Unfried Zucchini Fritters
Who doesn’t love a fritter? Or a Johnny Cake? Hushpuppies? I think we can all agree that crispy, fried cornmeal products are a staple in any Southern kitchen.
But THESE fritters? Y’all … they are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and they are OIL-FREE! Yes, you read that right: No oil!
The keys to getting these right? A good non-stick griddle and diligent squeezing of the shredded zucchini to remove its excess water. And good cornmeal. We purchase our cornmeal from Riverview Farms. It is the best; you can taste corn in every bite. Amazing.
These guys start with fresh-picked zucchini, which we grated with a basic kitchen grater.
From two average-sized zucchini, we ended up with about 3 heaping cups of shredded zucchini. After you grate your zucchini, you want to remove as much of the excess water as possible. There are several ways to do this. We salted it liberally and squeezed it out in a lint-free kitchen towel. Effective and easy.
We also grated a bit of sweet onion. We used a scant quarter cup because we didn’t want the onion flavor to be overwhelming. (You could also add grated carrots for an extra veggie).
We made our own buttermilk by mixing ACV with plant-based milk. You could use regular dairy buttermilk as well, if you want. You’ll mix your buttermilk with the grated onion and zucchini before adding the dry ingredients.
After mixing your dry ingredients in a separate bowl, you’ll add them to your zucchini mixture and stir it all together. (The “batter” should be really thick – sort of like biscuit dough).
After preheating your non-stick griddle for 5-10 minutes on medium heat, you’ll start spooning the batter onto the pan. You’ll probably need to use the back of your spoon to flatten out the fritters so that they will cook evenly.
Once the tops start to bubble and (this is important) start to look a bit dry, you’ll flip them. If the fritters don’t release from the pan, they probably need to cook another minute or two. If you have a good pan, the fritters should release and flip easily.
Once both sides are browned, you can eat them immediately or keep them warm on parchment paper in a 250 degree oven. We served our fritters with rice and beans, steamed tuscan kale, and sliced tomatoes. (We had leftovers and ate them toasted and topped with jam the next morning … yum!)
- 3 C grated zucchini
- 1/4 C grated onion
- 1 C buttermilk (see notes)
- 2 C cornmeal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Fine Sea Salt
- Grate the zucchini on a standard kitchen grater. Liberally salt the grated zucchini and either squeeze it with a lint-free kitchen towel or paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Grate onion. Add onion and the squeezed zucchini to a large bowl. Add buttermilk and stir.
- Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the zucchini mixture. Stir well. The texture of the batter should resemble biscuit dough.
- Preheat a non-stick griddle on medium (about 5 minutes).
- Spoon batter onto griddle. You may need to smooth the fritters out with the back of a spoon so that they cook evenly.
- Once the fritters begin to bubble AND they start to look dry around the edges and on top, try to flip them. If they are set enough to flip, they should release easily. If they don't release, let them cook another minute or two.
- After you flip them, let them cook an additional 3-5 minutes until they are golden on both sides.
- Dust with sea salt if desired.
- Serve immediately or hold in a warm oven on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Plant based buttermilk: Mix 1 c plant-based milk (I used soy) with 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes until it starts to thicken and slightly curdle.