Summertime flavors shine in pan-fried Zucchini and Corn Fritters with Chipotle Lime Cream! Packed full of late summer veggies, they make a satisfying vegetarian main. They’re freezer friendly too! This recipe is vegetarian, easily dairy and gluten free.
It’s Zucchini Season!
It’s that time of year! When we have more zucchini than we know what to do with. I’m not complaining. I love its seasonality and versatility, and look forward to it long before the season arrives.
How do you feel about it?
This Zucchini Corn Fritter recipe came about years ago when my Ma was visiting from Texas. She’s a constant source of recipe ideas and inspiration, whether we’re in the kitchen or at a restaurant, picking apart the details and talking about food in general is our thing.
A Southern woman who will stop at anything for fresh corn, she had a brilliant idea; Corn Zucchini Fritters! It took me a mili second to say yes! We got to work.
How to Make Corn and Zucchini Fritters
I like masa harina in this recipe instead of corn meal as is sometimes used in fritters. Masa harina is a fine grain corn flour that gives Mexican and Southwestern recipes an authentic flavor.
I use it in my chili recipes as a thickener, and Southwestern inspired recipes where I want that flavor boost. It yields a sweet yet robust corn flavor to any food it’s added to and it’s absolutely is delicious. However, one maker subbed fine corn meal in this recipe with delicious results! I’ve linked to several recipes I use masa harina in to thicken and to flavor in the recipe card notes.
In summary, here’s how to make zucchini corn fritters (see recipe card for details):
- First, shred the zucchini using a box grater or coarse blade in a food processor. Squeeze the zucchini of it’s liquid using tea towels, squeezing and wringing to get the zucchini as dry as possible.
- Second, mix the masa harina, flour (or gluten free AP) and spices in a bowl. Set aside.
- Third, in a small bowl, whisk the milk, (or nut milk), vinegar and egg. Set aside.
- Fourth, saute diced onion and poblano pepper, then add the fresh corn niblets, and garlic. Some charring is good!
- Fifth, in a large mixing bowl, mix the zucchini, corn mixture, flour mixture and milk mixture together.
- Sixth, heat oil in a pan. Once shimmering, scoop 1/4 C- 1/3 C zucchini corn mixture into the pan. Pan fry the fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Next, transfer the fritters to a paper towel lined plate/pan.
- Last, once all the fritters are pan fried, transfer them to a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Baking is optional, but helps crisp the fritters further and they’re all ready to serve warm at once.
While the corn zucchini fritters are in the oven, whip up the chipotle-lime cream! Or if you prefer, a scrumptious avocado cream can be enjoyed instead.
What to Serve with Corn Zucchini Fritters
These fritters require a bit of hands on time, so I like to serve em’ with simple sides. A few options:
- Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- Steamed Broccoli
- Mexican Black Beans
- Simple Salad
- Sautéed Kale or Spinach
- Sunny Side Up Eggs
A Few Recipe Notes
- Make em’ Gluten Free! These zucchini and corn fritters are easily gluten free! I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF Flour when testing this recipe. Look for gluten free masa harina or corn meal.
- Make em’ dairy free! Opt for nut milk, I use homemade cashew milk. For the Chipotle cream opt for dairy free sour cream, avocado cream or pepita lime creama.
- To shred the zucchini, I use the coarse blade on a food processor or a microplane. A box greater works well too.
- When cutting corn off the cob, place the cob in a pie plate, stand the cob on end and gently slice the niblets off the cob. The pie plate catches all the corn and clean up is a snap.
- A slotted spatula is the perfect tool for pan fried corn and zucchini fritters. It scoops up the fritters with ease and allowed excess oil to flow through, back into the pan.
- Looking for a Baked Zucchini Recipe? My friend Ayse has a fabulous Baked Zucchini Fritter recipe!
- Liz made this recipe and recommended leftovers for breakfast with an egg on top. Yum!
More Zucchini Recipes to Love
- Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles) with Roasted Tomatoes
- Zucchini and Caramelized Onion Galette
- Skillet Veggie Enchiladas Verde
- Healthier Zucchini Bread
- Creamy Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Tacos
- Summer Quinoa Veggie Salad
Corn Zucchini Fritters with Chipotle Lime Cream
For the Fritters:
- 1 lb (475g) Zucchini about two medium zucchini (about 3 1/2 C 400g pre- straining // 2 1/2 C (360g) after straining)
- 1/2 C (60g) Masa Harina Flour *see note for sub
- 1/2 C (70g) All Purpose Flour **see note for gluten free
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 3/4 tsp Salt + more for sprinkling
- 1 tsp Ground Pepper
- 3/4 C (170g) Milk (nut or dairy) + 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Egg
- 1/3 C (40g) Yellow Onion small dice, about 1/2 small onion
- 2/3 C (65g) Poblano Pepper small dice, about 1 small poblano
- 2 Ears of Corn to yield about 1 1/2 C / 205g of corn niblets
- 1 Clove Garlic large, or 2 tsp minced
- 2 tsp Coconut or Olive Oil + more for frying
- Chives, Lime Wedges and Cilantro For Garnish
For the Fritters:
- Grate the zucchini on the coarse blade of a food processor or a microplane. A box greater works well too!Working in two or three batches, place the grated zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze, draining over the sink. Continue squeezing and pressing hard to get as much of the liquid out of the zucchini as possible. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the masa, all purpose flour, baking soda, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, mix the milk and apple cider vinegar (or use buttermilk). Wait at least 5 minutes (this allows the milk/vinegar mixture to sour) then whisk in the egg. Set aside.
- In a medium saute pan, add 2 tsp oil (I like a cast iron skillet or non stick fry pan). Heat oil until it shimmers. Saute the poblano and onion on medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the corn to the onion and poblano mixture and saute mixture for 3-4 more minutes, until the veggies are soft and with a bit of charring. Toss in the minced garlic the last 30 seconds, stirring to incorporate. Remove the corn mixture from heat and transfer it to the large mixing bowl with the zucchini. Set aside. Wipe out the pan (the same pan can be used for pan frying).
- To the zucchini mixture, add the flour mixture and milk mixture. Mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed and incorporated.
- OPTIONAL: for crispy fritter edges, preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The fritters can be baked briefly after pan frying. Line a plate or small pan with paper towel. Set aside.
- Add about 1/8" (2.5cm) oil to a skillet. Heat until oil shimmers on med high heat. Use a 1/3 C dry scoop to portion out each fritter and use a spoon to help you get the fritter out of the scoop and into the pan. Use the back of the dry scoop to press the fritter to about 1/4" thickness. Be sure not to crowd the pan (I cook three at a time in a medium skillet). Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes on med to med high heat until golden, adjusting heat as needed. *Be careful here as the corn tends to sometimes "pop" - a fry screen will prevent corn kernels from popping out of the pan*Remove fritters from pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add more oil to the pan as needed to finish frying all the fritters.
- OPTIONAL: Place the fried fritters on the parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- Share warm with chipotle cream, chives or scallions, cilantro and lime.
- Refrigerator: Store in the refrigerator in a lidded container for up to three days. Freezer: Store cooked fritters stacked between small sheets of parchment paper and in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to a month. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator on a parchment lined sheet pan then bake for 15 minutes in a 350F oven.
For the Chipotle Cream:
- In a food processor add the sour cream, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce (if using), sugar, salt and lime juice. Process for 20 seconds, then scrape the bowl down. Process for another 20, scrape down the bowl again. Process for a final 20 seconds and it's ready to serve. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili
- Vegetarian Tater Tot Hot Dish
- Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup
- Tofu Tacos