Gluten-Free Living

Gluten-Free Corn and Zucchini Fritters With Easy Pesto Dipping Sauce

Makes about 8 fritters

These crispy gluten-free corn and zucchini fritters utilize the overabundance of a summer garden. They are perfectly balanced by a vibrant, earthy pesto dipping sauce. If you find yourself stuck with boatloads of summer corn or zucchini, you are going to love this recipe.

Thoroughly draining the zucchini will make for the crispiest fritters, so be sure to squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the zucchini.


  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1½ cups grated)
  • ½ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  • 2 medium eggs, blended
  • ⅓ cup milk or dairy-free substitute
  • ½ cup to ⅔ cup fine-ground cornmeal or polenta
  • ½ cup fresh corn kernels
  • Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges to garnish
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, roughly chopped (vine or beefsteak)
  • 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves, stemmed (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


For the fritters

Grate the zucchini with either a handheld grater or the grating disc of a food processor.

Place the grated zucchini in a bowl lined with paper towels. Place more paper towels on the zucchini and press down firmly to draw out as much excess liquid as you can. Repeat until the grated zucchini is as dry as possible. Set aside.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center using clean hands or a wooden spoon.

Add the eggs to the well and gradually mix in the flour, using clean hands or a wooden spoon.

Slowly add the milk and ½ cup cornmeal to the mixture, stirring constantly until a thick batter forms.

Add the drained grated zucchini, corn kernels, pepper flakes, and pinch of salt and pepper to the batter and mix well. If the mixture seems too moist, add a bit more cornmeal and stir.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, scoop ¼ cup of the batter mixture into the hot pan, flattening slightly as you add it to the pan. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping carefully halfway through cooking. Once flipped, use a spatula to help further flatten the fritter.

Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to absorb any excess oil.

Adding extra oil to the pan as needed, continue to cook remaining batter in batches until all fritters are fried.

For the pesto

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until the pesto is smooth and no chunks remain.

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired before transferring to a bowl to serve.

Season the warm fritters with salt and pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon.

Serve the fritters warm with extra lemon wedges and pesto on the side.

Cook’s tip: You can make the fritters as small or large as you prefer. The ¼-cup measurement will yield a large fritter.

Nutrition Analysis: 190 cal, 12 g fat, 40 mg chol, 30 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 4 g protein.

Jilly Lagasse began cooking as a child when her father, Chef Emeril Lagasse, gave her a set of chef’s whites and let her help in the pastry and dessert department in one of his restaurants. She was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004 and has written two gluten-free cookbooks with her sister, Jessie Lagasse Swanson, as the duo The Lagasse Girls,

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