These Italian Zucchini Fritters with mozzarella and lots of herbs are simple to make and great tasting. If you are looking for healthy summer recipes for dinner, these zucchini cakes are for you!
Right around this time of the year, you can’t help but notice all of the fresh produce, the vibrant colors and the wonderful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found in farmers’ markets.
It’s also that time of the year when anyone that has zucchini growing in their backyard garden is willing to share their produce. That’s because zucchini is one of the easiest plants to grow. There is an entire day dedicated to giving it away.
Did you know that August 8 is National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day? So, if you have some extra zucchini and are tired of making baked Zucchini Sticks, and eating Zucchini Muffins, you know what to do!
Here are some other fun facts about zucchini:
Fun fact #1: Did you know that botanically speaking, the zucchini is considered a fruit? I guess that’s why this “vegetable” is so popular.
Fun fact #2: Did you know that the flower of the zucchini plant is edible? Whether baked, stuffed, crisped or even fried, these blossoms are truly a special treat. You will want to pick the male flowers. Those are the ones with the long stems, just like the flower pictured above, on the left.
Fun fact #3: Did you know that zucchini is 95% water? How much water can get squeezed out of a grated zucchini is something that continues to amaze me. (If you would like to learn more fun facts about zucchini, you can visit this site.)
Apart from these fun facts, zucchini are extremely versatile. They can be used in savory dishes (appetizers, side dishes, or main meals), as well as in desserts (recipe for a moist zucchini chocolate loaf on the way!). As you can probably guess, I love to cook and bake with zucchini.
I’m excited to show you how to make these easy summertime vegetable fritters. Are you ready?
How to make Zucchini fritters:
The first thing we are going to do is prep our zucchini. So begin by properly rinsing the zucchini and drying with a tea towel. Next, we need to remove the little stump where the flower was growing. Do not remove the part that was attached to the plant as this will make grating the zucchini easier -which is the next step.
Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini. Toss with about 1 teaspoon of salt and transfer to a colander set over a medium bowl. As was previously mentioned, zucchini is 95% water, so this step will help draw out some of this moisture. This process needs about 30 minutes, so let’s chop up some herbs while we wait.
As you can see, we will be using fresh herbs in these zucchini cakes. Parsley, oregano, chives, and basil are some of my favorites, plus I have them growing in my backyard so it’s convenient and economical for me.
As long as the quantities are respected, feel free to replace with any fresh herbs you like. For this recipe, we will need 4 tablespoons of parsley, 4 tablespoons of chives, 2 tablespoons of basil, and about 1 teaspoon of oregano.
By this time, the zucchini should be ready to be squeezed.
There are a couple of ways you can remove the excess moisture from the zucchini:
- Place the grated zucchini in a clean dish towel and wring out the liquid;
- Use a potato ricer (like we did when we made our Hash Browns) OR
- Just squeeze them hard, as I did.
So much liquid! Isn’t it unbelievable!!!
Okay, so now we are ready to add the rest of the ingredients and make some zucchini patties…
In a large bowl, lightly whisk 2 eggs and add the chopped fresh herbs, the grated and drained zucchini, the grated cheeses (¼ cup of Romano cheese and ½ cup of grated Mozzarella), one minced garlic clove and pepper to taste. Combine these ingredients well together.
Please note that I will not add any additional salt to this mixture. The added cheeses along with the salting of the zucchini provide the perfect seasoning. Feel free to adjust to your taste.
Next, add 1/3 cup of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. Combine well together. If you find that the mixture is too wet, add another tablespoon or so of flour.
It’s time to make some healthy zucchini cakes!
Over medium-high heat, in a large pan, drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon, Alternately, you can use a medium-sized ice cream scooper. You can make them larger or smaller, it is up to you.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper-lined plate or a wire rack and repeat this process until all the batter is used.
I’ve been making these zucchini fritters for decades. Here are some tips and tricks I would like to share with you so that you can make the best zucchini fritters ever!
How to make fritters crispy?
- Start with a heavy-bottomed pan and make sure it is nice and hot. You need to hear that sizzle when you drop the zucchini batter in the pan;
- Avoid overcrowding the pan and fry the fritters in batches;
- Remove the excess moisture from the zucchini -first by salting and then by squeezing the grated zucchini.
What goes with zucchini fritters?
- They can be eaten plain or with a dollop of Yogurt Sauce when serving them as an appetizer;
- They make the perfect side vegetable for grilled meats or fish;
- They are great as a light lunch, simply served with an Italian Tomato Cucumber Salad;
- They can also be part of a healthy breakfast, served with eggs.
By the way, if you are wondering about the picture with the parsley stalks, I will freeze them and then add them to my vegetable soups -they provide an incredible amount of flavor.
Origins of the recipe for Italian Mozzarella Zucchini Fritters:
Growing up Italian meant my Mom would create all kinds of recipes using the zucchini that were growing in the backyard -thanks to my Dad who was an amazing gardener.
These Italian Zucchini Fritters, which would often make an appearance at the supper table, were usually fried in a generous amount of oil. Needless to say, they were tasty.
Since we should all be making an effort to eat a little healthier, I do not fry my fritters in inches of oil. Instead, I use a non-stick pan and barely drizzle the pan with some olive oil. The results are just as good and much healthier.
I’ve also made these Zucchini Fritters with different types of cheeses (for example feta) and herbs and they always turn out amazing! Today, I simply wanted to document and share my mom’s recipe, minus the extra olive oil.
Getting your daily dose of green vegetables is easy with these healthy Italian Zucchini Fritters. Use a non-stick pan to make them even healthier. Enjoy!!!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made these zucchini patties recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
- 2 medium zucchini about 1 lb
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup chives fresh, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil fresh, chopped
- 1/4 cup Romano cheese grated
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese grated
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup flour all purpose or whole wheat
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 tablespoons olive oil separated for stir-frying
- Grate zucchini using the large holes of a box grater; place in a colander over a medium bowl.
- Toss with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let sit for approximately 30 minutes (in the meanwhile, chop up the herbs).
- Squeeze out as much as the liquid as possible. See Recipe Notes.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add the grated zucchini, chives, parsley, garlic, oregano, basil, and cheeses. Mix properly.
- Stir in baking powder and flour.
- Heat about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat.
- Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter per fritter. Flatten slightly with the back of the spoon and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate or cooling rack and repeat until all batter is done.
- Serve immediately, plain or with a dollop of yogurt.
This post was originally published on August 9, 2015, and republished on July 27, 2018, with updated content and photos. Thanks for sharing!