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 incredible variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found in farmers’ markets.
It’s also that time of the year when anyone with 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 zucchini rolls, 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 indeed 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 is incredibly 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?
The first thing we are going to do is prep our zucchini. So begin by properly rinsing the zucchini and drying it with a tea towel. Next, we need to remove the little stump where the flower was growing. Do not remove the part 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.
Feel free to use any combination of fresh herbs you like. For this recipe, combine 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, and about 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano.
By this time, we are now ready to squeeze the zucchini.
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 can 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 ⅓ cup of flour and ½ teaspoon of baking powder. Combine well together. If the mixture appears 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 with the rest of the batter.
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 cakes 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 are great as a light lunch, served with an Italian tomato-cucumber salad.
- Enjoy them plain or with a dollop of yogurt sauce when serving as an appetizer.
- They make the perfect side vegetable for grilled meats or fish.
- Serve them alongside eggs as part of a healthy breakfast.
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.
Recipes using zucchini
If you are looking for more zucchini recipes, take a look at these zucchini pancakes with sweet corn or this tasty and easy-to-make zucchini frittata with ricotta. They are also perfect for brunch or an easy summer dinner. Another family favorite is this zucchini bread. Made with whole wheat flour and the right amount of sweetness makes it the perfect breakfast on the run.
Growing up Italian meant my Mom would create all kinds of recipes using the zucchini growing in the backyard -thanks to my Dad, who was a fantastic 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 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 more nutritious. Enjoy!!!
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★★★★★ 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
- ¼ cup chives fresh, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano fresh, chopped
- 2 tablespoons basil fresh, chopped
- ¼ cup Romano cheese grated
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese grated
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ 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 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!