Crispy, easy veggie cakes are made with grated vegetables – carrots, zucchini, broccoli and corn for a touch of sweetness. Vegetable patties are a tasty way to get more veggies into your diet, especially if you have picky eaters. They’re great for lunches, meal prep or a side dish for dinner. This recipe is also very customizable – you can swap out ingredients and substitute with what you have.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
- Make Ahead – You can prepare the ingredients ahead of time to cook later, but you can also make them and store in the fridge for a day or two before serving.
- Versatile – You can swap out vegetables that you don’t like with ones that you do!
- Big batch – This recipe makes 30 vegetable fritters, which is great for larger families or those who want to freeze a portion of them for later.
Veggie cakes recipe
These fluffy and easy vegetable fritters are cooked on the stovetop, but can be baked in the oven for an even healthier option. Those with an air fryer can follow the directions in my butternut squash fritters recipe for this cooking method.
Breakfast is perhaps where we all have the most difficult time fitting vegetables into our day. Veggie patties make a great “grab and go breakfast”, but if you have 5 minutes to cook an egg and slide it on top of your vegetable patty, it is a delicious way to start your day.
Learn how easy it is to make this veggie cake recipe yourself instead of buying them. You can customize your vegetable patties to suit your tastes or simply to use up what you already have. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are endless.
Watch the full video – How to Make Veggie Cakes
- Broccoli – A food processor grates the broccoli in mere seconds.
- Zucchini – Because this vegetable is watery, it must be drained well before used.
- Carrots – They add sweetness to the vegetable patties.
- Onion – I use yellow onion, or a sweet onion. Whatever you have is fine.
- Corn – Fresh summer corn is great, but I use frozen corn the rest of the year.
- Eggs – Eggs help bind everything together and they add protein.
- Salt, pepper and granulated garlic – Everything needs to be seasoned. You can use fresh garlic instead of granulated, if you prefer.
- Panko breadcrumbs – Also known as Japanese breadcrumbs, they are coarser than fine Italian breadcrumbs.
- All-purpose flour – Helps the veggie cakes to hold their shape.
- Baking powder – Gives them a little lift.
- Parmesan cheese – Gives them a bit of richness and umami flavor.
- Cajun seasoning – Optional, if you like a little spice.
- Neutral oil for pan – Don’t use your best olive oil for frying. Stick with a neutral oil like grapeseed or canola.
Grating vegetables in a food processor makes this go much quicker, especially because this recipe does make a large batch. In a few easy steps, you’ll know how to make vegetable patties that will make even the pickiest eater happy.
- Grate zucchini first. It needs time to drain. After you’ve grated it, set it in a colander over a bowl to catch the liquid. (See photo above)
- Grate the rest of your veggies in the food processor and set them aside, ready to mix with the remaining ingredients.
- Mix everything up in a large bowl and scoop out in equal portions.
- Once you’ve cooked them, place them on a parchment lined sheet pan to cool, or to chill for freezing.
A food processor makes quick work of grating the veggies, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. A box grater does the same job with the added benefit of an upper arm workout.
Veggie patties are one of my favorite ways to use up vegetables that I have in the refrigerator. That’s how this sweet potato and beet fritter happened.
Veggie cakes FAQ’s
This recipe has lived on my blog for about 11 years. In that time, many things have changed (like the availability of gluten-free flour). Here a few answers to the most commonly asked questions about Pook’s Pantry veggie cakes.
You can absolutely freeze them. In fact, they freeze beautifully! The recipe does make a large batch, so freezing is a great idea.
Yep! Bake them at 350°F // 180°C // Gas mark 4 for 20 – 25 minutes. This is a healthier option than frying, but they will not be quite as crispy. Spray the tops with cooking spray to help them crisp up in the oven.
They are a great side dish for dinner or a light, meatless dinner. They are perfect for little hands as they can be held without falling apart. As mentioned above, they make a stellar breakfast, topped with an egg.
Yes! Swap all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour (like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur GF flour).
Having a party? Make them a little smaller and use as an appetizer topped with a tiny dollop of sour cream.
I have tucked them into a small roll for a veggie sandwich on the go. You could swap them out for a falafel in a pita. There are so many ways you could eat them.
Consider serving them with any of these dishes:
- Potato Corn Chowder with Bacon
- Curried Cauliflower with Golden raisins
- Easy Lentil Soup Recipe
- Seared Halibut with Lemon Gastrique
Easy make ahead meal
This is a great make ahead meal. You can grate vegetables ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to cook. The leftovers will keep in the fridge for lunches for the rest of the week, or you can pop a few into the freezer for later. Do the work once and when you are having one of those days, pull them from the freezer & voila! Dinner is done.
If you don’t like something, swap it out for something similar as suggested in my Italian vegetable cake recipe.
Do you have a handful of something hanging out in the fridge that needs to get used up? Toss it in – just make sure that if you use a watery veggie (like spinach), you press the water out, otherwise they will be soggy instead of crispy.
Variations and substitutions
These vegetable fritters have endless variations. Swap cauliflower for broccoli, parsnips for carrots, scallions or shallots for onions.
You can use gluten-free flour instead of regular all purpose flour. However, because they vary quite a bit by brand, you may need to adjust the amount slightly to get your desired texture.
Add in a teaspoon or two of any dried herbs or spices that you like to give them a different flavor.
Helpful tools and equipment
- Food processor: This appliance makes grating all of the vegetables a snap. Also, if you have problems with your hands or joints (like arthritis) and can’t grate vegetables by hand, this is a lifesaver.
- Scoop: I use this scoop for everything: vegetable cakes, muffins, cookies, etc. It gets so much use in my kitchen and it holds up through lots of wear and tear.
- Sheet pans: Buy commercial sheet pans. They are thicker and better quality, they won’t warp in a hot oven. They aren’t fancy and they’re not supposed to be. They are a workhorse in your kitchen and if you take proper care of them, you’ll never buy them again.
- Cast iron skillet: Just like sheet pans, a cast iron skillet will last you a lifetime if cared for properly. There is a reason that these are passed from one generation to the next – they last forever. It is my preferred pan for cooking any kind of fritter or vegetable cake.
More veggie cakes recipes
Need a few more ideas or inspiration? These vegetable patties or fritters will help you get more vegetables into your dinnertime routine.
- Vegan veggie cakes with chia
- Zucchini fritters
- Curried cauliflower fritters
- Green vegetable cakes
- Potato broccoli cakes
- Indian-spiced vegetable patties
If you still want more, I made a veggie cake e-book!
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- 2 cups broccoli, grated
- 3 large zucchini, grated and drained
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 onion, diced and sautéed (optional)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, I used panko
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning, optional, if you like a little kick
- oil for pan
Prep the zucchini
- Grate zucchini, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, toss to combine.
- Place a fine mesh strainer on top of / inside a large bowl. Add salted zucchini to strainer. Place a heavy bowl or plate on top of the zucchini to weigh it down. Liquid will drain from zucchini into bowl underneath.
- Let it sit for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. After it has drained, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel or a piece of cheesecloth and SQUEEZE! Even more water will come out, we want it as dry as possible!
- Set the drained zucchini aside.
Make the Cakes
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, pepper, granulated garlic or Cajun seasoning, if using, breadcrumb and cheese together. Add all the vegetables and toss to combine, making sure to break up the zucchini and coat everything with flour mixture.
- Crack eggs into a small bowl, give a little whisk and pour over veggie mixture. Mix to THOROUGHLY combine.
- Heat a sauté pan (skillet) over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil (a teaspoon or two) and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Using a scoop (or a large spoon), drop mixture into the hot pan and flatten out with your fingers to form a patty.
- Cook for 4 - 5 minutes on each side, turning down the heat if they begin to brown too quickly.
- Remove from pan to a cooling rack placed inside a sheet pan, or a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Repeat until mixture is gone.
Zucchini is very watery and needs to be drained well, otherwise your cakes will end up a soggy mess. It loses most of it's volume once it's drained (think spinach). You start out with a full pot and it cooks down to nothing.
To freeze: place squares of parchment paper between the cakes and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or slide into a zip-top freezer bag.
A cast iron skillet works the BEST, but any skillet will do!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 537mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Originally published June 2012.