These corn fritters are so incredibly delicious. They are packed with sweet summer corn, zucchini, caramelized onions, red pepper and jalapeno and smothered in fabulous spicy sauce. They are a flavor/texture lovers dream come true plus they are so easy to make!
If you're looking for a plump, flavorful, nourishing corn fritter recipe made without eggs or dairy, keep reading! Plus I've included gluten-free and oil-free options!!
If you love these vegan corn fritters as much as we do, you're going to love my favorite easy chickpea pancakes, delicious potato leek pancakes and sweet succulent corn tacos too - I'm sure of it! Plus check out all the incredible dairy-free sauce recipes perfect for liberally drizzling on everything!!!
I'm from the Okanagan Valley so I know a thing or two about fresh corn on the cob! When we're not eating it hot and dripping with butter at the lake, we put it into everything! Like these fresh corn fritters that are perfect for an appetizer, side dish or an amazing summer dinner idea! Plus they are easy to make and super versatile, follow along for lots of cooking tips, tricks and ingredient options.
Crispy Vegan Corn Fritter Ingredients
- Corn - corn is the star in this recipe so if it's in season, use fresh corn on the cob for superior flavor and texture. But frozen works too.
- Zucchini - a great way to use up your summer zucchini, adds great texture and colour to the fritters.
- The Flavor Makers - onions, garlic, red pepper, jalapeno peppers fried together to bring out sweetness and tons of flavor.
- Flour - I like the use of chickpea flour in this recipe for flavor and texture. But I've tested the fritters with all combinations of ap flour, gf flour, and some cornstarch for texture and crispiness and they all worked.
Making Corn Fritters from Scratch - here's how!
For the crispiest, most delicious vegan corn fritters / corn pancakes, use fresh corn, keep the batter v. filling ratio low, and use some oil in a hot pan. No soggy corn fritters here!
- Begin by preparing the corn. If using fresh (boiled or grilled) corn on the cob, cut the kernels off by placing the cob in a jumbo mixing bowl. Hold the cob by the tip and anchor the other end in the bowl by pushing down on the cob. Using a sharp knife, cut down the cob - top to bottom. The large bowl catches most of the kernels keeping the work area tidy.
Pro Tip: I use leftover steamed or grilled corn on the cob for this recipe all the time and it's sensational!
- For frozen corn, thaw first and then pat and press dry getting as much moisture out of the corn as possible.
- Grate the zucchini into a paper towel or kitchen towel. Squeeze to release water from zucchini.
- Make the spicy sauce and put in fridge.
- Meanwhile, prepare the other veggies: chop the onions, mince the garlic, dice the jalapeño, red pepper and any additional toppings of your choice.
- Fry the onions, garlic, peppers, jalapeno, and spices to create flavor. Add the corn and zucchini for the last minute or two.
- These homemade corn fritters come together quite quickly so be sure to have all the toppings and sauce ready prior to cooking the fritters.
For the crispiest corn fritters, keep the batter to veggie ratio low. I make my fritters very veg-centric so there's a low batter-veg ratio, but they stick together nicely and are pure heaven in every bite.
Cooking the Corn Fritters - a word about pans
I recommend cooking the corn fritters for ~3 minutes per side. If the pan is too hot, the fritters get crispy on the outside; but aren't cooked all the way through. So stick to a medium (ish) heat (a little higher or lower depending on your stove and the pan you are using).
Cast iron pans have the ability to get really hot and stay hot. So for making homemade fries or deep frying tofu or tempura they are a great choice.
It can be a bit tricky to control the heat when using a cast iron skillet for pan frying these corn fritters. It's easy to end up with a darker, crispy outside; but undercooked inside. A good non-stick skillet with some oil works well for a crispy golden outside and perfectly cooked inside. Both types of skillets work well; but just keep the high heat retention of the cast iron in mind!
Corn Fritter Topping Ideas
- guacamole or avocado chunks
- pico or chopped tomatoes
- black beans
- sour cream and chives
- green onions
- sauce, try tzatziki, sweet and spicy tahini, spicy jalapeno cashew cream
Storage and Make Ahead Tips
Make the components of the corn fritters ahead of time for fuss free lunches and dinners. Store the fried veggies and optional toppings in separate containers in the fridge. When it's time to serve, mix everything together and fry up the fritters.
Corn fritters have the best texture when served hot out of the pan. However, they are delicious as leftovers for one or two days. Eat them cold (looking at you Maddog), warm them on the stove or pop them into the microwave to be enjoyed with your favorite dipping sauce.
Funny Messy Story: if you reheat your corn fritters in the microwave for too long, the kernels explode - zero fun! I suggest starting with 15-20 seconds and then 10 second intervals after that. Plus cover the fritters with a paper towel!
Crispy Corn + Zucchini Fritters with Spicy Sauce
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- 2 ½-3 cups corn*
- 1 cup zucchini, shredded
- ½ cup onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ - 1 jalapeno, diced
- ¼ cup red peppers, diced
- S&P to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoky paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional to taste)
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- ¼ cup AP flour (can sub GF or cornstarch)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup + 2tbsp milk, dairy-free
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Topping Options - below
- Spicy Sauce Recipe - below
Prepping the Corn and Zucchini
- Fresh corn on the cob (recommended): remove the niblets by placing cob in a large mixing bowl, hold the top of the cob and run a sharp knife down the cob top bottom - repeat until all niblets are removed and in bowl.
- Leftover Tip: Boiled or grilled corn on the cob is fantastic in these fritters, and I frequently use leftover corn for them. Cooked corn comes off the cob in chunks (see photos in post) which adds loads of delicious texture to the fritters.
- Frozen corn: let it thaw, wrap in clean kitchen towel and pat dry to remove any extra moisture.
- Zucchini: grate zucchini on a box grater. Place grated zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze over the sink until all the excess moisture has been removed. Add to the bowl with corn.
Simple Spicy Sauce Recipe (more sauce options here)
- ¼ cup Vegenaise1-2 tbsp sriracha sauce (to taste)½ tsp soy sauce (to taste)
- Whisk together and place in fridge until serving.
Preparing the Vegetables and Batter
- Preheat oven to 250º F. Add a sheet of parchment to a baking sheet.
- Chop the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and peppers and set aside.
- Time Management Tip: prepare any optional toppings at this time as well.These homemade corn fritters come together quite quickly so be sure to have all the toppings and sauce ready prior to frying the fritters.
- In a measuring cup, mix the plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar together to create 'buttermilk'. Set aside.
- Pour 1 tbsp oil into a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and peppers - cook until softened, around 6 or 7 minutes.
- Add a splash of water as required to keep the veggies from sticking.
- Add the cumin, paprika, and cayenne (if using) and cook for another minute or so. Stir in the corn and zucchini just until warmed through about 1 - 2 minutes.
- Measure all dry ingredients into the mixing bowl you used for the corn. Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and stir to create a batter.
- Add the cooked corn/veggie mixture into the batter. Stir to incorporate.
- Wipe out the skillet just emptied. Add 1-2 tbsp of oil to just cover the bottom of the skillet. Let it warm over medium-high heat until shimmering. *See note on pans in blog post.
Time to Fry the Fritters
- Scoop ¼ cup portions of batter into the hot pan. Reduce heat to medium(ish).
- Cook for ~3 minutes until the fritters are brown and crispy, then flip and cook for another ~3 minutes on the other side until golden brown.
- Place cooked fritters into the preheated oven on the prepared baking sheet.
- Continue working in batches until all the fritters are fried.Pro Tip: You may have to refresh the oil in the skillet for subsequent batches.
- If oil-free, a non-stick skillet works perfectly for frying the fritters.
- Optional Toppings **Prepare prior to pan frying the fritters. Set aside.**chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions, avocado chunks, chopped cilantro, sauce
- Pile a couple fritters on a plate, garnish with your choice of toppings, drizzle with spicy sauce or a dollop of sour cream, chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
This recipe is from simplyceecee.co food blog. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or republish this recipe without prior permission. Thank you.
Originally posted September 2019; updated May 2020