Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

zucchini fritters

I think I’m the last person on the planet to make zucchini fritters. Why it has taken me so long to give them a go I do not know. Maybe it’s that I have a general pancake-making phobia? Or that the amount of zucchini-fritter recipes I have collected over the years in addition to the blog posts I have bookmarked and the cookbook pages I have dog-eared is a wee overwhelming?

In any case, I got over it earlier this week, spurred by a revelation that helped me breeze through my zucchini-fritter recipe collection and locate a few promising recipes. My revelation, you ask? I realized I wasn’t interested in making a pancake — I wasn’t looking to make a floury, bread-crumb bound, cheese-laden pancake. I wanted something resembling a latke but composed of zucchini, which would be crisped quickly in a pan and served with something cool like sour cream or tzatziki.

The recipe here fits that description. A combination of grated zucchini and potato with a little diced onion bound by a single egg gives these fritters that lovely latke texture. But the addition of lemon zest and lots of herbs give them a freshness and lightness that’s irresistible. I served this batch with tzatziki, which accompanied them well, but which truthfully is unnecessary — they’re so good on their own. Give them a whirl! I know you’ll like them.

Batter made with zucchini from our Olin-Fox Farm CSA:
Fritter Batter

fritters in pan

cooked zucchini fritters

Zucchini Fritters with Tzatziki

Serves 2, Yield=6

2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely grated potato
kosher salt
pinch of flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon chopped chives (or whatever herb you like)
1 tablespoon chopped mint (or whatever herb you like)
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup Greek yogurt
2 T. finely diced red onion
1 T. chopped mint
kosher salt
squeeze of lemon juice

1. Place the grated zucchini and potato in a colander. Spread the veggies out to allow for maximum surface area exposure and sprinkle all over with kosher salt. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to drain.

2. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki, if desired: Stir together yogurt, onion, mint, salt and lemon juice. Taste. Add more salt if necessary. Chill until ready to use.

3. After the 30 minutes, squeeze veggies out and wrap in paper towels. Squeeze again. [Note: The veggies will not drain out enough liquid on their own in the collander, so squeezing them with a paper towel is a critical step to mopping up that moisture.] Open up the paper towel and spread out your veggies. Sprinkle with a pinch of flour to soak up leftover moisture.

4. In a bowl, whisk together egg, herbs and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add onion and grated zucchini-potato mixture. Stir well.

5. Preheat over to 200˚F. Place a foil-lined cookie sheet in the oven. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter. When foam subsides, drop a spoonful of your fritter batter in. Gently pat with a spatula to flatten out the fritters, which will help make them crispy.

6. Cook about 3 fritters at a time until golden brown on each side. Place fritters in the oven while you make additional pancakes. Serve as soon as possible with tzatziki on the side.

fritters with tzatziki

07. July 2011 by Alexandra Stafford
Categories: Appetizers, CSA, Eating Locally, Hors d'oeuvres, Vegetarian | 99 comments

Comments (99)

  1. I will have a plethera of zucchini this year from my garden and was looking for a good recipe – am going to try it tonight!

  2. Loved these!!!

    My 15 year old daughter thought they were great as well!!! Had to add and extra egg but initially I added two egg whites instead of 1 whole egg…so I will add one lg whole egg next time ;D great recipe!!

  3. Hi! I loved the look of these so much I pinned them a while back and am sorry I forgot to let you know. Thank you! Made them tonight as the bottom layer or “bun” for kebab spiced meatballs and avocado for dinner. Sounds weird but was great!!!

    Nice blog, btw! Lots of different ideas! Keep on posting!

    • BP — Love the idea of using the fritter as a “bun.” Not weird at all. I’m going to try that this summer for sure. I think topping it all off with a poached or fried egg sounds kind of amazing, too. Thanks for your nice comment.

  4. At the tzatziki is a MUST to put some crushed garlic and not onion!
    And next time try some feta cheese in your fritters!i guarantee u will love it

  5. The fritters sound great but there is no such thing as tzaziki without cucumber. Then it’s just something else!

  6. Hello! I’m making these tonight :) really looking fwd to having them! Also glad I read some tips about the corn starch in your comments too…let u know how i go..

  7. added cheddar and cottage cheese and it was delicious!

  8. Great !!!! Refreshing and there all gone !!!

  9. I eat very low carb, are the potatoes a must or can I just use extra zucchini? these sound amazing and I really want to try them.

    • Darlene — I don’t think these fritters will be delicious with only zucchini, but they just might not be as crisp. That’s really the main purpose of the potatoes — to add a bit of crispness to the texture. I don’t think you can go wrong, however, but using only zucchini. Good luck with it!

  10. I wouldn’t have thought to use potatoes, this is a very good combination. Must try it.

  11. Did these yesterday night and they were delicious!

  12. I know I finally jumped on the train this week as well……………………and zucchini fritters are CERTAINLY all they’re cracked up to be!!!!! Love your post, and love the photos!

  13. Alexandra, these look as good as the ones my grandmother used to make. I haven’t had them in years, but I’m going to give your recipe a try. I remember that she used to add some dill to hers, but i think the mint may even better.

  14. How does feta taste in these fritters? Also, will tzaziki with cucumber and dill work?

    • Noopoor — I have not tried feta in the fritters, but I bet it would be delicious. My mother often adds feta to her Greek meatballs, and it always adds a nice saltiness as well as flavor. Tzatziki with cucumbers and dill sounds wonderful.

  15. Just made these and loved them. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Yum! I finally made these :) I put Parmesan and made avocado guacamole instead of tzaziki. Would love to try dill just read in the comments. thanks it was awesome :)

  17. We have a HUGE zucchini from our garden that I’d earmarked for zucchini bread, but maybe a bit of it should be turned into these fritters! Do you think a large zuke would work for this, or do you think the smaller would be better? I’ve heard big zucchini can be different in its taste and texture than the smaller ones you buy in the store… Thoughts?

    • Malisams — I think a large zuke will be just fine, but I have heard the same things as you about large vs. small zukes. If you are worried, I would taste a piece raw. One of my favorite salads is a raw, thinly shaved (julienned on the mandoline) zucchini salad with olive oil, lemon and parmesan. If it tastes ok, I say just go for it in the fritters. I think the addition of the herbs and lemon zest and onion will mask any off flavor as long as it’s subtle enough. I hope that helps. The large zuke definitely will be ok for zucchini bread, so that’s always an option, too.

    • I cut big zukes up into spears and run them through my salad shooter, baggie up the shreds and make fritters once every few weeks. I have to poke a hole in the baggie and let the water run out for a bit when I’ve thawed the frozen, and add some chia seeds to the mix to sop up the liquid. Yummy! My favorite fast breakfast.

      • Yum! Sounds amazing. Love the idea of adding chia seeds. I have a big bag in my freezer that I tuck into here and there, but I know I could use them more. Never would have thought to add them to fritters. Fun!

  18. is there anything else i can use instead of the egg?

    • Bree — I am bad with these sorts of substitutions. The egg definitely helps bind/hold the fritters together. Before I suggest other ingredients, are you trying to avoid certain foods? dairy? or do you have allergies?

  19. These look really good! Thanks for the push…..I usually avoid recipes like this too, especially since I’m only cooking for myself. Will definitely try!

  20. A great substitute for the egg is chia seed (1T chia seed mixed with 3T warm water. Let it sit a little until it thickens). I use this all the time in potato fritters because my daughter must be egg-free. Can’t wait to try it with the zuchini version!

    • Kim — thank you for this awesome tip! I have never heard of chia seeds — I only associate chia with the chia pet my sister took care of as a child — but I think I am definitely going to have to seek this product out. What a blessing for the many people out there with egg allergies. Thank you! Where do you find yours? I imagine Whole Foods Market and places like that carry them, but I’ll have to ask at my local Wegmans.

  21. Can you use sweet potato instead of white potato?

    • Melanie — I don’t know, but I don’t see why not. And if you try it out and have success, can you please report back? I received a boatload of sweet potatoes in my CSA. I think you can basically make a fritter out of anything, and the purpose of the potato in this recipe is to provide a little more starch and structure, and I think a sweet potato might be able to play that same role. Good luck with it!

  22. Have you tried this with something other than potato? What other vegetable do you think would work in this recipe? thanks!

    • Jessica — unfortunately, I haven’t, but I feel like fritters can be made from just about anything — sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, corn, etc. As long as the pieces re fine enough to hold together, and they enough liquid has been drained out of them, I think any veg will work…though I can’t say for sure. Do you have a specific vegetable in mind?

  23. I put 1 large shrimp in the middle. Sooooooo good.

  24. I made these paleo by using sweet potato, squash, and zucchini. Instead of using flour I used almond flour. I did need two eggs to bind the recipe together. I added garlic and oregano. They were delish!

  25. Mine is maybe a bit less paleo, but so yummy: 1 lb. shredded zucchini, 1/2 cup flour, a chopped onion, and I top them with straight sour cream, and pink Himalayan salt.

  26. Look delicious

  27. These look great. My zucchini are overtaking my garden and I am always looking for recipes to use them in. Thanks for this one.

  28. I wonder if these would freeze well?

  29. Yes, they do freeze well colleen! We do them all the time here, store them in the freezer and cook a few each time we need. We also make a lot of tomato balls, a traditional recipe that originates from Santorini. They are similar to the zucchini fritters, super delicious and pretty simple to make. I’ve posted about the recipe a a few days ago here http://www.grecianparadise.com/2013/06/tomatokeftedes-fried-tomato-balls.html
    xoxo, Eleni

  30. i made these tonight with a few alterations. i think they need more than a pinch of flour, as mine weren’t as crispy as the potato pancakes i am used to. i also used shredded cucumber in my tzatziki with mint, some fresh chocolate basil and left out the onion as the fritters have plenty. yum!

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