Vegan Zucchini Fritters with Creamy Cashew Marinara
Warmer weather is upon us, and the farmer’s markets are bursting with zucchini. This recipe gives you all the crunch of a fritter without frying, so you’re not diminishing zucchini’s bright and tasty spirit, and you’re keeping things a little healthier than normally fried fare.
Best of all, the recipe is versatile. Cut your zucchini in to smaller fritters for a great party and picnic take-along. Slice long for decadent sandwich filling. Or, cut them larger to make fillets that serve as the main course. Drizzle with the marinara, plate with some veggies, and dinner is served!
Make this gluten-free in a snap by swapping panko breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs (and make sure your marinara and vegan mayo don’t contain any hidden wheat ingredients). Still just as delicious!
Zucchini Fritters with Creamy Cashew Marinara
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
- 3 large zucchini, skin on, cut in to 1 inch x 3 inch ‘fingers’ or larger filets, if you prefer (for an entree)
For the Soak:
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp vegan mayo
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 tsp dried basil
- dash of cinnamon, to taste
For the Coating:
- 1 cup panko, or other breadcrumbs will work
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup vegan corn flakes, coarsely ground (or cornmeal, if you want a thicker crust)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/3 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- dash of cayenne, to taste
For the Creamy Cashew Marinara:
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked and drained
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade
1. Preheat oven to 400 F and prepare two baking sheets with parchment.
2. In a food processor or dry-blade blender, mix all of the coating ingredients together. Once mixed, move mixture to a large bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large separate bowl, whisk the water, vegan mayo, tahini, Sriracha, garlic, cinnamon, and basil together until smooth.
4. In batches, place your zucchini filets in the soaking mixture and ensure they are completely covered. You may make a triple batch of the soak and marinate all of your zucchini filets overnight, covered in the refrigerator, for a more intense flavor.
5. Move thoroughly-soaked zucchini, one-by-one, in to the bowl with the dry mixture. Coat zucchini filets thoroughly, even pressing down to ensure the coating adheres to the soaking mixture.
6. Arrange prepared filets on baking sheet and spray with olive oil.
7. Place in oven at 400 F for 20 minutes. Check filets and once lightly browned (with coating firmly adhered to fritter), turn on other side and spray with olive oil to bake for another 20 minutes.
7. Filets should be firm, browned, and crispy. Remove from oven to cool.
8. In a small blender, combine soaked cashews, marinara sauce, and half of the fresh basil. Once blended, pour in to a serving dish and chill in the fridge. Top with remaining basil for garnish.
9. Once filets have had a chance to cool a bit, serve with dipping sauce on the side, or if you opted to do larger entree-style filets, plate with sauce drizzled overtop.
10. Enjoy and sing the praises of spring!