Dad’s Zucchini Burgers

I am in the middle of a protracted battle for space with the gargantuan zucchini that keep miraculously popping up in my garden.  After last night’s garden veggie (read: zucchini) and quinoa stew, I was feeling out of ideas.  Then I thought, “Why do I need to come up with ideas?  I can fall back on a favorite.”  …And so a batch of zucchini patties came about.


Zucchini patties (or burgers as my Dad calls them) were Dad’s go-to dinner when he cooked for my sister and I who were both vegetarians in our teen years.  I have since once again become an omnivore.  I missed bacon.  And ham.  And beef.  And turkey.  Oh, you get the point.  The patties were dead cheap to make and they made two teenage girls and their little brother very happy.  I can see why he made them frequently.  Dad’s zucchini patties were always perfect; crispy on the outside, moist but firm on the inside, with lots of salt and pepper.  Shortly after moving out and getting my first place I asked Dad how he made them.  He replied that he started with a grated zucchini and added stuff (egg, bread crumbs, onion, etc…) until it was ‘right’.  Da-ad (read that like a whiny teenage girl).  Once again it fell to me- the obsessively measuring, quantity recording daughter- to write down the family recipe. 


I haven’t made these in front of Dad yet so I can’t officially give his stamp of approval but they taste about right to me.


Dad’s Zucchini Burgers


As indicated by the name, these patties are good served on buns like burgers.  These days, however, I prefer them by themselves on a plate with or without marinara sauce.  I used dried herbs and spices to reduce the chances that the kids would reject them…  Feel free to substitute fresh garlic, basil, parsley and oregano if they’re handy!




  • 3 c. super finely shredded zucchini, squeezed over a strainer to reduce liquid
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely shredded, squeezed over a strainer to reduce liquid
  • 3/4 c. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. each garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, dried basil and dried oregano
  • Neutral oil, such as canola, for pan frying
  • Optional: Marinara or other red sauce for serving.


Combine everything but the oil in a large bowl and stir until evenly moistened.


Here’s what evenly moistened looks like…


Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, preferably cast-iron, or a griddle over medium high heat. Pour in enough oil just to cover the bottom of your pan. When oil is hot, measure 1/4 cup portions of the zucchini mixture onto pan, spreading gently to form a patty shape.


Patty shape, patty shape, patty shape!


Cook 3 minutes or until the underside is crispy and dark brown. Using a spatula, flip carefully and cook for another three minutes or until other side is crispy and dark brown.


This is the brown you’re going for…


Remove to a plate covered with paper towel and continue until all batter has been used. Serve hot with marinara sauce or not. 


This is summer comfort food!



How did we like this recipe?


I’m keeping it real here folks.  This got 8 thumbs up out of a possible 14.  There weren’t a lot of surprises on the division here.  Evil Genius, myself, Liam and Aidan made up the 8 thumbs.  Ty tried it and didn’t like it contributing 2 thumbs to the opposition.  Leif and Rowan made up the we-wouldn’t-touch-it-with-a-10-ft.-pole contingent adding 4 more thumbs to the ‘nay’ category.  Oh well.  I’m going to keep making it.  Eventually they’ll grow to love it.  And if not, well, eventually they’ll leave home and I’ll keep on eating it. 



…And for those who might be interested, click here for the Record-Eagle column where I originally ran this recipe.

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