This butternut squash fritters recipe requires just 3 main ingredients: butternut squash, flour, and parmesan cheese! We are, of course, spicing them up with some herbs and spices, and serving them with a simple lemony yogurt sauce. This is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover butternut squash in the fall!
Recipe Price: $3.93 | Per Serving: $0.98 | Makes: 12-14 fritters, 4 servings
Butternut squash is a common fall gourd that is often roasted or used in risotto, but today we’re shredding it and making squash fritters! These fritters are shallow-fried in a skillet to get nice and crispy with a touch of caramelized sweetness. I like to top them with a lemony yogurt sauce and - if I’ve got it - a touch of harissa!
As is true with other orange and yellow foods, butternut squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and cellular damage. Beta-carotene is also the plant-based precursor to Vitamin A.
What are Butternut Squash Fritters?
Fritters are commonly made using vegetables or seafood chopped into small pieces. They may contain a batter to hold the ingredients together. They are often served as an appetizer or side dish for meals.
Butternut squash fritters have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. The mixture is shaped into patties and cooked until tender on the inside with crisp edges and sides. The vegetable has enough moisture that you don't need a batter to hold them together.
Why You Will Love This Butternut Squash Fritter Recipe
- A Unique Way to Use Butternut Squash. If you're looking for a new way to prepare butternut squash to add to meals, you're going to love this butternut squash recipe.
- Great Flavor and Texture. The slightly sweet flavor of butternut squash pairs well with a simple blend of spices. Cooking them in the skillet gives the outside the perfect amount of crispiness that works well with the tender squash.
- Simple: this recipe uses shredded butternut squash, a bit of chickpea flour, Parmesan cheese for flavor and binding, and herbs and spices for flavor. That's it!
Making butternut squash fritters requires a handful of pantry ingredients plus some fresh butternut squash. Here's a look at the ingredients. Be sure to check the recipe card for the full list.
- Butternut squash: Peeled and grated butternut squash is what we're using here, but you can chop up spiralized squash as well. Both will work perfectly to make crispy butternut squash patties.
- Chickpea Flour: I love using chickpea flour in this recipe for squash fritters. It absorbs the moisture in the butternut squash very well and works great for pan-frying (as centuries of Indian fritters have shown us!). You can also use almond flour or arrowroot starch. If you don't need this to be gluten-free, you can use regular all purpose wheat/white flour, but I haven't tested the recipe with it.
- Parmesan cheese: Do not skip this one! Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor.
- Seasoning: Onion powder, smoked paprika, dried rosemary, and garlic powder layer in the perfect amount of additional flavor to your butternut squash pancakes. Feel free to add some red pepper flakes as well for a kick of heat.
- Yogurt: Plain yogurt works best since it doesn't have any sugar or flavors added. You can use thick Greek yogurt or plain yogurt.
- Chives: Fresh chives have a delicate flavor that works perfectly in the sauce to accompany your butternut fritters. You can also use the green part of green onions if chives are not available.
- Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed! Serve with extra lemon wedges for an extra burst of brightness to the fritters.
- Spicy: This is totally optional but I like adding a bit of harissa to the sauce or to dollop on top. You can also use your favorite hot sauce.
Dietary Modifications and Variations
- Paleo: No, these are not Paleo. (Chickpea flour and Parmesan cheese are not Paleo.)
- Vegetarian: Yep, these butternut squash appetizers are vegetarian! They're also egg-free!
- Extra Cheesy: You can double the Parmesan for extra cheesy fritters.
- Spicy: Replace the smoked paprika with chipotle chili powder. It will still give you a bit of smokiness but also add some heat. Other options are a pinch of cayenne pepper or a Tablespoon of Harissa sauce.
- Make your own chickpea flour! While buying it is an option it may not be as easily available to everyone so consider making homemade chickpea flour. And you can also replace this ingredient with almond flour, arrowroot starch, or regular flour.
How to Make Butternut Squash Fritters
Gather your ingredients and let's get started! Here's a look at the main steps to follow for making these squash fritters.
- Prep the butternut squash. Peel it and then grate with a food processor or cheese grater.
PRO TIP: I used the largest grater on my food processor with great results. A smaller grater or grating by hand makes a wetter batter since the increased surface area releases more moisture. Finer shreds will still work, but you may need to add another Tablespoon of chickpea flour.
- Combine the shredded squash with the chickpea flour, Parmesan cheese, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Stir everything together. The mixture will look a bit dry, but I promise it will work! If you’re unsure, you can add an egg, but I much preferred the flavor without an egg.
- Cook the fritters in olive oil or avocado oil. Scoop the squash mixture into approximately ¼-cup sized fritters and shape them with your hand by just pressing them together. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until nicely golden brown.
PRO TIP: Use a large skillet and make sure it's hot before adding the oil to the pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the entire surface. When it's hot, add the fritters but leave plenty of room between each one. This make them easier to flip but also avoid decreasing the temperature of the oil by over-crowding the pan.
- When crispy, remove the squash fritters to a paper-towel lined plate or tray to drain off any excess oil. Continue cooking fritters in batches, adding more oil as needed. You may also need to adjust the heat up and down as needed until you’re getting perfectly cooked fritters!
- Mix together the yogurt, chopped chives, and lemon juice to to make a dipping sauce for your butternut squash cakes.
Serve up your butternut squash fritters with extra lemon wedges and chopped chives! Top with the yogurt sauce and enjoy!
This squash patties recipe makes a great appetizer or side dish, and I would serve them alongside a soup or stew, or as a starchy side for Thanksgiving. Here are some dishes for a bit of inspiration!
- Party Appetizer: You can make them a bit smaller and serve them as a passed appetizer. Simply make them ahead then reheat in a 350°F oven for about 8 minutes. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the air fryer!
- Soups and Stews: They really make a tasty side for your favorite fall soups and stews! Try them with this lentil kale soup or black bean soup.
- Side Dish: You can easily these as a side dish for holiday meals or weeknight dinners. Enjoy them with a variety of main dishes such as slow cooker pork chops, slow cooker barbecue chicken, and crispy stovetop chicken.
- Breakfast: These squash fritters can even work for breakfast! They'd a make a tasty stand-in for hash browns. Enjoy them with these easy stuffed breakfast mushrooms, or top them with a simple poached egg.
How to Store
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months. Allow them to cool down fully first, and to freeze, be sure to layer them in a bag or airtight container.
- Reheat: You can reheat these fritters in the oven or the air fryer. The oven takes about 8 minutes at 350° F and the air fryer will heat them up in 4-6 minutes. If they're frozen, allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Make Ahead: You can easily make these 1-2 days in advance and use for meal prep or for a party. Reheat them using the instructions above.
- Shape Even Sized Fritters. Use a scoop or measuring tool to ensure even shaped fritters. A quarter cup measure works great for fritters for a side dish while a 2 tablespoon scoop is great for smaller fritters.
- Don't Overcrowd During Cooking. Leaving some space in between the fritters while cooking makes it so much easier to flip them over. It also keeps the oil hot so your fritters are nice and crispy on the outside.
- Use Fresh Butternut Squash. For the best flavor and texture! Frozen butternut squash will not work in this recipe.
It’s a little bit tough to cut butternut squash, but a stable surface and a sharp knife will do the trick. I recommend choosing smaller squash as they are much easier to manage.
I highly recommend using a wide Y peeler! I have one that works beautifully for large vegetables. Just be sure you don't choose the cheapest option as you want the blade to be nice and sharp for peeling a butternut squash!
Yes, as a starchy carbohydrate, we would consider this to be relatively high in carbs. However, it is a whole food starchy carbohydrate that contains fiber and is low on the glycemic index, which means it is unlikely to spike your blood sugar.
If you have uncooked butternut squash leftover, I definitely recommend this recipe! If you’ve got leftover cooked butternut squash, I love tossing it into soups and stews, or making these beef and butternut bowls.
More Butternut Squash Recipes
Butternut Squash Fritters
- 4 cups shredded butternut squash about 1 pound
- ½ cup chickpea flour or any
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese about 1 ¼ ounce
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil divided (approximately, more or less as needed)
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons chives
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Optional: a bit of harissa or hot sauce
- Wash & peel the butternut squash, and using a food processor or cheese grater, shred until you get 4 cups, which is about 1 pound (16 ounces). Grate the Parmesan cheese until you have about ½ a cup.
- Add the shredded squash to a large bowl along with the chickpea flour, Parmesan cheese, onion powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Stir well to combine. The mixture will look a bit dry, but I promise it will work! If you’re unsure, you can add an egg, but I much preferred the flavor without an egg.
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Ensure it is quite hot, then add some olive oil (about 2-3 teaspoons) and swirl it around. Scoop the squash mixture into approximately ¼-cup sized fritters and form them with your hand by just pressing them together. (This should be easy!) Then place them onto the hot skillet, with plenty of room between them. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until nicely golden brown.
- Remove them to a paper-towel lined plate or tray. Continue in batches until all of your fritters are cooked, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Adjust the heat up and down as needed until you’re getting perfectly cooked fritters!
- For serving, I like to mix together the yogurt, some chopped chives, and lemon juice to dollop on top. You can also top with Harissa, Georgian Adjika sauce, or Sriracha! Sprinkle with chopped chives for presentation's sake, and enjoy!