side view of a stack of gluten free zucchini fritters with vegan lemon cashew cream on top

Vegan Pesto Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Cashew Cream

  • Author: Lizzy
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 fritters 1x
  • Method: Pan Fried
  • Cuisine: American


These Vegan Pesto Zucchini Fritters drizzled with dairy-free Lemon Cashew Cream sauce are a delicious way to enjoy your summer bumper crop of zucchini and basil for a satisfying vegan side.



For the Lemon Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 1 hour and up to 4 (the longer the better)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
  • You may need ¼ cup cashew soaking water or more, to blend

For the Pesto Zucchini Fritters:

  • 1 tbsp ground flax meal
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, divided between green and white parts
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • Salt and black pepper


For the Lemon Cashew Cream:

  1. Drain the cashews, reserving soaking water in case you need it to blend the sauce. 
  2. Combine the cashes, garlic, all the lemon zest, juice from one lemon, salt, and miso in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding cashew soaking water one tablespoon at a time if necessary to achieve a creamy sauce.  

To make the fritters:

  1. Put the grated zucchini in a clean dish towel and sprinkle liberally with salt. Toss well and let sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 30. After sitting, wring out the dish towel over the sink to remove as much water as possible. Put zucchini in a large mixing bowl
  2. Make a flax egg by combining the flax meal with 2.5 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, and up to 20, until it thickens.
  3. Add flax egg, scallion whites, minced garlic, basil, nutritional yeast, baking powder and chickpea flour to the bowl with the zucchini. Mix batter thoroughly.
  4. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add a few cakes of zucchini batter mixture. Cook until crisp and brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue cooking fritters in batches, adding more oil as necessary.
  5. Top with scallion greens and serve with lemon cashew cream sauce for dipping. 

Keywords: vegan zucchini fritters, zucchini fritters, vegan cashew sauce