in ,

Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from zucchini fritters. I don’t particularly like zucchini by itself and I had never tried making anything like this before. But after prepping the batter and lightly pan frying them until golden and crispy, I took a bite and… wow. I was shocked. These guys are so amazingly fresh, crispy, and delicious.

But fritters are fried! That must mean they are super unhealthy, right? Yes, your average fritters are usually fried (deep fried!) and contain way too much fat. But wanna hear a secret? You can pan fry these fritters in very minimal olive oil, like 1/2 tablespoon each, and the texture comes out just perfect. This dish is low fat, high in veggies and nutrients, but so delicious no one would ever guess it’s healthy.

Oh, I was so excited about the fritters I almost forgot to mention the tomato sauce! Sure, you can eat them dry, but drizzling a beautiful tomato sauce with basil and olives takes these fritters to a whole new level.

Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce

Makes 6 fritters


  • 3 cups grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 16 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 10 Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • Sea salt & black pepper


Step One

Grate two large zucchini until you have about 3 cups. If you have a food processor with grating attachment, it makes this job so, so much easier while also creating the perfectly-sized shreds for making fritters.

Step Two

Start the tomato sauce. These fritters can be eaten by themselves, but a simple tomato sauce adds a lot. To make, simply combine all ingredients from the second list (tomato sauce, olives, capers, basil, and salt & pepper) into a saucepan and let it simmer for 15+ minutes while you’re preparing the fritters.

Step Three

Prepare the fritters by mixing the zucchini shreds with the flour, sliced green onions, oregano, salt & pepper, and lemon juice. Use your hands to toss everything together in a mixing bowl. Test the consistency by trying to form into a ball, about 1/2 the size of a baseball. If they hold together nicely, the batter is perfect. If they’re too watery, add more flour; too dry, add a few tablespoons of water.

Step Four

Heat a skillet with enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan over fairly high heat. While the oil is heating, roll the fritters into balls and flatten to about 2/3 inch thick.

Carefully add 3 fritters into the pan and let them cook until thoroughly browned on that side (about 4 minutes). Then, flip and allow the other side to brown as well.

Step Five

Remove from the heat and allow the skillet to cool before pouring in a layer of the now-cooked tomato sauce to cover the bottom half of the fritters. To serve, plate 1-2 fritters with a drizzle of the tomato sauce.



Leave a Reply
  1. I haven’t been to your site in a while & am happily catching up on your recent recipes :0). I like zucchini a lot and think this recipe sounds great! However, I’m a celiac and am not sure which gluten-free flour to substitute for the wheat flour in this particular recipe, as its more about the context of the recipe than the flour used that leads me to think of a good alternative. I tentatively have thought of garbanzo bean flour. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Oh, that might be tough, especially without eggs. It’s a stretch to make fritter without eggs, but the flour is used to help hold them together and it works well. You may be able to try chickpea flour, but I can’t guarantee how well it will work. Give it a shot and let me know! 🙂

      • Yeah, the chickpea flour might be too dry. Thanks for your thoughts! Yet, I just had a crazy idea. Maybe a nut butter, almond butter perhaps, would work, if I make the batter first & then fold in the zucchini :0).

  2. This looks delicious! I have zucchinis in my fridge and I wasn’t sure what to make.. This is my next recipe to try!
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. I just made this today and it was excellent!!! I’m not a huge zucchini fan so I only put about 1 1/2 cups zucchini and the rest quinoa. These turned out soo delicious!!! And the tomato sauce was such a great kick to it! Thanks so much!

  4. I saw this recipe when it was posted and I still haven’t gotten around to trying it. I have a lot of zucchini to use up so I think I’ll be making these fritters soon – they look absolutely divine.
    Also, I’m not sure if you’re aware that the last photo on this post (with the fritters in the sauce) is quite tumblr famous.

    • You gotta try it, Olivia! 🙂 I love this one.

      I saw that a few popular blogs pinned it several months ago but I didn’t know it was “tumblr famous” – that’s awesome! 🙂

  5. Hi!
    I am very excited to have just found your site! I started on the path to becoming a vegetarian this summer and am now working on eliminating all animal products. I’m love the limited amount of ingredients in your recipes. I’ll be making the lentil loaf and zucchini fritters for dinner tonight!
    Thank you!

    • Hi Sandra! That’s awesome, congrats on your transition towards a completely plant based diet! Lentil loaf and zucchini fritters sounds like a pretty amazing dinner! Can I come over?! :p

    • Hi Carolyn, I don’t know for sure, as I haven’t tried it. But I imagine you could achieve similar results through baking at maybe 400º F. I totally understand your concerns, I always try to keep refined fat/oil content as low as possible in my recipes and even 3 tablespoons is a lot for my cooking so if baking works, that’s a great option!

      • Thank you, Andrew. I found you on Pinterest. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes. I am also looking forward to checking out the FB Challenge. Thanks for adding me into the group.

  6. Hi Andrew, thank you for sharing! I do have to say though, flattening the balls to 2/3 inch ended up being too thick. There was still raw flour in the middle and uncooked zucchini. After realizing that, I cut them in half and re-fried them and they came out great! .

  7. I just made these and they were fantastic! I wouldn’t have thought of putting a tomato sauce like that with fritters and it was really good. I did saute the zucchini down to get rid of some of the moisture first because I have a terrible time with zucchini making things watery otherwise. I’m going to put hummus on the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks!

    • Awesome! I know, I don’t know where I got the idea to use tomato sauce but it does work really well, doesn’t it? Sautéing the zucchini is actually really smart – it has so much water that getting rid of some can only improve the texture. Great idea, Alice!

    • Cool! I saw the picture on Instagram, great job… and I’ve been leaning more towards gluten-free flours lately as well, so I love the chickpea flour idea!

  8. Hi Andrew, how are you?

    Today I tried this recipe but I gotta say it puzzled me. I followed it to the letter but after adding 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour to 3 cups of grated zucchini plus the lemon juice I ended up with something very, *very* sloshy, or creamy. They looked absolutely different than yours. Honestly, when I look at the 2nd photo I can barely believe there’s any flour in that fritters at all. I mean, they look so clean, the zuchinni looks so pure…

    This photo is not mine, but my fritters came out pretty much like this: . In fact, by image-googling “zucchini fritters” it appears that most of them have much more dough than yours. Did I do something wrong? What’s the trick?


    • Hmm, I’m sorry you had trouble Fabio. If you find that they’re too runny, you can do two things: 1) squeeze the zucchini shreds with some paper towels to remove any excess water or 2) what it says in the post: “Test the consistency by trying to form into a ball, about 1/2 the size of a baseball. If they hold together nicely, the batter is perfect. If they’re too watery, add more flour; too dry, add a few tablespoons of water.” That should help you get the right consistency!

  9. I’ve been meaning to try these again! I made them before but found them a bit too lemony for me (I’m usually a pretty big lemon fan–my parents found them WAY too lemony!) They were very good otherwise, wonderful consistency! Served them with a tomato basil quinoa salad and a green salad 🙂

    • Hi Anna! Interesting, I don’t remember the lemon flavor being too intense for me. But obviously a quick fix for that is to use less lemon juice 🙂 That quinoa salad pairing sounds amazing!

  10. I just made these and they were fabulous. I made a few modifications. I used half brown rice flour/half whole wheat (I would use less flour next go around). Two zucchini grated in food processor made three cups. I added a little nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor and 1/2 grated white onion (I was out of green). I did not use oil but fried in oil-oil non-stick spray and they they were fine. This is definitely one to make again and again. Not sure why I’ve never heard of zucchini burgers, but that’s what these are :).

    • That’s awesome, Alexis! I love your modifications (nutritional yeast sounds fantastic here). Zucchini burgers, haha, I love it! 🙂

    • Hey Jessica! Well, they’re almost a complete meal by themselves, just not a ton of calories and fairly low in protein. Serving alongside something with more carbs and/or protein would make them a more complete meal… tempeh, tofu, beans, lentils, grains, etc.

  11. I have made these twice already! They are delicious. I also made them with chickpea flour and they turned out great.

    • That’s a tough question, Alicia. Someone in the comments above mentioned a quinoa salad and that might work well, or maybe a cold pasta salad?

  12. Love making these with zucchini, but I had leftover spaghetti squash and thought – hey why not try making the fritters with spaghetti squash! they turned out deeelicious 😀

  13. Hey hello, my allotment has gone a bit crazy with courgettes (I’m UK!) and I need a few ‘make and freeze’ ideas – do you reckon these would hold up?

    • Ah, I feel your pain – my garden went crazy with zucchini and yellow squash (then all the plants suddenly died for some reason…). But yes, I imagine these would do just fine in the freezer. Good luck! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sexy 5-Ingredient Strawberry Cocoa “Ice Cream”

5-Minute Copycat Coco-Roons