Traditional Greek Kolokithokeftedes (Fried Zucchini/Courgette Balls) Recipe

Kolokithokeftedes (Fried Zucchini Balls or Courgette)

Traditional Greek Kolokithokeftedes (Fried Zucchini/Courgette Balls) Recipe

Posted in Amazing burgers, Appetizer & Meze, Beginner, Cretan, Fried, Our hand picked recipes, Traditional Greek Feta Cheese Recipes, Traditional Greek Taverna Recipes, Traditional Greek Yogurt Recipes, Vegetarian Originally published on Last updated on By

This veggie starter will become your new favorite dish. Traditional Greek Kolokithokeftedes are a popular Cretan ouzo meze, found in most of the islands taverns and restaurants. If you ever had this popular dish before you would have been impressed with their flavorful texture, full of salty, tasty feta cheese with a hint of fresh mint! But how to make them to perfection? Its easier than you think with this traditional Cretan recipe.

The perfect “Kolokithokeftedes” (zucchini fritters) must be fried till extra crispy on the outside while still preserving their creamy and rich texture on the inside. The secret behind baking this traditional Greek meze to perfection is in the ingredients. Make sure you use fresh courgettes, a good quality feta cheese and extra virgin olive oil. To make them super crunchy make sure you use plenty of oil for frying and its heated up to sizzling temperatures. Also fry them in small batches as if you overwhelm the oil with the cold ingredients it will suddenly drop its temperature leading to a soggy texture. A healthier alternative to these traditional Greek courgette balls is to bake them – best done at 180C / 360F, but make sure you brush them on the top with some olive oil to get that crunchy texture going. This traditional recipe includes both variations – scroll down and find out which one best suits your needs!

These Kolokithokeftedes from Crete are best served with a light yogurt dip (plain yogurt in a bowl) or with some tasty tzatziki (click link for recipe). Tempted? Read on for the full recipe!


  • 1 kg zucchinis, grated (35 ounces)
  • 1 red onion, grated
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup feta cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups powdered breadcrumbs (or 4 tbsps self raising flour))
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps parsley, finely chopped
  • oil for frying


  1. Use a grater to grate the zucchini and place them in a colander with some salt. Squeeze them with your hands to get rid of the excessive water. Leave them for 30 minutes and squeeze them again.
  2. Into a large bowl add all the other ingredients and mix well with your hands, until combined and the mixture is firm enough to make the balls. Add a little more flour if needed.
    In a pan add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan, and heat the oil into medium-high heat.
  3. Dip a tablespoon in some water and spoon out some of the mixture into the hot oil. Repeat this procedure until the surface off the pan is comfortably filled. You should dip the spoon in the water every time, so that the dough doesn’t stick on it.
  4. Fry the kolokithokeftedes for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until nicely colored. Place them on paper towel, to absorb the extra oil.
  5. A healthier alternative is to bake the balls. In that case preheat the oven at 180C, oil the bottom of a baking tray and form the balls with your hands. Take a small handful of the mixture and roll into a ball and then flatten into a patty. Place on the baking tray and form the rest of the balls. Brush the top of the ball with some olive oil and bake for 25 minutes. Halfway through cooking time flip the balls and put back to the oven.
  6. Serve hot or hot with some fresh cold yogurt aside.

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