These tasty Greek Zucchini Fritters taste like summer in Greece! They're packed with nutritious zucchini and bursting with flavor from fresh herbs and feta cheese. Crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, these tasty morsels will be your new favorite dish!
I'll never forget having zucchini fritters years ago when my husband and I honeymooned on the Greek island of Santorini. Crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside with plenty of fresh herbs and salty feta cheese, they were a revelation! And of course, the fact that we were dining in paradise with the beautiful blue ocean as our backdrop made them all the more memorable.
The humble zucchini is the star of this dish! I love cooking with zucchini- it's so versatile and can be used in so many different ways. I make everything from stuffed zucchini boats to air fryer zucchini, crispy zucchini fries, and kid-friendly zucchini tots.
Why You'll Love This Dish
- It's a great way to use fresh, summer zucchini
- It's packed with Greek flavor from feta cheese and fresh herbs
- It's a perfect appetizer or side dish for casual summer dining
- It's a great way to get your kids to eat nutritious zucchini
What are Greek Zucchini Fritters?
Traditional Greek zucchini fritters are called "kolokithokeftedes." This roughly translates to zucchini meatballs. These tasty morsels are a staple on restaurant and tavern menus across Greece. What sets them apart from American zucchini fritters is the addition of salty feta cheese and fresh herbs like parsley, dill, and mint.
The fritters are typically deep-fried, which makes them nice and crispy on the outside while remaining soft and creamy on the inside. To make mine lighter, I cook the fritters in a cast iron skillet with just a small amount of heart-healthy olive oil. As they cook, the cheese starts to melt- it's pure deliciousness!
- Zucchini is plentiful in the spring and summer, inexpensive, and nutritious. It is comprised mostly of water so it’s very low in calories- one medium zucchini has only 31 calories.
- Zucchini is a very good source of fiber. It's rich in several important vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese. Most of these nutrients are in the skin so be sure to keep the skin on when you eat it.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
- Zucchini- choose zucchini that are firm and heavy with a bright, glossy skin
- Fresh herbs- I use a mixture of fresh dill and parsley; you can also use mint
- Feta cheese- I find that pre-crumbled feta doesn't melt as well as a block of feta so I usually buy a block and crumble it myself
- Flour- I use white whole wheat flour to incorporate whole grains into the dish
- Baking powder- keeps the fritters light and fluffy
- Breadcrumbs- I like to use whole wheat panko breadcrumbs but you can use any type
1. Make the fritter batter
Step 1: Grate the zucchini with a box grater.
Step 2: Sprinkle salt on the grated zucchini and let it rest for a while. The salt draws the moisture out of the zucchini. After about 20 minutes, squeeze the zucchini in cheesecloth, a kitchen towel or with your hands, to remove the water. You'll be amazed by how much water comes out!
Step 3: Place the zucchini in a large mixing bowl and add the egg, scallions, herbs, flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.
Step 4: Mix with a fork to combine.
2. Fry the fritters
Step 5: Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place dollops of the batter into the pan and flatten them slightly with a spatula.
Step 6: Cook 3-4 minutes until a golden brown crust forms, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until browned on the other side.
3. Make the Tzatziki
Step 7: Assemble your ingredients for the tzatziki.
Step 8: Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Serve the Greek zucchini fritters hot with tzatziki on the side. Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges, if desired.
What To Serve With Zucchini Fritters
My favorite way to serve these delicious Greek zucchini fritters is with a dollop of cool tzatziki. The cool, creamy Greek yogurt sauce is the perfect counterpart to the hot, crispy fritters.
Although I usually make my own, you can also buy tzatziki at the grocery store. You can also serve the fritters with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
These fritters are perfect for casual summer dining. You can serve them as an appetizer or even a light dinner paired with a fresh Greek salad. To stick with a Mediterranean theme, serve them with my Award-Winning Shrimp Saganaki (Greek Shrimp with Feta), Baked Falafel or Beef Kofta Kebabs. Try my Pan con Tomate (Spanish Tomato Bread) on the side.
- It’s important to squeeze out as much water from the zucchini as possible so that the fritters are not soggy. If the zucchini is very moist, you'll need to add more flour and breadcrumbs, and your fritters will be dense and heavy.
- Don't cook the fritters over high heat otherwise they will brown too quickly on the outside and the zucchini will be undercooked on the inside. Cook them over medium heat instead.
- The more you flatten the fritters out in the skillet, the crispier they will get.
These zucchini fritters can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in a skillet, oven or air fryer. You can microwave them but they won't have the same crispy texture. The fritters can also be frozen for up to 3 months but keep in mind that zucchini tends to get mushy when frozen.
Too much moisture will result in soggy fritters. Be sure to salt the zucchini and squeeze out as much water as you can to avoid this problem.
You need to have enough binder to hold the fritters together and prevent them from falling apart. The eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs help hold the fritters together. You can add more flour or breadcrumbs as needed. Also, the fritters can fall apart if they get stuck to the frying pan during cooking. To avoid this, use a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet.
Yes, you can bake or air fry the fritters. You can bake them on a sheet pan in the oven at 400°F with a light spray of olive oil. However, the fritters won't get very crispy. Air frying will give a crispier texture.
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Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)
- 2 lbs. zucchini (about 4 medium)
- Kosher salt
- 4 scallions, sliced (about ¾ cup)
- 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Lemon wedges for serving
- ½ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup finely chopped or grated cucumber
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped dill or mint (can use ¼ teaspoon dried dill or mint)
- To make the Tzatziki, mix the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and dill together in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the fritters, grate the zucchini (with skin on) on a box grater. Grate the zucchini at an angle to get longer strands.
- Place the grated zucchini in a colander lined with cheesecloth. If you don’t have cheesecloth, you can place the zucchini directly in the colander. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt on the zucchini and toss to combine.
- Let the zucchini rest for 20 minutes, then gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and wring all of the liquid out. If you’re not using cheesecloth, you can squeeze the water out of the zucchini with your hands in batches or use a kitchen towel. It is important to squeeze out as much water as possible so that the fritters aren’t soggy- you’ll be amazed at how much water comes out!
- Place the zucchini in a large mixing bowl and add the scallions, dill, parsley, and eggs. Mix with a fork to combine.
- Add the cheese, flour, baking powder, breadcrumbs, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix with a fork to combine all ingredients well. If the mixture seems too wet, add a few more tablespoons of breadcrumbs.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Place 8 dollops (about 2 tablespoons each) of the zucchini mixture into the pan and flatten them slightly with a spatula. The more you flatten them, the crispier the fritters will be.
- Cook 3-4 minutes until a golden brown crust forms, then flip them over. Cook another 2-3 minutes until browned underneath again.
- Remove the fritters from the pan. Pour the remaining tablespoon oil into the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
- Serve fritters hot and garnish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges. Serve with Tzatziki or plain Greek yogurt.