Top with a poached egg or dollop of sour cream for a light dinner entrée
Are you part of the “breakfast for dinner” movement? Me too. So how about some pancakes? But maybe not the kind smothered in maple syrup.
Instead, I propose a savory variation. These Zucchini Pancakes give you all the breakfasty fun—without the sugar.
Add a poached or fried egg, or a dollop of sour cream, and you’ve got a complete meal. Or slather some butter on the cakes and serve them as a side dish, sharing the plate with a piece of meat or fish.
Dinner is served.
Recipe: Zucchini Pancakes
These pancakes feature zucchini, but you could substitute yellow squash. Or almost any other veggie—this is a dish that invites experimentation.
There are loads of veggie pancake recipes out there, and most are pretty similar. I adapted mine from one I found in Bert Greene’s Greene on Greens.
It takes about 10 minutes to prepare the pancake batter, and another 10 to 15 minutes to cook the pancakes (depending on how many you can fit on your griddle). So you’ll have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
If you need to poach eggs for garnish, it may take a few minutes more. (See Notes for information on poaching eggs.)
This recipe makes about 8 to 12 pancakes—depending on how large you make them. It serves 2 people as an entrée (probably with a bit left over) or 4 as a side dish.
- ~¾ pound zucchini, cleaned, trimmed, and grated (about 3 cups)
- ½ ounce freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup)
- 3 scallions, cleaned, peeled, and minced (use all the white and half the green part; maybe reserve some green rounds for garnish)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (consider using pasteurized eggs; see Notes)
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional; may substitute another hot sauce)
- salt to taste (start with ~½ teaspoon)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (start with ~¼ teaspoon)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- butter or oil for greasing skillet or griddle
- sour cream with a sprinkling of green scallion rounds for garnish; or 1 Poached Egg per person (both optional; see Notes for procedure if garnishing with poached egg).
- Put a skillet or griddle on medium heat to warm while mixing the pancake batter. If you’re using an electric griddle or skillet, heat to 350 degrees F. Turn oven on to 200 degrees F if you plan to hold the first round of pancakes while finishing the rest.
- Wash and dry the zucchini. Trim the ends. Grate the zucchini with a food processor or box grater.
- Grate Parmesan cheese, using the fine holes on a box grater or microplane.
- Wash and dry the scallions. Peel off the outer skin, trim the root ends, and mince all the white and half the green tops. You may want to reserve some of the green rounds for garnish.
- Using a whisk, beat 2 eggs lightly in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the grated zucchini, grated Parmesan, minced scallions, milk, sriracha sauce, salt, and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together for at least 30 seconds (to fully distribute the baking powder).
- Add the flour and baking powder to the zucchini mixture, blending well. Taste the batter (if you’re using pasteurized eggs) and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Lightly grease the skillet or griddle (may omit if using a nonstick surface). Scoop batter onto the griddle, using 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons per pancake (see Notes). Cook the pancakes until the first side is brown (about 3 minutes). Flip, then cook the second side until lightly brown—another minute or two.
- Slide the cooked pancakes onto a flat pan or cookie sheet and place in a warm oven to hold while you finish cooking the rest of the pancakes.
- Serve pancakes with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of green scallion rounds for garnish, or add a poached egg (both optional; see Notes for information on poaching eggs).
- Because you’re grating the squash, this is a great recipe for using those huge, baseball bat-sized zucchini specimens that may appear in your vegetable garden. But of course smaller zucchini are superb too.
- When I plan to serve these as a side dish, I generally use 2 heaping tablespoons of batter per pancake (Step 8 of the Procedure). For main course-sized servings, I use about 3 heaping tablespoons. No need to be exact - you can eyeball it.
- About 2 smaller pancakes make a nice side serving, while 3 or 4 are enough for an entrée.
- Eggs carry a slight (but real) risk of salmonella. So I suggest using pasteurized eggs when making any type of batter that you want to taste raw. Although it’s unlikely the eggs you buy will be infected, why take the risk? Especially since most of us can’t make any type of batter without tasting it.
- You can identify pasteurized eggs because they usually have a red “P” stamped on them.
- Almost every baking powder you’ll find on your grocery shelf is “double-acting.” It’s called double-acting because you get a first reaction (the bubbles that help cause a rise) when you mix the powder with the wet ingredients, then a second reaction when the batter hits the heat of the griddle.
- Baking powder does become weaker over time (and most baking powder tins have an expiration date). So replace your baking powder when necessary. I usually replace mine once a year, when daylight saving time ends (so I remember to do it).
- It’s a good idea to shake baking powder before using it to make sure all its components are well mixed.
- When I serve these pancakes as an entrée, I like to use sour cream or a poached egg for garnish—it makes for a more substantial dish. When serving them as a side, a nice pat of butter is welcome.
- If you decide to use poached eggs for garnish, it’s easiest if you poach them ahead of time as described in our recipe for Poached Eggs. You can even poach them the night before (store in water in the refrigerator), then reheat in warm water right before serving, as directed in the recipe.
- If you plan to poach the eggs at the same time as you make the pancakes, just time them so they’re done when the pancakes are ready to serve. Because poached eggs take only 4 minutes to cook, you should have the water and vinegar mixture just barely simmering, as directed in the poached egg recipe. About 4 minutes before you’re ready to serve the pancakes, gently add the eggs to the simmering water. Simmer the eggs for 4 minutes, then remove them from the cooking water and drain; add one poached egg to each stack of Zucchini Pancakes. I usually also add a sprinkling of green scallion rounds.
“Winner!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs as she took her first bite of Zucchini Pancakes.
“Yeah, I love veggie pancakes,” I said. “And you can make them with pantry staples, so they’re a great quick meal when you don’t have ‘anything’ in the house.”
“And no maple syrup, so you avoid the sugar high,” she added.
“Much lower in calories too,” I said.
“Good for maintaining those washboard abs, eh?” asked Mrs K R, patting my mid-section.
“Why, yes,” I said, drawing in my stomach. “Flat as, um, a pancake.”
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Blockbuster perfection! Fragrantly delightful recipe and pictures!
awesome breakfast for dinner idea...crisp golden outer and perfectly cooked on the inside with some sour cream and fried egg....we surely can't stop at just a few of these scrumptious savory cakes,thanks for sharing this lip smacking recipe :-)
Hi Nusrat, these really are tasty! Totally worth trying. thanks for the kind words, and comment.
Hi Kumar, this really is a fun dinner idea! Great as a side, too. Thanks for the comment.
The egg sold me these. Perfect, perfect, perfect brunch recipe!
I am a big fan of breakfast for dinner mainly because I don't like breakfast at breakfast time much! These pancakes are perfect for dinner and easy too. As much as I love zucchini, I get tired of eating it the same way all summer, and I know my children do as well. This makes a lovely change and I think shall have to make these for them. Thanks for the inspiration, John!
We are definitely fans of breakfast for supper and Sunday it's a pretty normal thing to do in this house. You have just decided for me what I'm making for Sunday supper tonight. I have a large yellow squash that desperately needs to be used and this pancakes look like the perfect fit. I love everything about them John! I'll let you know how wonderful they are once I make them tonight. Thanks for your timing on this one!
Again I wish Zucchinis were common here, they cost a ton and the quality is awful, except after November. So, I ll have to wait to have a chance to try your smart & healthier zucchini pancakes. Have a nice Sunday John!
Oh goodness I bet these are irresistible
Oh I loved it. Nice presentation.
These look delicious. I make a similar dish with some sweet corn and basil in it and we love them. Topping them with an egg is a really great idea! Makes a complete meal!
Hi Paula, this is really a great recipe - it's one we'll keep making again and again. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Nazneen, I'm not that big of a fan of breakfast for breakfast either! And this dish really is a nice and different way to use zucchini. Thanks for the comment.
Hi MJ, glad to inspire you! I think you'll really like this - it's a super good dish. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Helene, sorry you have to wait to try this! But this is a really good dish, so it's worth waiting for. Thanks for the comment.
Hi cquek, they really are irresistible! So good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Nandoo, it's a great dish - really worth trying. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amy, I've made a corn version of this before, and you're right - it's really good. Never thought to use basil, though - I'll have to try that. Thanks for the comment.
Love pancakes with veggies or fruits in them! I often make apple pancakes, following the same principle as in your recipe. I like how you garnished them with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green scallion - very pretty! Definitely a winning recipe!
Flat as a pancake!? Love it! And love these. Don't have zucchini growing but might just have to buy some. These look incredible. Love the combo with the poached egg. Now what cocktail would I serve with this?
I am totally pro breakfast for dinner. In Poland we always eat something light in the evening. And zucchini pancakes I love.
Hi Julia, apple pancakes are terrific! And good as a poached or fried egg is with these pancakes, I think the sour cream is actually better. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Abbe, the store are still full of zucchini, so you should be able to get some decent specimens. ;-) Cocktail s a good question. It's a bit of an odd combo, but I think a Mai Tai might work quite well, or a Dark and Stormy - something with rum in it. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Marta, aren't zucchini pancakes wonderful? My new favorite light dinner! Thanks for the comment.
This look so good!!
I don't eat breakfast so I am all for taking breakfast foods and having them at dinner. I agree, this would be amazing with a soft poached egg on top :)
Hi Gourmet Getaways, this does make a lovely dinner - such terrific flavor. And very satisfying. Thanks for the comment.
I'm all about breakfast for dinner! I am imagining these with a perfectly poached egg. This will definitely be on the menu soon!
I haven't heard anyone refer to Bert Greene in years! He use to have a store out on the east end of Long island a long, long time ago. He even wrote a book about it which unfortunately I no longer have. As a matter of fact, I don't have any of his books anymore. I just checked. Will be fixing that for sure!
As for your luscious Zucchini Pancakes, John, yummy! We are huge fans of breakfast for dinner. As a matter of fact last night I made peachy pancakes which were really good. I think I have one small zucchini left that I've been wondering what to do with. Pancakes sound terrific and this recipe sounds just right! I think I would omit the hot sauce though. Zucchini has a way of absorbing flavors and since Marion is not a fan of hot, hot, hot, it's best I leave it out.
Thank you so much for sharing and for re-sparking the legacy of Bert Greene. He was quite a Chef!
Breakfast for dinner , I'm with you there , these zucchini pancakes will go over good at brunch , just yummy , pass the zucchini pancakes please . Thanks for sharing :).
These would make a perfect weeknight dinner. Especially with a little salsa, too. Yum!
John: What light and delicious dinner pancakes...Both the egg and sour cream are great toppings for these pancakes. I'll go to grab a fork!!!!
I am definitely a breakfast for dinner person, and these sound fab!
I love breakfast for dinner too. As a matter of fact I am competing at the Pillsbury Bake-Off with a corn and bacon pancake recipe. Let's hope that the judges think the way we do and give mine the nod. This looks like a wonderful supper. I will be making this one soon.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast. We make zucchini pancakes (fritters - in our house) with corn in them too and serve them with a good spicy tomato relish. Once again perfect for b/fast, lunch or dinner. Great recipe.
Yum, looks so good, definitley sounds like a winner to me too! I will have to make them for sure, today, if your can guarantee the washboard abs :) to go with them!
Hi Laura, the poached egg is a really nice addition. Looks pretty, too. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Louise, Bert Greene is a wonderful cookbook writer. I have his book on greens, plus his Honest American Fare (I think that's the title - it's downstairs at the moment so I don't have it at hand). Thanks for your comment.
Hi Nee, isn't breakfast for dinner fun? And you're right these would make a good brunch dish, too. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Carolyn, salsa would be great with these! Super idea. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Denise, these are so tasty - it's a great dinner. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Adri, they really are fab! Worth making - trust me! ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Karen, a corn and bacon pancake sounds wonderful. I was actually thinking of adding bacon to these, but decided against it. Maybe next time! Good luck with the bake-off, and thanks for the comment.
Hi Lizzie, corn in these would be excellent. And I love the idea of a spicy tomato relish! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Chris, if only getting washboard abs was that simple! But these are worth making anyway. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
I love the egg on top. Washboard abs? I'd just be happy with flat abs. :)
Thank you for a wonderful Sunday night supper! Bobby and I both enjoyed these VERY MUCH! I like it "a little" better with the sour cream and Bobby said it didn't matter. He liked it either way. :) The only change was that my yellow squash was at 8 ounces, so I added a small new potato to make the the bulk. Other than that, no changes. The recipe is just perfect and we will be making it again! And of course I added the sriracha. :)
Delicious, especially when topped with a lovely poached egg. What a beautiful meal!
Hi MJ, so glad you enjoyed it! The addition of the potato is brilliant. I'd think adding green, roasted Hatch chilies would be great too. ;-) Thanks so much for letting me know you liked the recipe.
Hi Maureen, I'd just kinda like to see my abs. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Hannah, it's really a fun dinner. Lovely flavor. Thanks for the comment.
Oh my gosh, I never thought to top a zucchini or even a potato pancake with an egg. What a great idea, AND I definitely need to try this lovely recipe now:-) Looks sooooo good, Take care, Terra
Hi Terra, poached eggs are really nice on these. But do try the sour cream - you might like that even better (although it's hard to beat the color of a poached egg yolk!). Thanks for the comment.
A perfect breakfast. Absolutely delicious as is, I could snack on it all day. A great idea, looks good.
Hi Asha, isn't this a nice dish? Totally delish! Thanks for the comment.
This looks amazing! I love the poached egg idea. Love all that creamy yolk running all over these pancakes. Delicious!
Those look very tempting! Zucchini pancakes are ever so scrumptious.
Wow! These pancakes look absolutely delicious! Gotta try these soon!
Mmmmmm, the savory side of pancakes! Breakfast or dinner, these do beg for experimentation ~ so many vegetables, so little time. The eggs on top are a must in my book.
I love crisp-edged fritters and vegetable pancakes. So, so much better than sweet ones! Love the chilli/sriracha combined with the scallions, cheese, mounds of zucchini and seasoning. These sound so delicious. I could eat a big plate right about now (but I might wait til Saturday breakfast... this will be my treat for the week!)
Going to make these soon. I have been looking for a good zucchini pancake recipe and this is it. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Anne, doesn't that egg yolk look yummy? ;-) But try the sour cream, too - not as dramatic looking as the poached egg, but it's also tasty. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Rosa, aren't these nice? I love veggie pancakes! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Bill, these really are worth trying. Great way to get one's veggies. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Judy, you can do almost anything with this basic concept - which is one of the reasons why I like it. I did zucchini simply because I had a ton on hand, but there are so many possibilities. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Laura, these are definitely worth waiting for. Although better if you can eat them immediately! ;-) But then I'm a kid when it comes to food - I want it now! Thanks for the comment.
I love zucchini pancakes and make them probably a couple times a year. I've never added sriracha to them but next time I will. I'm sure that gives it that extra special kick. These look great.
Hi Asmita, these are really nice. And so easy to make! I hope you enjoy them. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Vicki, I love spicy, so I'm always adding hot sauce, sriracha, etc. to things. And just a touch is nice in this dish. Thanks for the comment.
Oh I'm totally on board with the breakfast for dinner move....it's the best and pancakes are so comforting!
Hi Ashley, isn't breakfast for dinner so tasty? I love it! Thanks for the comment.
mmmm this looks amazing, what a wonderful recipe!
Oh John, this is in my plan. It looks lovely.
The first time I tried to do the zucchini cakes, I didn't have any zucchini so we made carrot and cilantro cakes instead!
Now I have zucchini but I'm not home. Thanks for the inspiration and the gorgeous photos. As always.
Love these! I could always use more pancakes in my life...especially the savory sort! And we all have loads of zucchini still. Thank you for sharing! Another delicious post and a great start to the week. I hope you had a beautiful Monday!
Hi Natalie, these are really good! One of those recipes that needs to be made monthly. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kitchen Butterfly, carrot and cilantro sounds lovely! These are super - I'm sure you'll enjoy making (and eating!) them. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Monet, who couldn't use more pancakes in their life? ;-) These are totally delish, and a great way to help use all that zucchini! Thanks for the comment.
I'm sure the zucchini growers are going to love you for this recipe, John. I'm certainly not a breakfast for breakfast person. I consider it a great start to my day if there's a piece of pizza leftover from the night before. I'd make these pancakes any time of the day, no problem. Your photo with the oozing poached egg could not be more enticing. This is a great dish and recipe. I've pinned it so I'll know where to find it later. Thanks, John.
Hi John, leftover pizza makes a great breakfast! One of my faves, too. ;-) Glad you enjoyed this recipe, and thanks for the comment.
I am totally in for your "breakfast for dinner". Wow, I can imagine the delicious pancakes on my plate already...with sriracha, cheese and zucchini into my pancakes, served with poached egg and sour cream...who wants a full-course dinner anyways? I am more than happy with these!
I think I could easily live on zucchini. So seeing it in pancakes is even better! And topped with a poached egg?! I am sold.
Hi Purabi, these really do make a great light dinner. Lovely flavor, and a bit different, too. Good stuff! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kim, that poached egg looks so nice, doesn't it? Love the yellow of the yolk! Thanks for the comment.
I am salivating looking at the pancake with that poached egg on top. You're doing a great job teasing your readers and make them hungry. For sure you are making me hungry. I would make sriracha sauce a must on this because I love the idea and thank you. Have a good week, John! :)
Ooh, I'm going to add hot sauce to my next batch of zucchini pancakes. What a terrific idea. You've given me the hugest craving ;0
Hi Ray, sorry about that teasing stuff! ;-) This really is a fun recipe, and I agree sriracha is a must! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Liz, hot sauce really works so well in this. I love spicy, and spicy pancakes are a fun surprise. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
I like your perfect breakfast! Healthy and delicious!
Hi Zoe, aren't these nice? As you say, perfect. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
These look very good and I'd be happy to eat these for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I make something similar but with corn and they're not pancakes, they're fritters (so not exactly all that similar). But...you eat them with a hot sauce and they are perfect any time of the day xx
Zucchini is so fresh and flavorful in summer!! Lovely pancakes and that egg?! Oh my :D
Hi Charlie, these aren't all that far from fritters, but you're right there's a difference. Corn would be really good in these, though! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kiran, isn't that egg fun? I love the color of the yolk! Thanks for the comment.
I have never thought of making a savory pancake before. Sounds wonderful, perfect for dinner.
I adore a zucchini pancake. What a great idea to top with a poached egg. Then you'd have a complete meal!
Hi Dawn, savory pancakes are wonderful! Fun to make, and even more fun to eat. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kristi, aren't zucchini pancakes so nice? I love the flavor, and they make such a nice, light dinner. Thanks for he comment.
These savory zucchini pancakes look fabulous John...I would take with either poached eggs or a dollop of sour cream...no fuss...
Thanks for this recipe and hope you are having a great week :D
Hi Juliana, they're great with either the egg or sour cream. Or really, all by themselves! Thanks for the comment.
Gosh, i guess this zucchini pancake is outcorageus,
i need to find the imported zucchini for making this since the locals zucchini got a bitter after taste when cooked..
i guess the running egg yolk with this pancake is just perfect to start out a day....
Hi dentistvschef, if your zucchini are bitter, you can salt them after you grate them, and let drain in a colander for 20 or 30 minutes. When I was younger zucchini used to be much more bitter than they are these days. Thanks for the comment.
I really, really love this recipe and I will try it as soon as I grab zucchini from supermarket. I am thinking of savory pancakes, but in Asian style, but after seeing this recipe, sour cream or poached egg on these zucchini pancakes sound too good to miss! Hope I can make successful. I'll pack in lunch box if I can make tiny ones! :)
Hi Nami, I've made Asian style pancakes, but not often - I need to. I'm think of making Brussels sprouts pancakes with an Asian twist. ;-) It's pretty easy to make these small, so they'd be perfect for those gorgeous lunches you pack. Thanks for the comment.
What a great recipe John, I needed this back in the days when I grew two or three zucchini bushes and kept everyone in my cul de sac supplied with the harvest! Love the tale at the end : )
Hi Lizzy, this is a good recipe for when you have extra zucchini. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
I love zucchini pancakes. I make the Korean ones quite often. I need to make this soon while zucchinis are still in season. I bet it's awesome with the poached egg. Yum! Great recipe!
Hi Gomo, I've had the Korean ones - they're awesome! The poached egg really adds a bunch to these. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
These pancakes look amazing! And I love the idea of serving them with an egg. I'll be making breakfast for dinner sometime soon!
Hi Beth, I love breakfast for dinner. Or lunch. Just not breakfast time, so much. ;-) Thanks for the comment.
I love vegetable pancakes, and what an awesome idea topping them with a poached egg, yum!
Hi Christine, aren't veggie pancakes wonderful? And that poached eggs looks so great, doesn't it? Thanks for the comment.
We love zucchini pancakes sometimes we add mussels on it and it makes it even more delicious.
Hi Raymund, I've never added mussels to these - I should try it sometime. Mussels are so great, and I can see how they'd combine nicely with this. Thanks for the comment.
These look absolutely amazing, John. I sometimes buy zucchinis and never use them. Now I have a great idea to put them to good use. Great post!
Hi Bill, this truly is a decent dish - well worth making. I think you'd enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.
I pinned this. I was always a little confused of how to pair fritters. I mean what do you/how do you serve them. You have just answered my question.
Hi Ms Lemon, glad to be of help! And this is a terrific recipe - well worth making. Thanks for the pin, and the comment.
Breakfast for dinner? Hell yes... and desserts for breakfast too. Love this post. A wonderful recipe. I MUST buy some zucchinis. We planted some the other day, but it will be while before we can harvest. : )
Hi Lizzy, this is such a fun dish! I think you'll really enjoy it - no matter when you eat it! Thanks for the comment.
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