Summer Squash Fritters

A spider spoon with a fried summer squash in it being set onto a cooling rack.

Jamie and Kelly Kornegay turned me on to this recipe: spoonfuls of grated squash in cornmeal batter that blossom like sunflowers as they sizzle to a crisp brown. When it is not possible to eat all the squash that comes out of the backyard garden quickly enough, the Kornegays have admitted to leaving anonymous gifts on neighbors’ doorsteps under the cover of darkness. They, too, have been on the receiving end of this generous gesture. Kelly tried the recipe she got from a neighbor one particularly prolific summer, when she had exhausted her many other uses for crooknecked squash.

These are terrific with a grating of pecorino cheese over the top while warm. They’re also good served as an alternative to hush puppies at a fish fry.–Martha Hall Foose

LC Splayed Like a Sunflower Note

The author notes that this batter sort of blossoms like a sunflower when it’s dropped into hot oil. We have no doubt this happens for the lovely Ms. Martha Hall Foose, although let’s just say we’re still honing our technique. For now, saying that the golden-brown clumps we pulled from the hot oil resemble sunflowers is sort of like looking at a cloud and saying it resembles Johnny Depp. Which is to say, it just requires a smidgen of imagination. This is of little consequence, however, given how pleasing these lovely little hushpuppy-like treats are to the palate. (And if, by chance, any of your fritters resemble Johnny Depp, we expect you to take a picture and send it our way!)

Summer Squash Fritters

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 8
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In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, salt, and sugar to get out any lumps. In a separate bowl, combine the onion, squash, buttermilk, and egg. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat about 4 inches of oil in a deep pot or deep-fryer to 375°F (190°C). Set a wire rack over newspaper or paper towels.

To fry the little blobs of batter, dip two spoons in the hot oil, then scoop up a spoonful of batter with one spoon and slide it into the hot oil using the other spoon. Do not stir the batter! Repeat to make more fritters, dipping the spoons again into the hot oil if the batter begins to stick. Don’t crowd the pan. Fry the squash fritters, turning as needed, until crisp and deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on the rack set over newspaper. Serve hot.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This recipe makes hushpuppies. Very good hushpuppies —they’re light and moist. But I was expecting something a little different, more like a squash fritter. There was a lot more cornmeal batter in here than squash, so what you end up with is really just a hushpuppy with some squash in it. With a name like “sunflower squash,” I had been expecting a squash fritter bound together with a bit of hushpuppy batter, but these were all hushpuppy. I even used a bit more squash than called for. I looked up the recipe in the cookbook, and the photo showed something that looked “squashier,” which makes me think there may have been a mistake in the amount of squash called for. I think when I try these again, I’ll make half the batter. The hushpuppies were excellent, even if they weren’t what I was hoping for.

YUM! These little squash fritters were fabulous. With the abundance of summer squash out there right now, I was excited to try this unique recipe. I think even zucchini would work well here, too. I ended up shredding two small yellow squash which was probably more like 1 1/2 cups, not one, like the recipe reads. I would be tempted to try this recipe again with about two cups of shredded squash, and maybe reduce the cornmeal amount to 1 1/2 cups, just to give the dish some more of the squash and less batter. The seasonings were right on; I bet a couple of dashes of hot sauce in the batter would enhance the flavor as well. I really enjoyed making these, and am super excited to have leftovers!


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