Baked Zucchini Fritters

Garden still overflowing with zucchini? I’ve got your back with two suggestions: a) make these fabulous little baked-not-fried zucchini bites or b) pass some on to me; moving in the middle of summer means no overflowing garden in my backyard currently. I know a lot of people get sick of zucchini, but I could eat the stuff year round. It’s probably one of my favorite vegetables because it is so darn versatile. Me + Zucchini = Soulmates.

These cheesy zucchini bites are a healthier zucchini fritter without sacrificing any flavor. Since they are baked at a high temperature, you get the slightly crunchy edges with wonderfully soft, tender insides.

Baked Zucchini Fritters

My kids will tell you they were elevated to otherworldly heights when dipped in their favorite ranch dressing, and while I don’t necessarily disagree, they are pretty stellar on their own, too, and make a fabulous side dish for just about anything.

Last time we ate them, it was a super simple summer meal of zucchini bites, grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and watermelon. Perfection.

One Year Ago: Overnight Oatmeal Cinnamon Pancakes {Em’s Famous Recipe}
Two Years Ago: Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Chocolate Milk
Three Years Ago: Buttermilk Lime Shortbread Bars

Baked Cheesy Zucchini Bites

Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen zucchini bites

Baked Cheesy Zucchini Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups packed shredded zucchini (no need to peel the zucchini)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil (or 1-2 teaspoons fresh)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray or lightly grease an unlined baking sheet.
  2. Place the shredded zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and wring out all the excess water over the sink until the zucchini is really dry.
  3. Place the zucchini and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls on the prepared baking sheet and lightly press the mounds with your hands to flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 16-20 minutes until the edges are golden.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/baked-cheesy-zucchini-bites/
Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Skinnytaste (used more zucchini, omitted the onion, added basil and garlic, changed the type of bread crumbs, increased oven temp, etc.)

38 Responses to Baked Cheesy Zucchini Bites

  1. I don’t have a garden overflowing with zucchini either, but I will have to pick some up at the farmers’ market to try these! I love that you’ve added cheddar!

  2. Jen T says:

    If you lived closer I would love to share my zucchini horde with you! I love it too. It is awesome. These look great and will add them to my zucchini recipes. Thanks!

  3. Jackie says:

    I’ll share! After making a quadruple batch of your zucchini bread I still have 8 zucchinis sitting on my counter… and that’s not even counting the ones I’m sure are currently waiting for me in my garden

  4. Sara says:

    Can these be frozen (either before or after cooking)?

  5. Kim says:

    I make these all the time when I get a bumper crop from our CSA. I scoop them into a mini muffin tin sprayed with Pam. Then we dip them in sirracha mayo. They go great at potlucks.

  6. Annie says:

    Mel !!! Yum, yet again! Superstar :) Congrats on your move & hope all is well!
    Ok fellow gardeners! I had a lot of zukes this summer thanks to more than usual rain; but that also meant over-infestation of squash bugs! I tried really really really hard to go organic, but the bugs won the war. Any suggestions for next year??

  7. Jan C. says:

    Just shredded about 12 zucchini and will have to give this a try! Looks so yummy!

  8. Kimiko says:

    Yesssss! I love baked versions of normally fried things, and this looks absolutely delicious! Hope your move went well and are getting settled in to your new kitchen. :)

  9. Danya says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I have tons of zucchini that needs to be used! These look awesome!

  10. Dorothy Beall Griffin says:

    Mel, when I saw the headline Baked-cheesy-zucchini-bites, I thought since “great minds think alike,” that you were going to share one of MY zucchini favorites that my kids grew up with and still beg me to make when they come to visit (they are grown: Ryan, Melanie, and James, now 40, 35, 29 years old).
    It was so easy (best green vegetable stand-in) with few ingredients:
    Several Zucchini (small, preferably), sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick circles
    Shredded cheese (your choice – I like to use mild cheddar or monteray jack)
    Salt & pepper

    All you do is preheat the oven to 400
    Spray a small shallow pan with non-stick spray (I use a cake pan)
    Slice the zucchinis into circles
    Salt and pepper the zucchini circles
    Sprinkle the circles with cheese to cover each circle
    Bake about 10 minutes (we like ours crisp, not soft veggies)
    Yum!
    Yes, the kids used to scrape & eat the cheese off the zucchini circles and leave the zucchini behind when I first made this recipe (kids always like to outsmart the adults), but pretty soon they were eating the whole zucchini circle along with the cheese and acquiring a taste for a yummy vegetable that was (oh my gosh!) healthy for them. They still love my zucchini circles!

  11. Linda says:

    Mel, these look yummy! Do you serve them hot, cold, or both?

  12. Marilyn M says:

    Sounds yummy! Have got some zucchini in the fridge that would be perfect for this recipe!

  13. Leslie says:

    We are eating these right now for lunch — so yummy. I had a big bowl of shredded zucchini draining, ready to make zucchini fritters for lunch — saw your post — switched it up and I’m so glad. Baking is easier than frying — and these are great.

    I never hesitate to try one of your recipes — they are all so good. Your quinoa bites are a family favorite — now these join that recipe as quick and delicious.

    Oh — wondered when I was putting ingredients together if I needed salt. But I trusted your recipe and it was perfect.

    Thanks again.

  14. Leslie says:

    Oh no! I ran took a quick break to make the comment above, and when I got back ALL the zucchini cheesy bites were gone. Grandkids finished off the first batch while I was at the computer. LOL That’s a good testimony to the flavor. Now I need to shred and make more. So fun!

  15. These look divine! Can’t wait to give them a try! Hope the new move and family are adjusting well! :)

  16. Kim in MD says:

    Yum! Sadly, my MIL’s garden plants are no longer producing anything except grape tomatoes, but lucky for me I have a great farmstand a few miles from my home. I will pick up some zucchini so I can try these! I think yellow squash would work, too!

  17. LM says:

    Mel,I cannot wait till you have a cookbook.Once again another great recipe.I found it worked even though i had to tamper with it.I substituted potato flakes and used Parmesan.

  18. Oh, I think I could eat a hundred of these! YUM!

  19. heather says:

    Seriously? Making these tonight, they look SOOOO good! What a great, quick, easy recipe. Everything on hand.

  20. Julie says:

    These were very tasty! Even my kids said they weren’t “too bad” which, coming from them, is a compliment for any vegetable. Mine ended up being about 2 in. in diameter and must have been quite a bit larger than yours because I only could make 14 zucchini bites. Thanks for a fun new way for us to eat up our zucchini!

  21. Gillie says:

    Goodness, made them for lunch on Saturday for two friends, along with home made tomato soup…..delicious! Thanks, Mel!

  22. Jenny Z says:

    Thanks for another great recipe, Mel! I made these last night and my whole family ate them! We liked them with a little dollop of pasta sauce. My oldest said, “It kind of tastes like a little pizza.” – That is a big compliment from him! ;)

  23. Margo says:

    I stumbled upon your blog about a year ago and love it. My family has enjoyed many of your delicious recipes. This one required a special thanks, though. These were really yummy. But here is the best part. My nearly 5-year-old son has not consumed more than a few teeny nibbles of any vegetable in almost 3 years, but he LOVED these. I almost cried tears of joy as I watched him devour one after another, after another, after another. Unbelievable. Thank you so much! We will be making these again for sure!

  24. Leann says:

    Is the 1 1/2 cups of shredded zucchini before you wring out the excess water or after? It seems like it shrunk down considerably after l wrung the water out of it and I don’t think I ended up with more than a dozen bites. Thanks for all the great recipes I just seem to be missing something here.

    • Mel says:

      Leann – The 1 1/2 cups is before I shred it but it’s really packed into the measuring cup. You might try using a bit more, especially if you think the shredded zucchini wasn’t as packed into the cup as it could be. Hope that helps!

  25. Emily says:

    Zucchini + cheese = heaven…unless you read the recipe wrong! I don’t know what was going on in my brain but I put 1 1/2 cups of cheese in! Don’t get me wrong, it was still good but way too much cheese and way too greasy…probably not what you had in mind. I’ll just have to try it again! :)

  26. Liz says:

    I stumbled on your site thanks to a friend and this was the first of your recipes that I tried. My family – including a 4 & 7 year old – LOVED these! My kids finally ate zucchini and I’m thrilled to finally have another vegetable for them to eat. Thank you!!!

  27. Anissa says:

    Perfectly delicious! I loved them. And one of the three kids liked them. Success!

  28. Kris Jeffery says:

    Mel, I was introduced to your site last week and have tried 3 recipes so far (Cheesy Zucchini Bites, White Bean Chicken Chili -using zucchini to thicken, and Zucchini Bread). All 3 have been MAJOR hits with the whole clan (ages 3-18). Today I’m making Brookies. I am a huge “Taste of Home”(r) but have loved adding your amazing creativity into my culinary mix. Thank you so much for sharing!

  29. Erika says:

    Question on the breadcrumbs – could you use fresh or do you have to use panko or purchased crumbs. I have some stale bread in the freezer I could use for these. But not sure if that will throw off the recipe. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Erika – I haven’t used fresh breadcrumbs but I think it stands a good chance of working. If possible, try toasting the bread crumbs before using. If not, the mixture may end up a little gummy.

  30. Jocelyn says:

    I made these for dinner tonight, and they are very tasty! Thanks, Mel.

  31. Teresa says:

    These were just scrumptious. I did substitute dried dill weed as I was out of basil and I used up some swiss cheese that was in my fridge in lieu of the cheddar. I love how crispy the tops and edges were. We all devoured these in minutes. So easy to whip up and bake. Thank you for another delicious vegetable option.

  32. Michelle says:

    I just made these for dinner. AWESOME!!! I did change a couple things. I used Gluten free bread crumbs and shredded mozzarella because that’s what I had. Came out great.

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