I’ve tried a lot of fried zucchini cakes in my life. But nothing come close to this recipe. Some I’ve eaten were just too eggy. Some were bland. Some were just bad. And these are honestly–just perfect. If you don’t have a lot of extra zucchini growing these days, you’ll be glad to know that they are super cheap at the grocery store right now and a great way to get some vegetables in your diet (even if we do fry them).
Zucchini grows overnight–I’m almost sure of it. One day you check your plants and there’s only a tiny one or two. The next day, they’re the size of the whiffle ball bat your three year old uses and you’ve got to figure out a way to use them.
Some people make zucchini pickles, some people make relish. I make some pretty dandy zucchini bread and these fried zucchini cakes. They are perfect frozen and you can make them gluten free too (see the notes in the recipe for how). And since I’m 100% sure that an uncooked zucchini has absolutely no flavor at all, you can use this recipe as a jumping off point for adding whatever flavors your family likes.
And no, my kids won’t eat these.
But I could care less. More for me.
Tips for fried zucchini cakes success
The secret is the saltine crackers. Seems simple enough, but unless you are gluten free you NEED to put them in. And make sure you salt them well–it makes a huge difference in the final product. Do your best to squeeze as much water as you can from the zucchini but don’t stress about it, just make sure they aren’t super watery.
These fried zucchini cakes are one in a million in my book. I've tried a lot of them, and these aren't too eggy, too salty or too bland. A great spring and summer treat that's NOT zucchini bread.
- 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini with the skin on
- 3/4 cup finely crushed saltine crackers
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons grated yellow onion
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil divided
- Squeeze as much moisture as you can from the zucchini. You can do this with your hands over the sink, or place the shredded zucchini between two paper towels and twist.
- Return the zucchini to a medium bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes so the crackers will soften.
- In a medium skillet, add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and heat over medium high about 3-4 minutes or until hot.
- Add 2 to 3 inch balls of the zucchini mixture and flatten slightly with your hand or a spoon.
- Fry until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes or so and transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve warm.
TO FREEZE: Cook the patties until just turning brown, then transfer to a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze until firm then place in a large zip top bag. Thaw when you are ready to use them then reheat them in a skillet until golden and crispy. GLUTEN FREE: You could substitute your favorite gluten free crackers, crushed or use gluten free bread crumbs in their place.