These Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers have crispy outsides and perfectly soft insides! They’re quick and easy to make, and are the perfect Italian appetizer or side for a sticky summer night! Top them with freshly squeezed lemon juice or dip them in your favorite sauce for extra flavor! (Naturally Gluten-Free).
Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers Recipe
Today I’m sharing with you this Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers Recipe!
These are also known as fried zucchini blossoms or fried courgette flowers 🙂 .
If you’re not familiar with this delicious Italian dish, they’re basically zucchini flowers coated in batter and fried until golden and crispy!
They’re typically topped with fresh lemon juice but you can also dip them in your favorite sauce (I recommend chipotle mayo or sour cream). The flavor is very delicate though, so try pick a sauce that isn’t too overpowering!
I like to serve these as an appetizer on those sticky long summer days but they also work well as a side!
Let’s get started!
What do fried zucchini flowers taste like?
They have a very delicate flavor but they don’t “taste like flowers” (like violets, for example), they almost taste like a very mild squash.
Where to buy fresh zucchini flowers?
You can buy fresh zucchini flowers at your local farmer’s market (if they’re in season, so from late spring to early fall).
Grocery stores don’t typically have these but you may be able to find them every once in a while, depending on where you live.
If you know someone who grows zucchini, your best option is to just flat out ask that person if they can save the flowers for you and then pick them up the same morning (you pick flowers early in the morning when they’re still open).
Check the recipe card down below for the full list of ingredients + instructions!
- Zucchini flowers. I recommend washing and opening each flower to make sure there’s no dirt or bugs in them. I don’t wanna scare anyone by saying bugs but it’s pretty common to find tiiiiny little bugs in them, especially if you pick them from your garden or a farmer’s market. You can take a look at the picture below to see what I mean (the tiny black spots are bugs, I specifically took that picture to show you guys they’re nothing crazy). Be very gentle when opening and inspecting the flowers as they’re super fragile and stick to running water for washing (no baking soda or vinegar and no soaking).
- Eggs. Preferably little or medium.
- Glutinous rice flour. I like to use glutinous rice flour for this recipe because it makes the batter lighter and crispier than flour, so I highly recommend it. I like Mochiko, but any brand will work. You can also use all-purpose flour (that’s what Italians traditionally use) but you might need to adjust the amount of liquid.
- Milk. Full-fat or skimmed will both work.
How do you prepare zucchini flowers?
Check the recipe card down below for the step-by-step instructions!
- Prepare the flowers: gently open and wash the flowers under running water to make sure there’s no dirt or bug trapped inside. Place on a clean kitchen towel to dry for up to 30 minutes (10-15 is usually enough).
- Make the batter by combining eggs, glutinous rice flour, milk, and salt. The batter should be slightly thick, similar to pancake batter but lighter in color. Feel free to adjust the amount of milk and flour if necessary as different brands and batches of glutinous rice flour may absorb liquids differently.
- Fry in hot oil until crispy and golden brown on both sides. I highly recommend using a kitchen thermometer for this step (I like this one) because temperature is very important when frying. If the oil is too hot, the batter will burn but the inside will be raw. If it’s too cold, the flowers will absorb all the oil turning soggy.
Can I bake zucchini flowers?
You can but not with this recipe!
I honestly don’t recommend baking them because the fried batter is what makes these worth it, but feel free to give it a try if you’re going for a healthier version!
How do you store fried zucchini flowers?
I don’t recommend storing them as they will turn soggy in a matter of hours.
If you think 15-20 flowers are too much for you, you’re better off cutting this recipe in half!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are zucchini flowers edible?
Yes, absolutely! Just make sure to completely open each flower and remove both the stem and the pistil.
Wash them and place them on a clean kitchen towel to dry for a few minutes. Don’t freak out if you find a bug or two, that’s exactly why I recommend opening and inspecting them 🙂 .
What are fried zucchini flowers called in Italian?
They’re typically referred to as “fiori di zucca” (= squash blossoms). If you want to specifically refer to fried zucchini flowers, than you should say “fiori di zucca fritti”. 🙂
Some people might call them “fiori di zucchina” (= zucchini blossoms) but the first option is by far the most popular.
How can you tell if a zucchini flower is male or female?
Let’s get technical! A male zucchini flower is there to fertilize but will never produce zucchini itself (kinda like men), they have no pistils and tend to be slender.
Female zucchini flowers have a much more bulbous end and grow closer to the center of the plant.
You can eat both so you don’t have to worry about picking the right flowers! However, if you own zucchini plants and want to grow actual zucchini, don’t pick all the female flowers or you won’t have any zucchini!
Can you eat male zucchini flowers?
Yes! Like I said, you can eat both!
HAPPY FRYING BABES!! I hope you’ll love these fried zucchini blossoms as much as I do!
Please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating if you make it! I LOVE hearing from you! 💘
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Italian Fried Zucchini Flowers Recipe
- 15 zucchini flowers
- 2/3 cup (85 g) glutinous rice flour (I like Mochiko but any brand will work)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (75 g) milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 lemon optional, for topping
- Prepare the flowers. Gently open and wash the flowers under running water to make sure there's no dirt or tiny bug trapped inside, then place on a clean kitchen towel to dry for up to 30 minutes (10-15 is usually enough). Do not use vinegar or baking soda when washing and do not soak, all these options are too aggr essive for the flowers.
- Make the batter. In a medium bowl, add the egg, glutinous rice flour, milk, and salt. Whisk until fully combined and smooth. The batter should be slightly thick, similar to pancake batter but lighter in color. Feel free to adjust the amount of milk and flour if necessary. Set aside.
- Fry. Add 0.5 to 1 inch of oil to a skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to 350 F, I recommend using a kitchen thermometer for this step (I like this one). Once the oil is hot, dip each flower into your prepared batter, shake of the excess and place it into the hot oil. Work in batches (3-5 flowers per batch). Fry for 3 minutes or until lightly golden, the flip and fry for another 3-4 minutes or until golden. Place the fried flowers on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb excess oil. Serve warm. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice if desired.
Delish! The rice flour doesn’t make them “heavy”
YES! Happy to hear that you loved this recipe, Karen!