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Home1 Article TypeOnly Single RecipesCrispy Greek Fried Zucchini Balls from Crete. Traditional Recipe of Kolokithokeftédes.

Crispy Greek Fried Zucchini Balls from Crete. Traditional Recipe of Kolokithokeftédes.

Things to know about Kolokithokeftédes Recipe

Kolokithokeftedes is a traditional Cretan meze that is paired with ouzo and is a staple in taverns and restaurants. In Greek, Kolokithi means gourds and Keftedes means meatballs. Since zucchini is a gourd the translation of kolokithokeftedes can be fried zucchini meatballs. Traditional Greek herbs and feta are what make these kolokithokeftedes distinguished. For the most authentic way of kolokithokeftedes, it is advised to keep the outside crispy and the inside soft and creamy.

Crispy Greek Fried Zucchini Balls from Crete. Traditional Recipe of Kolokithokeftédes.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Κρητικοί Τηγανητοί Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Main Ingredient Group Vegetable based Recipes
Spice Level No Spicy Recipes
Main Cooking Method Fried, Fried (Pan)


Servings 12 Pieces
Calories / Serving 497 kcal


  • 1000 grams (2.2 lb) Zucchini – Courgette Medium
  • 1 pc Red Onion
  • 2 pcs Spring Onion – Scallion – Green Onion
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Mint
  • 2 pcs Egg
  • cup Feta Cheese
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley
  • 500 ml (16.91 floz) Vegetable Oil For deep frying
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  • Peel the zucchini. Using a grater, grate the zucchini and onions. Place the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze the excess water from the zucchinis, let them sit for 30 minutes, and squeeze them again.
  • Crumble the breadcrumbs with a food processor. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients with a spoon or your hands. If the dough is too loose add some flour.
  • In a large skillet with high sides, heat the vegetable oil. The oil should be 180°C (355°F).
  • Check if the oil is hot by placing a piece of the batter in the oil. If the piece bubbles on the sides the oil is ready.
  • Place one tablespoon of kolokithokeftede in the oil until the surface is covered. Don’t put the batter too close to each other or they will stick together.
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.
  • Remove the zucchinis from the skillet with a slotted spoon and dry on a paper towel for 1-2 minutes.
  • Salt right after and serve hot with some cold yogurt. Kalí órexi! Enjoy your meal!


  • Do not use a pot, use a skillet with 5 cm (2 in) high sides. This will prevent the oil from smoking up too much.
  • You can bake kolokithokeftede for a healthier option.
By salting the zucchini and letting them sit for 30 minutes you will remove the excess water so that when you fry them, they won’t be soggy.
The oil should be hot when frying so the zucchini does not just absorb the oil, when the oil is hot the kolokithokeftede will crisp up. Fry the batter in batches and don’t overcrowd the pan and cook in one layer. Crowding the pan will result in the temperature of the oil decreasing, and the batter won’t cook all the way.
Serve kolokithokeftedes with yogurt-based dips like tzatziki, skordalia, or as a part of a meze platter.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:


Calories: 497kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 6gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 23gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 547mgPotassium: 276mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 341IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Kritikí Tiganití Kolokithokeftédes Recipe, Traditional Greek Fried Zucchini or Courgette Balls Recipe, Κρητικοί Τηγανητοί Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες
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