Love and Olive Oil

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

The squash has started rolling in. The one downside of a CSA is that the quantity of squash piling up in your refrigerator drawers more often than not outnumbers the squash recipes in your file. Tomatoes I could handle, but squash is always a bit trickier. Brain food, indeed… since it really requires your brain to keep thinking of new ways to use it.

So when I saw this Mario Batali recipe in the most recent issue of Food & Wine, I dog-eared that page faster than you can say zuc… See? Quick.

Imagine if you will, a potato pancake. Except replace the potato with squash (yellow zucchini in our case), stir in some creamy ricotta cheese and a dash of lemon, and fry it in a bath of olive oil until the outside is delicately crispy but the inside stays soft and alluring. A squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of salt are all these puppies need. Quick to prepare and even quicker to eat, thanks to this recipe (which we’ve now had two weeks in a row), we did not let any squash go to waste.

I could see the basic concept of this fritter taking us through the summer and into the fall, swapping in just about any starchy vegetable in place of the squash. Carrots, beets, corn, sweet potatoes… or all of the above. Paired with spices and herbs and cheeses and… oh my. With that kind of flavor potential I might as well fritter my summer away, and be perfectly happy doing so.

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters

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2 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces each), coarsely shredded
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
3 large scallions, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Olive oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving


In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, garlic, scallions, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir well, then stir in the flour just until incorporated.

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Working in batches, add 2-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form 3-inch fritters. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve right away, with lemon wedges.

Make Ahead The fritters can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours and recrisped in a 325°F oven.

Recipe from Food & Wine.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Delicious. Mine were just a tad underdone in the middle – maybe lower heat next time but sure but delicious. I served with a dab of hood German mustard. 

  2. Came across your blog on pintetest. This recipe was amazing. Great use of the open ricotta I had no idea what else to do with :) light dish, considering they are pan fried. Will make again soon! 

  3. Yummy! This recipe could definitely be adapted for whatever starchiness you have on hand. So many possibilities. Love your pictures!

  4. I made these last night with yellow squash … and then had to make a second batch because everyone wanted MORE. They were delicious. I also added a little Cayenne Pepper for just a little kick. The lemon really made them extra yummy too. Thanks for posting this recipe, I’ll be making it again.

  5. This recipe has become our staple side dish. We’re overflowing with zucchini and yellow squash, then someone recently gave us yellow zucchini too!

  6. Not gonna lie I have definitely made a pile of zucchini cakes similar to these and eaten the whole mess for dinner. SO. GOOD. So. Addicting.

  7. zucchinni fritters are one of my son’s favorite I made once and he always request for more.

  8. My mom makes zucchini pancakes which are kind of similar to this. Mhmm I’m going to tell her to add ricotta next time. Sounds creamy.

  9. I love this type of food, especially with zucchini! It’s such a versatile vegetable..

  10. These look so delightful, Lindsay. I love zucchini and ricotta. :)

  11. You are so right about squash recipes. Seems the good ones are hard to come by. Love the combo of ricotta and zucchini here. They sound delightful!

  12. Gah, I have so much zucchini & so little inspiration. This looks amazing! I’m definitely trying it this weekend. Thanks!

  13. I make similar fritters with Zucchini (or carrots, or fennel, or…) and Feta (instead of Ricotta) and some dill. This gives them more of a oriental flavor. And I usually serve them with a yogurt (with more herbs). I’ll have to try your recipe.

  14. Beautiful photo. I haven’t joined a csa yet but have friends who have and they are always looking for recipes to add variety to their bounty. I haven’t tried this one yet. Thanks for posting it.
    Mary Squires

  15. These look amazing. Quick question: did you drain the zucchini after shredding it? Thanks!

  16. Yummy! These fritters look really delicious. And I happen to have all the right ingredients…

  17. Great recipe!

    Kisses from Hong Kong,

  18. I totally identify. The quantity of squash in my fridge WAY outnumbers the number of recipes (or number of people who like squash in my family!). This looks like a great recipe. Bookmarking it to try soon.

  19. I have the same squash problem happening at my home right now. I think my friends are sick of me giving it to them. I think this week I am going to make fried squash flowers. We’ll see how it turns out!

  20. Oh my, these look amazing.

  21. I’ve been following your blog for a while, and loving it! I saw the beet rosti recipe a while back, and being without beets, tried a substitution. I basically made these zucchini fritters… YESTERDAY. Mine lacked cheese (great idea!) and included carrots and just a little red pepper. YUM! Thanks for the inspiration!

  22. Oh my goodness!! Are you kidding me with this recipe!?!? Looking so delicous and scrumptious!!!

  23. Ooh! I’m so glad you liked these. I also have the page pulled from the magazine so I can try them. I’m holding off for a week because I got the “Squash again?” comment from Hubster last week :)

  24. nom. nom. nom. can’t wait to make these this week! happy monday and august xxo

  25. Ahh Ha!! Perfect! Those half dozen zucchini in my kitchen will not go to waste now! Thanks!!

  26. My. Heart.

    I just fainted.

  27. i love rustic food – it’s comforting but can still be super gourmet and fancy like these.

    the csa dilemma of over supplied veggies is an issue for me too – my problem though is with all the different greens (ie collards, kale, braising greens, sprouting broccoli, beet tops, etc…)… we should organize local csa exchanges! Or even, just basic food exchanges where if you have too much of something you can trade with others who may want what you got and vice versa!

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