Fritters are a great side dish, and can be a great way to use veg that’s nearly past its best-before date.
They’re usually cooked in a frying pan – in fact, their name is said to come from an old Latin word for “fry” – but they can also be cooked under the grill, in the oven, and even in an air fryer.
This is demonstrated in this zucchini and ricotta air fryer fritter recipe I found while carrying out my tests of the best air fryers.
It’s not the easiest of recipes I’ve tried, and it takes a bit more prep than I’m used to. However, if that doesn’t put you off, read on to find out how to create these creamy, relatively healthy zucchini fritters at home.
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Air fryer fritters recipe
The air fryer fritters recipe I have followed is from Snejana Andreeva via her @themodernnonna TikTok channel. It's already been watched 262k times and counting.
Air fryer fritters
- 1 medium zucchini
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese – you can also use cottage cheese or a cheese alternative
- 1 egg, or egg alternative
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs – they can be bought from the store, or you can make your own by blending slices of bread in a blender
Air fryer fritters method
To make air fryer fritters you will need the following:
- Air fryer – I used the Tower Vortx 9 Litre Duo Capacity Basket Air Fryer with Smart Finish 5.2L and 3.3L
- Medium-sized bowl
- Dish towel or a nut-milk towel to squeeze the moisture from the zucchini. You can also use a strainer and spoon.
To get the crispiest air fryer fritters, and to make it easier to mold them into patties, you need to remove as much moisture from the zucchini as possible. It takes extra effort but makes a big difference to the overall results.
Step 1: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F/205°C.
Step 2: Grate the zucchini into a dish towel, or nut-milk towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. If you don’t have a towel, you can also place the grated zucchini into a food strainer and, using the back of a spoon, push the moisture out.
Alternatively – if you have time – you can put the shredded zucchini in a dehydrator, or on a baking tray and dry out at a low temperature over a few hours.
Step 3: Place the dried zucchini into a mixing bowl and add the cream cheese, egg, salt, parmesan, and breadcrumbs.
Step 4: Mix together to form a thick fritter batter.
Step 5: Grab small balls of batter and form them into fritters in between your palms. If the batter is too runny, you can add more breadcrumbs and parmesan. If you find they’re too sticky, add a small amount of flour to your hands.
Step 6: Place each fritter in the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes, or until they start to brown on the outside.
Step 7: Remove from the air fryer and serve.
Air fryer fritters verdict
I’ve tried this air fryer fritters recipe a handful of times now and I’ve not once managed to get the even, gold coating seen in the original video. However, this hasn’t detracted from the taste and the addition of ricotta makes these fritters light, soft and creamy. The parmesan then adds a subtle cheese flavor withough being overwhelming.
Removing the moisture from the zucchini is a critical, but time-consuming step and as a result, this isn’t an air fryer side recipe that I’ll be making regularly. It will definitely be saved for special occasions or when I have some spare time.
If you're still sitting on the fence and wondering whether to buy an air fryer, you may want to read our article to decide whether air fryers are worth it.
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Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.