An appetizer that can also be enjoyed as snacks — Greek Zucchini Fritters, known locally as ‘Kolokithokeftedes,’ will always make you reach for more. Crunchy on the outside but soft and packed with flavor on the inside. Deliciously addictive!
You can shape kolokithokeftedes into patties, balls, or these slightly oval-shaped fritters — the result will always be flavor-packed tasty bits that you can’t stop eating.
And then, for something sweet, you can finish it off with another well-loved Greek dessert — Karidopita (or Greek Walnut Cake)!
What pairs well with these Greek zucchini fritters?
Tzatziki is a popular choice for kolokithokeftedes, but they also go well with some garlic sauce.
I suggest you try both and see for yourself!
IF YOU WANT MORE CLASSIC GREEK RECIPES, YOU WILL LIKE THESE POSTS!
- Zucchini – peeled and grated. I typically use two medium-sized zucchinis for twelve pieces of Greek zucchini fritters.
- Flour – all-purpose flour is all you need for making kolokithokeftedes.
- Onion – a medium onion, sliced finely so it completely disappears in the zucchini patties mixture.
- Dill – fresh dill and roughly chopped; for that extra zing in every bite of your kolokithokeftedes.
- Breadcrumbs – if you don’t have any on hand, it’s quite easy to make breadcrumbs from scratch, even without a food processor.
- Olive oil – you only need this to cook the onion, so you might not need to use the two tablespoons I’ve indicated in the recipe card.
- Baking powder – just use your favorite brand.
- Egg – one medium egg (63 to 73 grams), and slightly beaten before adding to the rest of the ingredients for kolokithokeftedes.
- Pecorino Romano – a famous Italian cheese that serves as a substitute for the Greek cheese that’s traditionally used.
- Vegetable oil – for frying the zucchini fritters.
- Salt & pepper – salt to help remove the water from the grated zucchini and season kolokithokeftedes — with the ground black pepper.
Start preparing your kolokithokeftedes by placing the grated zucchini in a colander and adding salt; use a fork to mix (photo 1).
Set it aside and let it sit for thirty to sixty minutes.
Ensure you place a bowl under to catch the liquid from the zucchini.
Place a pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
Add finely chopped onion (photo 2).
Cook until soft, then set aside to cool.
Take the zucchini out of the colander and use your hands to squeeze the remaining liquid in them.
Using a medium-sized bowl, combine zucchini, flour, baking powder, egg, pecorino Romano, dill, breadcrumbs, pepper, and the cooked onion (photo 3).
Use a fork to mix everything evenly (photo 4).
Take a spoonful of the kolokithokeftedes mixture and shape it (photo 5).
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is ready, add the zucchini balls carefully (photo 6).
Cook until both sides of kolokithokeftedes turn golden.
Place them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Serve your kolokithokeftedes and enjoy!
- Do not add all the breadcrumbs at once. Better to add it in batches to see if the kolokithokeftedes mixture needs more or not.
If the mixture is too wet, do not hesitate to add more breadcrumbs.
- You can chill the zucchini fritters mixture in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes; it will help solidify it before you start forming them.
- Once you’ve added your kolokithokeftedes to the frying oil, lower the heat to medium, so the outside of the patties will not darken too quickly.
- Shallot. An excellent alternative to onion for this zucchini fritters recipe.
- Parsley. Fresh flat-leaf parsley can also be used for kolokithokeftedes, instead of dill.
- Kefalotiri. Traditionally, this Greek cheese is used. But it’s pretty hard to find in Stockholm, so I used one of the closest substitutes for it — the famous Italian cheese, pecorino Romano.
Why are my Greek zucchini fritters falling apart?
It needs more egg since it’s the ingredient that binds everything together.
I suggest adding a teaspoon of a beaten egg first. If you add too much, you will have a kolokithokeftedes mixture that is too wet.
So how about it? Give this kolokithokeftedes recipe a try this weekend — you will not regret it!
Greek Zucchini Fritters Recipe (Kolokithokeftedes)
- Medium-Sized Pan/Skillet
- 2 cups zucchini (about 2 medium-sized), grated
- 1 & 1/2 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup Kefalotiri or Pecorino Romano, grated, heaping
- 6 to 8 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 medium egg
- 3 tbsp dill, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Start making your kolokithokeftedes by placing the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle salt on it; use a fork to mix.
- Let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes to eliminate the liquid. (Note: Make sure you place a bowl under to catch the water.)
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat using a medium-sized pan or skillet.
- Add finely chopped onion, and cook until it softens, then set aside to cool.
- Take the zucchini out of the colander and use your hands to squeeze the remaining liquid in them.
- Combine zucchini, flour, baking powder, egg, pecorino Romano, dill, breadcrumbs, pepper, and the cooled onion in a separate bowl.
- Use a fork to mix everything evenly.
- Take a spoonful of the zucchini fritters mixture and shape it.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is ready, add the zucchini balls carefully.
- Cook until all sides of kolokithokeftedes are golden.
- Place them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
- Serve and enjoy your kolokithokeftedes!
- Cook’s Tip #1: To help solidify the kolokithokeftedes mixture, keep it in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes — before you start forming them.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Add the breadcrumbs slowly, checking in between additions if the zucchini balls mixture needs more or not.
- Cook’s Tip #3: After adding your kolokithokeftedes to the frying oil, lower the heat to medium to avoid browning the outsides too quickly.
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