Crisp Zucchini Fritters make a great side or simple main course any day of the week. This culmination of summer flavors includes zucchini, green onion, and feta cheese. Seasoned with dill, basil, and mint, they have a refreshing taste that is complemented perfectly by a light mint yogurt sauce!
Greek zucchini fritters, or kolokithokeftedes, are fried squash patties made from a mix of herbs, feta cheese, and other common Mediterranean seasonings.
Fritters are the perfect busy weeknight meal! They’re very quick to make, as well as easy to freeze and make at your leisure throughout the week. While I use the traditional zucchini in this kolokithokeftedes recipe, you can easily add other vegetables. Cabbage, other varieties of squash, and spinach are common fritter ingredients.
I’m also including my recipe for a refreshingly tangy mint yogurt sauce to serve on the side, smother on top… however you’d like to enjoy it! It’s a delicious dipper for a plethora of other recipes, including these Crispy Greek Roasted Potatoes or Chickpea Falafel!
Cuisine: Mediterranean / Greek
Begin your culinary journey in southeastern Europe. Travel south through Romania and Bulgaria and you’ll arrive in the mezze mecca, Greece.
Course: Side Dish or Appetizer/Snack
Serving Temperature: Hot
Kolokythokeftedes, courgette fritters, squash patties, zucchini balls
Kolokithokeftedes are crispy Greek zucchini fritters, either flattened into patties or formed into balls. Easy to make with grated zucchini, fresh herbs and feta cheese.
Recipe difficulty: Easy 🥄
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Zucchini - You’ll likely need 3 or 4 to get the amount needed for this recipe. You can mix in some yellow squash or pumpkin, depending on the season and your preferences.
- Green Onions - Chives, shallots, or leeks are possible substitutes.
- Feta Cheese - A tangy soft cheese. I would normally recommend goat cheese as a substitute, but it is too creamy and would melt easily in these fried squash patties.
- Eggs & Flour - To bind and hold the patties together, as well as to spread the seasonings throughout.
- Basil, Mint, & Dill - Three very common Mediterranean herbs for freshness and a tinge of savory flavor. Plenty of other herbs would work instead or in addition to these three, including rosemary, thyme, and cilantro.
- Cumin - A warm and earthy spice. You can also use chili powder or paprika.
- Red Chili Flakes - This seasoning can also be replaced with chili powder or paprika, or even diced peppers to add a bit of heat.
- Mint Yogurt Sauce - A simple, refreshing sauce to serve on the side. It consists of plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, dried mint, and just a pinch of salt.
HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI FRITTERS
1. Make the Sauce. Make the mint yogurt sauce by mixing all of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving.
2. Grate the Squash. With a box grater, grate the zucchini over a bowl lined with a kitchen towel. Sprinkle salt over the grated squash and mix together with your hands. Let that sit for 10 minutes before wrapping in the towel and squeezing to get as much water out of the squash as possible.
3. Mix the Batter. Transfer the grated squash to another bowl and add all of the remaining kolokithokeftedes ingredients. Mix together with your hands until just combined – don’t overmix!
4. Fry the Patties. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add a couple of tablespoon-sized scoops to the skillet. Flatten them with your flipper to form the patties, leaving a decent amount of space around each. Fry for just a couple of minutes per side until browned.
5. Serve & Enjoy! Transfer fried squash patties to a paper towel to soak up excess oil while frying the rest of the batter. Serve right away with your choice of sauce.
Video: How to make Greek zucchini fritters
For great tips on shredding zucchini and to see us make the fried squash patties, be sure to watch the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
PRO TIP: How to Shred Zucchini Without a Grater
If you don’t have a box grater, but you have a food processor with a grating blade, you’re good to go!
Or, use a spiralizer to create squash noodles, then cut the strands crosswise as finely as possible. As a last resort, just use a sharp knife to finely mince the veggie.
Cooking Tips for Crispy Fried Squash Patties
- Preheat the oil before you start frying. If the oil is too cool, it will soak into the fritter mixture instead cooking it.
- Flatten the batter in the pan. If the squash patties are too thick, they won't cook through in the middle. Use the back of a spoon or ladle to gently flatten the batter in the pan.
NOTE: This fritter batter is pretty thick and sticky, so you may want to grease your spatula with some cooking spray to prevent it from sticking to the batter.
- Don't crowd the pan. Leave a couple of inches between each of the zucchini fritters, otherwise they will steam rather than fry.
- Drain on paper towel or over wire rack before serving. Nobody likes soggy, greasy fritters, so be sure to drain the excess oil by placing the zucchini fritters on a couple of layers of paper towel.
Common reasons for soggy fritters are using too much batter, and/or using cooking oil that isn’t hot enough. Batter that’s too wet is another common problem. To prevent this, be sure to squeeze as much excess moisture as possible from the shredded zucchini.
There are a couple reasons why your kolokithokeftedes are falling apart.
First, you need to make sure to squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the zucchini. Too much water and a runny batter will certainly make the patties fall apart in the pan.
Second, allow the oil to come to temperature before frying so that the batter doesn’t simply soak up the oil instead of crisping up.
If your batter seems to thin, add a bit more flour to create a more substantial patty.
After they cool to room temperature, refrigerate any leftover Greek zucchini fritters in a resealable plastic bag. They're tasty cold or heat again in a toaster oven.
For longer storage (up to three months), freeze the cooked patties in an airtight container or food storage bag. To prevent them from freezing together in one clump, place a small piece of parchment paper between each of the patties.
Yes. Leftover batter will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days, and in the freezer for a couple of months.
What to serve with zucchini fritters
This post, originally published on Silk Road Recipes July, 2021, was updated with new content, photos and/or video in June, 2022.
Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes)
Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ lb zucchini grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 green onions thinly sliced
- 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup basil finely chopped
- ¼ cup mint leaves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon dill finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
Mint Yogurt Sauce
- Still together all the Mint Yogurt ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Line a large bowl with a thin kitchen towel. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the zucchini on to the towel in the bowl. Sprinkle with the salt. Mix and squeeze the mixture with your hands. Let rest 10 minutes. Wrap the towel and squeeze tightly with your hands to release as much liquid as possible (discard).
- Transfer to a clean, medium bowl. Add the green onions, feta, eggs, herbs and spices. Mix until all of the ingredients are completely combined. Add the flour and mix just to combine, don't over mix.
- Place a skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
- Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture and carefully add them to the hot oil. Don't crowd the skillet or they will steam. Gently press down to form patties and spread them out. Fry 2-3 minutes per side until golden.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.