Zucchini Fritters (Paleo, Whole30)

These healthy Paleo and Whole30 Zucchini Fritters are a crisp on the outside and tender in the middle.

And they’re a great way to use up zucchini.

Plus they’re gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free!

healthy zucchini fritters in a cast iron skillet with a blue towel around the handle, sitting on a white wooden table next to a bowl of yogurt sauce, scallions and eggs

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Paleo & Whole30 Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini fritters. Zucchini pancakes. Zucchini latkes.

Whatever you call them, they’re basically the same – shredded zucchini mixed with just enough eggs and seasonings to hold together, then fried until crisp and tender.

Most recipes use flour or breadcrumbs and cheese, which are all omitted when eating Paleo or Whole30-style.

 

Can you make zucchini fritters without flour?

Absolutely!

These are zucchini fritters with no flour and no cheese.

Instead, they’re Paleo zucchini fritters with coconut flour.

Coconut flour is a great grain-free flour alternative. You need just a little bit to help absorb the moisture from the vegetables without adding any coconut flavor.

Once you add in scallions, garlic, salt and pepper, you’ve got a great side dish or snack.

And the recipe also includes an easy, savory yogurt sauce to dollop on top.

 

What you need for Paleo & Whole30 Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium)
  • 1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  • avocado oil (about 3-4 tablespoons, depending on the size of your skillet)
  • For the yogurt sauce
    • 1/2 cup plain dairy-free/Paleo/Whole30 friendly yogurt (I like Harmless Harvest; other options are here)
    • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon champagne vinegar

Equipment:

coconut flour zucchini fritters stacked on a wooden cutting board next to scallions and another fritter

How to make Paleo Zucchini Fritters

First, trim the ends off the zucchini.

Grate them using a box grater or a food processor with the shredding attachment.

Add the shredded zucchini to a colander in the sink and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Gently toss with your hands and spread out to an even(-ish) layer.

Let this sit for 10 minutes – this will help extract water from the zucchini.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, using a whisk or fork, mix the eggs with the salt, pepper and garlic or garlic powder.

Trim the root ends off the scallions and thinly slice the scallions. Add all of them (white, light green and dark green parts) to the egg mixture.

Once the zucchini is ready, add it to a big piece of cheesecloth or a large, thin, clean kitchen towel.

Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth or towel and twist the material into a sack.

Squeeze the sack over the sink to extract as much water as possible. Just keep squeezing and twisting, over and over, until barely any water drips out.

When you think you’ve squeezed enough, squeeze a little more.

Add the zucchini to the egg and scallion mixture, then sprinkle over the coconut flour.

Stir everything together to make sure the zucchini is evenly coated and everything is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

When hot, add enough avocado oil for a thin layer across the surface of the pan. Give it a minute or so to warm up.

Scoop a scant 1/4-cup of the mixture into the hot pan and gently press it down so it’s about 1/2″ tall.

Continue to scoop the mixture into the pan, making sure none of the fritters are touching.

Cook them for 3-4 minutes per side, until browned. To make sure they brown evenly, rotate each fritter 180° after about 2 minutes of cooking on both sides.

I like to flip them using two spatulas (or one wooden spoon and one spatula).

Line a dinner plate with paper towels.

Drain the fritters on the paper towels for 1-2 minutes, then serve with the yogurt sauce.

For the yogurt sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings (if the seasonings are too strong, add more yogurt).

 

How to make sure your Paleo fritters are crisp

These are some helpful tips to help make sure your Paleo fritters get as crisp as possible:

  1. I know I said this in the instructions above but seriously, try to squeeze out as much water as possible. It makes a huge difference.
  2. If your stove is anything like mine, your pans are never perfectly flat, making the oil in them pool on one side. Make sure to occasionally tip the pan as the fritters cook so the oil coats the pan and, therefore, all the fritters as well.
  3. I like to rotate each fritter 180° after about 2 minutes on each side to make sure they brown evenly (sometimes pans won’t be as hot toward the edges).

gluten-free zucchini fritters on a baking sheet and on a white plate with a fork, next to a bowl of yogurt sauce and scallions

Make ahead and storage

If you want to make these Paleo fritters up to an hour in advance, once they’ve drained on the paper towel-lined plate, place them on a baking sheet and into a 200° oven to keep them warm.

The fritters can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze, place the fritters on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen, which should take 2-3 hours.

Then place the frozen fritters in an airtight container or baggie. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

Reheat in a 325° oven for 15-20 minutes, or until warm.

 

Substitutions and serving ideas

  • You can swap out some or all of the zucchini for summer squash.
  • Feel free to add your own seasonings, such as cumin, coriander or paprika.
  • You can also add fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil or mint.
  • You can make them spicy by adding cayenne or red pepper flakes.
  • You can add lemon zest to either the fritters or the yogurt sauce for a bright, fresh flavor.
  • You can use sour cream (dairy-free/Paleo, if necessary) instead of yogurt.
  • You can use lemon juice or red wine vinegar in place of the champagne vinegar.
  • Don’t want to make the yogurt sauce? These are also great with a fried or poached egg on top.
  • I love any leftovers cold or room temperature, dunked into the yogurt sauce.

 

Other recipes you might like

  1. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (Paleo, gluten-free)
  2. Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Paleo, gluten-free)
  3. Tomato Salad with Deconstructed Pesto (gluten-free)
  4. Broccoli Bacon Salad (Paleo, Whole30)
healthy zucchini fritters in a cast iron skillet with a blue towel around the handle, sitting on a white wooden table next to a bowl of yogurt sauce, scallions and eggs
Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Zucchini Fritters (Paleo, Whole30)

These Paleo and Whole30 Zucchini Fritters are crisp on the outside and tender inside. They're made with coconut flour so not only are they gluten-free and dairy-free but nut-free as well! And there's no coconut flavor, either.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 mins
waiting time10 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coconut flour, dairy free, gluten free zucchini recipe, healthy zucchini fritters, paleo, whole30
Servings: 6 fritters
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • pounds zucchini (about 2 large or 3 medium)
  • teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  • avocado oil (about 3-4 tablespoons)

For the yogurt sauce

  • ½ cup yogurt (dairy-free/Paleo/Whole30 friendly, if necessary)
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon champagne vinegar

Instructions

  • First, trim the ends off the zucchini. Grate them using a box grater or a food processor with the shredding attachment.
  • Place a colander in your sink. Add the shredded zucchini and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Gently toss with your hands and spread back out to an even(-ish) layer. Let this sit for 10 minutes - this will help extract water from the zucchini. (Do not skip this step.)
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, using a whisk or fork, mix the eggs with the salt, pepper and garlic or garlic powder.
  • Trim the root ends off the scallions and thinly slice the scallions. Add all of them (white, light green and dark green parts) to the egg mixture.
  • Once the zucchini is ready, add it to a big piece of cheesecloth or a large, thin, clean kitchen towel. Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth or towel and twist the material into a sack. Squeeze the sack over the sink to extract as much water as possible. Just keep squeezing and twisting, over and over, until barely any water drips out. When you think you've squeezed enough, squeeze a little more.
  • Add the zucchini to the egg and scallion mixture, then sprinkle over the coconut flour. Stir every together to make sure the zucchini is evenly coated and everything is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add enough avocado oil for a thin layer across the surface of the pan. Give it a minute or so to warm up.
  • Scoop a scant 1/4-cup of the mixture into the hot pan and gently press it down so it's about 1/2" tall. Continue to scoop the mixture into the pan, making sure the fritters are not touching.
  • Cook them for 3-4 minutes per side, until browned. Rotate each fritter 180° after about 2 minutes on each side to make sure they brown evenly (sometimes pans won't be as hot toward the edges). I like to flip them using two spatulas (or one wooden spoon and one spatula).
  • Line a dinner plate with paper towels. Once the fritters are done, drain them on the paper towels for 1-2 minutes, then serve with the yogurt sauce.

For the yogurt sauce

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings (if the seasonings are too strong, add more yogurt).

Notes

If you want 8 fritters, make each one using about 2-3 tablespoons' worth of the zucchini mixture.
Make ahead and storage
If you want to make these Paleo fritters up to an in hour advance, once they've drained on the paper towel-lined plate, place them on a baking sheet and into a 200° oven to keep them warm.
The fritters can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze, place the fritters on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen, which should take 2-3 hours.
Then place the frozen fritters in an airtight container or baggie. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheat in a 325° oven for 15-20 minutes, or until warm.
Substitutions and serving ideas
You can swap out some or all of the zucchini for summer squash.
Feel free to add your own seasonings, such as cumin, coriander or paprika.
You can also add fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil or mint.
You can make them spicy by adding cayenne or red pepper flakes.
You can add lemon zest to either the fritters or the yogurt sauce for a bright, fresh flavor.
You can use sour cream (dairy-free/Paleo, if necessary) instead of yogurt.
You can use red wine vinegar or lemon juice instead of champagne vinegar.
Don't want to make the yogurt sauce? Thee are also great with a fried or poached egg on top.
I love any leftovers cold or room temperature, dunked into the yogurt sauce.

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