Crispy Chicken and Zucchini Fritters are deliciously crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Perfect as a main course or served as an appetizer.
When serving these chicken fritters as a healthy appetizer, I like to serve them with sour cream or greek yogurt, mustard, ranch dressing, or marinara sauce.
Everyone knows that by the end of summer anyone with a garden has more zucchini than they know what to do with. This easy recipe is one of my favorite ways to use up extra zucchini.
Need more zucchini recipes? Try this chicken, zucchini, and tomato sheet pan meal.
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Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Because it is low in fat ground chicken can easily be overcooked and become dry. Grated zucchini adds some much-needed moisture to these patties.
- Adding zucchini to these chicken patties is an easy way to sneak more vegetables into your diet.
- The frying makes these patties crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
- Quick to make these zucchini fritters make a great easy dinner for a weekday dinner night.
Looking for more easy dinner recipes? Try this crustless pizza bowl.
What is a fritter?
A fritter is any type of patties made with meat, fruit, or vegetables that are lightly fried.
You can make fritters with corn, ground meat, squash, white and sweet potatoes, apples, broccoli, and more.
Zucchini: You can also substitute yellow summer squash. When choosing zucchinis I prefer to use small to medium zucchini because they are less fibrous than larger zucchini.
Kosher Salt: Salt helps to not only flavor the fritters but to draw excess moisture out of the zucchini.
Ground Chicken: You can also substitute fresh ground turkey.
Egg, Parmesan, Mozzarella Cheese, and Bread Crumbs: These ingredients all help to bind the fritters together.
Green Onions and Garlic Cloves: If you don't have any fresh garlic, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Paprika and Black Pepper: Change up the flavor of these fritters by adjusting the spices used. You could add cumin and chili pepper for a spicy Mexican version. You could also substitute lemon pepper or Cajun seasoning.
Olive Oil: You could also substitute avocado, grapeseed, peanut, canola, or vegetable oil. Just be sure to choose an oil with a neutral flavor and high smoke point.
Box grater or food processor: If you have a food processor it will make quick work of grating the zucchini. You can also grate zucchini using the large holes on a box grater.
Mixing Bowls: These are some of my favorite mixing bowls. They come in a huge range of sizes, nest together for easy storage, and are easy to clean.
Large Non-Stick Skillet: When frying I prefer to use my Lodge cast iron skillet.
Splash Guard: Cover the pan with a splash guard to minimize the amount of oil splatter. I have ruined so many shirts because I didn't put on an apron and oil splattered on my shirt. This splash guard really helps to cut down on the mess and has saved my shirts.
Spatula: When flipping delicate items like these fritters. I prefer to use a fish spatula. Fish spatulas are thin, flexible, and slotted, which makes them great at slipping under the fritter and flipping it without causing it to fall apart. Do not use a metal spatula if you are cooking in a non-stick skillet. It will scratch the coating.
Sheet Pan with Cooling Rack: I love this sheet pan and cooling rack set. They come in both half sheet pan and quarter sheet pan sizes.
Place zucchini in a towel-lined colander in the sink. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and let stand for 10 minutes. The salt will help to draw out excess moisture. Then squeeze out as much excess liquid as you can from the zucchini. Transfer drained zucchini to a large bowl.
Add the ground chicken, egg, Parmesan, green onions, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, paprika, and black pepper. Mix until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
Shape the chicken zucchini mixture into 1-inch thick round patties.
Heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat and add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook each side for about 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.
You may need to cook the patties in batches depending upon the size of your skillet. Add more oil to the pan as needed for subsequent batches.
Tip: Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop with a clean release swivel to scoop the batter into the skillet. Then flatten each fritter to about one inch thick using a greased spatula.
Place the fritters on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to blot away the excess oil.
If you don't have any green zucchini you could substitute yellow squash. For a twist on traditional potato pancakes, substitute thawed hashbrowns for the grated zucchini.
There are several ways I like to serve these chicken zucchini fritters. One is with a favorite dip such as ranch, honey mustard, or tzatziki sauce.
The second is on a bun with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
They can also be chopped up and served on top of a salad or grain bowl or served with spaghetti and pasta sauce.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
This happens when there is not enough binder in the fritters. This recipe uses egg, parmesan, and Mozzarella cheese to bind the fritters together.
Fritters will also fall apart if they stick to the bottom of the pan while cooking. Make sure to use enough oil to fully cover the bottom of your pan and don't try to flip them too early. Allow them to form a crust on the bottom before flipping.
Fish spatulas are thin, flexible, and slotted, which makes them great at slipping under the fritter and flipping it without causing it to fall apart. Do not use a metal spatula if you are cooking in a non-stick skillet. It will scratch the coating.
This usually happens when there is too much moisture. You want to make sure you squeeze as much excess water out of the zucchini as you can.
If cooking the fritters in batches you may be wondering how to keep the first ones warm and crispy while you cook the rest. Place them on a cooling rack set inside of a baking sheet. Place them in the oven set to its lowest temperature while you cook the remaining patties.
I love this sheet pan and cooling rack set. They come in both half sheet pan and quarter sheet pan sizes.
Yes, after cooking allow them to cool completely. Transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top bag with pieces of parchment paper between them. Freeze for up to three months.
For shorter-term storage, they can be refrigerated for up to five days.
If frozen, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat the fritters in a skillet with a little olive oil over medium heat. Heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Drain the zucchini shreds well. Too wet zucchini can make the fritters soggy and they won't hold together.
- Swap the zucchini for another veggie like summer squash, carrots, steamed cauliflower, or cooked spinach.
- Add some of your favorite fresh herbs and spices to change up the flavor. Try oregano and basil for Italian-inspired fritters or cumin and cilantro for Mexican-inspired fritters.
- Form the chicken zucchini mixture into meatballs and serve them as appetizers at your next party.
- When cooking the fritters don't cook them at too high of heat. Stick to medium or medium-low. You don't want to burn the outside before the inside has had a chance to cook.
- You should hear the fritters sizzle when you add them to the oil. If the first one doesn't sizzle allow the oil to heat up for a bit longer before adding the rest.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan, overcrowding will cause the temperature of the pan to drop, resulting in limp, under-cooked fritters. If necessary cook the fritters in batches, keeping the first ones warm in a low oven while you cook the rest.
- After cooking, place the fritters on a couple of paper towels to sop up excess oil.
More Chicken Recipes
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Can I use thawed, frozen zucchini? Also, do you think these could be air fryed? Thanks!!
Thawed frozen zucchini should work just fine. Just make sure to drain it really well. The freezing and thawing process will cause it to lose a lot of moisture. I have never used an air fryer. It might work but I would be concerned about them sticking.