These delicious zucchini fritters are baked, not fried, and loaded with garlic, Parmesan cheese, and Italian herbs for lots of flavor.
Zucchini fritters, also called zucchini patties, or zucchini cakes, are a great way to use up an abundant zucchini harvest. Simply combine shredded zucchini with breadcrumbs, garlic, cheese, herbs, and bind everything together with eggs. Bake in the oven for a zucchini cake that is crispy on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside.
They can be served for breakfast along with eggs, as light lunch topped with Greek yogurt or Italian salsa cruda, or a snack with a tomato dipping sauce.
I planted way too much zucchini this year. It wasn’t intentional, but I ended up with double the plants I planned on when setting up this year’s garden layout.
I ordered most of my seeds early before the seed companies became overwhelmed with new gardeners. However, zucchini seeds were not in the bunch. I had several packets of older seeds, and I thought it would be easy to grab a packet at our local garden store if they failed.
I wanted to give the plants a few weeks head start under lights and then transplant into the garden after my last frost date. Since the seeds were several years old, I tried pre-sprouting to coax them into germinating. After a week of nothing, I gave up and attempted to find fresh seeds online. Luckily, my timing was right and the rush was over. I ordered seeds and they were delivered within a week, just in time to direct sow them into the garden.
Almost as soon as the fresh seeds were planted, the original seeds that I gave up on sprouted as well and grew into healthy transplants. I did some shuffling and managed to get all the zucchini plants into the garden. They were crowded a bit, but still produced a bumper crop of squash.
Tips for Making Zucchini Fritters
This baked zucchini fritters recipe is a great way to use up those giant fruits that got away from you. If you are using older zucchini, peel the tough skin, cut into pieces, and remove the seeds before grating.
Any summer squash or zucchini variety works well in this recipe, including patty pan, yellow zucchini, crooked neck squash, or eight ball summer squash.
How to achieve a crispy fritter
The key to getting a crisp fritter is to squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the zucchini. Freshly harvested, smaller zucchini has more moisture than older zucchini. You may need to let it sit for a while after grating and squeeze several times to remove moisture.
Feel free to tweak the recipe
Fritters are adaptable. Leave out the herbs you don’t like, have on hand, or swap for other favorites. Replace the breadcrumbs with panko for added texture, or substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Instead of Parmesan cheese, try making these fritters with freshly grated cheddar, mixing in some mozzarella, or any hard cheese.
Don’t want to turn on the oven?
Make fried zucchini fritters. If you don’t want to heat up the oven, pan-fry these zucchini fritters in a little olive oil to get a delicious crispy coating. Heat oil over medium-high heat, add the zucchini fritters and fry for about 4 minutes each side. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
These fritters can be frozen too!
After baking, spread out the fritters in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once they are frozen, slip them into freezer bags, remove air, and store in the freezer for later. When you are ready to use them, pop them in a preheated 400˚F oven frozen, and bake until they are hot and crisp again.
Steps to Making Zucchini Fritters
Step 1: Prepare the Zucchini
You’ll need about 3 medium-sized zucchinis to yield 2 cups once grated, squeezed, and drained.
Wash your zucchini well under running water, pat dry, cut off the ends, and grate using the large holes of a box grater into a clean kitchen towel. If you are using giant zucchini, peel the tough skins, and remove the seeds before grating.
Gather the towel and twist to wring out the moisture. Let it sit for a bit in the towel while you prepare the other ingredients. Squeeze several times if there is still a lot of moisture.
Step 2: Combine the Ingredients
Grate the garlic and Parmesan cheese using the small holes of the box grater, chop the herbs, and add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
Give the shredded zucchini another squeeze, add to the bowl, and mix well.
Step 3: Bake the Zucchini Fritters
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Lightly coat two baking sheets with olive oil, non-stick spray, or parchment paper.
Scoop out about 2-tablespoons of the dough, pat together, and flatten with your hands to about 1/4 inches thick and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough it used. You can wet your hands or wear gloves to help prevent the batter from sticking to your fingers.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned, crispy, and cooked through. Flip once halfway through to brown each side. Serve warm with your topping of choice. Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, or top with Italian salsa cruda.
- 2 cups zucchini grated and drained well
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic grated fine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1/8 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/8 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Lightly coat two baking sheets with olive oil, non-stick spray, or parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Scoop out about 2-tablespoons of the dough, flatten with your hands to about 1/4 inches thick and place on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough it used.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven until golden, flip once halfway through the baking to brown each side. Serve warm with your topping of choice.
Makes about 16 zucchini fritters.
Are You Still Overloaded with Zucchini?
Shred and freeze zucchini into freezer bags in 2-cup portions to enjoy this recipe all winter long. Simply defrost and squeeze out the extra water, and then proceed with the recipe.
Other Ways to Use Zucchini:
Good planning is key to a successful vegetable garden
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.