Tasty, cheesy zucchini cakes served with your favorite tomato sauce. So healthy and delicious, your kids won’t even know they’re eating vegetables!

zucchini cakes with tomato sauce

Zucchini Cakes with Parmesan and Tomato Sauce

Fish cakes, crab cakes, cupcakes, and now zucchini cakes! I’ve had a week of eating things that end with the word cake and so far, these zucchini cakes have taken.. well.. the cake! Meaty, nutty and savory, I served them topped with leftover puttanesca sauce from a previous pasta dinner. I’m big on reusing leftovers since I hate seeing good food go to waste!

grated raw zucchini

Grating zucchini can be done with a mandoline or a cheese grater.

We weren’t very hungry the night I made these so I served them as a main following a big bowl of carrot ginger soup. But you can make the cakes smaller and serve them as appetizers or even hors d’oeuvres, with a side of tomato sauce as a dip.

parmigiano regiano cheese

Add a cup of grated parmesan cheese for an Italian kick to the cakes.

The flavors are so classic (it’s almost like eggplant parm!) you can rest assure it will be a slam dunk with everyone biting into these moist cakes. Kids included!

grated zucchini in bowl with paper towel

Squeeze grated zucchini with paper towel to remove excess water. Repeat a few times.

The zucchini gets very watery once grated, so make sure to squeeze out a good amount of it by using paper towel. I must’ve repeated that step 6-7 times before adding the other ingredients! You’ll also want to squeeze out liquid as you’re making your cakes so they can cook nicely and keep their shapes.

zucchini cakes frying in a pan

Use 1/4 cup of oil and cook the zucchini cakes on high until dark brown on both sides.

Tomato sauce (or confit tomatoes) is optional since the cakes are very tasty on their own, but I personally like it for extra zing, color and character. These zucchini cakes will keep in the fridge for a couple days (separately from the sauce, to avoid sogginess.)

putanesca sauce

Leftover spaghetti sauce makes a wonderful addition to the zucchini cakes. This step is optional.


zucchini cakes with parmesan and tomato sauce

Slightly crispy on the outside yet still moist and tender on the inside.


Zucchini Cakes

zucchini cakes with tomato sauce

Tasty, cheesy zucchini cakes served with your favorite tomato sauce. Everyone will love them!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cakes 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 3 large zucchini (grated (julienne style on the mandolin))
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • Your favorite tomato sauce. I used puttanesca for this recipe.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, squeeze out excess water from grated zucchini by using paper towel or a cheese cloth. Repeat this step a few times until paper towel doesn’t easily soak anymore.
  2. Add parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, a little salt and pepper, and stir well with a spoon.
  3. Make your zucchini cakes by squeezing out excess liquid until the mixture can be shaped.
  4. In a large pan over medium/high heat, add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add cakes (you may need to this in batches) and cook until dark brown on both sides (about 5 minutes each side).
  5. Drain the cakes on paper towel and serve with your favorite tomato sauce.


This recipe makes about 8 medium size cakes.


  • Calories: 334
  • Sugar: 11.9
  • Sodium: 730
  • Fat: 22.6
  • Saturated Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 22.6
  • Fiber: 4.9
  • Protein: 15.7
  • Cholesterol: 67
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