AIR FRIED ZUCCHINI FRITTERS WITH RED LENTILS
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Usually, I make special dinners on Saturday nights, but sometimes I don’t have the time to get creative in the kitchen. That is when these Air Fried Zucchini Fritters come into play. They are perfect whether for lunch or dinner as a starter, main or side dish, you decide my friends.
What is so great about these Air Fried Zucchini Fritters?
For starters, red lentils are high in protein and if you are following a vegetarian or vegan diet you need all the protein you can get. Because the red lentils have already a high content as well in carbs that is why I decide to pair them with Zucchinis/Courgettes which are very low in carbs and high in water, making the perfect match in my opinion.
Another plus is red lentils are gluten-free, so if you are Celiac or have a gluten sensitivity these fritters are great for you.
Add ons and spices
You can add any vegetables you want. But this time I went for sweet corn kernel, coriander and parsley. And what goes hand in hand with these two herbs? Cumin, turmeric and curry, but for the first time I used marjoram in a vegetarian dish and the flavour is amazing along with smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.
These Air Fried Zucchini Fritters are egg-free but for this, you need a binder and in this case, you can use buckwheat flour or oat flour for low carb, and both are gluten-free. Great, is it?
Making the Red Lentil and Courgette Fritters
First of all, you need to plan ahead, you have to soak the red lentil for at least 2 hrs up to 8 hrs. So, wash them through at a minimum of 3 times to get rid of the extra starch they are covered in. I would suggest until the water comes out clear and discard any debris, twig or stone they could have.
Now prepare the zucchinis/courgettes, wash them, cut the ends and grate coarsely, for this I use my food processor with the grater attachment. You can use your hand grater as well.
Do you remember when I mention courgettes have a lot of water? Well, now you need to drain out as much water as you can. For this, you can use a milk bag, cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve. I do prefer the milk bag as it is easier to whack everything inside and squeeze as much as you can, also I would leave the milk bag inside a strainer or a sieve to keep draining the remaining water until the red lentils are soft.
When the time to cooks arrives, you need to drain the red lentil and leave them to rest in a sieve or colander to drain the excess water for at least 30min. Then process them into a paste or puree.
Meanwhile, wash the parsley and coriander and separate the leave from the steams, and place into a food processor, along with the onion, garlic and spices.
The full recipe step by step is as usual down below the post.
Shaping, cooking and serving the Fritters
Shape wise you can go wild in here if you want, but I will be using a traditional patties shape to make sure they cook well inside and out. Also, a very important step is freezing the fritters, to ensure the fritters maintain the shape while cooking, for at least 3 hours.
My cooking method of choice is the air fryer. Why? Well, uses less oil and gives that crispy texture on the outside and soft juicy on the inside. But for this, you will need to spray oil on the air fryer basket as well as on the fritters, so they don’t stick to the bottom.
You can bake them in the oven with parchment paper sprayed with oil as well but I haven’t tried this method yet. Also, a non-stick pan would work but I suggest spray the fritters with some oil, to avoid sticking to the pan. By using the air fryer, you would be using less oil than in the frying pan.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post you can serve these Red Lentil and Courgette Fritters as a starter, main or side dish. An idea for lunch or dinner would be taking a pita bread or a wrap and stuff it with 2 to 3 Red Lentil and Courgette Fritters along with some alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes and red peppers, salad cream or any sauce you desire.
Now you are all set, so let’s get cooking.
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AIR FRYER RED LENTIL AND COURGETTE FRITTERSCourse: Recipes
200g Red split lentil
500g or 3 medium Zucchinis/Courgettes
100g Sweet Corn
1 medium onion or shallot
4 Garlic cloves
50g Buckwheat Flour or Oat Flour
½ tsp Cumin Ground
½ tsp Paprika Ground
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp Black pepper freshly Ground
½ tsp Finely Ground Pink Himalayan Salt
½ cup Parsley, just the leaves, packed 25g
½ cup Coriander, just the leaves, packed 25g
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Turmeric Ground
1 tsp Majoram, dried
1 tsp Curry Powder
- Rinse the lentils until the water comes out clear.
- Soak the red split lentil in water for 6 hours or 2 hrs minimum. Soaking the lentils for this long will make them super-plump and tender, and this makes blending them much easier.
- Meanwhile wash the courgettes, pat dry with a kitchen towel and grate on the thickest side of your grater or if you have a food processor use the grater attachment.
- Now we have 2 methods. First: Place the grated courgette in a colander or sieve to drain 30 – 40% of the liquid, by squishing the grated courgette with our hands against the sieve. Second method: if you own a milk bag or cheesecloth, place the grated courgette inside and squish with all your force (this is my favourite method). Set aside.
- Now peel the onion and garlic cloves.
- Wash the coriander and Parsley, pat dry with a kitchen towel and proceed to remove the leaves.
- Place the onion, garlic, and leaves into a food processor or blender and blend to a thick chunky paste or tiny little squares. Transfer to a big bowl.
- When the lentil mark time passes. Strain them and leave them to drain for at least 30min. Place them in the food processor and blend, stirring from time to time until a thick smooth paste is formed.
- Add the lentil paste to the big bowl with the onion mixture, add the rest of the ingredients but the flour.
- 10. Combine all the ingredients, you will end up with a dough-ish consistency that is not compact yet because you need to incorporate the flour, so do it, add the flour and mix again try to form a ball first and then flat the top and bottom to end up with a burger shape. If the mixture holds up you won’t need more flour if your mixture is a bit runny add more flour. This is why we drain out the water from the courgette so we use less flour.
- 11. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or greaseproof paper and make as many fritters as you can and place the baking sheet in the freezer for an hour. This step is important, so when we cook the fritters, they will hold the shape and not crumble.
- 12. Now you can weather eat the fritters or store them in a zip lock bag in the freezer separated in between with parchment paper, to avoid stick together and be easier to separate when decide cooking.
- 13. Cooking time. Preheat your air fryer at 200C / 390F. Spray with coconut or avocado oil in the air fryer basket and the fritters before placing them in the air fryer this will avoid getting them to stick to the basket.
- 14.tCook for 10min in each side, until golden brown. If you like them crispier feel free to cook them longer. Every air fryer is different.
- 15.tServe hot with favourite dip.
- Each fritter for reference should weigh 80g, also this will depend on how much liquid you draw out of the courgettes/zucchinis
12 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories55
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Sodium 123mg 6%
- Potassium 27mg 1%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
- Sugars 2g
- Protein 3g 6%
- Vitamin A 4%
- Vitamin C 3%
- Calcium 1%
- Iron 1%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.