Best Italian Zucchini Fritters (easy recipe)

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These Italian zucchini fritters are an easy recipe that is sure to become one of your favorite appetizers! They are made with a few simple and fresh ingredients. Dip them in whipped ricotta and- trust me, you can’t stop at one!

stacks of zucchini fritters on a plate. Basil leaf on top.
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The Italian word for zucchini fritters is “frittelle di zucchine”. They are like little zucchini pancakes packed with zucchini and the perfect balance of cheese and herbs. You will love these zucchini fritters with Italian Sausage and Peppers and Homemade Bread!

Why I Love Italian Zucchini Fritters

I love zucchini! It reminds me of summers in Sardegna, Italy, when Nonna Laura made Italian Stuffed Zucchini (vegetarian) and Sautéed Zucchini and Onion (Italian Recipe). She made them first thing in the morning so we could have them after a long morning at the beach.

If you have zucchini growing in your garden and you need a fantastic recipe, you will love this one!

This recipe is perfect for big homegrown oversized zucchini and smaller zucchini you can buy at the grocery store. If you also have peppers in your garden, make sure to try Pickled Italian Vinegar Peppers Recipe. Try this recipe for green beans- Italian Flat Green Beans Recipe (with Tomatoes and Garlic).

You will also enjoy this Easy Quiche Recipe!

Simple Ingredients

You probably have everything in your pantry and fridge to make these easy zucchini fritters. The fritter batter has only a few simple ingredients and is packed with flavor.  

ingredient shot for recipe
  • Eggs
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Parmigiano cheese (parmesan cheese)
  • Fresh Herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, thyme)
  • All-purpose flour (gluten-free flour)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

See recipe card for quantities.

Best Italian Zucchini Fritters (easy recipe) on a platter for serving.

How to make Italian Zucchini Fritters (Step-by-Step Photos)

The process is simple and requires minimal effort. The hardest part is straining the water of the zucchini. The rest resembles making a pancake and frying it on a pan.

removing excess liquid from zucchini

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. The salt will help draw out some of this moisture. Wait 30 minutes, then squeeze excess moisture with your hands or a clean dishcloth.

zucchini fritter mixture

Combined zucchini fritter mixture.

mixing zucchini fritter ingredients in a bowl

In a large bowl, lightly whisk eggs, fresh herbs, garlic, the grated and drained zucchini, and cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Combine until well incorporated.

making the zucchini mixture

Over medium-high heat, in a large skillet pan, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add 3 heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten slightly with the back of a spoon to shape the zucchini fritter.

Hint: Make sure the oil is very hot before adding the zucchini, so it won’t stick to the pan.

cooking zucchini fritters in pan with oil. Browned on both sides.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or a wire rack and repeat this process with the rest of the batter. 

Best Italian Zucchini Fritters (easy recipe) in a pan

Substitutions

This recipe is amazing and traditional with the zucchini! You can substitute the zucchini for fresh baby spinach and make spinach fritters. You need to blanch the spinach and strain it like in this recipe.

Variations

Make the Italian zucchini fritters as the recipe states the first time, and try these additions the next time you make them.

  • Spicy – add chili pepper flakes into the zucchini batter to kick it up a notch.
  • Deluxe – add a little crispy bacon to the zucchini batter to add crunch and an extra protein boost.
  • Cheesy- add a little freshly grated mozzarella cheese to make it extra cheesy and create a fun cheese pull as you bite into these delicious fritters.

More Italian appetizer options for you: Crispy Calamari Air Fryer Recipe, Prosciutto Melon Arugula Salad, Easy Bruschetta Recipe with Mozzarella and Tomato Basil, Roasted Portabello Mushrooms, Best Baked Artichoke Spinach Dip (no mayo), and Italian Seafood Salad Appetizer.

Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters

Make the zucchini fritters in an air fryer– cooking them at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes and flipping halfway through cooking.

What to serve with Italian Zucchini Fritters

These make the perfect appetizer for any summer meal (or any time of year!). They are great for parties. Super easy to transport if you are in charge of bringing the appetizer! Serve with any variety of pasta dishes or meats and fish.

Best Italian Zucchini Fritters (easy recipe) close up

Storage

Store any leftover fritters in the fridge in an airtight container. They will keep for about 4-5 days. You can reheat them in the oven, or microwave, or eat them cold!

FAQ’s

Can you freeze zucchini fritters?

Yes, you can freeze them! Let them cool completely then place them in a freezer-safe bag or air-tight container. They will keep up to 2 months in the freezer if properly stored. They can be reheated in the oven, microwave or in a frying pan, or air fryer.

How to make crispy fritters?

The key to getting these Italian Zucchini Fritters good and crispy is getting as much moisture out as possible. Zucchini is 95% water; you will get mushy fritters if you skip the step to remove the extra liquid.

More zucchini recipes for you

Top tips

Did you know that zucchini is 95% water? That is why we need to remove the extra liquid before cooking or frying.

  • Grate the zucchini then squeeze zucchini well to remove as much liquid as possible. This will make sure your zucchini fritters aren’t watery.
  • Make sure pan is hot and do not overcrowd the pan for crispy fritters.
  • Keeping warm – when cooking in multiple batches, place finished fritters in a low temp oven (170f) to keep warm while attending to subsequent batches.

Make sure to leave a ⭐️star rating on the recipe card and comment below if you make the recipe. I love to connect with you through my recipes.

I would love for you to tag me on Instagram @cucinabyelena so I can see your delicious Italian recipes. To get more ideas, follow me on Pinterest.

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stack of zucchini fritters on a plate

Best Zucchini Fritters Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 10 reviews

These Italian zucchini fritters are an easy recipe that is sure to become one of your favorite appetizers! They are made with a few simple and fresh ingredients. Dip them in whipped ricotta and- trust me, you can’t stop at one!

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the zucchini fritters 

  • 2 pounds zucchini washed and grated and tossed in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian herbs basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, etc
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (use gluten-free all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil for frying

Instructions

For the fritters 

  1. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini. Toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and transfer to a colander set over a medium bowl. The salt will help draw out some of this moisture. Wait 30 minutes, then squeeze excess moisture with your hands or a clean dishcloth. 
  2. Place zucchini in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, garlic, and herbs. Then, stir in the flour and cheese. 
  3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, drop three heaping tablespoons of batter per fritter in the skillet and fry on both sides until nicely browned. Place the fried fritters on paper towels to drain.
  4. Serve immediately while crispy. Serve with whipped ricotta cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprig of fresh herb for garnish.
    • Author: Elena Davis
    • Prep Time: 30 minutes
    • Cook Time: 10 minutes
    • Category: Savory
    • Method: Italian
    • Cuisine: Italian

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    About Elena

    My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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    23 Comments

      1. I made these zucchini fritters for dinner tonight. It was nice to use fresh garden zucchini. Oh my! It was the perfect side dish. Our family ate every last one of them. They were so delicious! I feel like it is kid friendly too because the zucchini taste is not overpowering. They were nice and crispy and I think the key to that was getting the excess moisture out as much as possible. Thanks for another delicious recipe Elena!! This will be a repeat for sure 🙂






    1. This tastes like a recipe my Nonna would make – delicious!!! Easy and a great way to use our summer harvest of zucchini!






    2. Best ever zucchini fritters, they’re so addicting. I serve them with tzatziki sauce, bursting with flavor! What a crowd pleaser.






      1. Hello! 1 pound equals about 4 cups grated and 2 cups grated and strained zucchini. Enjoy. I hope that helps.

      1. Easy and quick to make. I love recipes that require very little prep time and tasted like you worked hard on it. My husband doesn’t like zucchini but I am growing a lot in my garden this year so it will be my good to recipe.