This is a super easy recipe for crunchy and delicious fried zucchini fritters! Zucchini fritters, or Frittelle di Zucchine as they’re called in Calabria, are one of our favorite ways to use up the abundance of zucchini we accumulate each summer.
The funny thing is we don’t grow zucchini. We just keep buying and hoarding them throughout the summer in a sort of zucchini-obsessed craze. Next thing we know we’re making zucchini fritters 2x a week, Pasta con Pancetta e Zucchine, and Pesto di Zucchine. Regardless of the quantity we acquire of this delightful veggie (it’s actually a fruit), we end up eating it all!
How to Make Fried Zucchini Fritters
The key to making good zucchini fritters is salting the zucchini properly in order to ensure they’re dry enough. Watery zucchini equals watery batter which equals watery zucchini fritters. We want crunchy, light, and fluffy fritters.
You can remove excess water by salting the zucchini and letting them sit. The longer they sit the more water is released. Flip and spread out the zucchini out as you salt to ensure you coat both sides and the water can be exit. We typically use a big strainer and leave it in the sink or a bowl to catch the excess water. Then pat down zucchini with a hand towel. Take it a step further by gently wringing out the zucchini in the towel.
Flat vs Sparkling Water
We prefer cold sparkling water for this recipe because it creates a crunchier exterior. However, if you don’t have sparkling water, flat/tap water is fine. Giuseppe’s mom, Lina, switches back and forth regularly between flat and sparkling water depending on what’s in the pantry. In general, this recipe is quite forgiving.
Zucchini Fritter Batter
This is not the type of batter you can make and leave for a few minutes. It needs to get into the pan as quickly as possible. We recommend gently heating the oil right before you add the zucchini in order to reduce the amount of time the zucchini sits in the batter.
Frying Zucchini Fritters in Olive Oil
You might be wondering what type of olive oil to fry in. We use extra virgin olive oil for frying. We particularly love EVOO for this recipe because the flavors complement each other perfectly. However, that’s not always an option. You can use regular olive oil, sunflower oil, or another preferred cooking oil.
Adjust the cooking temperature according to the type of oil you’re using and remember extra virgin olive oil will smoke if placed and left on high heat. Read more about frying with extra virgin olive oil here.
Related: How to Cook with Olive Oil
Fried Zucchini Fritters as an Appetizer
This recipe usually makes between 22 to 26 fritters (about 2 ½” x 2 ½” each). We measure using a large kitchen spoon so it’s not exact. This can easily be stretched so there are enough fritters for 8 people as a small appetizer. Use a smaller spoon to make the fritters smaller.