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Zucchini fritti (which means “fried zucchini” in Italian) is one of the most commonplace and popular appetizers in Italy for a very good reason. The simplicity of these matchstick pieces of zucchini dipped in an easy batter and quickly fried is completely irresistible. And they come together so quickly and fry up in minutes. Make more than you think you need — they go fast!

You might think of pairing a sauce with these, such as remoulade, tartar sauce, herbed mayonnaise, or the classic option: marinara.

My sister and her family love the restaurant Maggiano’s, and they never visit without ordering and inhaling an order of fried zucchini. I can’t wait to make this for them and see how mine stack up!

Dipping zucchini fritti in marinara alongside glass of wine.

Crispy and hard to stop eating, these little fried sticks of zucchini are best enjoyed hot right from the stove, and the perfect thing to nibble with cocktails before dinner. Enjoy them on their own, or pair with a dipping sauce!

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There are a number of ways to make crispy fried zucchini, ranging from fritters (where the zucchini is shredded) to rounds to fritti, which are little sticks or batons. You can cut the zucchini the day before to make this dish come together even more quickly. 

FAQs

What does zucchini fritti mean?

Zucchini fritti, or courgette fritti, means “fried zucchini” in Italian.

Why is my fried zucchini soggy?

Your oil might not have been hot enough when you fried them, or you might not have fried them for long enough. Make sure your oil is at 375 degrees and that you allow the zucchini to get nicely browned. Allow the batter to sit before dipping the zucchini. Also, you need to serve and eat fried zucchini fairly shortly after cooking it, especially if it is a warm day.

Is fried zucchini healthy?

Um, not all that much. The zucchini part is healthy, but anything fried in oil becomes a bit less healthy. If you are looking for a healthier “fried” zucchini recipe, try these Baked Zucchini Chips.

What is fried zucchini made of?

Zucchini fritti is made of zucchini, flour, beer, and salt and fried in vegetable oil.

Ingredients

  • Flour – All-purpose flour is fine here.
  • Zucchini – A great way to make use of all of that surplus zucchini at the end of the summer.
  • Beer – The beer adds a delicate hoppy flavor to the batter and allows the zucchini to crisp and puff up beautifully. Pick a favorite beer, but not a particularly intense one.
  • Vegetable oil – Any neutrally flavored oil works here.
  • Lemon wedges – A squeeze of lemon makes these fritti sing.
  • Marinara sauce – This is optional but the most common dipping sauce. Storebought is fine, or make your own marinara sauce!
Fresh zucchini, lemon, beer, and other ingredients for zucchini fries.

How to Make Zucchini Fritti

  1. Make the beer batter: In a mixing bowl, whisk together equal parts flour and beer. Let the batter stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Cut the zucchini. You want into sticks about ½-inch thick and 2 inches long. 
  3. Set up the frying station: Heat oil in a large deep skillet to 375 degrees. Line a clean surface or plate with paper towels.
  4. Batter the zucchini: Add a handful of zucchini sticks to the seasoned flour, and toss to coat. Shake off any excess. Dip the floured zucchini in the batter, then remove and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
Woman dipping zucchini sticks in bowl of beer and flour batter.
  1. Fry the zucchini: Fry until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to move and flip the zucchini around in the oil so they brown evenly. 
Frying battered zucchini sticks in hot oil.
  1. Let dry and season: Transfer the fried zucchini to the paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. 
Transferring fried battered zucchini to towel-lined plate to dry.
  1. Serve: Repeat with the rest of the zucchini in batches, and serve hot with lemon wedges. Make sure the oil comes back to the right temperature after each batch. 
Wood serving tray with zucchini fries, lemon wedges, and marinara sauce.

Tips

  • If you don’t have a frying or candy thermometer, you can test fry one piece of zucchini in the oil to see if the oil has reached the proper temperature.
  • This frying method involves dipping the zucchini into flour and then into a flour and beer batter. The first dusting of flour allows the batter to adhere to the zucchini better. 
  • Use a slotted spoon to move and flip the zucchini around in the oil so they brown evenly. 
  • Allow the batter to sit for a bit to allow the flour to better absorb the beer, which will allow the batter to thicken. This will then form a crunchy crust when the zucchini is fried.
  • Salt the zucchini as soon as you transfer it to the paper towel-lined plate. The salt will stick to the hot zucchini very well, and they will be perfectly seasoned.

How to Serve Fried Zucchini

You can serve the zucchini just as is with a sprinkle of salt and some lemon wedges, and it will be magical. The zucchini fritti are best served hot, though not right out of the pan — let them sit for a minute or two so no one burns their mouth! It’s simply impossible to resist fresh crispy zucchini. Ask the people who burned their mouths on the fritti in these photos!

You can also serve the fritti at room temperature but know that they will start to become a big soggy after they sit out for over half an hour or so.

Freshly fried zucchini fritti with side of marinara and lemon wedges on wood tray.

What to Serve With Fried Zucchini

Tartar Sauce

Remoulade Sauce

Herbed Mayonnaise

More Zucchini Recipes

Also see, How to Cook Zucchini and Summer Squash and How to Cook Zucchini and Summer Squash Blossoms.

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Zucchini Fritti

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 People
Crispy and hard to stop eating, these little fried sticks of zucchini are best enjoyed hot right from the stove, and the perfect thing to nibble with cocktails before dinner. Enjoy on their own, or pair with a dipping sauce!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 cup beer (plus more as needed)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper (plus more if desired)
  • Lemon wedges to serve
  • Marinara Sauce (optional, or choose another dipping sauce, see Note)

Instructions 

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour and 1 cup of beer. Let the batter stand at room temperature for 1 hour, which allows the flour to absorb the beer. The batter will thicken upon sitting.
  • Meanwhile, cut the zucchini into sticks about ½-inch thick and 2 inches long. You can do this by first slicing the zucchini lengthwise into ½-inch thick planks, then slicing those into 2-inch pieces.
  • Heat 2 inches of oil in a large deep skillet to 375 F. If you don’t have a frying or candy thermometer, you can test-fry one piece of zucchini in the oil to see if the oil has reached the proper temperature. Line a clean surface or plate with paper towels.
  • If the batter seems too thick, add additional beer, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Place the remaining 1 cup flour in a wide shallow bowl, and stir in 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.  Add a handful of zucchini sticks to the flour, and toss to coat. Shake off any excess flour or place the floured zucchini in a strainer and shake to remove any excess flour. Dip the floured zucchini in the batter, then remove and let the excess drip back into the bowl.
  • Transfer the battered zucchini to the pan and fry until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to move and flip the zucchini around in the oil so they brown evenly. Transfer the fried zucchini to the paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.  Repeat with the rest of the zucchini in batches.  Make sure the oil comes back to the right temperature after each batch.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges and/or marinara sauce if desired.

Notes

  • For a dipping sauce try: remoulade, tartar sauce, herbed mayonnaise, or the classic option: marinara.
  • If you don’t have a frying or candy thermometer, you can test fry one piece of zucchini in the oil to see if the oil has reached the proper temperature.
  • Allow the batter to sit for a bit to allow the flour to better absorb the beer, which will allow the batter to thicken. This will then form a crunchy crust when the zucchini is fried.
  • This frying method involves dipping the zucchini into flour and then into a flour and beer batter. The first dusting of flour allows the batter to adhere to the zucchini better. 
  • Use a slotted spoon to move and flip the zucchini around in the oil so they brown evenly. 
  • Salt the zucchini as soon as you transfer it to the paper towel-lined plate. The salt will stick to the hot zucchini very well, and they will be perfectly seasoned.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g, Sodium: 293mg, Potassium: 43mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Calcium: 7mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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