These crispy zucchini fritters are super easy to make and are the perfect way to sneak some tasty veggies into your meal!
So, how do you feel about veggies?? I have to confess, I'm not a huge fan of vegetables. So when it actually comes to veggies I like, I try to find as many ways as possible to use them. These Zucchini Fritters are one veggie dish that I just love! Topped with a tangy goat cheese mousse they make a great side dish or a nice light, weeknight meal. And they are a great way to use up your end-of-summer zucchini!
Several of the ingredients for this recipe are basics you probably have on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:
Fresh zucchini: Fresh from your garden or the local farmer's market would be the best choice but I make this recipe all year round using zucchini from the grocery store.
Egg: You’ll need one large egg.
Red onion: I prefer red onion for this recipe, however, you can substitute a yellow onion (not a sweet onion).
Lemon zest: Fresh lemon zest is the best option for this recipe though you could used dried lemon peel in a pinch, just reduce the amount by at least half.
Parmigiano-Reggiano: Any type of high-quality parmesan cheese can be used, I just happen to prefer this one.
Goat cheese: You want to use the log style, soft goat cheese for this recipe. Be sure to leave time to let it come to room temperature before mix it with the other ingredients.
Cream cheese: You can use either regular or whipped cream cheese for this recipe.
Sambal: You are only using a small amount in the goat cheese mousse so if you don't have sambal in your refrigerator you can substitute a different type of hot sauce. If substituting, start with ⅛ teaspoon and add from there.
Fresh cilantro: I don’t recommend substituting dried in this recipe.
Spices: Ground black pepper, sea salt
Pantry staples: Olive oil, all-purpose flour, garlic clove, baking powder
Making Zucchini Fritters
When I think of zucchini, I usually think of summer. Since it's on my short list of favorite veggies, I like to use it all year long for these zucchini cakes. This recipe is super easy as it only has a few steps to it.
Shred the zucchini. The first step in this recipe is to grate the zucchini and then drain it. Getting as much water as possible out is an important step to making sure you don't end up with soggy fitters! Putting the grated zucchini on paper towels and pressing the water out is the most effective way to drain it.
Make the mousse. While you let the zucchini drain for a little longer, mix the mousse ingredients up in a small bowl and then refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the mixture. Once the zucchini is fully drained, you'll mix in the rest of the fritter ingredients.
Pan-fry the fritters. You are using a relatively small amount of oil to fry these which keeps them healthier and cuts down on the mess.
Meal prep tip: You can make the goat cheese mousse a day ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
These fritters make the perfect side dish for just about any main. You can also eat them on their own for a light lunch or dinner.
If you want to keep it simple, you could just add a piece of grilled fish or chicken for a quick weekday meal. For something a little more sophisticated, I’d serve them with this Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp or this Grilled Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin. For dessert, I’d finish with this Skillet Apple Crisp.
A nice wine pairing with this recipe is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
More unique side dish reicpes
things you may want for this recipe
Food Processor with Shredding Blade – While you can always hand grate your zucchini, it goes much faster with a food processor fitted with a shredding/grating blade. Most Cuisinart food processors come with one, as do many other models.
Microplane Zester - This is another one of my essential kitchen tools. I use it for zesting all kinds of citrus and also for grating hard cheeses and occasionally even for grating chocolate!
Zucchini Cakes with Goat Cheese Mousse
For the zucchini cakes:
- 1 pound zucchini
- ½ teaspoon garlic olive oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon finely diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the goat cheese mousse:
- ¼ cup soft goat cheese
- 2 tablespoon soft cream cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon sambal
- 2 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
- Shred the zucchini. Attach a shredding/grater blade to your food processor and grate the zucchini. Transfer to a cutting board covered with 2 layers of paper towel; cover with another paper towel and press to remove water. Let sit for 2-3 minutes and repeat.
- Make the mousse. While the zucchini is draining, mix all the mousse ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Create the mixture. Transfer zucchini to a medium bowl and add all remaining ingredients except for olive oil; mix well.
- Pan fry the fritters. Heat oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Use a small scoop to drop batter into skillet. Flatten with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes. Turn cakes and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm. Repeat with any remaining batter.
- Place fritters onto serving dishes and top with goat cheese mousse. Serve immediately.
This post was originally published in December 2014 and updated in September 2021 with some new information. No changes have been made to the original recipe.