Make crispy pan fried squash patties called Kolokithokeftedes for a delicious snack or side dish this summer! The Greek fritters are made with zucchini, fresh herbs and feta cheese. SO good!
There are countless varieties of summer squash grown around the world and of them, zucchini is one of the most popular.
Despite the Italian sounding name, this member of the gourd family was first cultivated in the U.S. It's known as a courgette in parts of Europe and Asia.
Most summer squash plants are really hardy, which may be why so many people need to know how to use zucchini and yellow squash at the end of the growing season!
Fried Squash Patties - Kolokithokeftedes
Let’s follow the historic Silk Road trade route into Greece for another fantastic pan fried mezze platter idea - Greek fritters with mint yogurt sauce!
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 🥄
Although making baked zucchini fritters is an option, in my experience, they aren't quite as tasty as the fried version. There's something extra special about the crispy golden exterior that oven baking won't give you.
Ingredient notes and substitutes
- Fresh herbs are a must.
Just like pesto or chimichurri, Greek fritters have to be made with fresh herbs. Fortunately, fresh mint, basil, and dill weed can all be found easily any time of the year.
- Eggless option
If you want to make egg-free squash patties, you can use the equivalent of two flax eggs as a substitute for two real eggs.
To make one flax egg, mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal with three tablespoons of water. Use a spoon to stir and combine, then let the mixture sit in your fridge for 15 minutes to set up and thicken.
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.
Keep in mind that all summer squash varieties have a high water content. So, to prevent your fritters from being soggy, it's very important to remove as much moisture as possible from the zucchini.
- Wash and shred. Start by using a box grater to break down the zucchini. It isn't necessary to peel them, but be sure to scrub them first to remove any dirt or debris.
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.
- Squeeze and add salt. Start by squeezing out as much water as you can from the zucchini, then add salt. Salting the squash helps the water to leach out. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then set it aside to rest for about 30 minutes before you squeeze it again.
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.
Fritters that stick to the cooking pan are likely to fall apart. To keep this from happening, be sure to use enough oil, and don't turn the patties over before they’re completely brown and crispy on the first side. This usually takes 2 to 3 minutes.
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.
What to serve with zucchini fritters
Kolokithokeftedes - Fried Squash Patties + Video
Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried mint
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ lb zucchini grated
- 1 tsp 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 tbsp dill finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp 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.