These Crispy Baked Zucchini Patties make a healthy, gluten-free, make-ahead meal. Get the instructions for properly draining zucchini to get crispy patties.
I’m probably one of the most inconsistent meal planners on the face of the earth. I seem to go in spurts. Some weeks I’ll get busy and make freezer meals galore. Other times, six o’clock rolls around and I haven’t given a thought to what to make for dinner. On those nights, the big question is what can I have for dinner in a hurry that takes no effort? Answer: Crispy Baked Zucchini Patties.
These Baked Zucchini Patties have become almost a staple in our house lately. I have used this recipe for more years than I can count. They freeze well, so we always seem to have some in the freezer, ready for a quick meal. They’re always popular and I get requests for the recipe, so I’m sharing it here with you today.
These zucchini patties are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and have a shocking amount of flavour, considering how few ingredients this recipe requires. You’d normally get this crispness from a fritter fried in hot oil. There is a secret to this crispy texture, however.
The trick? Get the moisture out the zucchini. Here’s the method I use to guarantee great results.
How to drain grated zucchini
Two medium green zucchini (about 10 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter) will yield about 2 cups of drained zucchini. You read that correctly: only 2 cups.
- Grate zucchini, either by hand or in a food processor.
- Place it in a colander over a bowl (or in the sink).
- Toss with a tablespoon of salt. The salt will help the zucchini release its moisture.
- Place another slightly smaller bowl on top of the zucchini in the colander and weigh this bowl down with something heavy (canned goods or a jar of pickles, etc. work well). Let sit for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Press down on the smaller bowl to help squeeze the water out. I also find squeezing it in my hands or in a clean dish towel works, too.
You’ll be surprised at how much liquid drains off! It’s important to remove as much moisture as you can, otherwise the zucchini patties may be soggy when cooked.
Four tips to make sure Baked Zucchini Patties are crispy!
- Drain the zucchini. Thoroughly drain the moisture from the zucchini before combining it with the other ingredients. Excess moisture evaporates during cooking and creates steam, resulting in soggy patties.
- Use crispy Panko crumbs (gluten-free, if necessary) instead of bread crumbs.
- Leave space between the patties on the baking sheet. If they’re too crowded, they tend to steam, not crisp.
- Use a high heat. Set the oven temperature to 400°F. to sear the cakes and crisp their surface.
These zucchini patties have so much flavour they can stand alone, but they’re also great with a dollop of Lemon Tahini Dip or Lemon Dill Dip. I often make these appetizer size too, and add smoked salmon! These Smoked Salmon Zucchini Cakes are a great make-ahead appetizer to have on hand in the freezer for unexpected happy hour company.
Can you freeze baked zucchini patties?
Yes! I’ve frozen them both before and after baking. For unbaked, thaw, and follow recipe instructions. For baked, heat in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
Crispy Baked Zucchini Patties make a nutritious meal when served with a healthy salad. Serve with Lemon Tahini Dip.
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, *measured after being very-well drained
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Panko crumbs, gluten-free, if necessary
- 1 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise or Vegenaise
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried chili flakes
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup sesame tahini
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
Put all ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Grate and thoroughly drain zucchini by placing it in a colander, sprinkling with salt, weighing it down with a heavy bowl and letting it sit for 20 - 30 minutes. Squeeze out moisture before adding to a large mixing bowl.
Combine all remaining ingredients with grated, drained zucchini.
Form into patties about 1/3 cup each. Space at least one inch apart on parchment-paper lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes on one side, then flip and bake for 12-15 minutes on the other side. Serve with Lemon Tahini Dip if desired.
Zucchini patties can be frozen either before or after baking.
Thaw first then bake, following recipe instructions, or re-heat baked patties in a 350°F. oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through.
Alternatively, patties can be fried in hot oil.
More zucchini inspiration!
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