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Whether as buffet fare, a light vegetarian dinner, or brunch with an egg on top, zucchini and corn fritters are irresistible. Here’s how to make them great.

zucchini and corn fritters with a lemon wedge and sour cream
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Why we love this recipe

Zucchini and corn fritters are one of the best ways to use up a ton of zucchini. But to be honest, I also seek out zucchini to make them on the regular. They’re:

  • Packed with veggies
  • Slightly indulgent and totally satisfying
  • A big hit with kids and adults alike
  • Vegetarian, with easy vegan and GF options

This recipe is a slight update on the very first Crisper Whisperer post I ever contributed to Serious Eats, way back in 2009. I’ve since updated the post for clarity.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Use any zucchini or other summer squash you have. I prefer to buy zucchini on the smaller side since they’re a bit sweeter and more tender before they get too big.
  • If you’re using fresh, in-season corn, you’ll need about three ears. Good-quality frozen corn works great in this recipe too.
  • I’ve called for good old yellow onion or shallot, but you can substitute white or red onion if that’s what you’ve got.
  • Scallions and cilantro add pops of fresh flavor. If you like, you can add other soft herbs too, like tarragon, basil, or dill, alone or in combination.
  • Choose a good-quality, freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese. Pecorino (made with sheep’s milk) is a little bit saltier and tangier, while parmesan is a bit sweeter. They both work very well here. Or swap in crumbled feta for a fabulous variation.
  • Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of zucchini and corn fritters. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll shred, drain, salt, and squeeze the moisture out of the zucchini.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, scramble the eggs and add the corn, onion, scallions, cilantro, flour, cheese, pepper, and zucchini.
  3. Mix well to combine.
  4. Pan-fry in batches until golden brown and cooked through, and drain on paper towels or a cooling rack. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe vegan? Gluten-free?

Sure. For a vegan version, omit the cheese. If you like, you can replace it with a vegan parmesan, nutritional yeast, or additional herbs. For a gluten-free version, you can swap in your favorite measure-for-measure GF flour blend.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Fritters are at their absolute crisp-outside, tender-inside best shortly after cooking, but they’re also great at room temperature. You can easily make them earlier in the day, or even a day in advance, and reheat and recrisp on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Leftovers will keep, tightly wrapped, in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a year.

More favorite fritters

a child's hand picking up a zucchini and corn fritter

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zucchini and corn fritters with a lemon wedge and sour cream
4.70 from 10 votes

Zucchini and Corn Fritters

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Whether as buffet fare, a light vegetarian dinner, or brunch with an egg on top, zucchini and corn fritters are irresistible. Here's how to make them great.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 

  • 4 cups (530 grams) shredded zucchini, from 2-3 medium
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (340 grams) corn kernels, from frozen or about 3 ears
  • 1 small yellow onion OR 2 medium shallots, diced small
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (30 grams) chopped cilantro
  • ¾ cup (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (40 grams) grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Safflower oil, for pan-frying
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions 

  • Shred the zucchini with the shredding disc of a food processor or on the large holes of a box grater.
  • Place the shredded zucchini in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine.
  • Let drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and scramble lightly.
  • Cut the kernels from the corn cobs and add the kernels to the bowl along with the diced onion, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, flour, grated cheese, and pepper.
  • Pick up the shredded zucchini in small handfuls and squeeze out and discard as much liquid as you can. This step is important for making the best possible fritters, so don't skimp on the effort.
  • Add the zucchini to the bowl. Mix well to combine.
  • Pour the oil into a large frying pan to a depth of about 1/4-inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  • Drop batter by the 1/4-cupful into the pan and press lightly to form disc-shaped fritters.
  • Cook in batches without crowding (about 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan) until golden brown on the underside (about 2 minutes) and then flip and cook until golden brown on the second side and cooked through inside. Adjust the heat as necessary to coordinate browning and cooking through.
  • Remove to paper towels or a wire rack to drain. Add a bit more oil between batches if necessary.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, with sour cream if you like.

Notes

  1. Use any zucchini or other summer squash you have. I prefer to buy zucchini on the smaller side since they're a bit sweeter and more tender before they get too big.
  2. I've called for yellow onion or shallot, but you can definitely substitute white or red onion if that's what you've got.
  3. Scallions and cilantro add pops of fresh flavor. If you like, you can add other soft herbs too, like tarragon, basil, or dill, alone or in combination.
  4. Choose a good-quality, freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese. Pecorino (made with sheep's milk) is a little bit saltier and tangier, while parmesan is a bit sweeter. They both work very well here. Or swap in crumbled feta for a fabulous variation.
  5. Safflower oil is my high-smoke-point, neutral-tasting vegetable oil of choice. You can substitute another oil that has similar properties, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, corn, or vegetable oil blend.
  6. For a vegan version, omit the cheese. If you like, you can replace it with a vegan parmesan, nutritional yeast, or additional herbs. For a gluten-free version, you can swap in your favorite measure-for-measure GF flour blend.
  7. Fritters are at their absolute crisp-outside, tender-inside best shortly after cooking, but they're also great at room temperature. You can easily make them earlier in the day, or even a day in advance, and reheat and recrisp on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet in the oven. 
  8. Leftovers will keep, tightly wrapped, in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to a year.

Nutrition

Calories: 228kcal, Carbohydrates: 26.5g, Protein: 10.4g, Fat: 9.9g, Fiber: 2.8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Fritters
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.70 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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