Spiced Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters {grain-free, dairy-free option}

These healthy gluten-free zucchini fritters make an easy brunch, lunch, or dinner when summer squash are abundant. They get a falafel vibe from chickpea flour lightly spiced with cumin and coriander, all finished with an addictive garlicky yogurt sauce. Vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free options.

Spiced Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters {grain-free, dairy-free option}

It’s hot hot hot in San Francisco so I’m making the most of summer produce as long as possible. These savory little fritters were inspired by a trip to my cousin’s family farm in Northern California earlier this month. We stopped by after a long-weekend camping trip to find zucchini the size of baseball bats taking over the garden. My little cousins Audrey (age 4) and Keira (age 7) delighted in cradling the mega-squash like babies, the giant vegetable-fruits dwarfing their tiny frames.

Zucchini-abundant recipes were in order. I craved a simplified version of these zucchini chickpea veggie burgers that I shared a few years back – one that could be eaten on their own, sans burger bun. I made some changes to the original recipe and these gluten-free zucchini fritters were born.

Summer squash in a bowl

shredded summer squash for Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients for Zucchini Fritters

  • These gluten-free zucchini fritters start with 2 whole pounds of zucchini. The zucchini get shredded on the large holes of a box grater. The shredder attachment of a food processor makes quick work of them should you be so lucky. (I had to excavate mine from the bottom kitchen cupboard – it was the first time I ever used it and it was totally worth it!)
  • Minced shallot adds savory flavor
  • Chickpea flour absorbs moisture and helps the cakes hold together
  • Coriander and cumin spice the batter gently giving the fritters a falafel vibe
  • Baking powder gives them lift
  • Eggs hold the batter together. I tested a version with aquafaba in place of eggs for a vegan option, but it didn’t work – the cakes never cooked through. I’m curious to try these with Just Egg and will update the post if I do.
  • A little bit of ghee or other high-heat cooking oil cooks these fritters. Ghee has one of the highest smoke points of any cooking oil which is why I choose it for pan-frying recipes such as this. Ghee is butter that has been clarified and cooked until it tastes sweet and nutty. It adds a bit of umami flavor to these gluten-free zucchini fritters.
  • Herbaceous garlic yogurt sauce makes the perfect accompaniment. And while not necessary, I like to top these with a confetti of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, herbs, olive oil, and Aleppo pepper to make the dish feel extra special.

Dried shredded summer squash for Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

How to Make Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

The trick to firm, non-soggy zucchini fritters is to start by releasing excess moisture from the zucchini. Toss the grated zucchini with salt and let it sit. The salt breaks down the cellulose walls of the squash and draws out the liquid. Next, place the watery squash shreds in a clean kitchen cloth and squeeze the dickens out of it. The squash threads will reduce in volume considerably and most of the salt washes away.

Mix the now-dryish zucchini shreds with the remaining ingredients to form a batter. Then fry the cakes in a thin layer of ghee or oil until golden and crisp. I like to use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to form even balls of batter. Drop these into the hot, oiled pan and flatten slightly. Cook over medium-low heat until golden, then flip and cook on the second side until cooked through.

You can eat the fritters fresh from the pan, or make extra to keep in the fridge for a quick meal. Just throw them in a pan with a touch more oil and heat until warmed through.

Healthy Zucchini Fritters Without Flour

These gluten-free zucchini fritters are made with chickpea flour, so they’re also grain-free. They get loads of fiber and phytonutrients from zucchini, and protein from eggs and chickpea flour. They’re dairy-free if you cook them in oil and use plant yogurt for the sauce. Top them with extra veggies and they make a perfectly nourishing lunch or dinner.

Batter for Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters on a cooling rack

Stack of Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters

How to Serve Zucchini Fritters

A hefty dose of herbed, garlicky Greek yogurt sauce makes an ideal topping for these fritters. TBH I could eat this yogurt sauce on anything from crackers to roasted veggies to latkes to the aforementioned zucchini burgers. It compliments these fritters perfectly.

If you’re after a dairy-free option, swap in an unsweetened plant-based yogurt. I tested this with cashew yogurt and it was delicious (if looser) than the Greek yogurt version.

If you like, throw some cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumber on top of it all, drizzle with a thread of flavorful olive oil, feta, and a pinch of Aleppo pepper.

How do you like to use up excess zucchini? Let me know in the comments!

Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters on a plate

Looking for more fritters & pancake recipes? Try these:

Looking for more zucchini recipes? Try these:

*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram,  Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make these gluten-free zucchini fritters, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet  and  #bojongourmet.*

Close up of Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters
5 from 2 votes

Spiced Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters {grain-free, dairy-free option}

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These healthy gluten-free zucchini fritters make an easy brunch, lunch, or dinner when summer squash are abundant. They get a falafel vibe from chickpea flour lightly spiced with cumin and coriander, all finished with an addictive garlicky yogurt sauce. Vegetarian, gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free options.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings, about 20 small fritters

Ingredients

Fritters:

  • 2 pounds (900 g, about 4 medium) zucchini or summer squash
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or try ½ cup Just Egg for a vegan option)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 medium shallot)
  • 1 cup (130 g) chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Ghee or sunflower oil, for frying

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 3 large garlic cloves, put through a press
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups (470 ml) whole milk Greek yogurt, labneh, or skyr
  • ½ cup chopped dill
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice

Topping Options:

  • chopped cherry tomatoes and/or cucumber
  • crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • flavorful olive oil
  • lemon wedges
  • Aleppo pepper
  • dill and mint leaves

Instructions

Make the Fritters:

  • Rinse and dry the zucchini. Trim the ends and grate them on the large holes of a box grater or with the shredder attachment of a food processor.
  • Place the zucchini shreds in a large bowl and toss with the salt. Let sit 15 minutes, then transfer to a large, clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can.
  • Put the shredded, dried out zucchini in a large bowl and stir in the eggs and shallot. Sift in the chickpea flour, baking powder, coriander, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir until combined.
  • Coat a wide skillet or griddle with a thin layer of ghee or oil and warm over medium heat until it shimmers. Drop ¼ - 1/3 cup scoops of batter into the oil and flatten slightly. I like to use a spring-loaded #24 ice cream scoop for uniform fritters.
  • Cook the fritters over medium-low heat until golden on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Gently flip and cook on the second side until golden and cooked through. 2-3 more minutes.
  • Remove to a cooling rack while you cook the remaining zucchini cakes. When ready to serve, reheat the fritters in the skillet until hot.

Make the Yogurt Sauce:

  • In a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic and salt to form a paste. (Alternatively, put the garlic through a press and stir it and the salt into the yogurt.) Combine the garlic paste with the yogurt, dill, mint, and lemon. Taste, adding more salt or lemon if you feel the sauce needs it. The flavors will continue to emerge as the yogurt sauce sits. Chill until needed, up to 3 days.

Finish the Fritters:

  • Place a large dollop of yogurt sauce on a plate, top with warm fritters, and sprinkle with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olive oil, lemon juice, flaky salt, Aleppo pepper, and herbs. Serve right away.
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!

Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters with yogurt sauce

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9 thoughts on “Spiced Gluten-Free Zucchini Fritters {grain-free, dairy-free option}”

  1. I’m impressed! Great way to use up remaining summer squash, etc, especially since eating them “straight” is getting a little tiresome! Nice sauce too (I love dill)

  2. Could you substitute white or whole wheat flour for the chickpea flour? I’ve seen charts with 1 cup white:3/4 cup chickpea, but maybe you tried a more successful variation?

    1. That should work! I think 1 cup white or whole wheat flour weighs about the same as the cup called for here, so I would try a direct substitution. Maybe try a half batch and see how you like it. Let me know how it goes!