Vegan Zucchini Fritters

These herby vegan zucchini fritters are crispy, golden and delicious! They're perfect as a snack, appetizer, or even as the main dish! And they completely satisfy those fried food cravings while providing lots of nutrients!
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Fritter the day away with a heaping stack of crunchy, crispy vegan zucchini fritters! Especially during the height of summer, it can be overwhelming to keep up with a prolific supply of fresh zucchini, but this recipe will make easy work of that abundance. Shrink down a full pound into an addictive snack that would make you truly love eating your veggies!

Seared to an immaculately crispy finish while retaining a creamy, almost juicy interior, zucchini fritters are the ultimate party snack and solo indulgence alike. Each bite satisfies cravings for fried junk food with a secretly healthy twist. While traditionally made with unsavory animal products, you’ll find there’s no need when you have such a foolproof formula for making dairy-free, eggless zucchini fritters that everyone can enjoy.

This recipe comes from the phenomenal plant-based cookbook How to Go Plant-Based by Ella Mills, which is packed with vegan recipe gems! 

Four vegan zucchini fritters overlapping in a line on a plate.

Why You’ll Love These Easy Zucchini Fritters

  • Gluten-free. Everyone is invited to the party! Unlike conventional approaches that typically include breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour, this recipe is naturally wheat-free and thus safe for those with Celiac disease.  
  • Nutrient-rich. Zucchini doesn’t get enough praise for all the vitamins and minerals it has to offer. Notably high in antioxidants, it’s particularly high in Vitamin A, manganese, and Vitamin C, among many others.
  • Affordable and accessible. All you need are a few pantry staples and common fresh ingredients to whip up a downright luxurious dish. Humble zucchinis get a glamorous makeover when vibrant, aromatic herbs are applied like culinary cosmetics.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for vegan zucchini measured and labelled.
  • Zucchini: Select slender zucchini with firm, glossy skin, and no blemishes. Larger zucchinis tend to have more seeds and can become bitter, while limp or wrinkled ones are likely old.
  • Chickpea flour: Also known as besan in Indian, chickpea flour is an excellent gluten-free, high protein alternative to conventional wheat flour. You can find it in the baking aisle or gluten-free specialty section of most grocery stores.
  • Nutritional yeast: Add unmistakably cheesy flavor without dairy thanks to the magic of nutritional yeast. You might want to consider buying it in bulk for how addictive that savory taste is, not to mention the incredible nutritional profile it boasts.
  • Scallions, parsley, and mint: Don’t hold back with these herbaceous powerhouses! The trio work together to create such a refreshing, invigorating flavor that really sets these fritters apart from the pack. If anything, double the quantities for an even more intense experience.

How To Make

These vegan zucchini fritters are surprisingly easy and quick to make! The only time-consuming part is allowing the zucchini to drain for 15 minutes since they contain a lot of water, and no one wants soggy fritters. Otherwise, they come together quickly without much effort!

Tip: To save time, use a food processor to grate your zucchini. Throw it in a food processor with a shredding disc and you’ll have grated zucchini in seconds!

Grated zucchini in a mesh strainer.

Place a colander or mesh strainer in the sink or over a large bowl and add the grated zucchini. Sprinkle a little salt over the zucchini and allow it to drain for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, scallions, garlic, parsley, and mint.

When the zucchini is ready, squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the them and add them to the bowl. Season to taste and stir the mixture to combine, ensuring that no dry patches of flour remain.

Heat a little of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop or a couple tablespoons, scoop the mixture and flatten into patties about ½ inch in thickness, spacing them a little apart. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden.

Keep warm under a dish cloth and repeat with the remaining mixture. Enjoy!

Tips For Success

  • Put the squeeze on your zucchini! Zucchinis contain a lot of water which can prevent your fritters from reaching their full crispy potential. Let them sit with salt to draw out the moisture first and wring them out as much as possible!
  • Heat the oil before frying. Make sure the oil is hot to the point of shimmering before adding the fritters. If it’s still cool, the squash patties will absorb more and become soggy.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. Allow a generous margin of space between each fritter as they cook. This ensures that the temperature remains consistent to keep them cooked evenly, and there’s enough room to flip them easily.

How To Serve Vegan Zucchini Fritters

Healthy zucchini fritters are a fantastic stand-alone snack, starter, or appetizer. They’re also a sensational side when paired with a few additions to round out the plate:

  • Leafy green salad – Lighten up the mean while adding color and complimentary flavors all at once. Keep it simple and stick to the basics, focusing on tender greens like arugula and spinach, with a delicate vinaigrette for balance.
  • Soup – The beauty of soup is that you can keep it wholly separate or use it for dipping your fritters, too. Tomato soup, mushroom soup, and French onion are my personal favorites.

Flavor Variations To Spice Up Your Zucchini Pancakes

You’ll never get bored of this foolproof formula because it’s endlessly adaptable. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a way to infuse your fritter with just the right seasonings.

  • Mexican: Add corn kernels, diced jalapeño (fresh or pickled,) cilantro, and Tajin or chili powder. Serve with guacamole or salsa.
  • Thai: Add shredded coconut, minced chiles, minced lemongrass, and ginger. Serve with peanut sauce.
  • Indian: Add madras curry powder, green peas, and toasted cashews. Serve with plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt or mango chutney.
  • Chinese: Add minced garlic, 5-spice powder, scallions, and ginger. Serve with hot chili oil or black vinegar.
  • Italian: Add Italian seasoning, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and shredded vegan mozzarella-style cheese. Serve with pesto or marinara sauce.
A stack of vegan zucchini fritters with vegan sour cream and chives on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I store leftover zucchini fritters?

Once cooled, pack the fritters in an airtight container, separated by sheets of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Refrigerate for up 4 to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, pop them into your oven preheated to 400 degrees or toaster oven for 2 to 3 minutes.

Can I freeze zucchini fritters?

Yes, easily! Pack them up the same way as described above and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow extra time; between 5 to 8 minutes in the oven or toaster oven, until hot and crispy all over.

If I don’t like zucchini, can I use other vegetables?

I would first implore you to give zucchini a second chance, since this recipe has been known to win over even the most stubborn zucchini-hates. If it’s a total nonstarter though, you’re in luck! This same formula works brilliantly with shredded potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, chayote, celeriac, sunchokes, or butternut squash. A combination of many different vegetables would be a fun and colorful change of pace, too.

Can I make zucchini fritters in the air fryer?

If you want an effortless approach to the cooking process, an air fryer is your best friend. Line the basket or a sheet for your air fryer with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Add batter for a few fritters at a time and spray or brush with additional oil on top. Cook at 370 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes, until firm enough to flip. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, until golden and crispy all over.

Vegan zucchini fritters placed in a circle around a small bowl of dip on a plate.

More Recipe Ideas For Cooking With Zucchini

Easy Zucchini Fritters

Author: Ella Mills
5 from 1 vote
These easy zucchini fritters are the perfect recipe on busy days. They're easy to make, full of flavor and surprisingly filling for a quick meal!
Vegan zucchini fritters on a plate with a dollop of vegan sour cream.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces zucchini, coarsely grated and drained for 15 minutes (see first step)
  • ½ cup chickpea flour, also known as besan
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 mint sprigs, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, or coconut oil
  • sea salt

Instructions

  • Sprinkle a little salt over the zucchini, place in a colander over a bowl or sink, and set aside to drain for 15 minutes.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, scallions, garlic, parsley, and mint.
  • Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the zucchini and add them to the bowl. Season to taste and stir the mixture to combine, ensuring that no dry patches of flour remain.
  • Heat a little of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop or a couple tablespoons, scoop the mixture and flatten into patties ½ inch in thickness, spacing them a little apart. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Remove from pan and keep warm under a dish cloth and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Notes

Zucchini holds a lot of water so it’s important to really squeeze out as much liquid as you can before adding them to the fritter mixture. Letting them sit with the salt at the start really helps get that extra liquid out too, so don’t skip that step!
To serve: Salsa verde, chermoula, or pesto (see pages 102, 110, and 112) from the How to Go Plant-Based cookbook by Ella Mills.

Nutrition

Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 123IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Appetizer, Lunch or Dinner, Main, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword eggless zucchini fritters, vegan zucchini fritters, zucchini fritters

About The Recipe Author

This easy vegan zucchini fritters recipe is from the cookbook How to Go Plant-Based by Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella. She has created this beautiful cookbook specifically for making it clear and easy on how you can adopt of plant-based lifestyle.

It’s full of family-friendly recipes and doubles as a practical guide for eating plant-based, with insight from Ella’s own journey. The book has over 100 recipes so there’s something in there for everyone to enjoy!

This easy vegan zucchini fritters recipe is from the cookbook How to Go Plant-Based by Ella Mills. Photos by Amanda McGillicuddy, for World of Vegan, all rights reserved. Article written with support from Hannah Kaminsky and edited by Rachel Lessenden.

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