Zucchini Quinoa Fritters with Parmesan


So I’ve tried something new recently, and I’m so glad I did.

Here was my experiment, which led to unbelievably delicious results:

I added quinoa to zucchini fritters.

These parmesan zucchini quinoa fritters are very simple to make, as long as you follow a few key tips.


These zucchini fritters are most definitely a family friendly, craveable, satisfying dish.

They 100 percent satisfy any rich, cheesy food cravings.


These little zucchini fritters are nothing but crispy, cheesy comfort.


I should mention that there are a couple of keys to success with this zucchini fritter recipe.

Begin by grating an organic zucchini using a box grater.


The next step is super important:

You must squeeze all the excess liquid from the zucchini!


Here’s the method that I find easiest:

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl.

Toss the zucchini with about half a teaspoon of salt, and place it in the strainer.

Then just let it sit for about 12 minutes.

After that time is up, really press and squeeze the zucchini, squeezing every last bit of water out.

Then repeat the process, tossing in a little more salt, letting it sit for several minutes, and squeezing all the water out.

As you’ll observe from the huge amount of (vivid green!) water in the bowl, this is a very critical step to keep your fritters from turning into a watery, soupy mess.


These quinoa fritters crispy on the outside with lots of tender (fresh and healthy!) zucchini in the center.

The quinoa adds a nutty crunch.

And of course, there’s all that (very necessary!) savory parmesan goodness.


Fresh summer zucchini is wonderful, raw or grilled.

But add some quinoa and parmesan to the mix, and then you’ve really got something special!

Here’s the recipe for Zucchini Quinoa Fritters with Parmesan:

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Zucchini Quinoa Fritters with Parmesan

  • Author: Jen Elizabeth's Journals
  • Category: Healthy Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


Total Time: 45 minutes (20 minutes inactive time)
Inactive: 20 minutes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 fritters, 4 servings (1 serving is 3 fritters)


  • 3 medium organic zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 organic, pasture raised egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Toss the grated zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon salt and place in the strainer. Allow zucchini to sit about 12 minutes, then press and squeeze all water from zucchini. Repeat the process, tossing with an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt and allowing zucchini to sit an additional 10 minutes. Again press and squeeze all water from zucchini.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 6-9 minutes. The quinoa is cooked when the spiral germ becomes visible around the grains.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir and combine zucchini, quinoa, parmesan, egg, thyme, garlic powder, and black pepper. Scoop small handfuls of the zucchini mixture and form small, round 1/4-inch thick patties.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Arrange the fritters on the pan so that none are overlapping (working in batches if necessary). Allow fritters to cook until edges begin to turn golden, about 4-6 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook about 4 minutes more. Serve.




For Related Recipes, Check Out:

Grilled Zucchini and Corn Pasta with Parmesan

Parmesan Herb Quinoa Risotto

Spring Quinoa with Asparagus and Parmesan






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  1. August 14, 2013 / 5:18 pm

    These sound to-die-for!!! And your styling…that block of cheese with the freshly grated cheese next to it? Absolutely perfect.

  2. August 14, 2013 / 8:31 pm

    I love zucchini; these fritters may finally get me on the quinoa bandwagon!

  3. August 14, 2013 / 9:44 pm

    Yum! I need any and all recipes to use up my zucchini. And I’m such a quinoa fan!

    I’m glad you said the cooking time is 6-9 minutes. Most recipes say 20 minutes, and I find my quinoa is done way before that. I know that you cook it a bit longer in the fritters, but I think it’s done before then, too.


  4. August 17, 2013 / 10:15 pm

    Beautiful pictures from your trip and from this delicious looking fritters.
    Have never tried Quinua in fritters but after reading your recipe I sure will !

  5. August 18, 2013 / 7:23 am

    This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy zucchini!

  6. August 19, 2013 / 8:55 am

    These look really delicious. I make zucchini fritters, but I haven’t tried them with quinoa before. I am going to do so soon. Plus, I have 5 zucchinis in the fridge!

  7. August 19, 2013 / 4:44 pm

    The quinoa sounds like such a nice addition to the zucchini fritters for not only taste but texture.

  8. August 29, 2013 / 11:50 am

    Hi there – I want to make these for my husband but as he’s on the heart transplant list he cannot have any sodium (restricted to 500 mgs a day!! EEK!!). Is there another way to get the water out of the zucchini without salting them?? I was thinking of literally just squeezing them in a clean kitchen towel – would that be enough to be successful with this recipe? Thank you very much!! Cheryl

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      September 3, 2013 / 10:26 am

      I actually have only used the salt method. However, I’ve read that partially boiling the zucchini also works. This would involve grating the zucchini, then boiling for just a few minutes. Then draining and allowing it to cool enough to handle, then transferring to a kitchen towel (as you mentioned) and squeezing all the excess water out. I haven’t tried this method, but I believe it would work well enough – – best of luck to you!! 🙂

      • September 3, 2013 / 8:51 pm

        Thanks so much. I’ll give it a try and see how it goes. Thanks for the well-wishes too – appreciate it! Cheryl

  9. September 1, 2013 / 4:22 am

    These look like an awesome way to introduce quinoa to my meet and potatoes 🙂

  10. Melissa
    January 2, 2014 / 11:48 pm

    I made these tonight for my hubby and 11-month old. Everyone loved them, the baby in particular! However, the patties didn’t hold together very well for me. What could be the problem? Did I not get the zucchini dry enough?

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      January 6, 2014 / 4:12 pm

      Yes, too much water could be the problem – try really thoroughly mixing the salt in with the zucchini and leaving it in the mesh strainer a bit longer – – then really squeeze it as dry as possible. Other possibilities – don’t leave the egg out of the recipe – this is the binding ingredient that holds everything together. Also, if they’re falling apart while cooking: after you put the fritters in the pan, just leave them be for a few minutes without moving them or flipping them at all. Wait until you see them turning golden around the edges before you try to flip – flipping too soon will cause them to break apart. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Keri
      February 18, 2014 / 4:11 pm

      I had this same issue and found that adding a 2nd egg really helped bind the mixture together. My 13month old loved them and couldn’t stop shoveling bites into her mouth. I also squeezed the excess water out of the zucchini through a cheese cloth which might help. THANKS to Jen for a great recipe my baby likes!

      • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
        February 18, 2014 / 5:04 pm

        Helping a little one learn to love fresh veggies is a big win in my mind! Thanks for sharing your great tips 🙂

  11. January 8, 2014 / 10:54 am

    I was googling recipes for quinoa and zucchini and found your site~these fritters will be the perfect side dish for our dinner tonight, thanks so much!

  12. Ceci
    February 18, 2014 / 10:22 am

    I have an idea: why not put the zuchinnis through the juicer and use the left over pulp for the patties, and the juice to cook the quinoa? NO waiting time– it literally takes seconds.

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      February 18, 2014 / 11:38 am

      This is a genius idea for all of those with a juicer 🙂

  13. Margaret
    March 25, 2014 / 6:52 am

    The flavours in these fritters were beautiful. I followed everything to the recipe but found they completely crumbled when frying. They just didn’t hold together very well at all. One reader says she added two eggs, so might give that a try.

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      March 26, 2014 / 9:37 am

      There are a few things that seem to be the most common problems:

      Making the Mixture
      -Make sure all of the water is removed from the zucchini. A watery fritter mixture will not hold together.
      -Also make sure the cooked quinoa isn’t watery at all. If too much water is used to cook the quinoa, there will still be some left in the pan after the quinoa is cooked – there shouldn’t be a drop of water left after cooking.

      During Cooking
      -Make sure the oil heats up in the pan first. You’ll know it’s hot if you put a drop of water in the pan and it sizzles.
      -Once the fritters are placed in the pan, don’t touch them or press down on them or move them, etc. at all. A golden crust will form if the fritters aren’t touched, and this is what will hold the fritters together when they’re flipped with a spatula (when you see the bottom edges begin to turn light brown, that’s when it’s time to flip).

      Fritters are tricky – I hope this helps! 🙂

  14. Crystal
    March 25, 2014 / 11:24 pm

    Just made these tonight & they were fantastic! Thanks for posting the recipe!

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      March 26, 2014 / 9:26 am

      Yay, so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for your comment 🙂

  15. Todd Olson
    April 14, 2014 / 11:49 pm

    These sound awesome!…
    I want to make these and use the (nutritious) zucchini liquid to cook the quinoa!
    Yum! :^)

    • Jen Elizabeth's Journals
      April 15, 2014 / 9:33 am

      Great idea – – enjoy! 🙂

  16. rachel
    January 25, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Can I freeze these?

    • January 25, 2015 / 1:38 pm

      Sure! Shape the patties, but stop before step 4 in the recipe instructions and don’t sauté them. Freeze in a covered, airtight container to prevent freezer burn (and separate with squares of parchment to keep them from sticking together). When you’re ready to cook them up, thaw them completely, then sauté (step 4 in the recipe instructions) and serve. Enjoy 🙂

    • December 7, 2015 / 10:11 am

      Sure! Shape the patties, but stop before step 4 in the recipe instructions and don’t sauté them. Freeze in a covered, airtight container to prevent freezer burn (and separate with squares of parchment to keep them from sticking together). When you’re ready to cook them up, thaw them completely, then sauté (step 4 in the recipe instructions) and serve. Enjoy 🙂

  17. December 3, 2015 / 9:57 am

    These fritters are fantastic!!
    I made them (OK – not exactly me, but my housekeeper, as I don’t cook, only bake), and we looooooove them.
    Very recommended 🙂

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