Baked kolokithokeftedes with feta, or Greek zucchini fritters, are a traditional meze. They are made with loads of grated zucchini, crumbled Greek feta and a few more simple ingredients like oil, breadcrumbs and simple seasonings. You will be amazed by how easy they are, and how light!
I make these baked zucchini fritters with feta weekly, especially during the summer. When you have a lot of zucchini, this are an amazing recipe to try. You will definitely enjoy that these baked kolokithokeftedes, especially if you are looking for lighter recipes.
The word kolokithokeftedes translates to zucchini meatballs and this recipe incorporates some of the most flavourful ingredients possible. The Greek diet consists of many fritters and what are called pseftokeftedes (fake meatballs) that are made of vegetables. Examples of these include tomato fritters and chickpea fritters.
Our parents are avid gardeners, and they grow so much zucchini! Fortunately, Greeks love cooking with this summer squash and it is used in a variety of recipes, including stuffing them when making yemista, making a simple steamed zucchini salad called kolokithosalata, and including them in with the stewed green beans and potatoes.
One of my favourite go-to recipes is this one. You will definitely love it as much as I do!
Why this recipe works
You are going to absolutely love how easy these baked zucchini fritters with feta are. They require only a few ingredients, nothing fancy, and they come together rather quickly.
We love that there is A LOT of zucchini in this recipe! If you have lots of summer squash at home and are afraid that it might go to waste, then you should definitely make this recipe. You will use 3 large or 6 medium zucchini to make approximately 24 fritters.
These fritters can also be made ahead. Sometimes I prepare them right up until baking, and then pop them into the oven to cook.
Key ingredients for traditional Greek kolokithokeftedes
Zucchini – The star of this recipe is of course the zucchini. I use fresh, garden grown green zucchini whenever possible. If you are picking your zucchini up at the grocery store or market be sure to wash it well as you will be grating it with the peel on.
Breadcrumbs – Plain breadcrumbs act as the filler in this recipe, and they also help absorb any liquid that may remain after squeezing the water out of the zucchini. Breadcrumbs add a nice subtle crunch to the fritters.
Eggs – These help bind the filling together so that the fritters retain their shape and do not break apart when you are eating them.
Feta – Using Greek feta, which is made with sheep milk (or a combination of sheep and goat milk), is key to making these baked zucchini fritters really something special.
If you don’t have the exact ingredients listed in the recipe, don’t fret. There are some easy substitutions that you can make so that you can still enjoy baked zucchini fritters.
You can use yellow summer squash if you prefer, or even a combination of green and yellow zucchini. The flavour is very similar, and they can be used interchangeably.
If you don’t have feta cheese (or if you do not like it!) then you can use another cheese, preferably a Greek one. Grated halloumi, finely chopped kefalotyri or graviera would work well. In a pinch, if you would rather not use Greek cheese, you can use crumbled goat cheese or even grated cheddar.
If you do not have plain breadcrumbs you can use all-purpose flour in its place.
We use vegetable oil in these baked fritters because it is a light flavour. You can certainly use the same amount of olive oil however, or even melted coconut oil or butter.
How to make
Making these baked zucchini fritters does not need to be stressful. You will see how easy and straightforward this recipe is!
- Wash and dry your zucchini.
- Crumble your feta in a small bowl and set aside.
- Lightly beat your eggs in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
Grate your zucchini into a large bowl. Add salt and mix it around with your hands, squeezing the zucchini to begin releasing some of the water.
Use a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel to squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can from your grated zucchini. Transfer drained zucchini to a large bowl and discard the liquid.
To the zucchini add the eggs, crumbled feta, vegetable oil, breadcrumbs, remaining salt, and black pepper, vegetable oil. The mixture should be wet, but it should retain its shape when you shape your fritters. If they do not hold together add more breadcrumbs (or flour).
Shape your kolokithokeftedes. Take 1 tablespoon of mixture in your hands, make a ball and place it on the parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten with your hands until the fritter is about 1/3 inch thick.
Bake your kolokithokeftedes on the lower rack of your oven for 45 – 60 minutes until they are golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring off of the baking tray.
Making baked zucchini fritters with feta is really easy, but there are some things to keep in mind.
Drain your zucchini very well
You need to be really careful about removing as much of the water as you can from your grated zucchini. If you don’t do that then you will end up with a soggy mixture that will not retain its shape. The salt that you add to the grated zucchini initially really helps to draw out some of the liquid. When you are squeezing your zucchini with a cheesecloth be sure to do that really well. When I have time I like to let my grated zucchini sit for a while after I have squeezed the liquid out, and then I do it again. I usually always have more liquid that can be removed.
Allow the fritters to cool before handling them
These fritters will easily fall apart if you try to remove them from the baking sheet as soon as they come out of the oven. Allow them to cool for at least 5 minutes, and then transfer the to either a cooling rack or a platter.
If you want to elevate your zucchini fritters you can consider doing the following variations!
Our simple zucchini fritter recipe does not contain any herbs, but you can certainly add some fresh parsley, fresh dill or even fresh mint. I would suggest that you add up to 1/4 cup of fresh herbs.
Add some citrus
The grated zest and the juice of one lemon would make a bright and delicious addition to these zucchini fritters. Lemon does a lot to bring out the flavour of the zucchini and feta.
What to serve with
Honestly, these baked zucchini fritters are so good that you can certainly snack on them on their own. Otherwise, here are some great things you can serve them with.
This classic Greek yogourt based dip is absolutely amazing when served with zucchini fritters. Serve a bowl of tzatziki along with your zucchini fritters for dipping! So good.
If you want to serve something spicy along with your baked zucchini fritters, consider making the amazing spicy feta dip called tyrokafteri. I love how easy it is to make this dip, and how you can choose to make it spicier or milder, according to your taste!
Frequently asked questions
Why are my baked zucchini fritters falling apart?
If there is too much liquid in your zucchini mixture then they may fall apart after baking. Be sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible our of your zucchini before mixing all of your other ingredients together.
Can I fry these zucchini fritters with feta?
You can! Coat the bottom of your pan with oil to cover and fry your fritters over medium high heat. Turn carefully and remove when both sides are golden brown and the fritters are cooked through. This should take 3 – 5 minutes per side.
Storing and Reheating
If you have leftover zucchini fritters, or if you are making them in advance, here are some tips for storing and reheating.
Fridge – Keep your baked zucchini fritters in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezer – You can freeze your baked zucchini fritters. Freeze them on a baking tray and store in a freezer safe bag.
Reheating – There are many ways to reheat your zucchini fritters. I don’t recommend the microwave because that will result in soggy zucchini fritters. Instead, reheat them in an oven set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 10 minutes until heated through. An air fryer also works well, as does reheating them on a dry non-stick frying pan.
Related zucchini recipes
If you are looking for more great zucchini recipes, I think you should definitely check these out!
Zucchini pasta sauce is a slow cooked sauce where the zucchini breaks down to a creamy sauce. So simple, and absolutely delicious served over your favourite pasta.
For easy breakfasts on the go, give these Egg zucchini muffins a try. They are a hit with everyone who tries them!
If you want to serve something fancy to your friends and family, consider this crustless Greek zucchini tart. This tart looks like it takes more effort than it actually does! So easy and so worth it!
This recipe will make 24 baked zucchini fritters with feta. You can easily double or half the recipe.
Each person can be served 4 – 6 zucchini fritters, depending on what else is being served, and how hungry they are!
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Baked kolokithokeftedes with feta (Greek zucchini fritters)
- 3 large (or 6 medium) zucchini
- 2 tsps salt, divided
- 2 eggs large
- 1 cup grated feta
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs plain
- 1/4 cup flour or breadcrumbs if needed
- Preheat oven to 350 °F
- Grate your 3 large (or 6 medium) zucchini (unpeeled) and place in a large bowl.
- Add 1 ½ teaspoons salt to your zucchini and mix well using your hands. Squeeze the zucchini with your hands as you are mixing in the salt to help release the water.
- Use your cheesecloth (or a clean kitchen towel) to squeeze out as much water as you can from the zucchini. Transfer the drained zucchini to another large bowl. You should end up with approximately 5 cups of drained, shredded zucchini.
- To your zucchini add the 2 eggs, the 1 cup grated feta, the 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix to combine.
- Start shaping the fritters. Take a heaping tablespoon at a time and shape into a flat circle about 1/3 inch thick. The kolokithokeftedes should hold its shape, but it will be wet. If they are too wet and do not hold their shape, add some flour or more breadcrumbs, a little at a time. You may use up to 1/4 cup flour or breadcrumbs.
- Place your fritters on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake on bottom rack of your oven until they brown on top and bottom, making sure that they don't burn. This should take between 45-60 minutes.
- Allow the fritters to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray before transferring them to a cooling rack or plate. Enjoy!