Stuffed Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil Pesto


Oh zucchini!  “A joy in July or a joke in September!”  

Truth is, what would summer be without zucchini and tomatoes fresh from the garden?  Zucchini simply capture the green colors and flavors of summer.  When fried alone, or stuffed and fried, they are marvelous as appetizers or for a mid-morning treat!  A platter of fried or baked stuffed zucchini/squash blossoms is an everyday delight on Italian tables.

And with zucchini comes those beautiful buttery, yellow, golden blossoms that attract bees humming in bliss while stuffing themselves with pollen that blesses them from the interiors of each blossom!

To prepare garden-fresh zucchini/squash blossoms in a delicate veil of crispy batter is comparable to nothing on earth.

Fresh-picked squash blossoms from my garden this morning, ready to prepare in the kitchen!
squash/zucchini/pumpkin blossoms are pretty enough for a delicate bouquet (they won’t last longer than a few hours though!)
Just a few shots (above and below) of how profusely my zucchini and squash plants are growing in just one portion of my garden . . . you have to look very closely, because often they grown hidden underneath very large green leaves 
and yes, the plants have outgrown the garden and are well into our backyard now!
Zucchini/squash plants are similar to tomatoes . . . they have blossoms first!
Let’s just call it vegetable garden ‘flower power’!
The difference is that these lovely yellow blossoms are BIG!
Big enough to cut, open, lay flat, stuff, and FRY!
Zucchini blossoms, squash blossoms, pumpkin blossoms . . . whatever you choose to grow and/or call them, are the little beauty delicacies,  that for years Italians have known that, they are completely edible, delicious, and very hard to come by.
They bloom only in the morning hours of your garden, and they wilt within hours.  The window of time to harvest any squash blossom, to stuff them, and to fry them is very, very small.
Thus the reason why you’ll be hard-pressed to ever find fried zucchini/squash blossoms on menus in the U.S.  Few people know of these outside of the culinary and Italian world.
There is nothing poisonous about these blossom, OK?  Actually, I don’t think there’s even a major taste to these blossoms.  They are just the “envelope” or “pouch” in which to stuff and fry.  What you end up tasting is the fried element of the dish as well as the stuffing.  So please don’t fear . . . try this . . . it’s fun, and so yummy!
zucchini/squash blossoms play a little game of ‘find me’ every morning under the huge plant leaves
Just another shot of a platter of blossoms below showing you how they will CLOSE up within a few hours of harvest.  you have very little time to prepare them to eat.  sure, you can still dunk these in the batter, but they will be round instead of flat . . . the flavor alone will not be changed.

Here’s the link to my original post to learn about the very first method of using zucchini/pumpkin/squash blossoms . . . . frying them only.  It is known in Italy has ‘pastella’, frying in a light ‘tempura-like’ batter that ends up in crispy, non-greasy fritters:

.Zucchini Blosssoms Fried in Pastella (Fiori di Zucchini Fritti in Pastella)

once you harvest your blossoms, bring them into the kitchen, no need to rinse them down if they’re clean and bug-free . . . just take a pair of kitchen shears, cut off the stems and stamens, make one length-wise slit and open them up to lay them flat.
when working with zucchini/squash blossoms, I prefer to use parchment paper so that they don’t stick to a metal pan
 this year’s blossoms are HUGE!
on the stove in a pan, saute’ in canola oil, the onion, garlic, prosciutto, herbs, and basil
blend the cheeses with the sautéed mixture
place about a tablespoon of the cheese/prosciutto/herb mixture on one end of each of the opened blossoms.
at this point, if you choose to place an anchovy inside, this is when you do that.
continue to place this mixture on all of the opened blossoms.
work quickly, they wilt fast!
from the stuffing end, roll the blossoms up GENTLY, they break easily 
pinch the open top ends of the stuffed blossoms; aren’t they pretty?

Stuffed Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil Pesto
  • For the stuffing:
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil for sautéing
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small - medium sweet (Vidalia) onion, minced
  • ½ - ⅔ cup prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garden-fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 tsp. garden-fresh thyme, minced
  • 2 tsp. garden-fresh basil, freshly minced, or 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 Tbsp. garden-fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • ½ pound ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup freshly-grated Italian Parmigianno-Regianno cheese (or Asiago)
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
  • anchovies (optional: 1 per blossom)
  • ½ pound garden-fresh spinach, washed, stems removed, finely chopped (optional - if you want spinach, add to the the original sauté mixture and cook it down until all liquid is involved)
  • 15 - 30 zucchini/squash blossoms, freshly picked, rinsed in cold water, stamens and stems removed
  • Batter:
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • Note: Some cooks add an egg yolk as well as some baking soda/powder. I think that this is a good idea and will make your batter a little thicker if you like.
  • Tomato Sauce (or use your favorite Marinara sauce):
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 4 large garden-fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional0
  1. In a large heavy pan, sauté' the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened.
  2. Add prosciutto, and all of the herbs.
  3. Remove from stove and add this to all of the cheeses.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cut off stems and any green end of the blossoms.
  6. Cut a slit through in between two blossom petals and open up each blossom to lay them flat on a platter or piece of parchment paper.
  7. Remove the stamen.
  8. Place a spoonful of filling in each blossom.
  9. Roll up each stuffed blossom and press edges together.
  10. Be careful not to let any filling ooze out of the blossoms.
  11. May be refrigerated at this point for one day or fried right away.
  12. Put one (1) cup of water in a wide soup bowl and gradually add the flour through a sifter and CONSTANTLY beat the mixture with a fork until all the flour is added. The batter will have a consistency of sour cream.
  13. For the Tomato Sauce:
  14. Saute' dinner entree options with oniosn in olive oil selections of the house
  15. Add tomatoes, wine and tomato paste.
  16. Cook uncovered, for about 5 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing mixture to cook until reduced and slightly thickened.
  17. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  18. Mix together all ingredients.
  19. to prepare and fry:
  20. Pat the blossoms thoroughly dry after harvestiing (they will most likely have some morning dew on the petals) . . . be gentle, they break easily.
  21. If necessary, clean the zucchini blossoms with a gentle rinse of cold running water.
  22. Pat gently to thoroughly dry on paper towels . . . careful, they break easily.
  23. Cut off the stems.
  24. Cut the base off of the blossom, cut one slit and then OPEN UP the blossom to be able to lay flat.
  25. Pour vegetable or canola oil (not olive oil!!!) in a skillet up two ¾ of the height of the pan sides.
  26. In a large, wide heavy pan (or wok) heat the oil to the hottest you can without burning the oil — the temperature at which a drop of batter will drop below the surface, but then quickly pop back up to the surface.
  27. When the oil is very hot, carefully dip each of blossoms into the batter, coat evenly.
  28. Carefully place the battered blossoms in the hot oil.
  29. Slip in only as many blossoms that will fit loosely into the skillet.
  30. When a golden crust has formed on one side of the blossoms, turn them over to fry on all other sides until golden, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  31. Watch the blossoms carefully.
  32. Do not overcook.
  33. Do not crowd any of the blossoms in the pan.
  34. When all sides have a lovely golden brown crust lift out with a slotted spoon.
  35. Place the hot fried blossoms on several thick layers of paper towels to drain, blotting with more paper towels or linen towels if necessary.
  36. Sprinkle with freshly cracked sea salt before they are dry.
  37. Serve hot immediately (with or without tomato sauce).
  38. Dollop or drizzle small amounts of fresh basil pesto all over platter of the fried blossoms for a pretty presentation.


Use your own favorite brand or the recipe on this blog by clicking on this link for “Fresh Basil Pesto”.

gently place each rolled up stuffed blossom in the batter and coat well
place all of the battered stuffed blossoms on a platter ready for frying 
in very fresh, clean, and HOT canola oil, fry the blossoms until golden . . . 
do not overcrowd them or let them stick to the bottom of the pan
immediately after blossoms are fried to a beautiful golden color, place them on a platter with double paper towels to soak up any extra frying oil.
this is not a heavy batter, it is more like a Japanese tempura, very light
a beautiful presentation on fresh tomato sauce and dollops of fresh basil pesto sauce!



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  1. says

    BEAUTIFULL. I love your light batter and the flavoursome filling. In the UK shops do not sell zucchini flowers so I have to grow my own flowers!! Great pictures Roz and an exciting recipe, thank you for sharing!!

  2. says

    Dennis at A Culinary Journey With Chef Dennis frequently makes these and like his, yours look delicious, but I’ve never tried them. I’ll save this and next year rather than letting all of those male blooms go to waste, I’ll give this a try, especially since they are “…comparable to nothing on earth.” :-)

  3. says

    wow the memories of grandma and fried zucchini flowers brings me way back into my childhood. These gourmet style take the cake over anything I have ever seen of eaten just lovely lovely lovely!

  4. says

    Your garden is doing wnoderful this year! I love squash blossoms but have never tried to stuffed them. My garden isn’t doing well this year so I won’t be able to try these … I’ll be right over to sample some of yours :)


  5. says

    Roz, you are a wealth of knowledge! These look absolutely fantastic…and after your detailed instructions, I think I could make these delicious numbers :)

    PS…my first and only time eating fried zucchini blossoms was in Cortona, Italy. Did I ever tell you my mom taught calligraphy there to students from U Georgia studying abroad for 3 summers? I visited my parents there one year…the food was unbelievable!

  6. says

    Zucchini flowers/blossoms are not sold in the USA markets either. We need to grow our own as well and also benefit from them too!

  7. says

    Lindy, I understand! Every year’s gardens differ. This year our tomatoes weren’t as sweet and our peppers produced only 10 peppers max! Weird!

  8. says


    Your words are exactly what my mother said, “I remember my Italian grandmother making these!” Such a summer treat, huh?

  9. says

    Sam, yes! Blessed with zucchini blossoms this year, but bummer pepper plant harvest! Ya just never know what Mother Nature will provide, huh?!

  10. says

    You can come on over anytime, my friend. Your mouth will be amazed at the burst of flavors in these little delicate blossom pockets!

  11. says

    Jump right in a pick those fresh zucchini/squash/pumpkin blossoms in your garden. These are a treat that you won’t ever find in a grocery store or market!

  12. says

    Liz, you’ve got me beat! I’ve only enjoyed fried zucchini blossoms (whether stuffed or not stuffed) in the States and would LOVE to try them in Italy such as you have been fortunate to have enjoyed! Thanks for your kind comment and for always stopping by! xoxoxo Roz

  13. says

    Linda, I have no idea why this year was so such a huge bounty of blossoms! But I assure you, they were enjoyed immensely! Thanks for your comment and for your stopping by!
    Ciao, ciao amica!

  14. says

    You’ll soon have a good plenty of zucchini blossoms in that young garden of yours too and I’m sure that you’ll be trying this recipe or technique too!

  15. says

    What a pleasure to know that I helped someone learn something new in the culinary world. I hope that you try this someday and enjoy. Thanks for stopping by with your sweet comment!

  16. says

    Roz: Those zucchini blossoms are a treat for the eyes! Our favorite farmer at Saturday’s market had zucchini blossoms. Now I’m hoping she’ll have some this Saturday.

    There isn’t really a recipe for my corn soup. The way I “put it together” is in paragraph four of my blog. I just experimented a little and kept tasting. Alas, the one bowl that was leftover (for the cook) was eaten by my husband so I don’t know how it was on day two!!


  17. says

    Hi Rosalinda, your blog site is very very nice, there are a lot of interisting information and receipts… also Italian ones! :-)
    Your garden is marvelleous, and what can I say about your blossoms?! They are simply perfect!
    I will visit your pages very often because I have to improve my English about food… :-)
    See you soon!

  18. says


    Thanks for stopping by and I’ll visit your site to in order to improve my Italian and learn more of your great recipes too!

  19. says

    I return to leave a comment on this post, because when I read your comment on my zucchini flowers I thought the same thing ‘next time I want to try a lighter batter like Roz’s recipe’. Your batter’s recipe seems to be more delicate than the recipe which my mum uses. I’ll give it a try!

  20. says


    Let me know what you think. I like a more heavy batter, but for these I tried the lighter batter. Look at the batter that I used for regular fried (not stuffed) zucchini (there is a link to it in this post). Tell me what you think.
    Grazie, Roz

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