Panko Zucchini Fritters

5 from 1 vote

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Panko Zucchini Fritters are a delicious way to use garden-fresh zucchinis and turn them into a savory, golden brown appetizer or side dish.

These crispy zucchini pancakes can be eaten the next day or frozen and saved for later too.

Great for picky eaters and taste amazing sprinkled with chopped green onion and a little sour cream.

zucchini fritters on a plate with a small bowl of dipping sauce
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What are Panko zucchini fritters? 

These fried fritters are made with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, zucchini, and Panko breadcrumbs.

They’re the perfect way to use all those extra zucchini from your garden or if you want to use the fresh zucchini from the farmer’s market.

I like Panko bread crumbs because they are crunchier and absorb less oil than regular breadcrumbs, which makes them a lighter option for this dish.

Ingredients

There are only a few ingredients to make these fritters, and you can get them all at your local grocery store.

Zucchini Fritters Ingredients on a white background
  • Zucchini 
  • Egg whites 
  • Garlic powder 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • All-purpose flour 
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • Panko breadcrumbs 
  • Oil for frying (olive oil or avocado oil are my go-tos)

How to Make the Fritters 

Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions. 

Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and set aside.

Grate the zucchini and remove as much moisture as possible using one of the below methods.

Grated zucchini in a glass bowl

Then in a medium-sized bowl, stir together the grated zucchini and egg whites until the zucchini is well-coated.

Stir in garlic powder, salt, pepper, flour, and grated parmesan until completely combined.

dry ingredients with zucchini in a glass bowl

Portion the zucchini mixture in 2 tablespoon patties and press into the breadcrumbs, coating each side completely.

coat each fritter with panko breadcrumbs

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, add 3-4 zucchini fritters at a time and fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.

fry in oil

Place cooked fritters on a paper towel lined plate to cool.

Cool on a paper towel to soak excess oil

Repeat with all of the zucchini mixtures. Enjoy!

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips for success and variations you can use to make these the best panko zucchini fritters you’ve ever had.

  • Try using different kinds of crumbs, like saltine crackers, Ritz crackers, or homemade bread crumbs. 
  • Add in your favorite seasonings like red pepper flakes, onion powder, or lemon zest.  
  • This recipe uses parmesan cheese to give it flavor and help hold the zucchini together, but you can also use mozzarella, feta cheese, or cheddar cheese.
  • Try yellow summer squash instead of zucchini.   
  • Don’t over mix the batter. 
  • Be sure to fry the fritters in hot oil to get that beautiful golden brown crust. 
  • Add dried or fresh herbs to the batter like thyme, oregano, rosemary, dill, or parsley. 

How to Remove Excess Moisture from Zucchini  

Since zucchini are made of mostly water, you’ll need to remove any extra water from the zucchini. This will help them get crispy on the outside, rather than soft or soggy.

There are a couple of ways you can get rid of too much moisture from these large zucchini.

Sweat it Out

Put the shredded zucchini in a mesh colander over the sink or large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the zucchini with kosher salt or sea salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. The salt pulls the water from the fruit, which dries them out and helps them become golden brown when fried.

Pat Dry

You can also spread out the zucchini on a sheet pan covered with paper towels and then use more paper towels to pat as much liquid as possible from the zucchini.

Squeeze

Line a colander with a large piece of cheese cloth or clean kitchen towel, add the shredded zucchini to the bowl, and gently but firmly, squeeze out the excess moisture until it’s dry.

Sauce for Dipping   

This panko parmesan zucchini fritters recipe pairs wonderfully with a creamy dipping sauce.

The mixture of the crispy, fried zucchini and a cool and creamy sauce makes this a delicious side dish.

fried zucchini on a white plate

Some great options are ranch dressing, spicy aioli, sour cream, creamy avocado dressing/dip, tzatziki sauce, or plain Greek yogurt.

Other Cooking Methods 

Along with cooking these zucchini fritters in a hot skillet, you can also bake them or cook them in an air fryer.

This is great if you aren’t able to use the stove or don’t want to make a mess with flying oil.

Baking Instructions

Combine the zucchini mixture in a large bowl and make them into patties. Then, lay them on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until they’re crispy.

You may need to flip them halfway through the cooking time.

Air Fryer Instructions

Make the patties the same as you would with the other two methods, place them in the air fryer basket or on a baking tray, and cook them in the air fryer until they’re crispy.

How to Make them Gluten-Free 

These crispy zucchini fritters can also be made gluten-free. All you need to do is substitute the all-purpose flour for gluten-free flour.

Some great options you can use are:

  • Almond flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Sorghum flour
  • Amaranth flour

Just replace the all-purpose flour 1:1 with the gluten-free flour.

How to Serve   

Serve these zucchini fritters with your favorite sauces or as the perfect side dish with your main course. They are also great for an appetizer at a party or for an afternoon snack.

Some options you can serve them with include Instant Pot ham, watermelon arugula salad, or BBQ ribs.

How to Store

Refrigerate: Store leftover zucchini pancakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Freeze: You can make these delicious zucchini fritters ahead of time and freeze them to eat later. Place them in a single layer and lay a piece of parchment paper on top to get them all to fit in the container. Freeze them for up to three months.

When you are ready to serve, the best way to reheat the patties is to put them in an air fryer. This will make crispy zucchini fritters once again.

Another great way to reheat them is in the microwave. They won’t be crispy this way, but they will still taste delicious.  

FAQs 

Why are my zucchini fritters falling apart? 

Fritters can fall apart if there is excess liquid or if the zucchini cakes aren’t packed tightly enough.

Why are my fritters soggy? 

Fritters become soggy if the zucchini has too much liquid in it. Be sure to drain the excess water before making the zucchini patties.

Should you rest fritter batter?

You don’t need to let the batter rest after combining it. It will stick together well if you follow these instructions.

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Print the Recipe Card

Panko Zucchini Fritters

5 from 1 vote
These crispy fritters are made with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, zucchini, and Panko breadcrumbs and fried in oil.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Yield: 20 Fritters (approximately)

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups Grated Zucchini, approximately 3 medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup Panko-style Breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups Avocado Oil, or your preferred frying oil, as needed

Instructions 

  • Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and set aside.
  • Grate zucchini and remove water with a cheesecloth or other method. It is important to be sure you remove as much water as possible. See post for tips.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the grated zucchini and egg whites until zucchini is well-coated.
  • Stir in the garlic poder, salt, pepper, flour and grated parmesan until completely combined.
  • Portion out the zucchini mixture in 2 Tablespoon-increments and press into the breadcrumbs, coating each side completely.
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add 3-4 zucchini fritters at a time and fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer fritters to cool on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Repeat with all of the zucchini mixture and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1Fritter, Calories: 222kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 0.4mg, Sodium: 37mg, Potassium: 49mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 29IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to andreaupdyke@gmail.com.

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