Diethood » Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

These Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters are packed with quinoa and zucchini. One of my favorite summer zucchini recipes, these fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!

Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters | | Packed with Quinoa and Zucchini, these Fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!


Hey, pal! Happy Sunday!

Big things happened this past week. As I mentioned a few days ago, Goce and I celebrated 7 years of marriage – lucky man – and our oldest celebrated her 5th birthday!

If you were to see my house today, you’d think you got lost in Frozen-land. Today is her birthday party and I am Elsa’d out! AND, even though my daughter’s name is ANA, she wants nothing to do with “Frozen” Ana. It’s all about Elsa.

Obvi, the party is Frozen-themed, including an Elsa Cake that cost more than an arm, Oloff sugar cookies, and purple/blue/icy ice cream. Not sure I am ready to host a bunch of sugar-high 5-year olds, but the choice isn’t mine.

A few of my friends are also coming over – the plan is to hit-up the Cucumber Mojitos. How else do you get through a day filled with screaming kids?!

Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters | | Packed with Quinoa and Zucchini, these Fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!

As you may have noticed, I have been keeping it real and pretty simple in the kitchen, lately.  You know, trying to eat right, and all that.  I’m also trying to stay far away from Lasagna Dip (I heart that stuff *thiiiiiis* much!) and Chocolate Mousse Cake. I figure, coat-season will be back soon, and before you know it, I’ll be stuffing this face with all kinds of chocolaty, ooey gooey amazingness.

However, due to the abundance of vegetables provided to me by my parent’s enormous vegetable garden, it’s that much easier to eat good and eat right.

Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters | | Packed with Quinoa and Zucchini, these Fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!

Inspired by all the healthy-eatings, I decided to hook up with some zucchini and quinoa to make these zucchini fritters happen. Aaaand, because I can’t do a thing without cheese, or God forbid I leave out the garlic, I threw all of that together and made you these crazy delicious patties. Errr, fritters. Cakes??

The best part about this recipe is that you can make the quinoa mixture couple of days ahead, if you want to, and then fry ’em UP when you’re ready! You can have a couple cakes for a light lunch, or an entire batch for dinner… it’s up to you.

This is a quick and hearty summer lunch/dinner/snack/appetizer – enjoy it as you see fit. SO simple and delicious, it would be a shame not to give these fritters a try!

Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters | | Packed with Quinoa and Zucchini, these Fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!

Now I’m gonna go and tend to the screaming children. WEEEEELP!!!


Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters | | Packed with Quinoa and Zucchini, these Fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!

Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

Katerina | Diethood
These Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters are packed with quinoa and zucchini. One of my favorite summer zucchini recipes, these fritters are super delicious and very easy to make!
4.58 from 14 votes
Servings : 14
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins


  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2- teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2- cup quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2- teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup grated fresh parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Yogurt
  • Sour Cream
  • Soy Sauce


  • Place zucchini in a Colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Let stand 10 minutes then wring zucchini dry with paper towel.
  • In the meantime, prepare the quinoa.
  • Combine water and quinoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce quinoa to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, fluff with fork and let stand ten minutes.
  • Place zucchini in a large bowl.
  • Add quinoa, egg, garlic, oregano, fresh cheese, and panko crumbs.
  • Season with salt and pepper; mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet.
  • Shape zucchini-mixture into 2 to 3-inch patties.
  • Working in batches, add zucchini mixture into skillet, flattening slightly; cook until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes per side.
  • Transfer fritters to a paper towel–lined plate.
  • Serve with yogurt, or sour cream, soy sauce, etc...




Calories: 102 kcal | Carbohydrates: 8 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 5 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 16 mg | Sodium: 236 mg | Potassium: 102 mg | Fiber: 0 g | Sugar: 0 g | Vitamin A: 110 IU | Vitamin C: 3.4 mg | Calcium: 102 mg | Iron: 0.7 mg | Net Carbs: 8 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best zucchini recipes, easy zucchini recipes, zucchini dinner ideas, zucchini fritters
Did you make this recipe?Leave a Rating!


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71 comments on “Garlicky & Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters”

  1. So Yummmm! Made these once years ago and loved them, made them again tonight and my 19mo loved them as well!
    Didn’t measure the Parmesan, didn’t have panko so made my own breadcrumbs and added some bone broth to the quinoa for an extra nutrient boost!
    Need to double the batch next time because there wasn’t enough😋

  2. Easy healthy don’t add salt I did forgot the Parmesan is salty. I’m going to freeze half see how they do!!

  3. I made this recipe with friends that, I have to say, are hard to please, and everyone loved it!! I would say tho that you can take the excess of humidity out of the zucchini by squishing it inside a towel and it’s easier than using the paper towel and more effective. Otherwise it was great!

  4. Just make sure y’all wring the zucchini out after 10 minutes, and it’ll stick together. That’s where the water is coming from, so if you wring it out, it’ll be no problem.
    I like Kajsa’s idea of serving with dill and sour cream. That sounds good, too!

  5. These are wonderful! I used regular dry breadcrumbs, colby-jack cheese, 3 eggs, and za’atar and followed the cooking suggestions of Joanna above. Also fried in coconut oil. A little spiciness wouldn’t hurt these at all.

  6. Avatar photo
    Connie Greenwald

    Has anyone tried to bake these in a muffin pan? (Sorry if I missed this idea in the older posts).

  7. I was very excited to make these after reading all the fabulous reviews, but I was disappointed with the results. I think it is the cheese. The parmigiano-reggiano cheese has a very strong flavor, and it overwhelmed the fritters. They tasted somewhat bitter or sharp. Not a pleasant flavor. Maybe they are supposed to, or maybe I just don’t like that type of cheese (I bought a chunk from the store and grated it myself at home). Has anyone tried a different type of cheese (more mild perhaps) and gotten good results? I really want to make these again as I have a vegetarian daughter and my husband eats more low-carb for his diabetes. This recipe hits both requirements. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. I make them with shredded mozzarella. We LOVE them. My 11 year old takes them to school in her lunch.

    2. Skip the Origano perhaps replace with springs onions (Scallions) and use any cheese or combination of cheeses adding Ricotta even works. This a great recipe love the Quinoa.

    3. So leave the cheese out I did and they were delicious. Or if you prefer you could substitute another kind of cheese. They are really good and I have the same dietary situation in my home

    4. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (and most European aged cheeses) are probably too strongly flavored for most American palates in a cooked dish, because people are used to much blander, less aged and highly processed white (or artificially colored yellow/orange) cheeses. You can substitute the cheese for a blander, cheaper supermarket choice though because it’s there mostly as a binder and for flavor when fried. Personally, I loved the choice of the strong Italian cheese (even standard supermarket Parmesan works well too, though cheaper and milder). Without the flavorful cheese, this recipe tastes like Chicken McNuggets IMHO, and not worth the effort: you can go to a fast-food joint for that kind of food, hardly worth making at home!

  8. Awesome recipe!! Definitely adding this one to the list of things to try!!! Looks amazing and I know that our kids will love it!!

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. What a beautiful recipe! Straight from the stove top they were gorgeous, crispy and cheesy, and cold the next day in a simple salad had all the hallmarks of yummy leftover rissoles. I loved the pop of the quinoa, even my partner who turned his nose up initally devoured a couple more before I had the chance to get the leftovers into the fridge! Will definitely make these again.

  10. Avatar photo
    Elizabeth Cariseo

    i haven’t tried making these yet but im curious: has anyone tried baking them in the oven vs. pan frying them for an even more healthier option…?

    1. Yep! I tried frying these and they totally fell apart. It was way too much work shaping them… very wet and messy in the hand. And scooping them is not an elegant option either. So yes, I filled my [sort of like a] cupcake pan, which has push-up bottoms for easy removal. And I baked the fritter cakes for a minimum of 45 minutes in a hot (around 225–250°C) oven. But I’ll confess…I more than doubled the amount of quinoa and didn’t use so much zucchini, as it is made almost entirely of water. Added an extra egg, a small white sweet potato (instead of Panko) as well as some baking powder. And they puffed right up. No grease either.

  11. I made these for dinner tonight and considering it’s at the least the third time I’ve made these I figured it was time to leave a comment. These are SO delicious. I love them, my 19 month old loves them, and even my anti-Meatless Monday husband loves them. Tonight I used red quinoa and a mixture of shredded zucchini and carrot. I used two eggs to get the mixture sticky enough to stay together. I saw some people struggling with the mixture falling apart so perhaps another egg is necessary. I also make sure to let the oil get nice and hot over medium heat. While the oil is heating I form all the patties and line them on a piece of wax paper, wetting my hands after every 2-3 patties to help them stick together and not to my hands. I cook the patties 5 minutes each side, only flipping once. A really nice crust forms on the outside if you don’t mess with them in the pan. I’ve never had issues with them falling apart this way. Hope this helps someone else! Great recipe 🙂

  12. Dear Katerina,
    I thought perhaps you’d like to know that your fritters have found their way to Sweden and become a firm favourite too. I can only agree with previous comments; my mouth wants more long after my stomach is full!
    My suggestion ty anyone who’s having problems with the fritters falling apart is:
    1: take desired amount of the mix in your hand and give it a good squeeze. Even if it seems dry in the mixing bowl itwill come together beautifully this way.
    2: Finish shaping the frtiier in your hand – don’t press down on it once it’s in the pan.
    Occasionally I’ll use fresh dill instead of oregano and serve these with greek yoghurt flavoured with dill and lemon juice. Not bad either.
    Thanks from a happy Swede. 🙂

  13. Avatar photo

    Looks completely delicious!. Such a great way to use all up all those summer zucchini. I’ll be making these this week. Great recipe. Thanks Katerina.

  14. hi…just tried this recipe…was very skeptical at the taste and how they would stay together….but I was pleasantly surprised….they have a great taste and even my husband liked them…made them gluten free and they came out great…thanks

  15. I made these last night with the broccoli & cheese casserole & although I LOVED them, they didn’t hold together very well. The only thing I can assume is that I didn’t soak up enough of the water? But I was constantly adding olive oil & most of them just fell apart 🙁 they got devoured even with not looking pretty! Haha. Any suggestions on how to keep them together better?

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Chelsea!! Seems like both recipes didn’t work out for you. 🙁 I’m so sorry! The only thing I can think of here is that the zucchini either wasn’t dry enough or maybe there were too many dry ingredients and not enough egg? I’m just guessing. They should hold up like a meatball when you shape them.
      Don’t give up on them, though! They’re so good! 😀

      1. I know, what a bummer! I followed the recipe to a T but the only thing I can think of is I didn’t drain enough of the water from the zucchini… Do you have a good way to make sure it’s really dry? I used soooo many paper towels & it was like the water wasn’t giving up! They still turned out super good, just some of them were ugly. Hahahaha I would try to form them & it was like they were falling apart… 🙁

        1. Katerina - Diethood
          Katerina Petrovska

          Hi Chelsea!! Ugly, but delicious. I can live with that! 😉
          My tip would be to salt the shredded zucchini and let it drain for about 20 to 30 minutes. Use kosher salt, if you have it. You can then pat it dry before cooking, but don’t use salt while cooking the zucchini in case it’s too much. Taste as you go would be best in this case.

          1. Avatar photo
            Mike Zaleski

            Here is a tip for getting the zucchini drier than a drain and wring. You can use one or both methods combined. Take single layer of cheesecloth and lay it over a cooling rack. Place it in a sheet pan then place your salted zucchini on top and let it drain for 20 or 30 minutes. The second is to grate, salt, and rest your zucchini then place it in a salad spinner. Either method is superior for removing moisture that a rest and wring. Hope that it helps!

    1. I agree – you should post calorie content per serving size after all the title of your webpage “diethood” implies that these recipes are low in calories. They all seem delicious by your photos but are they?

    2. I have also used a potato ricer when I want to get maximum water out. Use it for frozen spinach, too. Works great, if somewhat messy.

  16. This might be a silly question but I’m new to cooking with quinoa. Do I need to cook the actual quinoa before adding it to the other ingredients? Or do I leave it in its raw state and just add it straight from the box? TIA

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Holly!! Not silly at all! Quinoa is still fairly new to many, and for this recipe you first have to prepare the quinoa. All you have to do is combine water and quinoa in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat down to a simmer; cover and cook the quinoa for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork and let stand ten minutes to cool down. These steps are also listed in the recipe box under steps 4 through 6. Let me know if you have any more questions – I’m always happy to help!! Have a great day!

  17. Avatar photo
    Kat - The Organised Housewife

    Oh my goodness, these look delicious!! I love Quinoa. Looking forward to trying these.

  18. I’ve been trying to find recipes with veggies that I can make ahead and have my hubby feed to our daughter, these look like they’ll work great!

  19. WOAH I just made these and they are sooooo delicious! Im so full ugh but I want more but I can’t eat anymore! The struggle!

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      HAHA :))) That’s me, all the time, with all THE FOOD! 😀 Can’t stop eating! haha
      So happy to know that you loved ’em!! Thank YOU!!

  20. I made these last night for dinner and they were fantastic! My 6y.o. liked them too ( and she is a picky eater). Success! this recipe is a keeper! Thank you Katerina!

  21. Hi Katerina!
    This recipe looks amazing and the pictures are awesome. I am trying to make it a little more healthier (even though it already is). Can you think about a low-cal alternative for the cheese and the panko? Do you think I can still cook them without those ingredients?

    Thanks so much for all your recipes!

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi, Gonzalo!

      Considering that the mixture is a bit sticky due to the moisture of the quinoa, you can certainly try to make these without the crumbs. The cheese adds a lot of flavor to the fritters, but if you don’t mind that, either choose a low-cal sharp cheese or just leave it out and add some fresh herbs to kick up the flavor. I’d go with more oregano or even thyme. Let me know how they turned out!

      1. I use almond meal as a substitute for bread crumbs in meatballs so I would imagine it would work here as well. The cheese is hard to substitute because of the great flavor it would add.

  22. Made these tonight – so good! We treated them like meatballs and served with marinara sauce.

    Do you think baking them would work? Maybe on a wire rack so they crisp up a bit?

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Jill!!

      Oh I am so happy you enjoyed them!! Between these fritters and my zucchini brownies, I am running out of zucchini! 😀
      To answer your question; I have made these in the oven and they were good. I also think your wire rack idea might be better than mine. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and just placed the fritters on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. 10 minutes on one side, flipped them for another 10 minutes on the other and they were great! Hope that helps!

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Jen!

      Yes, they absolutely do, as long as they’re uncooked. You can also leave the mixture in the fridge for a few days before you are ready to use it. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes. Enjoy your day!!

  23. Avatar photo
    Bri | Bites of Bri

    We made these tonight and they were AWESOME! Seriously…so good! I was too full to eat more but I still wanted more after eating so many. Can’t wait for the leftovers 🙂

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      That is so cool!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed them! They seriously are to die for, right?! 😉 Thank you!

  24. Love it! Thank you for sharing. Question, do you think couscous would work in this reciepe instead if quinoa? Always enjoy reading your blog. God bless, Dina

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Dina!! Thanks SO MUCH for the kind words!! I would definitely use couscous instead of quinoa, but you might need to add about a 1/4-cup more to get the right consistency. Let me know how they turn out!

  25. Avatar photo
    Bri | Bites of Bri

    Katerina, these look outstanding and are perfect for all the zucchini we have! Great photos. Good luck with the kiddos. 🙂

  26. Your fritters looks amazingly tasty for being full of veggies and healthy grains. 🙂

    Best of luck with the Frozen themed b-day party. Easy on those mojitos.

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