Zucchini and Summer Squash Overload Recipe Rescue: Fritters with Ranch Dressing

Reader Contribution by Lisa Kivirist and Inn Serendipity
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As September rolls in, are you still finding zucchinis or summer squash buried in your garden, overgrown and the size of pumpkins? At Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast, this harvest abundance inspires our zucchini fritters, our favorite late summer recipe that uses nine hearty cups of shredded summer squash or zucchini. Our B&B guests love them.

The key here is that unlike some of our other recipes featured in our Farmstead Chef cookbook (like Zucchini Feta Savory Pancakes), this Zucchini Fritters recipe uses up some of the zucchini or summer squash that might not be the best on the outside or have too many seeds on the inside that have to be cut away and discarded. This potluck-friendly savory dish, also loved by kids, makes an easy supper, especially when paired with our homemade ranch dip sauce. 

An important first step when making these fritters is to sprinkle the shredded summer squash and zucchini with salt and let it sit for at least an hour to pull out some of the water in the zucchini or summer squash, otherwise your fritters will have a less appetizing mushy texture.

Any summer squash or zucchini varietal works well in this recipe. We use any size patty pan, crooked neck and eight-ball summer squash, which by this time of year often hide out under big leaves and elude our picking, growing to pumpkin-sized balls or other shapes. Cut out any seeds and peel the squash if the skin is on the tougher side, often common later in the summer.

We’re Wisconsin farmers, so we love our cheeses, an important ingredient for this recipe. We prefer a flavorful, harder cheese such as the award-winning Grand Cru made in our hometown of Monroe, Wisconsin by Roth Cheese. However, any harder cheeses will work well in this recipe, should you make your own.

The recipe may seem like it makes a lot, but one batch serves as a main supper meal for my family of three. If you have a larger family or some friends over, it’s best to double the recipe. Did I just give you a reason to use eighteen cups of zucchini for a double batch? You hit the harvest jackpot indeed.

Still have a zucchini overload, even after you make these fritters? Keep shredding and pack the summer squash or zucchini into gallon freezer bags in nine-cup portions to enjoy this recipe all winter long. When you’re ready to make the fritters, defrost the zucchini then add the salt, making sure to squeeze as much of the water out as possible before using it in the recipe.

Late Summer Squash Fritters

Yield:  About 4 dozen


  • 9 cups shredded summer squash or zucchini
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1-1/2 cups grated cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Place shredded summer squash or zucchini in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Massage the salt into the summer squash or zucchini and let sit at least an hour to draw the water out.
  3. Squeeze small handfuls of the summer squash or zucchini to drain the water and place squeezed summer squash or zucchini in a fresh large bowl.
  4. Lightly beat eggs and add to summer squash or zucchini.
  5. Add in bread crumbs, cheese, garlic and pepper and mix thoroughly with clean hands.
  6. Take one tablespoon of summer squash or zucchini mixture and form into a two-inch long log and line these up on greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes or until firm enough to pick up and have a golden brown color.
  8. Flip fitters for the last 10 minutes of baking.
  9. Serve hot with Ranch Dressing dipping sauce (recipe below from Farmstead Chef cookbook).

Ranch Dressing

From Farmstead Chef Cookbook

Yield:  About 1-1/2 cups


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2  tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp vinegar (we use rice vinegar)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  1. Hand whisk all ingredients until well blended. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate, ideally overnight, before serving.

Lisa Kivirist, with her husband, John D. Ivanko, a photographer and drone pilot, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef cookbook along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by renewable energy. Kivirist also authored Soil Sisters. As a writer, Kivirist contributes to MOTHER EARTH NEWS, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solar and 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son, Liam, and millions of ladybugs.

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