These delicious vegan zucchini fritters are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside with a perfect savory flavor. Quick and easy light meal.
Vegan zucchini fritters are here!
Well I guess I shouldn’t act as if I’m the first person to ever make vegan zucchini fritters, there are definitely others that have come before, so maybe I’ll rephrase that. My version of vegan zucchini fritters are here.
From the start in testing this recipe, these fritters tasted amazing. Beyond amazing. So much flavor.
Perfectly Crisp Vegan Zucchini Fritters
But I had a little challenge with them being a bit too wet on the inside, even without adding any actual liquid to the recipe. Zucchini is a ‘very’ wet ingredient. If you use it in a cake or brownies, it creates amazing moistness in the texture.
But for these fritters, where they just fry a little on each side until browned, rather than baking like cakes or brownies, they didn’t dry up enough to be the right texture and were just a bit too wet on the inside.
So I got a little inspiration from Recipe Tin Eats who has a non-vegan version of zucchini fritters, and she lets the grated zucchini sit in a bowl with a little salt for 10 minutes and then squeezes the excess moisture out of the zucchini.
This worked great!
I did have to add a bit of moisture back IN though, in the form of some melted vegan butter. But that ended up with a really good texture. Crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, but not wet.
And always with that ridiculously delicious flavor!
The other recipe that provided inspiration for this was our vegan corn fritters (which are great!).
How To Make Vegan Zucchini Fritters
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Grate the zucchini and add to a bowl with a sprinkle of salt. Leave it for 10 minutes. Then use your hands (or a tea towel) to squeeze the zucchini and drain off the excess water. Place the squeezed zucchini into another bowl and leave the water behind.
- Once the squeezed zucchini is in a fresh mixing bowl, add flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, crushed garlic and chopped spring onions (also called green onions) and mix it together. It will be very crumbly.
- Add melted vegan butter and mix into a thick batter.
- Add olive oil to a frying pan and once hot, use an ice cream scoop/cookie scoop to scoop out even sized amounts of batter into the frying pan.
- Use your spatula to press down from the top and flatten your fritters.
- After around 3 minutes flip it over and cook the other side. When both sides are browned, they’re ready and you can cook your next batch.
Keep Them Warm In The Oven
Keep warm in the oven. While you’re cooking your second batch, your first batch can be staying warm and crispy in the oven. Preheat your oven to 210°F (100°C) and line a tray, preferably with a grill rack on top of it as below, with parchment paper.
Place the cooked fritters on the grill rack and place them in the warm oven while you cook the rest of your batch. If you have anything else to do when the fritters are cooked then you can do it safe in the knowledge that they are staying warm and crispy.
Squeeze the excess water out of the zucchini using your hands or a tea towel. I don’t have strong hands, Jaye however has very strong hands! He plays guitar and does workouts that involve serious grip strength, so when it came to squeezing out the excess water from the zucchini, he can easily do it. I started doing it and a couple of weak squeezes later I was like: ‘ow, my hands are sore!’
So, whoever you have in your household with strong hands, get them to do it. Otherwise use a tea towel to make it easier.
If you don’t squeeze the excess moisture out well enough, then compensate by using a little less melted vegan butter. You only need this batter to just pull together, from crumbly, into a batter.
If your zucchini was a little more wet you’ll see that it will mix into a batter more easily so you can then just use less melted vegan butter.
Fry at high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot with a little oil before you add in your fritters. And then let them get nice and browned on each side.
Use a cookie scoop. The batter is very thick, so the best way to do it is to use a cookie scoop/ice cream scoop, to scoop out the batter, that way you also get fritters that are pretty much the same size.
Scoop the batter so that the fritters are in a ball shape when they go into the pan and then flatten them with your spatula as they fry.
If you don’t have a cookie scoop, you can just estimate it as around ¼ cup of batter per fritter.
Weigh your whole zucchinis before you grate them, to get roughly the right amount, and then again after grating to ensure accuracy. But definitely weigh it before you have squeezed out the excess water. Our weight is based on the grated zucchini before any squeezing has occurred.
Weigh your flour for the best accuracy as flour measures can be tricky. Alternatively use the ‘spoon and level’ method. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level off the top with a knife.
Vegan butter. You can probably use coconut oil (melted) instead of vegan butter. Or use a homemade vegan butter. See our notes above about possibly using less if you didn’t squeeze as much moisture out of the zucchini.
Nutritional yeast. We used nutritional yeast because it adds a wonderful cheesy flavor to these fritters. The flavor balance is really GREAT on these. But if you don’t like nutritional yeast, I would recommend perhaps trying to use the same amount of grated vegan cheese. If there is a brand of vegan cheese that you like (a vegan parmesan would be awesome) then grate that up and use it in the same quantity (¼ cup). This is untested but I think could work here.
Spring onions. These are also known as green onions, salad onions or scallions. I think chopped chives would also be good in these zucchini fritters. If you want to mix it up, you could try those as well.
Make Them Gluten-Free
I haven’t tried it yet but a gluten-free all purpose flour blend should be fine as a direct swap for the regular flour in these. If your mix is too dry (gluten-free flours can absorb more moisture), then add a little more vegan butter.
They are best served hot, crispy and fresh. But if you do have leftovers, keep them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days and warm them up by giving them a quick re-fry in a hot pan.
They also can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and then reheat.
More Vegan Zucchini Recipes
- Vegan Zucchini Muffins
- Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Vegan Zucchini Brownies
- Vegan Zucchini Soup
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Zucchini Fritters
For Serving (Optional):
- 1 Recipe Vegan Sour Cream
- Spring Onions Chopped
- Grate the zucchini and then add it to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the salt and mix in. Then leave it for 10 minutes. The salt will help release the excess water from the zucchini. Then use your hands to squeeze the zucchini and drain off excess water. Place the squeezed zucchini into another bowl and leave the water behind.
- Once the squeezed zucchini is in a fresh mixing bowl, add in the flour, nutritional yeast, baking powder, crushed garlic and chopped spring onions and mix together. It will be very crumbly.*
- Add in the melted vegan butter and mix into a thick batter.
- Preheat the oven to 210°F (100°C) and place some parchment paper over a grill rack on a baking tray. This is where you’ll place your fritters to keep them warm.
- Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan and let it get hot. Once hot, use an ice cream scoop/cookie scoop to scoop out even sized amounts of batter into the frying pan. If you don’t have a cookie scoop just use around ¼ cup for each fritter. Use your spatula to press it down from the top and flatten. Depending on the size of your pan you can cook a few at a time. I was able to do 4 at a time.
- Let it cook for a few minutes and then flip over – around 3 minutes per side. When both sides are nicely browned, then transfer your cooked fritters to the baking tray in the warmed oven to stay warm.
- Add the remaining Tbsp of olive oil to the frying pan and repeat with your next batch.
- Serve with vegan sour cream and chopped spring onions.
- Batter. If your batter is coming together very well without the addition of the vegan butter, then there was more water left in your zucchinis than in my batch. You can add in less vegan butter in this case, just a tablespoon of vegan butter is enough in terms of flavor, the rest is to make the batter come together, so if you don’t need it, you don’t have to use it. If your batter still seems quite ‘wet’ add in a little more flour. If the batter is too wet, your fritters will be soggy inside. The batter should have only enough liquid to just come together into a batter. But don’t worry, even if your fritters end up a little soggy inside, they will still be delicious and letting them sit in the oven for a bit on the tray will help them dry out more as well.
- Spring onions are also known as green onions, salad onions or scallions.
- Storing and Freezing. They are best served hot, crispy and fresh. But if you do have leftovers, keep them covered in the fridge for up to 3 days and warm them up by giving them a quick re-fry in a hot pan. They also can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and then reheat.
- Nutritional information is for fritters only and excludes vegan sour cream.
- Recipe inspired by Recipe Tin Eats and our own recipe for Vegan Corn Fritters.