With one final, massive zucchini in my crisper drawer, plentiful fresh herbs on my back porch and thoughts of my impending trip to Greece, I decided to try my hand at Kolokithokeftedes. These zucchini fritters have not usually been my favorite mezethes (small plates of tasty morsels)  but after this batch, I may find myself reaching for them more often.  Usually made with mint or dill, I used both.  I also thickened them up a touch with some flour and panko bread crumbs.  With a dollop of homemade garlicky cucumber yogurt sauce, or tzatziki, they were truly delectable.

Just looking at this photo, my mouth is watering remembering the pleasing contrasts.   The crispy warm fritter with a cool spread of yogurt sauce.  The fresh cucumber aroma in the tzatziki against the bite of plentiful garlic.  A healthy sprinkle of salt brought out the green flavors of the zucchini, dill, mint and green onion.  

I made this batch quite big and it was filling enough for our meal.  However, if you want to impress friends with a true Greek feast, I have a plan!  Invite a dozen people over and gather around a table, preferably outdoors.   Make a number of small plates including these fritters, some meatballs, easy fried peppers, and perhaps some skordalia or tarama for spreading on bread. You could stop there OR  follow with this Greek salad and pasticcio.  Of course, don’t forget the ouzo (which we sipped last night alongside these fritters) and perhaps some Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts for dessert.  Sounds like a lot of food but do it Greek style… sit for hours talking, eating, drinking and laughing late into the night.

Greek Zucchini Fritters – Kolokithokeftedes
2 medium to large zucchini coarsely grated
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 green onions including green parts, chopped
3 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1 large egg
1/2 cup flour
4 Tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
olive oil

Wash zucchini.  With skins on, grate them with the coarse side of a grater.  Put the grated zucchini in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt.  Let sit and drain for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

Remove the zucchini by the handful, squeezing to remove as much liquid as you can.  Put it in a bowl with herbs, feta and green onions.  Mix with a fork.  Add the lightly beaten egg and stir.  Add flour and bread crumbs.  The mixture should be wet but not watery.  Mix in a healthy dose of salt, I prefer coarse sea salt.  

Heat olive oil in a pan about 1/8 inch deep covering the entire pan.  When hot, scoop out a spoonful of the zucchini mixture and put it in the pan.  Let it cook about 3-4 minutes or until brown and then flip them.  Cook another 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove fritters and place on a paper towel -lined plate to remove some excess oil. Serve hot with tzatiki sauce. 

Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Dip)

2 cups plain yogurt (or 2 cups, thick Greek yogurt
2 large cucumbers
1 1/4 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespon white vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and white pepper to taste

If using regular yogurt, put yogurt in a cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl. Drain several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Greek yogurt is thicker and does not need the draining. Peel, seed and coarsely grate cucumbers. Drain well. Add garlic, vinegar, olive oil, sat and pepper to cucumbers. Mix well. Add drained yogurt and blend.

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41 Responses to “Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes) with Tzatziki”

  1. Figtreeapps Says:

    Always looking for new ways to use up my ever lasting supply of zucchini. These look DEVINE! Figtreeapps

  2. zachary Says:

    Nice one. I have a bunch of zukes nearly ready to harvest.. i’ll give this recipe a go soon



  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Wow, these look fantastic! I’ll bet they’re great with summer squash, too. What a perfect summer meal.

  4. Kathy Says:

    oh yum! Darling you throw a party like that and I better be invited.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    I know plenty of folks whose gardens are flourishing with zucchini this season. I am passing this recipe along to all. Thanks!

  6. Mary Says:

    I’ve discontinued writing on ceres & bacchus, but I decided to de-lurk and say hi. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this, a friend of mine just came back from a year in Vienna during which time she also spent vacations with her family in Greece. I’ll make this for her and I know she’s going to adore it. Thanks!

  7. Heather Says:

    I made these for dinner and they were amazing!!!!!! I know that’s a lot of exclamation points, but they were so tasty and so easy to make. Definitely will make again.

  8. Laura Says:

    I had my parents over for dinner last night and I made these, the were AMAZING. Just the right balance. I have to admit that more than one was devoured before the plate made it to the table!

  9. Caroline Says:

    First, thank you for all your kind comments and I am so happy that they are working out for some of you!

    I had a handful of fritters left that I tucked in the fridge early in the week. Last night, I put them on a cookie sheet and into a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, added a dollop of the left over tzatziki and we ate them again. Not suggested for serving guests this way as the crispiness is not quite the same. But, still really yummy for a weeknight meal.

  10. Cakespy Says:

    I’ll bet these would also make a great layer on a vegetarian benedict: poached egg and tzatziki sauce atop one of these, all on an english muffin. Yum.

  11. Sues Says:

    I loveee zucchini fritters SO much and I totally agree with Cakespy that these would make the perfect vege benedict. Delish! Tzatziki sounds like the perfect touch…

  12. Deensiebat Says:

    I turned my zucchini into cake, but these look equally delicious. I’ve only seen panko as coating, never inside — do they soften, or provide crunchy bits throughout?

  13. Kath Says:

    Making some tzatziki sauce this week. I’ll have to give these a try.

  14. Stephen Says:

    oh man that looks good! would you ever serve that as a side to a meat or seafood. yumeretO!

  15. Caroline Says:

    Deensiebat – the panko didn’t add crunchy. I just had it instead of breadcrumbs and the mixture needed a little something to soak up some of the liquid.

    Cakespy – another great idea! Benedict genius

  16. Kath Says:

    Wow Caroline, these were great! We wound up eating them before our meal as an appetizer. Will definitely make them again.

  17. SlyGly Says:

    These were outstanding! Thanks for helping me consume one of my 500 zucchinis this summer.

  18. Molly Jean Says:

    Mmmmm tzatziki! I could top any meal with that condiment but this looks mouth-watering!

  19. Shannalee Says:

    Yes, yes. This is exactly what I need to make, and soon. All my zucchinis are starting to pile up, what with it being summer and my being in a CSA for the first time, and I could eat just about anything if there’s tzatziki on the side.

  20. Megan Says:

    I saw this recipe this afternoon and had my boyfriend go straight to the store after work to get the ingredients. It was DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to make them for my (greek) mother to see what she thinks! :)

  21. jess Says:

    thanks for posting this! the picture is lovely. my old greek landlady made me this once;I had tried to replicate it before but failed. I used your recipe tonight (without the egg–I happened to be out of them) and they came out great! thank you so much!

  22. Debby Says:

    I made these and blogged them, and give you a shout! Loved them! Thanks so much.

  23. a little ginger Says:

    grate expectations…

    As an ethnic Jew with no serious investment in the religion, Chanukah means one thing to me, and one thing only: latkes! In college, I had a wonderful roommate who, having also fallen from the graces of the Tribe, shared my latke-centric outlook on the…

  24. Chanel11 Says:

    These were super yummy and didn’t fall apart :)

  25. April Says:

    I didn’t even make the tzaziki (no cukes in the house) and the fritters were SO GOOD. I made it with peas and onions couscous for a delicious Mediterranean ish lunch.

  26. Stolk Says:

    Was searching for a zucchini bread recipe because we’ve been pulling huge zukes out of our garden. I’m for sure going to try this one, though…

  27. medic care Says:

    That’s remember me on my last trip to greece. OUZO and Tzatziki the whole day.
    And in the night, I slept alone :P

  28. food lover Says:

    I love food websites. That sounds like a great recipe, I would like to stay and check it out of others on your site, yet I’m leaving and wont return due to the harcore porn on the side of the screen! That is disturbing, I don’t understand why its there.

  29. Friday Forecast « Another Day of Our Life Says:

    [...] w/leftover tzatziki & zucchini fritters (I told you there was a lot left [...]

  30. Kate Says:

    I’ve spent many years in Greece wolfing down these zucchini mezes. I’ve tried several different recipes to replicate them, and this is one of the best. Excellent way to use up my yellow zucchinis from the CSA! I even tried with dried herbs (too hot and lazy to go to grocery for fresh today) in reduced amounts and just delightful.

  31. Charles Says:

    FYI someone stole your recipe and pictures:


  32. Alexa ранк Says:

    Alexa ранк…

    [...]Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes) with Tzatziki[...]…

  33. Kat Says:

    I made these for lunch today . They are delicious, thank you ! I substituted colby jack cheese for the feta and omitted the mint and dill and seasoned with salt, pepper , and garlic powder. These hold together nicely.Be sure to pat them down in the skillet and cook on med-low and slow. I used a non-skillet and just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. They are crunchy when still hot but they get soft when cold but they still heat up in the micro nicely and still taste great, even when soft. I used cheese cloth to squeeze the liquid out of them. Squeeze them let them sit for 20 minutes and squeeze again . It is important to get all the liquid you can out of them ,.

    Just a note. I am diabetic, type II . Since this recipe is low in flour and panko crumbs when I ate 4 fritters without anything else for lunch my blood sugar stayed in acceptable range limit.

    Thank you Caroline , this is a wonderful find for the recipe and people that are diabetic and controlling their blood sugar by diet only . A KEEPER!!!!

  34. Samantha Says:

    I made these for dinner last night, I love Greek food but my husband is super picky (he is used to his grandmothers southern cookin’) but he LOVED these! I was so happy! Thank you for this yummy recipe :)

  35. theslum Says:

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  36. Mmmm, complete with a dollop of #tzatziki . You cannot go wrong.  | Zygote.Me Says:

    [...] complete with a dollop of #tzatziki . You cannot go wrong.  Greek Zucchini Fritters (Kolokithokeftedes) with Tzatziki With one final, massive zucchini in my crisper drawer, plentiful fresh herbs on my back porch and [...]

  37. sheri Cochran Says:

    These look fantastic. Will need to make….

  38. learn to play guitar Says:

    The bananas and peaches give it flavor, the yogurt adds a little “weight” to it without making it heavy.

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  39. Debby Says:

    Could you tell me the length of the zucchini a you used? Also, since I don’t want to make a trip to get fresh dill, how much dill weed should I use?

  40. mad sad Says:

    this looks great,

  41. Grate Expectations » Capsule Storytelling Says:

    […] obsession before I could grate inappropriate foods like bread or frozen berries, and I found it here. A wonderful blog called Whipped features a page of mouth-watering Greek recipes, and I […]

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