You're going to love this addicting and delicious zucchini fritters recipe! These little gems are all about taking fresh zucchinis and turning them into crispy, golden-brown bites of heaven. Whether you've got an overflowing zucchini harvest from your garden or you're just in the mood for a tasty appetizer, you're in for a treat!
This zucchini fritter recipe is delicious and super easy to whip up. It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned chef or a kitchen newbie – everyone can make these fritters in less than 30 minutes!
In this article, I am going to walk you through making these scrumptious crispy zucchini fritters.
I'll list the ingredients, step-by-step cooking process, and tips to transform zucchini into a mouthwatering snack, appetizer, or even a light meal. They are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Pair them with Thai peanut sauce or honey mustard, pleasing both children and adults alike.
Here's a list of ingredients you'll need to make outstanding zucchini fritters:
Zucchinis: Fresh zucchinis are the star of the show, providing a mild, earthy flavor and a moist texture to the fritters.
Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent, helping to hold the fritters together and giving them a tender interior.
All-Purpose Flour: Flour adds structure and helps achieve a crispy outer layer.
Green onion: Chopped herbs bring a burst of freshness and flavor to the fritters, enhancing their overall taste.
Fresh Garlic: Fresh garlic and onion powder infuse the fritters with a fragrant, aromatic note.
Onion powder: If you prefer an oniony flavor, a pinch of onion powder can be included for added depth.
Heavy cream: Heavy cream adds moisture to the batter, resulting in a smoother and creamier texture.
Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are essential for enhancing the flavor profile, adding a balanced level of saltiness and a hint of heat.
Olive Oil: A light frying oil like olive oil is used to achieve that perfectly crispy and golden exterior.
How to Make Zucchini Fritters
Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to make zucchini fritters.
Step 1. Prepare the Zucchini
- Wash the zucchinis thoroughly under running water.
- Trim off both ends of the zucchinis.
- Grate the zucchinis using a box grater equipped with the larger holes (coarse side). or a food processor fitted with a grating attachment.
- Place the grated zucchini in a colander or a fine-mesh strainer and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine.
- Let it sit for about 10 minutes to allow excess moisture to drain. After resting, use your hands or a clean kitchen towel to firmly squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the grated zucchini. Remember, the drier the zucchini, the crispier your fritters will turn out.
Step 2. Make the Batter
- In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg.
- Add minced garlic, black pepper, a pinch of salt, onion powder, scallion, flour, the grated zucchini, and a touch of heavy cream to the beaten egg.
- Thoroughly blend all the ingredients together until they are well combined.
- Ensure that the mixture has a thickness that allows it to hold together without being excessively dry or wet. If needed, you can add a bit more flour or cream/milk to achieve the desired consistency.
Step 3. Fry the Zucchini Fritters
- Heat about a third of an inch of olive oil in a heavy bottom pan, such as cast iron, over medium heat until shimmering.
- Once the oil is hot and ready, use a spoon to scoop portions of the zucchini mixture and gently place them into the heated oil. Slightly flatten each portion with the back of the spoon to shape them into fritters.
- Cook each side until it turns golden brown and becomes crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Use a slotted spatula to transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Variations and Substitution
- Cornstarch. For a crispier batter, you have the option of substituting cornstarch in place of flour.
- Red Pepper Flakes or Cayenne Pepper: If you like a little heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper can be added to give the fritters a spicy kick.
- Cheese: Parmesan cheese lends a savory taste and contributes to the fritters' golden crust.
- Customize Your Herbs and Spices: You can flavor these zucchini fritters with your favorite herbs and spices, such as parsley, cayenne pepper, chives, or dill.
Tips for Making the Most Flavorful and Crispy Zucchini Fritters
Here are some valuable tips to help you make the best zucchini fritters that are crispy, flavorful, and sure to impress your family and guests.
- Choose Fresh, Firm, and Young Zucchinis: Always use fresh and firm zucchinis without blemishes or soft spots. I opt for younger zucchinis because they are milder in flavor, but more flavorful and less watery than mature zucchinis.
- Grate Zucchinis: Grate the zucchinis using a coarse grater (large holes if you are using the four-sided box grater). If you don't have a grater, feel free to use a food processor. This is a great way to keep your fritters from becoming soggy.
- Salt Zucchinis: After grating, sprinkle a little salt over the zucchini. Place grated zucchini on a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This helps draw out excess moisture.
- Drain Zucchinis: Squeeze out excess moisture using a clean kitchen towel or paper towel to prevent mushy fritters. For people with arthritis in their hands, draining the grated zucchini using a salad spinner before squeezing it with towels will make this task less stressful.
- Use a cast iron skillet. If you want to achieve a crispy exterior without an excessive amount of oil, use a heavy-bottomed skillet cast iron.
- Portion Consistently: Use a tablespoon measuring spoon or ice cream scoop to portion the batter evenly. This ensures that all your fritters are the same size and cook at the same rate.
- Preheat Your Pan: Make sure your pan is hot before adding the fritter batter. A hot pan ensures a quick and even sear, resulting in a crispier texture and preventing the food from sticking.
- Preheat the oil: Ensure that your oil has reached the appropriate temperature by listening to the sizzling sound. If you don't hear it, take the fritters out of the pan.
- Flatten the Fritters. You can easily flatten the fritter using a spatula.
- Don't Overcrowd the Pan: Pick the right size of the pan and cook in batches if necessary. Make sure to leave enough space between fritters in the pan to allow for even cooking. Overcrowding can lead to uneven browning and mushy fritters.
- Flip Carefully: When it's time to flip the fritters, do so gently with a spatula and a fork. Pressing down on them can release moisture and affect the crispiness.
- Cool them Down Before Serving. Once you finish frying the zucchini fritters, you can let them rest on a wire rack on top of a baking tray to make them stay crispy or on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.
Your zucchini fritter batter shouldn't be too thick or too thin. It should coat the back of a spoon but still be pourable. Adjust the amount of flour and milk as needed.
Baking powder acts as a leavening agent in zucchini fritters, making them lighter and fluffier by generating bubbles within the batter when exposed to heat. This produces a mildly airy texture and imparts a delightful crispiness when the fritters are fried.
You can serve your zucchini fritters with a tasty dipping sauce like simple yogurt, cucumber tzatziki sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, mayo, garlic aioli, or peanut sauce. This enhances the flavor and makes the meal more fun, especially for youngsters.
If you're making a large batch, keep cooked fritters warm in a preheated oven (around 200°F or 93°C), on a wired rack set on top of a baking tray.
To add more texture to zucchini fritters, you can consider incorporating ingredients like grated carrots, corn, or finely chopped bell peppers, which can provide additional crunch and flavor.
To make zucchini fritters crispy again, you can reheat them in an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer at 375°F for a few minutes. Don't reheat your fritters in a microwave, as it can make them soggy.
If your fritters are turning out soggy instead of crispy, there are a few common reasons for this issue: excess moisture in the zucchini, your oil is not hot enough, cooking too many fritters at once, batter consistency is either too thin or too thick, or not draining excess oil with paper towels from the fritters after cooking.
Please discard any zucchini fritters left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours or if it has been exposed to temperatures exceeding 90°F for over 1 hour. For additional details, visit this source.
To store zucchini fritters properly and maintain their freshness, follow these steps:
Cool Completely: Allow the zucchini fritters to cool to room temperature after cooking. Do not store them while they are still hot, as this can create condensation inside the storage container and make them soggy.
Layer Separately: If you need to stack the fritters for storage, separate them with parchment paper or wax paper to prevent sticking. This will help maintain their crispiness.
Use Airtight Container: Place the fritters in an airtight container. If you're storing a large batch, consider using multiple containers, and be sure to seal them tightly to prevent air from entering.
Refrigeration: For short-term storage (2-3 days), you can store the zucchini fritters in the refrigerator. However, be aware that they may lose some crispiness over time.
Freezing: For longer storage (up to 2-3 months), freeze the fritters. First, arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags. Use parchment paper to separate layers to prevent sticking. Label the container with the date for easy tracking.
When you're ready to enjoy the fritters, reheat them in an oven or toaster oven for the best results. This will help restore their crispiness.
Option 1. If reheating from frozen, no need to thaw. Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F. Then, place the leftover zucchini fritters on a wire rack set over a baking pan, in a single layer. Reheat them for approximately 10 minutes or until they become crispy and are uniformly heated throughout.
Option 2. First, set your air fryer to preheat at 375°F. Next, arrange the leftover zucchini fritters on the air fryer basket, ensuring they are in a single layer. Reheat for a minimum of 3 minutes, or adjust the time as needed for thorough reheating and flipping halfway through cooking.
Check Out More Zucchini Recipes
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- Wash and trim the ends of the zucchinis, and then grate them using the coarse side of a box grater.
- Put the grated zucchini in a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, toss to combine, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Afterward, squeeze out all the moisture using a clean kitchen towel.
- In a large bowl, lightly beat an egg then stir in the remaining ingredients, except oil. Mix well.
- Heat about one-third of an inch of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it shimmers.
- When the oil is hot, spoon portions of the zucchini mixture into it, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches if necessary.
- Flatten each portion with the spatula and cook until both sides are golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack to remove excess oil and maintain their crispiness. Cook the remaining fritters.