These Italian zucchini fritters are sure to become one of your favorite appetizers! The fritter batter has only a few simple ingredients and is packed with flavor. The fritters (they are almost like mini zucchini pancakes) fry up in minutes and are best served right away, though they can be kept warm in a low temperature oven if need be.
Zucchini is the best! Plentiful in the summer, especially if you grow your own, but easy to find in the supermarket all year round.
If you make these zucchini fritters – actually they’re more like a zucchini pancake – make sure to buy extra for some more Italian zucchini recipes.
Zucchini also goes great for main dishes like zucchini rollatini.
There are only a few ingredients in this fritter recipe. You will need 3 medium size zucchini. Small to medium are always better to work with because they tend to have a lower water content than the larger ones. Pecorino Romano cheese, salt, pepper, parsley, eggs, and flour round out the ingredient list. Note – For gluten-free zucchini fritters you could substitute cornstarch for the flour. Use half the amount of cornstarch to flour ratio.
How to make zucchini fritters
- Start by grating 3 medium sized zucchini with the coarse setting of a cheese grater. Chop a 1/4 cup of fresh parsley.
- Put all of the zucchini in a colander (over a plate or in a sink) and salt with 1 Tbsp of kosher salt. After 15 minutes squeeze any excess water from the shredded zucchini by pressing down on it. The zucchini can be wrapped and squeezed with paper towels as well to accomplish this.
- In a large bowl beat 3 eggs.
- Add the shredded zucchini, 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 3 Tbsp of flour to the bowl.
- Combine and mix the fritter batter. If the batter is too wet(very drippy and falling off the spoon wet) add a little bit of flour at a time to stiffen it up. If the batter is too dry add another half of a beaten egg. Tip – placing the batter in the fridge for 15 minutes before frying will stiffen it up, making it easier to work with.
- In a heavy pan add canola oil to fry (about 3/4″ high is enough) and heat on medium to medium-high. Test the oil temp by sprinkling a touch of flour into the oil and checking for bubbles. Also, you can use a wooden spoon to see if small bubbles appear around the spoon. If large bubbling happens turn the heat down a touch and wait a few minutes before frying. Note – Ideal oil frying temp is 350-375f and is best checked with a fry thermometer.
- To the pan add about 1 Tbsp of the zucchini fritter batter. The zucchini batter balls will spread out and cook, turning into little pancakes. Do not overcrowd the fritters in the pan. Work in batches or use 2 pans if desired.
- After about 4-5 minutes flip the zucchini fritters and continue to fry for another 4 minutes or so. Place them on a pan lined with paper towels to drain.
When they are finished and still hot you can add a sprinkle of kosher salt or Pecorino Romano on top. The hot fritters will absorb the salt at this time.
Just keep in mind that 1 Tbsp of salt was already used during the salting process, so maybe give one a taste test before salting them all. Nothing wrong with that. Fried food always tastes better with a nice sprinkle of salt!
How to grate zucchini
Using a large cheese grater tends to be the best way. The slots that are about 1/4″ in size make short work of the zucchini while not turning the zucchini into mush. Note – Large zucchini tend to produce mush because of their higher water content. Medium size zucchini of about 1 1/2 inches diameter by 12 inches long work best.
- Zucchini – After salting the shredded zucchini in a colander, squeeze out as much water as possible. Doing this will give a better fried fritter with more zucchini and less mushiness.
- Batter – To stiffen up the fritter batter just place it in the fridge for 15 minutes before frying.
- Frying – Make sure the fritters have ample space in the pan. Work in batches to not crowd.
- Frying temp – 350-375 is the target temp to fry at. Use a frying thermometer to check temp or check for light bubbles with a sprinkle of flour.
- Salt – The fritters have 1 Tbsp of kosher salt in them already, but fried food just takes salt so well while it’s hot. Add a nice sprinkle of salt or Pecorino Romano cheese to the warm zucchini fritters for maximum flavor.
- Flour – Though flour is recommended, half the amount of cornstarch can be used as a substitute if you want a gluten-free fritter.
- Herbs – Mint or basil are both great substitutes.
- Keeping warm – If doing multiple batches, place finished fritters in a low temp oven (170f) to keep warm while attending to subsequent batches.
More Italian-Style appetizers
- Italian Pickled Eggplant
- Mozzarella En Carrozza
- Eggplant Caponata With Raisins
- Roasted eggplant with sauce and Ricotta Salata
- Marinated mushrooms
If you’ve enjoyed this Italian zucchini fritter recipe or any recipe on this site please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear how you did and it’s nice to show others as well. Thanks!
Italian Zucchini Fritters
- 3 medium zucchini
- 3 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 2 cups canola oil
- Grate 3 medium zucchini with a coarse setting (1/4" size hole) of cheese grater. Chop a 1/4 cup of fresh parsley.
- Place shredded zucchini in a colander and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of kosher salt all over. After 15 minutes squeeze out as much water as possible from the shredded zucchini.
- Beat 3 eggs in a large mixing bowl. To bowl, add the zucchini, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 3 Tbsp flour. Mix thoroughly to form batter.
- Prepare a heavy pan for frying with canola oil. The oil should be about 3/4" high in the pan and hot enough to fry with (350-375).
- When oil is ready to fry add 1 Tbsp of batter, being careful to not overcrowd the fritters in the pan. Work in batches, frying the fritters for 4 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined sheet pan. When finished sprinkle a touch of kosher salt and/or Pecorino Romano cheese on top. Enjoy!
- Amount - Makes about 12-16 fritters.
- Zucchini - Make sure to squeeze out water after salting, for less water and more zucchini flavor in the fritters.
- Batter - To stiffen up the fritter batter just place it in the fridge for 15 minutes before frying.
- Frying - Make sure the fritters have ample space in the pan. Work in batches to not crowd.
- Frying Temp - 350-375 is the target temp to fry at. Use a frying thermometer to check temp or check for light bubbles with a sprinkle of flour.
- Salt - The fritters have 1 Tbsp of kosher salt in them already, but fried food just takes salt so well while it's hot. Add a nice sprinkle of salt or Pecorino Romano cheese on to the warm zucchini fritters for maximum flavor.
- Flour - Though flour is recommended, half the amount of cornstarch can be used as a substitute.
- Herbs - Mint or basil are both great substitutes.
- Keeping warm - If doing multiple batches, place finished fritters in a low temp oven (170f) to keep warm while attending to subsequent batches.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.