Switch up your shredded zucchini game with these zucchini pancakes – paired with spicy and salty toppings, your taste buds won’t be missing the sweet version for long!
Who among us has never ended up with a surplus of zucchini this time of year? Let’s consider the sources:
- Backyard gardening gone crazy, when you forget to pick for a couple days and discover the zucchinis have morphed into something the size of your leg
- The friendly neighbor or family member who’s experienced their own version of the above
- Overzealous farmers market or grocery store shopping when the summer produce just looks *too good* and you feel anxious about cold weather coming so you snatch ’em all up
Yeah, maybe we even have a little of all that going on. Regardless of how you find yourself with more zucchini than you know what to do with, you might not be over-the-moon thrilled at the thought of baking endless loaves of zucchini bread.
For the record, I love me some zucchini bread.
But if you’re looking for another option (read: savory instead of sweet) the same simple steps can be used to whip up these zucchini pancakes. Topped with a spicy cream cheese mix + salty smoked salmon and it’s a game changer for zucchinis.
This month’s theme for The Recipe ReDux is all about savory breakfasts. I immediately wanted something along the lines of a breakfast bowl like this one with potatoes and eggs. But then my eye wandered to my kitchen counter where all the squash from my dad’s garden have been hanging out. Why not use something seasonal before it’s gone?
Hatch chilis are another summer favorite that only make an appearance for a short time every year. I fell in love with the roasted ones a few summers back and add them to everything from salsa to tacos to salad and grain bowls. You can usually find them this time of year pre-roasted at grocery stores. Or, check out this simple method for roasting from The Kitchn.
I went with the convenience of frozen corn, but if you’ve got sweet corn around, go for it! I also opted for an all-purpose flour but you could easily substitute a whole grain flour or gluten-free flour blend to fit your needs. The batter should be thick, but still very moist (only slightly runnier than what you would want for zucchini bread or muffins).
The cooking time is actually the hardest part of pancakes – just like I love to stir, I also love to flip. My downfall is being too impatient and trying to flip too soon. Anyone else?
Over fairly high heat, these should cook pretty quickly. I set my stove burner to about a 7, using a nonstick skillet. I consider that medium-high, but hey, you know what you’re working with so adjust as needed. You should see some browning start to take place and be able to easily flip your zucchini pancake without major disaster. Cook another couple of minutes on the other side, repeat, then serve!
Have you ever used zucchini in breakfast or brunch recipes? How would you serve these up for your family?
Zucchini Pancakes with Roasted Hatch Chili Cream Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: 5 servings, 2 pancakes per serving
1 lb zucchini, shredded and drained (about 2 packed cups)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the Topping:
6 oz. cream cheese
1 roasted hatch chili pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
4 oz. smoked salmon (optional)
Green onions, sliced (optional)
Wash and dry the zucchini and shred into a colander. Sprinkle lightly with salt, mix, and allow to sit over the sink. Meanwhile, dice the onion and prepare the other ingredients.
Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Using clean hands or cheesecloth, squeeze the shredded zucchini to remove as much liquid as possible. Add to a large mixing bowl along with the rest of the pancake ingredients. Mix well until fully combined.
Drop the batter into the nonstick skillet to form a 4″ pancake (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter). Allow to cook 2-4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes. The pancake should brown slightly. Repeat until the batter is gone, making about 10 pancakes total.
While the pancakes are cooking mix the roasted hatch chili pepper with the whipped cream cheese, along with the cumin and onion powder. Divide the smoked salmon (if using) into equal portions. Top the zucchini pancakes with the roasted hatch chili cream cheese and smoked salmon. Top with sliced green onions or leafy greens of your choice. Serve immediately.
To roast the hatch chili pepper:
Preheat your oven broiler to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Wash and dry the hatch chili pepper and place in the center of the baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for about 15 minutes, flipping or quarter turning every 4-5 minutes. The pepper should blister but not burn. Remove from the oven and place in a gallon Ziplock bag. Seal the bag and steam the pepper. After the pepper has cooled, remove the skin, slice lengthwise to remove the seeds, then finely mince the pepper to add to the cream cheese. (This process may be done ahead of time)
If desired, replace gouda with another cheese such as cheddar or mozzarella (shredded).
To batch cook: Double the recipe and cook all pancakes. Allow to cool completely, then store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If freezing, allow to cool completely then stack with a square of waxed paper or parchment paper between each pancake. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, squeezing out all air to prevent freezer burn. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
And don’t forget to check out the full line-up of savory breakfasts from The Recipe ReDux. It’s the first and only recipe challenge founded by dietitians to highlight nutrition and great taste at the same time!