Zucchini Pancakes

When summer squash season arrives, I always feel like I’m eating my weight in it.  Probably because I am.  Pounds and pounds of the buttery yellow squash and zucchini fill my kitchen, waiting to be cooked or given away before my counters turn into a compost pit.  I hate to see food go to waste, so every meal that I steam up some veggies (meaning at least once a day), there’s sure to be some sliced squash thrown in the steamer basket too.  A little olive oil, S&P is all you need to make those slices taste like butter.  Mhmm.

The naturally buttery, not-so-overbearing flavor of squash makes the ingredient a well-suited base for a variety of other dishes too.  A childhood favorite of mine is zucchini pancakes.  Growing up, my third grandma, AKA my longtime babysitter, would always make zucchini pancakes from her garden-grown zucchini.  A little hesitant at first on how to feed two vegetarian kids, my brother and I certainly ate our share of this zucchini creation.  But I never seemed to get tired of the weekly meal. Especially when a little ketchup was involved.

I hadn’t had zucchini pancakes quite possibly since the last time my babysitter, Betty, made them for me. Inspired by the masses of zucchini growing in my garden, I decided to recreate Betty’s zucchini pancakes, adding just a few extra flavors to what I remembered of her pancakes.  It’s a pretty simple recipe and one that reminds me of wanting to eat these on a weekly basis again.  Although this time around, I’ll be swapping the ketchup for some salsa.

Zucchini Pancakes

(Serves 2, yielding about 6 pancakes total)

-2 cups grated zucchini (one medium-large zucchini)
-1 scant Tbsp. chopped parsley
-2 Tbsp. grated red onion
-1 egg, whisked
-1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs*
-1/4 tsp. salt
-Pepper, to taste
-Butter/olive oil

Preheat oven 200F.

Grate zucchini through largest hole on the grater.  Place in colander and squeeze as much water as possible out of the zucchini.  Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.  Add onion, parsley, whisked egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.

Heat non-stick skillet over medium-high.  Add Tbsp. butter/olive and heat just before smoking point.  Drop spoonful of pancake mix onto pan to form pancakes.  Flatten with spatula until they are about 1/4-inch thick.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until brown and crispy.

Keep pancakes warm in oven until all batter is cooked.

Serve with a side of salsa and dollop of yogurt/sour cream, if desired.

*Regular breadcrumbs would probably work just as well, considering their primary purpose isn’t to crisp up the cakes. I just happen to have a ton of panko around, so that’s what I’ve been experimenting with.

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    August 3, 2011 at 6:59 am

    I am addicted to zucchini lately, but of course I’ve done nothing incredibly unique with it. I just sautee it and put it in my lunches! This, however, sounds deeeelicious!

  • Reply
    smartfoodandfit
    August 3, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I’ll have to try your version of zucchini pancakes, Our zucchini have been growing well in our garden and love it!

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I made zucchini pancakes last week – so easy and uses up lots of zucchini!

    Love this recipe – I’ve been making Mark Bittmans.

  • Reply
    melindard
    August 4, 2011 at 10:06 am

    These look great. I love zucchini, so I bet I would really enjoy these. Hope all is well.

  • Reply
    Hannah (BitterSweet)
    August 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I love how these are almost entirely zucchini, and not mostly pancake with a bit of zucchini like so many other recipes. They’re really packed full of the green stuff. 🙂

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