Greek Zucchini Fritters with Feta and Herbs – Kolokithokeftedes

These unbelievable delicious traditional Greek zucchini fritters are made with plenty of herbs and feta and are so easy to make.

Greek zucchini patties with feta

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables, and that is probably not a popular choice, I know. But, hold on, in Greek cuisine they are somehow transformed from a watery tasteless vegetable to a delicious meal or appetizer. The secret lies in the ingredients and the method of cooking: roasting with tomato like they do in Crete, or in the famous Briami where they are roasted in olive oil along with potatoes, eggplant and tomatoes, with phyllo in a delicious zucchini pie and of course fried. I find that for an appetizer zucchini is best fried. Of the most popular appetizers ordered among Greeks are fried zucchini chips (tiganita kolokithakia) and zucchini fritters (kolokithokeftedes).

Greek Zucchini Fritter Ingredients

A Word About Frying

Frying is often looked down upon. Certain fried foods have been linked with heart disease and diabetes. Pan frying is pretty common in the Mediterranean, some reasons for this include: abundance of olive oil, flavor, ease (quick cooking process) and the fact that many homes did not have ovens and stovetop cooking was the main type of cooking.

There are 3 factors we need to take into account when it comes to assessing how healthy or unhealthy is a fried food:

1. Deep- Fried versus Pan-fried: Pan-fried is healthier because it uses less oil and reaches a lower temperature.

2. Type of Oil: The typical seed oils often used in frying because of their lower price and ability to be used over and over again are the unhealthiest as they contain higher omega-6 levels which are associated with inflammation. Olive oil on the other hand is rich in monounsaturated fats and more importantly high in antioxidants which resists oxidation at high heat. In addition, studies have shown that when vegetables are fried in olive oil they actually absorb some of the antioxidants in the olive oil.

3. Type of Food: Obviously breaded chicken nuggets, jalapeno poppers and the like are unhealthier than fried zucchini or eggplant.

Finally, I would like to mention a study that can clarify this even more. A large study that included 40000 Spaniards, found that there was no association between eating fried food and coronary heart disease, as long as the food was fried in olive oil, the olive oil had not been re-used and the participants were following a Mediterranean diet. Under those circumstances frying can be an occasional part of a healthy Mediterranean Diet. Now back to those zucchini fritters…

Greek zucchini patties with feta and herbs

So, I know that many of you avoid frying, and while I do not fry all that often, there are certain foods that are so much better fried, and these Greek zucchini patties are one of them. For the record, I did also bake a batch, but it truly did not compare to the fried version. For frying I did flatten the fritters so that I did not need to use that much olive oil. I also put them on paper towels to absorb any oil.

Apart from the frying, the ingredients here are mostly vegetables and plenty of herbs (oregano, parsley, dill and mint). The herbs make all the difference taste-wise, they impart a lot of flavor. I only used a bit of feta, and you can omit it as well.

These are great as appetizers served with tzatziki or plain Greek yogurt, but they can also be served with a large leafy salad or a Greek salad for a complete meal. Once the cool, they will get soft, so best to eat them right away, although I happily will eat them cold too.

Best Mediterranean Diet cookbook for beginners

Greek Zucchini Patties with Feta and Herbs – Kolokithokeftedes

Greek zucchini patties with feta and herbs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Crispy traditional Greek zucchini patties with feta and herbs.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: zucchini fritters
Servings: 20 Patties
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 1/2 pound about 700 grams zucchini washed (not peeled)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 ounces 90-110 grams grams)crumbled feta
  • 1 large onion finely chopped I passed it through the food processor
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour + more for coating
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ground pepper
  • Olive oil for frying


  • Grate the zucchini, place in a colander and lightly salt. Let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes have passed, squeeze (with your hands) as much water you can out of the zucchini.
  • In a large bowl mix the zucchini, feta , onion, parsley, mint, dill, oregano and 2 lightly beaten eggs.
  • Sprinkle over the bread crumbs and mix.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder in a small bowl and sprinkle about half the amount over the zucchini mixture and mix. Keep adding until you have a thickish batter, you don’t want it to be watery.


  • Take a medium sized pan and add enough olive oil so it is about 1/3 of an inch high. Heat the oil at medium-high heat. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and dip it in flour (it does not need to be completely coated) and place that in the pan. Do this for as many fritters you can fit in the pan. Flatten with a spatula (not too much though, these are not meant to be thin like pancakes). Fry about 2 minutes, then flip and fry for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Place on paper towels to absorb any oil and serve with a bit of lemon and Greek yogurt or tzatziki.


* If you do not have fresh herbs you can use 1/2 the amount of dry herbs.
Nutrition Facts
Greek Zucchini Patties with Feta and Herbs – Kolokithokeftedes
Serving Size
3 g
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet



Olive oil stability under deep-frying conditions. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Oct;48(10):2972-9.

Consumption of fried foods and risk of coronary heart disease: Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. BMJ 2012;344:e363

Photos by Elena Paravantes All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Cheri September 30, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    I don’t think I wrung out the zucchini enough… my dough was still wet after adding 2 cups of flour.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN October 1, 2020 at 5:57 am

      Hi Cheri, Another way to squeeze out the water from the zucchini is by placing it in the center of a dish towel , gathering all the corners to together and twisting it. That will get rid of a lot the water.

  • Reply Konstantina July 18, 2020 at 3:34 am

    Elena, have been making these since my 1st trip to Crete. Through the years I found easier way to drain the grates zucchini. Place a large light weight towel over a bowl and grate zucchini into towel. Sprinkle with salt and wait 10 minutes then wring towel as hard as you can while squeezing the bottom. Yo get tons of water out much easier. Have been a fan of your recipes and just started to compliment your dishes…love em all!!!! Need you to write a cookbook to sell here in USA. You have an extensive following.5 stars

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN July 18, 2020 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you for sharing Konstantina!! Yes, a book is coming later this year. I will have more info sooon.

  • Reply Lynne April 29, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Hi Elena, can’t wait to make these! Could you please translate cups into grams, as I know the conversion depends on the ingredient! Many thanks!

  • Reply Lala November 5, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I am excited to try these – and would love to make for thanksgiving, but I’m wondering if they can be made ahead of time and then warmed in the oven before serving? Thank you ahead of time for what I know will be a recipe I love!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 6, 2019 at 6:15 am

      Hi Lala, if you make them ahead of time they will not be crunchy but soft, these are best served right after frying.

  • Reply Stacy September 13, 2019 at 4:12 am

    About how many cups grated would you get from a 1 1/2 pound zucchini? I just froze a bunch that I grated to use! Thx

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 23, 2019 at 7:11 am

      Hi Stacy, I would just weigh out 1 1/2 pound to use in the recipe.

  • Reply Judith Sasaridis August 11, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Kalimera, Elena! Will try these tonight! I am also searching for a US source of kritamo…aka rock samphire or sea fennel. Can you recommend any? We have fallen in love with it here in Halkidiki this summer. Ευχαριστώ!

  • Reply Judy Hiester August 9, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    What is nutrition content of this and other recipes?

  • Reply Maria A August 3, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    I just made these-I opted for this recipe above about ten others -I felt like it seemed the most authentic.

    They came out AMAZING!!
    I made with tzaziki and served with lemon wedges-I feel like I could be back in Athens-in Piraeus-sitting in a cafe by by the sea.
    I used fresh Greek oregano instead of dry bc I have it growing in abundance in my herb garden right now. Other than that I made it exactly as the recipe states. They look just like the picture too!:)

    Thank you SO much for your incredible Greek recipes!

  • Reply Wendy June 23, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I made these last night and they were amazing! They turned out beautifully crisp on the outside and light and airy on the inside. I served them with your tzatziki, and my boyfriend who claims to dislike zucchini and yogurt, loved everything. While this is my first time posting, it not my first time cooking from your blog. Your Gemista recipe, particularly made with tomatoes is one of my favorite all time meals. I cook it on my Big Green Egg and the dish takes on a slightly smokey flavor that is quite good. I also love your spinach rice, and enjoy the leftovers pan fried in olive oil and topped with a fried egg for breakfast. Thank you for creating such a wonderful resource that not only has put great meals on my table but has inspired healthier eating habits!

  • Reply Bill Stoves June 23, 2019 at 9:07 am

    I baked these in the oven for about 35 minutes. Just brush them with olive oil first.

  • Reply Christine June 14, 2019 at 4:55 am

    I had a big bunch of parsley to use up so increased the parsley significantly. They were delicious! I served them as part of a Greek spread including purslane salad and gigande beans baked with lots of tomato. Even the carnivores were satisfied.

  • Reply Kari June 1, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Hi, Elena! This looks delicious! Any suggestions on using an air fryer to make these?
    Thank you!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN June 4, 2019 at 5:06 am

      Hi Kari, I have not tried them with an air fryer, may have a different texture.

  • Reply Elizabeth Frazier June 1, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Are all the spices dried or fresh?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN June 1, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Hi Elizabeth, great question, all the herbs are fresh except the oregano. Will clarify in the ingredients.

  • Reply Geralyn May 31, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Hi Elena,
    I to am a zucchini fan. I have it at least twice a week. I love this recipe. Now I will have zucchini at least three times a week. Thank you so much I love Olive -tomato.

  • Reply Karen May 31, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Oh yum. Is that a tablespoon of dried oregano? I can’t wait to try these.

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