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Mediterranean-Style Zucchini Fritters

Move over zucchini bread—our savory, Italian-ish (hello salty-licious parmesan cheese!), Greek-ish (hello tzatziki sauce for dipping!) crispy zucchini fritter recipe is here to steal your thunder.


Mediterranean Style Zucchini Fritters With Tzatziki Dipping Sauce on a plater

Zucchini Fritters: For When “Abundant” is an Understatement

There is nothing better than the abundance that comes from one’s own garden. At the peak of summer, each day brings a new harvest and cooking with food you’ve grown yourself is simply the best. From fresh herbs and tomatoes, to snap peas and hot peppers, every day is an adventure. If you are an experienced green thumb—or know someone who is—you know that zucchini squash are among the more enthusiastic producers. The zucchini avalanche can be intimidating, but finding new ways to eat all that bounty is the best kind of problem to have. We like to grill it with olive oil and fresh herbs, layer it into a ratatouille, and—best of all—make these parmesan-laced, crispy zucchini fritters with tzatziki sauce.

zucchini and onion in a nut bag over a bowl
hands squeezing zucchini and onion in a nut bag over a bowl

Hold on, I Heard A Crazy Rumor. Is Zucchini a Fruit?

Yes! Zucchini’s scientific name is cucurbita pepo, and is—as you probably know—a member of the squash family, and squashes are indeed classified as fruit! Zucchini—or courgettes as they’re known in France or the U.K.—are a relatively young type of squash, originally bred in Italy and rising to popularity in the U.S. only around the mid 20th century. These prolific garden favorites are often taken for granted these days, though, and we hope this easy fried zucchini fritter recipe helps show off how special this fruit can truly be.

Zucchini Fritter ingredients in a bowl
Zucchini Fritter batter in a bowl

How To Make Zucchini Fritters

Begin by harvesting all of the zucchini that has taken over your planter boxes, accepting a basketful from a neighbor, or opening your CSA box expecting a rainbow of fruit and vegetables only to find about a million zucchini. Briefly panic-search for that zucchini bread recipe that you made a few years ago. Stop. Remember that you saw a delicious-sounding, parmesan-y, onion-y zucchini fritter recipe on The Modern Proper a while ago and maybe you’ll just give that a try instead. Then:

  1. Grate the zucchini & the onion into a colander and toss the grated bits with salt. The salt will leach out the water, and once they’ve released a good amount of water—about 10 minutes—use a piece of cheesecloth or a nut bag if you’ve got it to squeeze out the liquid.
  2. Make a batter! Combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, parmesan cheese, egg, whole milk, pepper, and cumin. Give it a good mix, and then fold in the strained onion & zucchini.
  3. Fry! By the time you’ve mixed up the batter, the oil should be up to temp! Give it a test by dropping a small bit of batter in and seeing if it fries. When the oil is ready, carefully fry the zucchini fritters, adding them to the oil about ¼ cup of batter at a time. The keywords to remember when frying in oil are slow, steady and careful.
  4. Dip & eat! When they’ve cooled a bit, dip them in your homemade tzatziki and discover how very lovable fresh zucchini can be.
Zucchini Fritter batter in a bowl with a wooden spoon
Zucchini Fritters frying in oil in a cast iron skillet

Tools You’ll Need:

Zucchini Fritters frying in a cast iron pan
Zucchini Fritters on a plate

Celebrating Summer's Bounty:

When the air is as soft and warm as it’s ever going to be, and the garden is brimming with ripeness, every meal feels like a small celebration:

Mediterranean Style Zucchini Fritters With Tzatziki Dipping Sauce on a plater

Fritters for Dinner!

We’re not saying you’ve got to forego zucchini bread for ever and ever, but we DO think that it’s high time more people made room in their hearts for these Italian-ish (parmesan!), Greek-ish (hello tzatziki!) crispy zucchini fritters. We hope you try them & we hope you love them! And if you do, snap a photo and maybe even a video of the beautiful people that get to eat them! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Mediterranean-Style Zucchini Fritters

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 212


  • 1 pound zucchini (about 3 medium)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon za'atar (optional)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Flaky salt, for serving
  • 1 cup Tzatziki Sauce


  1. Set a strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with cheesecloth, a nut bag, or a thin kitchen towel. Grate the zucchini and onion over the cheesecloth. Sprinkle with the salt and toss to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes. Gather the cheesecloth around the zucchini mixture and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and Parmesan. Stir in the egg, milk, pepper, cumin and za'atar, if using. Stir in the zucchini mixture until combined (see Note).

  3. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of a large, deep skillet. Heat ½-inch of oil over medium-high heat until the thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches as needed, carefully drop ¼ cup portions of the batter into oil. Using a fork, spread the batter into thin rounds, about ¾-inch thick. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes each side.

  4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt. Repeat with remaining batter.

  5. Serve warm with tzatziki sauce alongside for dipping.

Note: The batter might seem dry before adding the zucchini. The grated zucchini will add moisture back into the batter, be sure to mix well.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories212
  • Protein8 g
  • Carbohydrates16 g
  • Total Fat13 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol27 mg
  • sodium272 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Mediterranean-Style Zucchini Fritters

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Linda

    What is tzatziki sauce?

    It is a creamy cucumber yogurt sauce.

  • Bobby

    I found this recipe searching for vegetarian recipes, but parmesan contains animal rennet, correct?

    At least a 6qt or above. Hope you enjoy Bobby!

  • Amber

    Do these freeze well? Looking to make easy meals for a growing little one ahead of time.

    We haven't tried freezing these but it should work ok.

  • Lauren

    Could these be made in an air fryer?

    Probably, but we haven't tried it! Let us know if you give it a shot!

  • Laura

    How do you make
    Tzatziki sauce

    Click on the link! We have a recipe for tzatziki on the blog. We linked it in the recipe. All you have to do is click on the link.

  • Kate

    I make this recipe during zucchini season, freeze flattened patties of raw batter on a sheet of parchment and then pop the frozen patties in a zip lock to enjoy all winter. I fry them from frozen and they turn out perfectly!

    Thanks Kate, we are so glad you love these! Thanks for sharing your freezing tips, we love that!

  • Carolyn

    These zucchini fritters are well worth the grating & squeezing! They are wonderfully crispy on the outside with a nice, warm scone-like (but not dry) inside. I love them with the recipe as written, but they would do well with whatever your favorite spice combo is. I will even try these in a vegan version so my grown kids can enjoy them too. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    Thanks Carolyn, we are so happy that you love them!

  • Jess

    Soooo good! Had with your harissa chicken and the meal was perfect. Did substitute tzatziki with tahini dressing - love.