How about something fun for dinner tonight?
Zucchini pancakes with tzatziki sauce are the answer. At least it was at our house.
This beautiful vegetarian recipe lets us bring Mediterranean flavors into our kitchen.
I have been enjoying making zucchini pancakes for a long time, and last night decided to change up the recipe a bit just for fun. I decided to add mint.
Truth be known, I have so much mint in my garden that it seems to have found its way to every dish I am making lately.
I was trying to find the origin of this recipe as I have it in 6 of my cookbooks. Even though the recipes are verbatim the same, no one gives the origin.
In this Article
- Origins of Tzatziki
- Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
- Equipment you will need
- Cooking tips and some step-by-step instructions to make this fantastic Zucchini Pancakes with Tzatziki Sauce
- How to keep your zucchini pancakes crispy?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What to serve with zucchini fritters
- If you enjoyed this recipe, I know you will enjoy the below recipes:
- Zucchini Pancakes with Tzatziki Sauce
Origins of Tzatziki
So with some digging, the tzatziki sauce is of Indian origins.
However, the Greeks have enjoyed this dish, and throughout the years, the roots of the Indian ingredients are almost all gone. Tzatziki which is derived from a Turkish word, was born.
But it does not end there. Tzatziki is derived from the Persian zhazh, which means herb mixture.
The sauce is trendy in Middle Eastern countries, and everyone has left their mark on it. Same with the zucchini pancakes.
Tzatziki is a healthier dip than hummus and sour cream and contains vitamins, proteins, and fewer calories or carbohydrates.
I have made my small mark on this recipe tonight. You should make yours!
Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed
You can find the printable recipe with all the correct ingredient amounts at the bottom of this post. This is just a quick introduction. Please read the full recipe instructions.
For the pancakes:
Zucchini: The main ingredient of this dish. Purchase your zucchini that are nice and green and with no bruising. I like to purchase the smaller zucchini as they have fewer internal seeds and will not render as much water. Make sure you squeeze all the liquid from the zucchini.
Scallions: A light onion flavor that is mild enough yet very flavorful.
Eggs: Room temperature and large. Used as binding with all the other ingredients.
Flour: Binding agent so the zucchini will stay together when cooking.
Parsley: part of the natural spiciness of this dish.
Mint: The perfect Mediterranean flavor and added with the parsley and tahini, the flavor is more intensified.
Tahini: Paste made of sesame seeds. Vegan and gluten-free adds flavor to your Mediterranean and Middle Easter cooking. A must-have item in your kitchen.
Feta Cheese: Gives it that soft, chewy bite once fried.
Walnuts: Adds some crunchiness to your pancakes
For the Tzatziki Sauce recipe:
Greek Yogurt: Gives a thick and creamy texture to your tzatziki sauce.
Sour cream: Adding another layer of texture to your sauce.
Cucumber: Refreshing and critical ingredients for your sauce. It gives that refreshing flavor that is the base.
Garlic: The main ingredient for making the authentic Greek tzatziki recipe uses plenty of garlic. After all, it is all about the garlic.
Lemon juice: Uplift and balance with the cucumber and garlic,
Lemon zest: The oils of the lemon are a great addition to this sauce.
Equipment you will need
I only recommend what I use and love. To achieve this recipe, I used the following:
Cooking tips and some step-by-step instructions to make this fantastic Zucchini Pancakes with Tzatziki Sauce
The tzatziki sauce can be prepared the day before to save time.
- Combine all the ingredients needed for the sauce – sour cream, cucumber, yogurt, and garlic in the food processor and puree.
- Add the mint, olive oil, lemon zest, and juice.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Safe in the refrigerator.
Preparing the zucchini pancakes.
- Grate the zucchini using the larger holes on a cheese grater or a food processor with a shredding disk.
- Do not skip letting all the water out of the zucchini in a colander.
- Squeeze as much as you can and repeat with paper towels. You want all that water out before frying them.
- Once all the water is out, transfer the zucchini into a large bowl and mix the eggs, flour, parsley, mint, tahini, scallions, salt, and pepper.
- Fold in the feta and walnut at the last minute.
- Use a large skillet where your zucchini pancakes can cook comfortably and not overcrowd the skillet. You will have to make a couple of batches.
- Do not overcrowd the skillet when frying to ensure the pancakes cook evenly. I used a 1/4 of a cup measuring cup to have them all even.
- Flatten the batter in the skillet with the back of the spatula or measuring cup to be sure the center cooks evenly.
- Fry until the pancakes are golden brown.
- Transfer them to a cooling rack over a baking sheet in the oven and keep them warm.
Please do not prepare the zucchini pancakes too long in advance, as they will dry out in the oven.
Those zucchini pancakes are best served hot.
Are your taste buds craving some new flavors? Also, try making this fantastic Samosa Chaat.
How to keep your zucchini pancakes crispy?
Once you finish frying them, place them over a cooling rack over the baking sheet.
This setup will allow the patties not to sit on the frying oil remaining on them but continue the crispiness while you keep them warm in the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make this ahead of time?
The sauce can be made a day early, allowing all the flavors to marry well.
Make it with whole wheat or gluten-free flour instead of regular all-purpose flour.
Fresh dill in place of mint. Gives the same fresh, crisp flavor to it.
- Store the fried zucchini pancakes in an airtight glass container. I always add parchment paper between zucchini layers so they will not stick together.
- Preheat your oven to 320F and place them in the warm oven, covered with aluminum foil, for 10 minutes or until hot.
- I also have to warm them up in a large skillet over medium-high with a tablespoon of oil or more if you see them stick to the skillet. Ensure they do not burn.
What to serve with zucchini fritters
The best side dishes to serve with zucchini fritters are
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese.
- For breakfast or brunch, serve with a poached egg over it.
- Steamed broccoli with lemon juice for a light, balanced dinner.
If you enjoyed this recipe, I know you will enjoy the below recipes:
Equipment used to make this wonderful recipe.
Zucchini Pancakes with Tzatziki Sauce
FOR THE PANCAKES
- 2 zucchini, coarsely grated
- 1 cup scallions green onions, chopped scallions and green onions mixed
- salt and pepper
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- ½ cup feta cheese, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- oil for frying
FOR THE TZATZIKI SAUCE
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup cucumber, squeezed dry
- 1 tablespoon mint
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 zest lemon
- salt and pepper
PREPARING THE TZATZIKI SAUCE
- Combine the yogurt, sour cream, cucumber, and garlic in the food processor and puree until smooth. Add the mint olive oil, lemon zest and juice. Give it a couple of more pulses and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
PREPARING THE ZUCCHINI PANCAKES
- Place the coarsely grated zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Squeeze the zucchini to remove as much liquid as possible. Dry the zucchini by pressing it between several layers of paper towels.
- In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, mixed scallions, eggs, flour, parsley, mint, tahini, salt, and pepper until well blended. Fold in the feta cheese and the walnut to the zucchini mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 300° F to keep the pancakes warms while you are cooking them.
- Add enough oil to a large skillet to a depth of about 1/8 inch, and heat over medium high heat. The oil must shimmer but not be smoking. Working in batches, drop heaping tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into the hot oil, do not overcrowd the skillet. Fry until the pancakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer each batch of pancakes to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Serve immediately with the tzatziki sauce
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
Did you make this?
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Originally published on October 21, 2020. Updated January 20, 2023.