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Fried zucchini cakes

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). 

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Fried zucchini cakes are the perfect way to use up this versatile vegetable and they're freezer friendly too!

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.

This is the best fried zucchini cake I've ever tried! You can make them and freeze them too.

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.

This is the best fried zucchini cake I've ever tried! You can make them and freeze them too.

Fried zucchini cakes

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. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 5 -8 cakes
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 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 lard or refined coconut oil for frying 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 lard or REFINED coconut oil and heat over medium high about 3-4 minutes or until about 365 degrees.
  • 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.


Calories: 372kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

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  1. 5 stars
    Question: I am assuming you are fying two batches? You have 1/3 cup of oil referenced in the instructions and 2/3 in the ingredients. Thanks. Great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks so much! I tried this using the last of my frozen summer zucchini, and I think it works even better using previously frozen zucchini. That way, I squeezed out TONS more liquid and had a much crisper cake.

  3. made this to accompany a lentil soup. yum! didn’t have crackers so substituted Italian panko crumbs. served with 30-min.-pickled thinly sliced cucumbers drizzled with a tiny bit of maple syrup + chopped chives, raspberry vinegar & pepper. or can top with honey mustard. delish! tip: shred zucchini in a linen cloth-lined bowl. gather ends together and squeeze out juice. use the juice to *fertilize* plants or add to soup for extra nutrition. no waste.

  4. 5 stars
    Fixed them for brunch topped with a fried egg and a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey – O.M.G. They are delicious! I substituted coconut oil in the batter and avocado oil for frying. Wouldn’t change anything else! Wish I could post a pic….

    1. You can tag me on other social media channels if you make them again Joan! I love them too and I’m glad you have discovered them too. I also use avocado oil for frying now. No vegetable oil here! –Rachel

  5. 5 stars
    I made these with gluten free crackers that had a saltine cracker like consistency, and added a little garlic and they turned out great! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    Really good. We make something similar with asparagus and Parmesan cheese. We burned the white cheddar a little this time and won’t make the same mistake next time. They were still great. Definitely a keeper recipe.

  7. These look really good. I have had the same experience with some fried zucchini patty recipes. I’m going to try these tonight. I love the idea of freezing them-summer goodness in the winter. I had to give up on growing zucchini (I know!) but my sister does a great job of it. I couldn’t keep squash bugs out of them. Thanks again for a great looking recipe

    1. I have trouble with bores in mine sometimes Gail. I know how that struggle goes. 🙂 And you’ll love these reheated. You can hardly tell they weren’t made fresh that day!

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.