Golden brown and crispy, these simple zucchini fritters are naturally gluten free—and naturally, everyone loves them! Flavored with onion, garlic, and fresh herbs, these savory little cakes cook quickly on the stove and are welcome at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Serve with a creamy, tangy, and refreshing herb yogurt sauce for amped-up flavor.
Meet your new favorite way to enjoy zucchini! (After zucchini bread and zucchini cake, of course.) These savory pan-fried zucchini fritters make for a tasty light meal or side dish.
Unlike many zucchini fritter recipes that use flour or breadcrumbs to bind the shredded vegetables, my recipe uses cornmeal, which keeps the cakes gluten free. Plus, the cornmeal lends an unexpected crispiness that I haven’t found in other recipes. I use it when making zucchini sweet potato fritters, too!
More Reasons to Love These Zucchini Fritters
- Quick & very easy
- Hot & crispy, served with refreshing garlic herb Greek yogurt sauce
- Bursting with flavor, thanks to fresh herbs and garlic
- Vegetarian, healthy, & gluten free
- Makes an excellent light main dish or side dish, or enjoy at breakfast instead of hash browns
- Sauce can be made in advance
- Wonderful way to enjoy a summertime bounty of zucchini
Best Ingredients to Use & Why
- Zucchini: You need about a pound of zucchini. Shred them on a box grater.
- Onion: You can use whatever kind of onion you prefer, but make sure to chop it really fine (unless you want large pieces of onion in your fritters, in which case, don’t listen to me—follow your heart!).
- Salt: For flavor, and also does the important job of drawing out moisture from the zucchini. You’ll need some pepper, too.
- Egg: 1 beaten egg helps bind the fritters together so they don’t fall apart. I use an extra egg when making the sweet potato version, and that’s because sweet potato has less moisture than zucchini.
- Garlic: I recommend fresh garlic, but the jarred kind or garlic powder work in a pinch.
- Fresh Herbs: Chopped parsley, mint, and dill give so much fresh flavor to these savory fritters. You’ll use the same herbs in the sauce.
- Fine Cornmeal: The cornmeal adds a wonderful, almost unexpected, crunch, and a hint of sweetness. Using cornmeal instead of flour or bread crumbs keeps these zucchini fritters gluten free.
- Cornstarch: Helps to thicken up the mixture, while also soaking up some liquid.
- Baking Powder: Provides a little lift when cooking, so the fritters aren’t super flat.
- Olive Oil: For cooking.
Success Tips: How to Prevent Soggy Zucchini Fritters
Zucchini is the wettest vegetable around. Close to it at least, right? Well, the moisture is great for baking zucchini muffins, chocolate zucchini bread, and chocolate zucchini cake. Not so great for fritters, though. Moisture strips these fritters of their crisp texture. They’ll be wet, gooey, and soft. So, what’s the solution? Get as much moisture out of the zucchini as possible. This is what I recommend doing with pumpkin puree when making pumpkin oatmeal cookies, too!
The amount of liquid you drain will make or break your fritters. Take the time to draw out as much moisture as you possibly can, even more than when you make zucchini casserole. Use a large-hole box grater to shred your zucchini. Mix the shreds with the chopped onion and a teaspoon of salt. The salt helps to draw the water out.
Wrap it all up in a paper towel-lined bowl (or use a clean kitchen towel, or cheesecloth), lift it out, and begin squeezing over the sink. You will be amazed how much moisture you draw out. Use additional paper towels if needed.
Removing so much moisture reduces the volume of vegetables, and that’s ok. Mix with the remaining ingredients, and measure 2 Tablespoons (1/8 cup) per fritter. Do you have an 1/8 cup measuring cup in your collection? It’s incredibly useful.
Another trick for keeping your fritters crisp? Pan-fry in a little olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides. You only need enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. That’s plenty. I cook these for about 3 minutes on each side.
Creamy Herbed Yogurt Sauce
Like my recipe for easy corn fritters, I like to whisk up a quick and easy sauce/dip to serve alongside these crispy zucchini fritters. It’s the same sauce I serve with sweet potato zucchini fritters… because it’s cool, creamy, and absolutely delicious. I add dill to today’s version.
Similar to a tzatziki sauce, this garlic herb yogurt sauce is the perfect accompaniment. You probably already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen, and some are repeated in the fritter mixture (herbs, salt, pepper).
Whisk everything together and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it.
Mix the shredded zucchini and chopped onion with salt, which helps draw moisture out. Wrap it in a couple paper towels, thin kitchen towel, or cheesecloth and squeeze it over the sink. Give your hands a rest, then squeeze again! You’ll be amazed how much liquid comes out.
There’s likely too much moisture in the mix, or they’re under-cooked. Be sure to wring out as much liquid as you can over the sink. Cook the fritters until golden brown on both sides.
You can serve zucchini fritters at breakfast instead of hash browns, or enjoy as a light lunch or dinner alongside fresh green salad, cornbread, grilled vegetables, or pasta salad. Or roll them up in a wrap with some chopped tomatoes and cucumber, and dip in the yogurt sauce. (My favorite way to enjoy them right now!) You can also serve them as a side dish with baked chicken meatballs, baked lemon salmon, or these spicy turkey burgers.
Yes, absolutely. Yellow summer squash is a 1:1 replacement for zucchini here.
Enjoy warm and flavorful zucchini fritters with cool, creamy, and refreshing yogurt sauce. This recipe is really easy, and makes for a wonderful vegetarian meal or side dish. Squeezing liquid out of the shredded zucchini in step 2 is the most important step. Use a box grater to shred the zucchini.
- Make the yogurt sauce: Whisk all of the yogurt sauce ingredients together except for the salt and pepper. Taste, then add salt/pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, or up to 3 days.
- Make the fritters: Line a large bowl with a few paper towels or a clean, thin kitchen towel. (You can also use a cheesecloth for this step.) Place the shredded zucchini and onion inside. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and gently mix together. Top with another paper towel and press down so the paper towels begin absorbing some liquid. Lift everything up using the bottom paper towel and, over the sink, wring/squeeze out as much liquid as you can. The goal is to remove as much moisture from the zucchini as possible. Give your hands a break if needed, then return to squeezing out more liquid. You will be amazed how much liquid you wring out!
- Whisk the egg, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic, parsley, mint, dill, and pepper together in a large bowl until combined. Fold in the vegetables, and then whisk in the cornmeal, cornstarch, and baking powder until everything is combined.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, scoop up around 2 Tablespoons of the zucchini mixture. Place the mixture onto the hot skillet and gently flatten with a spatula. Repeat with a few more, making sure not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip, then cook for 3 more minutes on the other side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, then repeat with the remaining zucchini mixture.
- Serve warm fritters with yogurt sauce.
- Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave, or use an air fryer at 375°F (191°C) for 3–4 minutes. You can also place them on a lined baking sheet and bake at 375°F (191°C) for 8–10 minutes.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the creamy yogurt sauce up to 3 days in advance. See step 1. You can also prepare the zucchini fritter mixture up to 24 hours ahead of time. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated. Liquid will begin to pool at the bottom of the bowl during this time. When ready to cook, stir in a sprinkle of cornmeal if needed to help absorb some of the liquid.
- Freezing Instructions: Cool fritters completely, then place in a freezer-friendly container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw before reheating. See step 6 for reheating instructions.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Box Grater | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk
- Yogurt: You can use plain nonfat, low-fat, or full-fat Greek or regular yogurt. You could also use sour cream.
- Mint: Feel free to skip the mint in both the yogurt sauce and fritters. (Though it does add lovely flavor!) You can replace with more parsley and/or dill, or another herb of choice.
- Can I Make These Without Cornmeal & Cornstarch? Yes. Skip both and use 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose or whole wheat flour instead. For a GF option, you can try using 6 Tablespoons (about 45g) of ground flaxseed.
- Serving Size: 2 fritters (with sauce)
- Calories: 147
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 218.8 mg
- Fat: 10.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 11.2 g
- Protein: 3.7 g
- Cholesterol: 31.7 mg
Keywords: zucchini fritters