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Crispy Zucchini quinoa fritters are delicious, pan-fried patties made with zucchini, carrots, Panko, and protein-packed quinoa. Serve these crispy fritters as an appetizer, snack, or main course.
When I first created this recipe, a vegetarian crab cake never crossed my mind. I was trying to use our abundance of garden zucchini, along with carrots and quinoa in a crispy, healthy fritter. After making these several times, and falling in love over and over, they SO remind me of crab cakes, only without the crab.
What you'll need
Ingredient amounts are listed in the full printable recipe below.
- Shredded zucchini - use green or yellow zucchini squash for this recipe. Perfect during summer!
- Shredded carrots - any color and variety will work for this recipe. The add color, texture, and flavor.
- Salt - use salt to pull moisture from the zucchini before mixing it into patties
- Cooked quinoa - this Instant Pot quinoa is perfectly fluffy for fritters, but stove-cooked will work beautiful too!
- Eggs - these are the binding ingredient
- Fresh chives - or green onions
- Old Bay seasoning - or paprika
- Panko bread crumbs - use plain or whole wheat Panko
How to make quinoa fritters
Get the full details in the recipe card below.
Remove moisture from the vegetables by sprinkling salt over the shredded zucchini and carrots, resting for 15 minutes, and removing excess moisture with a towel.
Combine the shredded vegetables with the remaining ingredients and sit for 10 minutes.
Portion the filling in equal amounts and press into ¼" patties.
Work in small batches to fry the fritters until golden brown on the surface and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Cook the quinoa a day in advance - If you like a crispier texture, make the quinoa a day ahead and let it chill overnight. This also saves time.
Tightly pack and level the scoop with filling - When you portion the filling, tightly pack the portion scoop and level it to keep the volume equal with each fritter.
If you don't have a portion scoop, use any utensil or your hands to scoop and shape the fritters to be the same size so they cook uniformly.
Go easy on the oil - quinoa fritters are not a deep-fried recipe. Use enough oil to coat the skillet surface, and you can still get a crispy surface. If you need to add more oil during the process, ensure it is hot before adding more fritters.
How to serve quinoa fritters
- as an appetizer with lemon aioli as your dipping sauce
- as a quick snack any time of day (eat the fritters warm or cold)
- packed in your lunchbox for work
- on sliders
- stuffed into burritos or pita bread
More quinoa recipes
- Asian Slaw
- Zucchini Noodle Quinoa Bowl [Zoodles]
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans and Quinoa
More zucchini recipes
Zucchini Quinoa Fritters
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- ½ pound Zucchini shredded (about 2 cups)
- 1 large Carrot (4 ounces) shredded (about 1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 cup Quinoa (cooked)
- 3 Eggs
- ¼ cup Fresh Chives or 1 Green Onion sliced
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or paprika
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- ⅓ cup Avocado Oil or canola oil
- 7-cup food processor or box grater
- large mixing bowl
- flour sack towel or nut milk bag
- 1-ounce portion scoop
- 11-inch skillet
- sandwich turner
- paper towel on plate
- Place shredded ZUCCHINI and CARROTS in a colander. Sprinkle SALT over veggies and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Wrap vegetables in the towel or nut milk bag and firmly squeeze to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- To this, add QUINOA, EGGS, CHIVES, SEASONINGS, and PANKO, stirring until well-combined. Rest mixture for 10 minutes.
- Using portion scoop to measure equal portions onto a flat surface. Use your fingers or utensil to gently press into ¼-inch thickness.Note: You can cover and refrigerate the formed patties up to a few hours until ready to use.
- To fry the fritters: Heat about ⅓ of the OIL in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Gently transfer fritters into the hot skillet, leaving an inch between each one. Fry the batch for about 4 minutes on the first side, and flip when it easily releases from the skillet.
- Fry the second side 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Using a clean spatula, transfer fritters to the paper towel covered plate.
- Repeat this process with remaining mixture, adding remaining oil to the skillet for each batch.
- Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.
- To store, cool completely and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.
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