Cheesy Zucchini Latkes, Pancakes or Whatever Recipe

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Necessity is the mother of invention. In other words, when someone really, really needs something, he or she will figure out a way to do or get it. Sometimes, I’ll be in the middle of making a recipe and realize that I’m missing an ingredient.  Actually, this happens a lot, since I’m not exactly the best organized person in the world. So, I’ll have two choices: scrap the whole thing, or find something else to use instead.  I hate to waste food, therefore, scrapping is not an option.  Usually, after rummaging around a bit, I’ll find something that works, and .

This idiom also comes into play when I have too much of a particular ingredient and I’m struggling to find ways to use it.  Case in point – all of that fresh, beautiful zucchini from the garden I was telling you about a few weeks ago.  Now, I know that there are zillions of different ways to prepare zucchini.  But, given the fact that the temperatures here have been topping out in the 90’s every day, my viable options are limited.  That’s HOT, people! The last thing I want to be doing is spending any more time hovering over my stove than absolutely necessary.  Since no one around here is fond of eating raw zucchini, and Mr. SGCC appears to be allergic to his grill, my next best solution is a recipe that requires very little cooking time – like these Cheesy Zucchini Latkes.  


Latkes are savory fried pancakes made with grated vegetables that are bound together by egg, bread crumbs and often, flour.  Traditionally made with potatoes, they’re a popular dish at Hanukkah time.   We’re not Jewish, but my mother used to make latkes a lot, though she called them potato pancakes.  But really, you can make great latkes with any kind of firm, gratable vegetables – like zucchini.

In my latkes, I’ve used a base of coarsely grated zucchini and onion, panko crumbs and eggs.   A lot of latke recipes call for flour.  I don’t think they need it, so I leave it out.  If your latke mixture seems too loose, you can certainly add a few tablespoons of all purpose flour to “tighten” it up.

I’ve also added a pile of shredded pepper jack cheese to my latkes.  It makes them all melty and gooey inside.  Just like with butter, everything is better with cheese!  You don’t often find cheese in traditional versions of latkes, as it isn’t pareve.  But if you don’t follow Jewish dietary laws, you’re as golden as these latkes are.  Hey!  At least I didn’t add bacon, although, I was tempted to.


Latkes are super easy to prepare and have a mercifully short cooking time.  Once you have your ingredients all mixed together,  all you need to do is scoop them into golf ball-sized blobs and fry them in a mix of butter and oil.   It only takes a few minutes on each side to get that burnished, crispy, crunchy outer shell, and gooey, molten cheesiness on the inside.


These zucchini latkes or pancakes or whatever you want to call them make a great accompaniment to any kind of meat, poultry or fish.  They are truly lip smacking delicious.  I topped mine with a schmear of some sweet and spicy red pepper jelly that I found at my local farmers market, and finished each of them off with a tiny dollop of crème fraiche.  They would also be fab served with a little applesauce on the side.

So, if you’re still hiding under a mountain of zucchini, or even if you’re not, try making some Cheesy Zucchini Latkes.   You’ll be glad you did.



12 responses to Cheesy Zucchini Latkes, Pancakes or Whatever Recipe

  1. On June 26, 2011 at 7:38pm, paula hennig said...

    OMG those zucchini latkes look amazing! I can relate with having to improvise mid dish…happens more often than I care to admit. BTW 90 degree temps are welcome here where I live, we’ve had waaay to many days over 100 degrees. yuck!

  2. On June 26, 2011 at 8:35pm, Tessa said...

    Oooh, I’ve got lot of zucchini too. Never had latkes before, but they look like an interesting way to use it!

  3. On June 26, 2011 at 10:31pm, Betty @ scrambled henfruit said...

    I do have mounds of zucchini, and these flavorful latkes sound like a wonderful way to use them. I love the short cooking time- no AC in my kitchen! :)

  4. On June 27, 2011 at 1:02am, Katrina said...

    These look delicious! Love this idea. Zucchini makes me happy!

  5. On June 27, 2011 at 1:58am, Rosa said...

    Zucchini latkes are so delicious and yours look marvelously scrumptious!



  6. On June 27, 2011 at 7:37am, bellini said...

    Tasty, tasty way to use up some of those zucchinis in the garden Susan!

  7. On June 27, 2011 at 3:01pm, Shirley @ gfe said...

    These look fabulous, Susan! I consider lack of ingredients as my secret to creating new recipes, so I ten to embrace that frequent situation. 😉


  8. On June 27, 2011 at 4:05pm, Kristen Hess said...

    These sound delicious! I grew up on Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream and Applesauce (German tradition) and I also had Zucchini Cakes in Greece when I went to Mykonos.. Delicious! Will try to dig up my Greek Recipe and share!!

  9. On June 27, 2011 at 4:35pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    Not being a huge fan of zucchini I love making dishes like this where I can use a cheap, available vegetables and make it taste the best it possibly can. Why not use cheese and fry in butter? That really does make them a meal in and of themselves, so if kosher-ness matters, you don’t have to worry about meat on the side. Granted, the idea of frying in bacon sounds mighty good to me. It’s good to be a shiksa!

  10. On June 28, 2011 at 11:50am, Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook said...

    It’s only fairly recent that I have so fell in love with Zucchini. I am about to post a Zucchini Quiche recipe on my site, but I also make stuffed zucchini, and cold zucchini salads. I’m going to have to try this delicious looking recipe soon. Yum.

  11. On August 05, 2011 at 1:10pm, Katie from Katie's Cucina said...

    WOW–these look amazing. I love making potato pancakes out of leftover mashed potatoes (*my cheat version). I’ve pinned this to my pinterest board and can’t wait to make these.

  12. On January 24, 2012 at 10:19am, Adrian said...

    It should be great this dish !

2 pings to Cheesy Zucchini Latkes, Pancakes or Whatever Recipe

  1. On August 16, 2013 at 6:00am, Cheesy Zucchini Pancakes | Meg's Everyday Indulgence pinged...

    […] I love how crispy they get on the outside and that they keep their texture within. They were perfect to enjoy alongside some bbq chicken off the grill. Cheesy Zucchini Pancakes recipe from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy […]

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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