! I love this recipe and it will be the only one I use for zucchini fritters, from now on.

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!

  3. 5 stars
    These were so good I ate 2 servings! OOPS. Thank you for having a simple version for these! I just served them with a dollop of sour cream sprinkled with scallions, Yummy!

    1. Yay! So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Dawn! It’s hard to stop eating once you taste them! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!