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Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Patties)

kolokythokeftedes image


Kolokythokeftedes (pr. ko-lo-kee-tho-ke-FTE-thes) are fried patties made of grated courgettes (zucchini) –  (kolokythia), as well as other herbs depending on preference, flour, bread crumbs and egg to bind the mixture together. The amount of flour required will vary according to the moisture of the zucchinis so make sure you add enough. The keftedes, or “fried balls” excuse the expression, are made with a variety of ingredients, are usually utterly delicious, and do not take much time to make.

Kolokythokeftedes (zucchini patties) image

These delicious morsels are perfect for a pre-dinner snack (meze, as we call it) or light lunch.  They are served as a “mezes”, or as a side dish and are best eaten hot. Bite through a slightly crisp, brown outer coat and discover the meltingly soft, light yet sticky, interior. You’ll love them.
Serve with Cypriot wine, Zivania or Greek ouzo!

The Greek phrase for toasting is “Stin ygeia sas” … which means “to your health”.

Two years ago, my brother and his family came to Greece from Australia on holidays. I made them and they loved them.

We went to Nafplio during a weekend and then all together we went to Tinos for our holidays.

Tinos Island:

Evaggelismos tis Theotokou Church

The Church of Evaggelismos tis Theotokou (the Virgin Mary)

Church painting

Painting a smaller Church

House Tinos

A typical island house at Tinos, where you may see of the roof the pigeon holes.



View from the Castle (Palamidi)

Nafplion and Bourdji


In the local “tavernas” it was a kind of a speciality and we used to order them a lot. My sister in law remembered them a few weeks back when we spoke on the phone and I promised that I would post the recipe for her.

Collage Kolokythokeftedes image


Kolokythokeftedes (zucchini patties), recipe by Ivy


  • 5 zucchini, grated
  • 1 red onion, grated
  • 2 – 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup  parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint or 4 – 5 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice bread
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour (about 5 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese, or grated halloumi, graviera or kefalotyri
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Extra flour to dredge


  1. Wash the vegetables and place them in colander to drain the water away.
  2. Grate the zucchinis and place them into a colander with some salt for half an hour.  Then squeeze to remove any remaining fluid.
  3. Place in a bowl with a slice of bread to absorb any excess fluid.
  4. Now break the egg into the bowl and add cheese of your preference, chopped herbs, onion, salt and pepper.  (Easy on the salt, as all cheese mentioned above are quite salty and don’t forget that we added salt to the grated zucchini).
  5. Continue to massage the mixture between your fingers after adding flour until you have a smooth, but not runny, consistency.
  6. After this, the mixture is helped by being allowed to stand in the fridge for at least, an hour, before frying hot in olive oil.
  7. Scoop out patties with a spoon, and make flattened patties on a floured surface.
  8. Fry in hot olive oil.   (Try frying one first and if it falls apart, add a couple of more spoonfuls of flour.  The level of the olive oil in the frying pan should cover half the patty).  Turn the patties once, browning both sides.
  9. Finish by placing them on absorbent paper for a minute.

Kolokythokeftedes zucchiini fritters picture

“Stin ygeia sas”

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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7 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Ivy, Kolokithokeftdes are indeed a wonderful meze but I’m now prefer a good Tsipouro with them or any meze.

    Your technique of adding the slice of bread to absorb excess moisture is a wonderful idea!

  2. Ivy

    Peter I have lots of Tsipouro from Crete and from Cyprus which is called Zivania. My next meze will be with Tsipouro.

  3. steve

    I just found your recipe for Pourgouri Pilaf which we have tired and it was elicious thank you very much. Do you have a recipe for a dish which we often get as part of a meze in Cyprus where we live. It’s got courgettes and what looks like fried eggs in it. It isn’t served as patties like your kolokythokeftedes but on a plate and people take a couple of spoonfuls as part of the meze.


    Steve Horrocks


  4. Ivy

    Hi Steve,

    Glad you liked the pilaf. About the meze you are describing, I don’t think there is any recipe for this. Just fry or saute the courgettes in olive oil and if frying reserve the remaining oil or discard. Season with salt and black pepper and then add the eggs and mix, just like scrambled eggs. That’s it.


  5. steve

    Thanks for that Ivy. We (well I mean my wife Yvonne) will give it a try. I do cook but she is the real Cypriot/Greek cookery enthusiast. Thanks again.

  6. Ivy

    You’re welcome Steve. Hope you and Yvonne enjoy your meze with a cold beer or a glass of wine.