These Crispy Zucchini Fritters can be made right in your air fryer or they can be pan fried. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, they make a great snack, vegetarian burger patty, or appetizer. Enjoy them with creamy sauce or refreshing salsa.
This crispy combination of cheddar cheese and grated zucchini is absolutely delicious!
Whether you make zucchini fritters in the air fryer or on your stove, the outcome is a mouth watering vegetable patty that is soft on the inside and crispy fried on the outside.
This recipe is a winner as a healthy-ish snack, especially for picky eaters. Zucchini is not a strongly flavored vegetable, so kids won't even know they're eating it! These were inspired by my broccoli cheddar fritters, which are also a hit with the kids.
Making zucchini patties is a fantastic end of summer idea to use up your fresh garden or farmer's market zucchini- which is in abundance late in the summer.
They can be used for veggie burgers, as a snack with creamy dipping sauces, a dinner side dish, a quick lunch, or added to lunch boxes. Or, eat plain!
- Zucchini: grated or shredded
- Cheddar cheese: sharp shredded cheese is what I use
- Panko bread crumbs: plain or Italian style
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil: use spray for the air fryer
Variations and Substitutions
The ingredients above can be substituted with:
- Zucchini: other varieties of grated squash, broccoli, or cauliflower
- Cheddar cheese: parmesan, feta, asiago, or any of your favorite cheeses
- Panko bread crumbs: traditional bread crumbs
- Olive oil: while I use extra virgin olive oil, you can use any oil here such as canola, vegetable, avocado, etc.
Have a diet-restriction?
- Make it egg-free: replace the egg with a flax egg or mash up black beans or chickpeas to give the patties some substance to hold them together.
- Make it vegan: follow the recommendation above to make it egg free, but also use a dairy-free cheese. You can find these at organic or speciality supermarkets or on Amazon.
- Make it dairy-free: keep the egg but use a dairy free cheese.
To make crispy zucchini fritters, follow these simple steps. Then choose your method of cooking.
- Finely grate or shred the zucchini and cheese.
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded zucchini, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, egg, salt, and pepper.
Pour about 1 tablespoon of oil into a skillet. Heat the skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Form about ¼ cup of the zucchini mixture into a patty and put onto the hot skillet. It will be very soft but will turn crispy and easy to work with once cooked for a few minutes. Cook for 5-6 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through. The fritter will begin to turn golden brown when done.
AIR FRYER METHOD
Before turning the mix into patties, spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray. If using a toaster type air fryer, spray the cooking pan or tray. Then shape the mix into patties and put into the basket or on the pan. Spray generously with the oil. Air fry at 400 F or 200 C for 8-10 minutes, or until both sides begin to turn golden brown. Flip halfway through the cook time and spray lightly with oil again.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate when done. Avoid stacking them as they cool. Instead, keep in a single layer to ensure they remain crispy.
- Make sure not to stack hot patties on top of one another while they cool. Because they are hot and full of cheese, they will stick to another if you do this. Transfer them to a towel lined plate (to absorb any extra oil) in a single layer.
- The mixture will feel soft and delicate while forming into patties. This is okay and how it should be. Once cooked, they will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
- If the patties don't keep their shape completely, add a scoop of the mix to the pan or air fryer. Press down on it with a spatula to flatten. Then proceed with frying as the recipe indicates.
- Squeeze out as much water from the zucchini as you can prior to mixing.
How To Store
Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, in an airtight container or wrapped in foil or plastic. Eat them at room temperature or warmed in the microwave or air fryer.
They can be frozen for up to 6 months but will lose a little bit of crispness. Since zucchini contains a lot of water, it will also lose some of that once defrosted. Press the defrosted patties between paper towels to absorb the extra water. Then microwave or air fry to warm.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters (Air Fryer Recipe)
- 1 ½ cups grated zucchini
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
Air Fryer Method
- In a large bowl mix all ingredients until well combined.
- Spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray. If using a toaster type air fryer, spray the cooking pan or tray. Shape about ¼ cup of the mix into patties and put into the basket or on the pan. Spray generously with the oil.
- Air fry at 400°F or 204°C for 8-10 minutes, or until both sides begin to turn golden brown. Flip halfway through the cook time and spray lightly with oil again.
- Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
- Put about 1 tablespoon of oil into a skillet and heat over medium.
- Shape ¼ cup of mix into patties and add to the skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 4-6 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
Did you love these crispy zucchini fritters? Let me know how you made them and how they turned out in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
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