These crispy vegetable fritters are loaded with zucchini, potato, carrot (or veggies of your choice), and can be air-fried, baked, or pan-fried to perfection! Even better, they’re gluten-free, egg-free (vegan), and can be made oil-free too!
Versatile Crispy Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters
‘Crisper drawer’ clear-outs lead to some of my favorite meals. From hearty vegan lo mein to light summer rolls, and now these crispy vegetable fritters – there are just so many ways to use up all those lingering veggies in wholesome, nourishing, and delicious ways!
These vegetable patties require just a handful of versatile, inexpensive veggies (I used zucchini and carrots along with the potatoes) and come together quickly. However, unlike most vegetable fritters recipes, this version is 100% dairy-free and egg-free and can be baked or air-fried. Meaning, you use a fraction (if any) of the oil while still yielding results that are wonderfully crispy on the outside and tender in the middle.
Once cooked, these moreish, crispy zucchini potato pancakes are a guaranteed way to encourage anyone to eat more veggies (they’ll be child-approved in a single bite!). Enjoy them as an appetizer, side, or light main either mid-week, in lunchboxes, or at events like dinner parties and potlucks!
- Potato: Avoid waxy potatoes. Instead, use starchy options like Russet potatoes, which help bind the mixture, so the vegan vegetable fritters don’t fall apart.
- Other vegetables: I used a combination of shredded carrot and zucchini.
- Chickpea flour: This will also help bind the mixture (since these are egg-free).
- Seasonings: These potato patties use a simple but flavorful mix of garlic and onion powder with ground chili powder, paprika, ground cumin, and, of course, salt & black pepper.
- Other vegetables: These vegetable patties are super versatile in terms of veggies, so feel free to boost the nutrient levels by packing in more/ substituting one for another. Good options include corn, peas, finely chopped red pepper, shredded broccoli/ cauliflower, leafy greens (kale or spinach), etc.
- Fresh herbs: Green onions, parsley, chives, dill, basil, or cilantro could all be finely chopped and added to the zucchini patties/fritters for extra flavor.
- Nutritional yeast: Add a tablespoon or so to add umami and a nutty/cheesy flavor to the zucchini potato patties as a vegan substitute for Parmesan cheese.
- Vegan cheese: Instead of nutritional yeast (or alongside it), you could mix vegan feta or melty cheese into the vegetable mixture for extra flavor and decadence.
- Garlic: Boost the garlic flavor with minced garlic (1-2 cloves).
- Nuts/seeds: Mix in pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc., for added texture (crunch), protein, and heart-healthy fats.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How to Make Vegetable Fritters?
Not only are these vegetable patties simple to prepare, but you can cook them in three different ways.
- First, grate (using the medium holes on a cheese grater/box grater) the zucchini, potatoes (no need to peel first unless preferred), and carrot. Then, transfer them to a nut milk bag (or several layers of cheesecloth/ a clean kitchen towel) and squeeze to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Meanwhile, preheat a skillet over medium-low heat.
- Transfer the veggies to the skillet along with the spices, mix, and cook with a lid on for about 10 minutes. Then remove it from the heat.
- Stir in the chickpea flour with a spatula, and allow the mixture to cool until touchable.
- Divide the mixture into six portions and shape each into a patty by hand (1/2 inch or about 1.5 cm thickness).
Finally, cook the vegetable fritters. You can do so in one of three ways:
- Air Fry: at 380F/190C for around 15 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes. I recommend spraying the air fryer basket with a little oil before you add the patties.
- Oven: Bake at 400F/205C for 35-40 minutes. For the crispiest results, lightly spray them with a little oil and flip them halfway. Then enjoy!
- Skillet: Add some oil to a skillet and preheat it over medium heat. Once hot, add the patties (as many as will fit) and lightly fry on both sides until golden brown (4-5 minutes per side). Drain on paper towels, then enjoy.
How to Store?
Make ahead: Follow the recipe to the final cooking of the vegetable fritters, then spread the shaped patties in between layers of parchment paper and flash freeze before transferring to an airtight container/Ziplock. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Store: While these zucchini patties/fritters are crispiest directly from the air fryer/oven, you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freeze: You can also freeze the cooked patties following the same method as the raw ones, for up to 2 months.
Reheat: For the best texture, reheat the zucchini potato pancakes either back in the oven/ air fryer for a few minutes or in a skillet with a bit of oil. Avoid the microwave if you don’t want them to become soft (‘soggy’). A broiler can also help to bring back some of the crispiness.
There are several ways to enjoy these veggie fritters, whether as an appetizer, side dish, or light main. Some of my favorite pairings include:
- As an appetizer stack: Enjoy a pile, topped off with a dollop of vegan sour cream and some green onion/scallions.
- With a dip: These zucchini patties work particularly well with creamy dips/sauce, like a vegan yogurt-based dip. Perhaps tzatziki, or with avocado or pesto. Vegan ranch dip also works well.
- Enjoy at breakfast: Alongside tofu scramble, roasted tomatoes, and/or vegan sausages, etc.
- With salad: Either as simple as some leafy greens or in a fully loaded salad bowl.
- Make a burger: Use the patties for your veggie burger.
Can I substitute the chickpea flour?
I haven’t tried. However, I can’t see why it wouldn’t work with regular all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour instead.
Are zucchini fritters healthy?
I can’t speak for all versions, but this one is. Not only is the ingredients list basically just vegetables and seasonings, but by swapping out all-purpose flour (aka ‘empty calories’) for chickpea flour, I’ve introduced more fiber, protein, and iron for wholesome, satiating results. Best yet, these vegetable fritters can be baked or air fried rather than pan-fried, meaning they are oil-free (or made with a fraction of it).
Can I substitute the potatoes?
It should be possible to use sweet potato, butternut squash, or pumpkin in its place, though the cooking time may vary slightly. Feel free to experiment.
Recipe Notes, Tips, and FAQs
- To save time: Instead of grating the vegetables by hand, use a grating disk in a food processor to cut down that part of the prep to practically just seconds.
- Remove as much liquid as possible: Otherwise, there can be issues with binding the vegetable fritters. Even worse, though, they may not crisp up the way we want them to, either.
- Save the liquid: All the juice you squeeze from the vegetables doesn’t have to be a waste product. Instead, use it to add to homemade stock or soup or even when cooking grains.
- For even-sized patties: You can weigh the mixture and divide it by weight.
- For the crispiest results: I recommend air frying the zucchini fritters over baking them. Pan-frying is usually even crispier BUT requires more oil.
- Experiment with veggies: The potatoes are important for binding the patties. Otherwise, though, the veggies you use are up to you!
Related Veggie Patty Recipes
- Red lentil patties
- Chickpea fritters with corn
- Cauliflower patties
- Millet fritters
- Pajeon (Korean veg/scallion pancakes)
- Stuffed potato cakes
If you try this zucchini and potato vegetable fritters recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan—I love seeing them.
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.Grate the zucchini, potatoes, and carrot. Then squeeze out as much liquid as possible using a nut-milk bag, cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen towel.
- Add the veggies to a skillet and stir in all spices. Cook the veggies over low-medium heat with a lid for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat.
- Add in the chickpea flour and stir with a spatula to combine. Let the mixture cool, until you can touch it.
- Shape the mixture into 6 patties, using your hands. You can choose between the following three cooking methods:
- Heat some oil in a frying pan and place 3-4 patties in it. Fry on both sides until crispy (about 4-5 minutes per side).
- Cook at 380 F (195 C) for 15 minutes in your air fryer (flip after 10 minutes). I recommend spraying the basket of your air fryer with a little oil before adding the patties, otherwise, they may stick.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C) and bake the patties for 35-40 minutes on a lined baking sheet (flipping after 20-25 minutes). For a crispier result, I recommend spraying the patties with a little oil before baking and after flipping.
- Enjoy with a dip of choice, e.g. this vegan ranch dressing.
- Read the blog post for substitutes, serving suggestions, storing tips, and FAQs.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically