Cheesy Zucchini Fritters
YUMMM!! These fritters are one of those things that taste way too good to be considered ‘healthy’. But really, they are! And so, so easy too! This is a great recipe to keep on hand throughout summer as the zucchini supply outgrows the zucchini demand.
These fritters are the most delicious alternative to grilled zucchini, which feels pretty monotonous come August. I know that in most meals, meats usually get all the love when it comes to prep. The vegetables on the side are just that, on the side with less attention and time invested in developing flavor. Veggies don’t deserve that though! And actually I personally am much more inspired to cook and create with veggies and other plants. Meat is delicious, but plants offer so many more flavors, directions, and possibilities, at least for me. Example: you can make cauliflower into rice, pizza crust, a steak, etc. But, can you make a steak into rice, pizza crust, or cauliflower? I don’t think so.
Focusing a little more of your prep time on the veggie portion of your meal can make for exponentially more delicious and interesting meals, all while allowing you to practice your chef skills and get nutrient-dense veggies on the plate. You don’t have to invest a ton of time in veggies to get big return in flavor. A couple minutes is all you need to transform veggies and your meal.
This recipe is based off that of possibly my favorite food blogger, Deb of Smitten Kitchen. Her site has been a source of inspiration for years now, and I would say that there usually isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t check her site to see what new dish she has dreamed up. One of the reasons I love her recipes so much (she has amazing writing too!) is because I trust them. When you are getting a recipe online, you really don’t know if it will be a winner or a lemon. Hers are always winners. I know this because 1. Every one I have tried turns out perfectly and 2. She really cares about the food, and has taken the time to test and tweak recipes to provide the world with great ones that really work. She has tons of delicious and creative sweets recipes, as well as tons of plant forward dishes that make you feel like you must make them immediately.
Instead of developing my own recipe this time, I decided to begin with hers for zucchini fritters because I knew it would be solid. My take on her recipe largely differs by the addition of some good ol’ shredded mozzarella. It’s not fancy, but it is the perfect addition to make these zuc cakes pretty much irresistible, even to those veggie haters out there. (Cheese makes everything better, right?) Plus! The super easy marinara from a previous recipe of mine was soooo amazing with these. I really, really suggest you whip up a batch to enjoy with the fritters. Hope you enjoy!
Cheesy Zucchini Fritters
Makes ~ 8 fritters
Adapted from this recipe
1 lb. (460g) zucchini (about 3 small)
½ cup (75g) onion, finely diced
½ cup (70g) flour, white or whole wheat
½ cup (55g) shredded mozzarella
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh black pepper
tomato sauce or marinara- I made my simple, favorite marinara from this recipe
If you are making the marinara, start with that so it can be ready when the fritters are all done.
To make the fritters, shred zucchini with a box/cheese grater. Place into a colander and mix with ½ tsp. of the salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Then press firmly against the sides of the colander to squeeze out liquid from the zucchini. Keep pressing until pretty much no more liquid comes out.
Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Add the zucchini, onion, flour, mozzarella, baking powder, ½ tsp. salt, and a couple grinds of fresh black pepper. Mix until evenly combined.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. When hot, add 2 tbs. olive oil. Scoop the zucchini mixture into the pan in about ¼ cup scoops. Press down gently to flatten just a bit. Repeat to make 8 fritters. Let cook for about 4 minutes, the bottom should be dark golden. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. The insides should be very hot and cooked through.
Serve hot with the marinara. Extras can be saved for a couple days in the fridge and easily be reheated.