Kolokithokeftedes Recipe (Greek Zucchini Fritters With Feta)

07

Dec

Not sure what to do with all of the ripe summer zucchini!? Consider kolokithokeftedes! They are a mouthful to say, but delicious to eat! Kolokithokeftedes, or Greek-style zucchini fritters, are made with grated zucchini, tasty feta cheese, and plenty of fresh herbs like mint, Italian parsley, and dill. They are a popular vegetarian side dish full of fresh flavour and even more irresistible when served with a side of creamy tzatziki sauce.

three pieces of kolokithokeftedes stacked on top of eachother with tzatziki.

How To Make Kolokithokeftedes: Step By Step

STEP 1: Grate and strain the zucchini.  Wash the zucchini and leave the skin on. Cut the zucchini in half and discard the ends. Grate the zucchini and place the grated zucchini in a mesh strainer for at least 30-45 minutes. Place the strainer over a deep bowl so there is a large enough gap between the strainer and the bottom of the bowl for the excess liquid to gather.  After 30-45 minutes, squeeze out any excess liquid from the zucchini using your hand, a cheesecloth or a paper towel before adding the grated zucchini to the fritter mixture.  Discard the liquid.

STEP 2: Dice the herbs and onion. Wash, pat dry, and dice the fresh parsley, mint, and dill. Peel and dice the onion. Do not grate the onion, as it will release too much moisture.

STEP 3: Combine all of the ingredients together. In a large bowl, add the strained grated zucchini, diced parsley, mint, dill, onion, parmesan cheese, crumbled feta, salt and black pepper. Whisk two eggs together in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Mix the ingredients together with your hands or a large spoon. Lastly, add in the flour and mix again until just combined.

STEP 4: Fry the zucchini fritters. In a large frying pan, heat 1/2 a cup of olive oil on medium-high heat for a 10″ frying pan. Spoon a golf ball-sized portion of the zucchini fritter mixture in your hands and press it into a pattie.  You can sprinkle the inside of your hands with flour so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands as easily.

Place the patties in a single layer in the hot oil and pat down lightly on the zucchini fritters with a fork. Do not overcrowd the pan, and ensure that the oil is hot before adding the zucchini patties. Fry each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook on the opposite side. Line a plate or platter with a paper towel and place the zucchini fritters on the paper towel to remove any excess oil. 

It will likely take 3-4 batches to fry all of the zucchini fritters. There’s no need to discard the oil in between batches, but you can turn down the heat for the remaining batches so that the fritters don’t burn as quickly. Serve and enjoy hot. These are delicious with a side of tzatziki!

RECIPE TIPS

  • It’s essential to allow the grated zucchini to drain for at least 30-45 minutes. Skipping this step will result in zucchini fritters that are too soft and won’t hold their shape. Squeeze out and discard excess liquid from the grated zucchini.

  • Don’t overmix the zucchini fritter mixture because it will release more liquid.

  • The zucchini fritters should be similar in size so that they can cook evenly.

  • If the fritters are too soft, you can add more flour until they are easier to form. The patties will hold their shape when added to the hot oil. Let each side cook until golden brown.

  • Avocado oil has a higher burn temperature, but olive oil gives a nice flavour.  It seems like a lot of oil, but this is how the zucchini fritters get crispy and why they’re so delicious!) You could also use half avocado oil and half olive oil.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why are my zucchini fritters falling apart?

Zucchini fritters may fall apart if there is too much moisture in the batter.  To prevent this, it’s best to thoroughly drain excess water from the grated zucchini and use a binding agent like flour when making the batter.  If the dough is too soft, you can add more flour until the fritters hold their shape more easily.

Why are my fritters not crispy?

For crispy fritters, ensure the oil is hot (about 350-375°F or 175-190°C) before adding the zucchini fritters to the frying pan. If the temperature is too low, they may become soggy instead of crispy.  Also, when frying, do not overcrowd the pan, as that can lower the oil temperature and result in zucchini fritters that are not as crispy.

How do I remove excess moisture from the zucchini?

To remove excess moisture, salt and place the grated zucchini in a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Let it sit for 30-45 minutes so that the excess water will strain out. Then, squeeze any excess liquid using a cheesecloth or kitchen towel. This step is crucial when making zucchini fritters.

Can I make the mixture ahead of time?

It’s not recommended to make the mixture ahead of time because the longer it sits, the more water and liquid will be released from the zucchini, which may result in a softer batter.

How do I prevent the fritters from falling apart during frying?

To prevent the fritters from falling apart, ensure the mixture is well-combined and not overly wet. If it’s too soft, you can add a little more flour. The patties will hold their shape in the frying pan, and you can flatten them out with the back of a fork. Also, the oil needs to be hot, and the fritters should not be flipped too early during frying. Allow one side to become golden brown before flipping.

SERVING & STORING

For the best flavour and texture, serve kolokithokeftedes immediately after cooking. Serve with tzatziki, greek salad, and pita bread for a more complete vegetarian meal idea.

If you have leftovers, allow the fritters to come to room temperature and store them in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. The zucchini fritter mixture doesn’t hold well, so if you have the mixture left over, it’s best to fry the fritters and then refrigerate or freeze them instead of refrigerating or freezing the uncooked mixture.

To reheat refrigerated zucchini fritters, it’s best to reheat them in the oven so that they can become crispy. Reheat on convection bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes. Reheating in the microwave will be faster, but the fritters will be softer.

To freeze cooked zucchini fritters, place the fritters in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid (but don’t forget about them in the freezer!). Once frozen, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container. Label the container so that you know what date you froze them. Frozen zucchini fritters can last in the freezer for 2-3 months.

To reheat frozen fritters, preheat the oven to 350°F on convection bake and bake the fritters for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

three pieces of kolokithokeftedes stacked on top of eachother with tzatziki.
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5 from 1 vote

Kolokithokeftedes (Greek Zucchini Fritter Recipe)

Greek zucchini fritters (kolokithokeftedes) combine grated zucchini, aromatic herbs, and salty feta cheese to create a crispy, flavourful, vegetarian appetizer or Greek side dish. These Greek fritters will be your new go-to recipe!
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Greek Appetizers
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: greek zucchini fritters, summer greek appetizers, zucchini
Servings: 12 fritters
Calories: 197kcal
Author: Ria Mavrikos

Equipment

  • 1 large frying pan

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour adjust if needed
  • 3 zucchinis small to medium-sized (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon salt sprinkle on top of grated zucchini
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbled (about 200 grams)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill diced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion 1 small to medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper adjust to taste
  • 2 eggs room temperature and whisked
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or avocado oil for frying the zucchini fritters

Instructions

  • Grate and strain the zucchini. Wash the zucchini and leave the skin on. Cut the zucchini in half and discard the ends. Grate the zucchinis and place them in a mesh strainer for at least 30-45 minutes. Sprinkle with salt. Place the strainer over a deep bowl so there is a large enough gap between the strainer and the bottom of the bowl for the excess liquid to gather. After 30-45 minutes, squeeze out any excess liquid from the zucchini using your hand, a cheesecloth, or a paper towel before adding the grated zucchini to the fritter mixture. Discard the liquid.
  • Dice the herbs and onion. Wash, pat dry, and dice the fresh parsley, mint and dill. Peel and dice the onion. Do not grate the onion as it will release too much moisture.
  • Combine all of the ingredients together in one bowl. In a large bowl, add the strained grated zucchini, diced parsley, mint, dill, onion, parmesan cheese, crumbled feta, and salt and pepper. Whisk two eggs together in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Mix the ingredients together with your hands or a large spoon. Lastly, add in the flour and gently mix until combined.
  • Fry the zucchini fritters. In a large frying pan, heat ½ a cup of olive oil on medium-high heat for a 10" frying pan. Spoon a golf ball-sized portion of the zucchini fritter mixture in your hands and press it into a pattie. You can sprinkle the inside of your hands with flour so that the mixture doesn't stick to your hands as easily. Place the patties in a single layer in the frying pan and pat down lightly with a fork.
    Do not overcrowd the pan, and ensure that the oil is hot before adding the zucchini patties. Fry each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and cook on the opposite side. Line a plate or platter with paper towel and place the zucchini fritters on the paper towel to remove any excess oil. 
    It will likely take 3-4 batches to fry all of the zucchini fritters. There's no need to discard the oil in between batches, but you can turn down the heat for the remaining batches so that the fritters don't burn as quickly. Serve hot and with a side of tzatziki!

Notes

  • It’s essential to allow the grated zucchini to drain for at least 30-45 minutes.  Skipping this step will result in zucchini fritters that are too soft.  Squeeze out and discard excess liquid from the grated zucchini. 
  • Don’t overmix the zucchini fritter mixture because it will release more liquid.
  • The zucchini fritters should be similar in size to cook evenly.
  • If the fritters are too soft, you can add more flour until they are easier to form. If they are soft once added to the frying pan, press them down lightly with a fork when they’re in the pan. The patties will hold their shape, and let each side cook until golden brown before flipping.
  • Avocado oil has a higher burn temperature, but olive oil gives a nice flavour. It seems like a lot of oil, but this is how the zucchini fritters get crispy and why they’re so delicious!) You could use half avocado oil and half olive oil. 

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 790mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 609IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 1mg

Greek Appetizers, Sides and Sauces, Vegetarian

Date Published: December 7, 2023

Author: RIA mavrikos

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