We're starting to see tons of summer produce (and if you're growing it yourself, kudos to you!) and I'm always looking for ways to highlight these wonderful ingredients. These Corn and Zucchini Fritters are a delicious way to use summer corn and zucchini, paired with a spicy aioli dipping sauce. They're veggie-packed, only lightly fried, and dairy-free!
As always, I do include a few affiliate links in this post for products I truly use and love. This just means that if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I'll earn a little money (at no cost to you) to keep the kitchen up and running, which I promise to use to create more fun content like this! One of those affiliates is with Amazon, which requires a very clear disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you have any questions about affiliates, please reach out!
If you're looking for other great summer recipes, check out my Simple Summer Frosé and this Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup (you could dunk these fritters in the soup, just saying...). Enjoy those summer ingredients while we have them!
It's all about the summer produce with this recipe, and I strongly recommend using fresh rather than frozen, whenever possible. Below are a few key things you'll need.
- Zucchini: 2 medium zucchini will be enough, but use what you have! You could easily use a little more or less, depending on what you've got.
- Onion: a small dice is perfect here. You want a little texture so the onion helps the fritters stay together, but you don't need big onion chunks either.
- Green onions: these will be chopped and added to the fritters, then use some additional for garnish.
- Corn: fresh corn on the cob is best. Cut the corn off two cobs and you'll have about 2 cups. Again, if you have a little more or less, that's ok! Go for it!
- Jalapeño: I do not have this in the recipe below, and it's an optional addition, but if you have a jalapeño, mince it up and throw it in for a little additional kick!
- Almond milk: the recipe calls for ¾ cup almond milk. You can use any milk or non-dairy milk of your choice. I'd recommend one that is fairly neutral in flavor (for example, coconut milk might not work so well here).
See the below recipe for full details and directions.
Think of fritters like making savory pancakes. You're making a batter, you don't want it to be too wet, and then you're frying them in a skillet (your "pancakes"). Keep in mind, though, that we want these to be fairly small (probably smaller than you make pancakes!).
In a large skillet, sautée the garlic and onions in olive oil.
Add the corn and cook until softened.
Combine the corn and onions mixture with the dry ingredients to create a batter.
Fry each fritter in a neutral oil (such as vegetable or canola oil) in a large skillet until browned and crispy.
Once you've fried the fritters, let them drain and cool on a paper-towel-lined plate. This will also help soak up some of the excess oil. Serve them warm or at room temperature with spicy aioli, or your favorite dipping sauce.
Draining the Zucchini
Draining the zucchini is one of the most important parts of this recipe. You want to remove as much water as possible so the fritters will hold together. If you find your batter is looking too loose or too wet, it's likely because there was still too much water in the zucchini, and it will be harder for your fritters to hold together.
To start, shred your zucchini (I like to use a box grater, but you could also do this with a grating attachment to a food processor). Spread the shredded zucchini on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with salt to draw some of the water out.
After letting sit for at least 10 minutes, press the zucchini with additional paper towels to blot out as much water as possible. You can also create a ball with the zucchini wrapped in the towels and squeeze to remove the water. If you have cheesecloth, this is a great time to use it instead of the paper towels.
I find this ball-and-squeeze method lets me remove the maximum amount of water. It's ok to "squish" the zucchini as it's already shredded and it's going into the batter, so we need to worry about trying to keep it whole or in a certain shape. Just be careful of your paper towels breaking: you don't want to lose any zucchini!
The equipment you need to make fritters is very basic. I grate my zucchini on a box grater (like this one from Amazon), but you can also use a grating attachment on a food processor.
To fry the fritters, I like to use the Caraway Sautée Pan as it's a good size and has higher sides that help keep me from splashing oil all over the place! Also, I didn't find that I needed it for this recipe, but I do sometimes use a Fry Wall (you can find them on Amazon) as a splatter guard while frying. You'll also want to make sure you have a slotted spatula (or two) to help flip the fritters while trying to leave as much oil as possible.
For the final garnish, use a flaky sea salt like Maldon Sea Salt.
If you manage to have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Store the aioli in a separate container in the fridge.
Reheat the fritters in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, and enjoy! If you want to make sure they're crispy again, reheat them in a skillet on the stovetop with just a bit of olive oil. Cook until they're warmed through and the outside is nice and crisp.
Be careful while frying! I suggest using two slotted spatulas to flip the fritters: one on top and one on the bottom. This way, you can turn them over in a controlled way rather than letting them flop and splash hot oil around your stovetop.
Also, when you're frying, do not raise your heat past medium. You don't want the oil to be popping and sizzling uncontrollably. Make sure you're frying in a safe and controlled way. If you feel out of control at all, remove the pan from the heat and turn it down.
Corn and Zucchini Fritters with Spicy Aioli
For the Fritters
- 2 medium zucchini shredded
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion small diced
- 2 ears corn kernels cut off
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 green onions chopped, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil for frying
- flaky sea salt for garnish
For the Spicy Aioli
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Start by making the aioli. Combine mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, paprika and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- Spread the shredded zucchini on a layer of paper towels. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and let sit for 10 minutes to draw the water out. Use paper towels to press the zucchini and remove as much water as possible. You can also form the zucchini in a ball wrapped in the paper towels and squeeze out as much water as possible (I find this to be the more successful method).
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together corn meal, flour, baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Whisk the almond milk and egg together in a large bowl, then add the corn mixture, zucchini and green onions. Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until combined.
- Pour ⅛ inch of vegetable oil into a large skillet and place over medium heat. Working in batches, scoop scant ¼ cupfuls of the batter into the oil and flatten slightly. Cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Garnish with fresh green onions and flaky sea salt and serve with the Spicy Aioli.