Zucchini Corn Fritters scream fresh summer produce. They’re vegan, gluten-free, easy to make and taste incredible! The perfect summer side dish for all the BBQs, or serve them for breakfast, as an appetizer or a light dinner.
This post was updated from the original published August 13, 2018. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
When gluten free corn fritters and vegan zucchini fritters get together I call that summer perfection. Corn and zucchini fritters use simple ingredients, are easy to make and are a great way to bring on summer in the most delicious way!
Too much zucchini from your garden (is there really such a thing??) and you’ve already made vegan stuffed zucchini, healthy zucchini bread, vegan zucchini muffins? Crispy zucchini fritters to the rescue. You’re going to love these delicious vegan zucchini fritters so much, next year you’ll plant even more zucchini!
Why you’ll love this easy vegan recipe:
- So delicious, but also healthy, light and satisfying….as far as fritter recipes go, this one takes the cake!
- They’re vegan, gluten-free and easy to make. Hello trifecta.
- Summer…tastes like summer!
- EASY: Sweetcorn fritters can also be made with frozen corn!
- VERSATILE: Perfect for a light dinner, veggie side dish, appetizer, or even a healthy breakfast.
- Vegan fritters….and they hold together perfectly! Yay.
- TWOFER: The cool thing about combining zucchini and corn into vegetable fritters means you don’t have to decide between the two!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- ZUCCHINI: The main ingredient of these vegetable fritters. Substitute yellow summer squash, but keep in mind they generally have a higher water content.
- CORN: Use fresh corn, or frozen corn for these sweet corn fritters. Fire roasted frozen corn will result in a more savory flavor than the frozen sweet corn, but either will work for these healthy corn fritters. Canned corn is NOT a good sub.
- GREEN ONIONS: The white and green parts of the scallions are sliced thin to add great flavor. Substitute spring onions, red onions or shallots. If you use leeks, saute them before adding to the batter.
- CHIA SEEDS: My preference for helping this vegan fritter recipe hold together. You could also use a flax egg with good results. I have not tried just egg, let me know in the comments if you do!
- CORN MEAL: I love the extra corn flavor. Substitute with all purpose flour, gluten-free flour, or whole wheat flour per your dietary needs. Gluten free corn fritters can also be made with chickpea flour, but almond flour or coconut flour have different moisture profiles and wouldn’t be even swaps.
- GARLIC: I love the addition of fresh grated garlic, but garlic powder will also boost the savory flavor.
- CILANTRO: Fresh herbs add so much natural flavor. Use chopped parsley, oregano, thyme or chives if you don’t care for cilantro.
- BAKING POWDER: Will help draw moisture out to the surface while frying so you don’t wind up with soggy fritters.
- SALT + PEPPER: The batter is vegan, so go ahead and taste…taste again before adding additional salt. I prefer the subtle smokiness of white pepper, but freshly cracked black pepper would also work well in this recipe.
FRITTER FLAVOR VARIATIONS PLUS TOPPINGS:
- Sweet: Omit the salt and pepper, add 1-2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup and ½ teaspoon cinnamon into the batter. Top with raspberry chia jam or pineapple mango salsa.
- Spicy: Finely dice a jalapeno into the batter or add 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning. Top with vegan sour cream that’s mixed with 1 Tablespoon sriracha or fresh tomato salsa.
- Savory: Increase the fresh herbs to include another ¼ cup of parsley, chives, tarragon or thyme. Add finely chopped sauteed mushrooms or red peppers to the batter before cooking. Top with more chives and fresh vegan sour cream.
- Mexican Style: Stir in ½ teaspoon each chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic powder with the dry ingredients. For a spicy mexican corn fritter, use chipotle chili powder or a dash of cayenne pepper. Add a can of drained black beans for added fiber and protein with a mexican flair. Top with tomatillo salsa verde, chipotle dressing, or homemade guacamole.
- Chipotle aioli: Whisk together olive oil, dijon mustard and chipotle chili powder.
How to make Zucchini Corn Fritters
The first step in making vegan corn fritters is to get the chia seeds mixed with water so they can gel while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients. Mix together 2 Tablespoons chia seeds with ½ cup water and set aside for this vegan recipe.
While that chia egg sets, get your fresh ingredients ready to mix together. Thinly slice scallions, cut the corn kernels off the cob, grate your zucchini, chop the fresh cilantro.
What about all that liquid from the zucchini?
- Some recipes for zucchini fritters call for placing the shredded zucchini in a clean dish towel and squeezing out the excess water, then adding the drained zucchini to the fritter batter.
- Not a bad idea, but kinda time consuming and messy. There are other ways to deal with the excess liquid and create healthy zucchini fritters.
- Instead, plan for the water content from the grated zucchini, and let the chia seeds and cornmeal absorb it. This is especially true of large zucchini or summer squash and you may need an additional Tablespoon or two of cornmeal so your fritter batter isn’t too soupy.
- I think this is the perfect way to keep this recipe simple.
Grate the zucchini right into a large mixing bowl, then add the corn, scallions, cilantro, fresh grated garlic and mix well. If you’re using frozen corn, make sure to rinse off any ice that accumulated, drain and then pat dry to avoid too much moisture in your batter.
Give the chia egg one final mix before adding to the other wet ingredients and mixing well. Eggless zucchini fritters hold together with just a chia egg, as long as you give it time to gel. A flax egg will also give good results.
Then you’re ready to add the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly incorporate. The fritter batter will seem a bit dry. Let the batter sit for a couple of minutes as the moisture from the zucchini continues to emerge and that will help create a pasty, thick batter.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Swirl in some avocado oil and then add the batter with a ¼ cup measure. Use the back of the measuring cup or a spoon to slightly flatten the batter. Cook for about 3 minutes. Wait for the bottom to turn golden brown and then flip. Cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels. Transfer crispy fritters to the plate as soon as they’re finished to absorb the extra oil.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- Cast iron will retain the heat well and you can turn it down to medium heat once it’s ready. Test the pan by sprinkling a couple drops of water into it. If the water sizzles, then the pan is ready!
- For crispy fritters, make sure your pan and the oil are hot before scooping out the batter.
- Larger zucchini will be more watery. Let the batter sit and the moisture will emerge. Add in 1-2 Tablespoons additional cornmeal if needed.
- Summons your patience. Especially on the first batch. Do not try to flip the fritters until they’re golden brown. If they seem to be sticking to the bottom of the pan, they’re not ready to flip. They will naturally release and hold together when the time is right.
- Looking for a healthy and delicious appetizer? Follow the same directions, but use only a couple Tablespoons batter for each fritter. Finger food never tasted so good!
- A dollop of vegan sour cream is really all you need to top this delicious recipe,but check out my topping suggestions on the recipe card for more ideas.
When summer rolls around, I’m all about the fresh sweet corn. I always get some in my CSA shares and I like to take advantage of what’s available at my local farmers market. Recipes like vegan corn chowder, Israeli corn salad and vegan street corn are summer staples around here….along with these sweet corn fritters…we just can’t get enough.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE
- SERVE: Vegan zucchini and corn fritters are best eaten fresh from the pan. Serve with a simple side salad for a light dinner or as a veggie side dish, or delicious vegan appetizer.
- PREP AHEAD: Batter can be made and stored in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking. Or follow freezer directions below.
- STORE: Already cooked fritters will stay good in the fridge in an airtight container for 5 days. Reheat in a hot skillet or 375 preheated oven until heated through.
- FREEZE: Make batter as directed. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and scoop out ¼ cup portions onto the prepared pan. Press down to form even circles that are about ¼″ thick. Freeze until hard and then transfer to freezer safe bags and store for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, take out as many as desired, and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Cook as directed.
More Healthy Zucchini Recipes:
If you have extra zucchini in your garden, here are some delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy.
- Vegan Lasagna Roll Ups: This just may be the most delicious savory zucchini recipe out there.
- Vegan Zucchini Brownies: Chocolate…need I say more?
- Morning Glory Muffins: Oh yeah, super tasty and filled with wholesome veggies too!
- Vegan Zucchini Soup: Light and satisfying. A perfect healthy summer recipe.
- Meaty Vegan Zucchini Boats: The filling keeps me coming back for more!
- Vegan Zucchini Muffins: I know, an obvious choice…but they’re so good and meal prep friendly too. Make as many batches as you need to use up your zucchini and freeze them for later.
- Zucchini Pizza Bites: Such a fun appetizer…and super quick and easy.
- Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins: If you have to disguise the zucchini for picky eaters…these double chocolate muffins are the answer.
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Zucchini Corn Fritters
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds mixed with ½ cup water*
- 2 medium sized zucchini * shredded
- 2 ears fresh corn * cut from the cob
- 1 bunch scallions greens and whites sliced thin
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 cloves garlic zested
- ¾ cup finely ground corn meal*
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons chia seeds with ½ cup water. Let sit while you get started on the rest of the prep. I like the chia egg in this vegan fritter recipe, but you could also use a flax egg with similar results.
- Husk the corn and then use a sharp knife to cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add to the bowl.
- Thinly slice scallions, finely chop the cilantro and add those to the bowl too.
- Use a microplane to zest the garlic over the bowl and then mix well.
- Give the chia a good mix and then pour into the corn mixture and mix to thoroughly combine.
- Add in the cornmeal, baking powder, salt and pepper and mix well. The batter will be quite dry.
- Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the zucchini to release its moisture. Stir well. Now it will resemble a more pasty, thick batter. If batter is still dry, add a couple Tablespoons water, if batter has too much moisture, add an additional Tablespoon corn meal.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet because of the even heat distribution. You'll know the pan is hot enough when you sprinkle with a couple drops of water and they sputter. Swirl in the avocado oil.
- Scoop ¼ cup fritter batter into hot pan, and press down so it's more like a pancake than a mound. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until underside is browned and middle is beginning to cook. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes until golden brown.
- Line large plate with a layer of paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Transfer finished fritters to plate and continue scooping batter into the hot pan to cook. Add a little oil, or cooking spray if needed to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve hot or at room temperature. Sweet corn and zucchini fritters taste best eaten right away. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and reheated in a hot frying pan or in a preheated 375 oven until heated through.
- Pineapple Mango Salsa: pineapple, mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro and lime.
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Sriracha mixed into plain almond yogurt
- Chipotle Dressing
- Tomatillo Salsa
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Sliced jalapenos, scallions, fresh herbs