30 Minute Savory Zucchini Waffles
Waffles for dinner? These nourishing savory zucchini waffles are made with chickpeas and chickpea flour so they have a falafel vibe with plenty of satisfying protein and fibre. They’re perfect when you don’t feel like cooking as they come together easily in the food processor!
WAFFLES! With ZUCCHINI! For DINNER! I’m very excited about this recipe because during a busy week, breakfast for dinner is a real win, whether it’s a quick chickpea scramble or hearty vegan breakfast sandwich. And I think these savoury zucchini waffles are an even bigger win because they’re a complete meal in a cute waffle package!
If I had to choose between waffles and pancakes, I’d typically choose waffles, mostly because I don’t have to stand over a hot skillet trying not to burn them. Although I have to say, my new waffle iron also has a pancake attachment so maybe now waffles and pancakes are in a dead heat ha.
But these are NOT your typical Sunday morning waffles (I’ve got a great recipe for light as air whole grain waffles in Good For Your Gut cookbook) Instead, these falafel-inspired waffles are a really fun way to get more zucchini on your plate…particularly if your family aren’t zucchini fans because they’re blended up into the batter which transforms their texture.
Hungry? This dietitian has doubled down on nutrition and packed these savoury vegan waffles full of veggies and chickpeas so they’re super filling and satisfying. Chickpeas and zucchini are SUCH a good flavour combo – it’s the secret to my baked zucchini fritters too – and the double dose of chickpeas (flour and whole chickpeas) makes these waffles naturally gluten free while offering plenty of minerals like iron and zinc as well as a hefty dose of fibre and some plant-based protein too.
It’s a plant-based recipe that’s fun, flavourful and nourishing in equal measure…just how it should be!
Raid your pantry and make these epic vegan zucchini waffles
Don’t let this slightly longer ingredient list deter you…it’s mostly pantry items! And all you have to do is dump everything into your food processor and then sit back with a mocktail and let the waffle iron do the work.
- Zucchini: You’ll need 2 cups of chopped zucchini here, about one medium zucchini…no matter if it’s yellow or green!
- Chickpeas and chickpea flour: you’ll need one 14 oz (398mL) can of chickpeas (I always use no salt added) and some chickpea flour (chickpea fava flour will work too!)
- Garlic and shallot: I doubled down on the alliums for double the flavour. Plus, allium veggies are packed with gut-boosting prebiotics so you know, it’s just me looking out for your gut health.
- Parsley: parsley injects a bit of freshness – and a ton of valuable phytochemicals – into the batter. You could use curly or flat leaf parsley here, I typically use curly parsley…or experiment with other herbs like cilantro or basil.
- Nutritional yeast: one of my pantry staples, nutritional yeast lends a savoury, umami flavour and a ton of B vitamins and a little boost of protein.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice: a little acid always brightens up flavours, and you need it here to balance the earthiness of chickpea flour. Out of lemons? A little splash of apple cider vinegar will work.
- Herbs and seasonings: salt, oil, thyme, onion powder and cumin bring the FLAVOUR
How to make these easy savory zucchini waffles
I promise you: these waffles are PERFECT for those nights you don’t really feel like cooking because they require minimal chopping and the batter blends up in the food processor! Ten minutes of hands on time and you’re done.
Step One: Pulse the zucchini, chickpeas, garlic and shallot in the food processor until they’re finely chopped.
Step Two: Add the remaining ingredients (chickpea flour, seasonings, lemon, oil and water) and pulse until a thick batter forms.
Step Three: Scoop ½ cup of the batter onto a preheated 4-inch waffle iron (my iron has 4 x 4 inch spots so I can cook 4 at a time) and cook 7-10 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the outside. I cook them on level 4 (out of 5) which I think we can say is medium high. It takes time for the centre of the waffle to cook, much longer than flour waffles.
Step Four: Keep warm in a 200 degree oven, directly on the rack so they don’t get soggy, while you cook the remaining waffles and prepare your favourite toppings and enjoy!
FAQ: What are the best toppings for savory waffles
If you typically eat waffles for breakfast with fruit and syrup, you might be scratching your head when it comes to topping these savory zucchini waffles but you’ve got WAY more options than you think! Have fun with it: when you think of a savory waffle as the base of your dinner, kind of like pasta, you’ll realize that you’ve got so many good options for topping savory waffles!
- Sliced avocado: offers creaminess with some more filling fats and fibre
- Sliced smoked tofu: extra protein!
- Sauteed greens: spinach, kale, chard…whatever you have on hand
- Sliced cherry tomatoes or diced cucumber, tossed with a bit of oil and lemon juice
- Your favourite jarred pasta sauce
- Leftover Greek salad
- Hummus or your favourite vegan pesto
- Cashew alfredo sauce
- Roasted veggies: great way to use up leftovers!
- Go “chicken and waffles” style with vegan chicken strips and a drizzle of maple syrup
I like serving these easy vegan zucchini waffles with sliced avocado and some quickly wilted baby spinach or kale from the garden…and maybe a tiny drizzle of maple syrup (yes, it works!) or cashew alfredo sauce.
Why chickpea flour is so, so good for you
Chickpea flour, known as besan in Hindi, is staple in South Asian cooking. It’s made from ground dried chickpeas so as you might expect, it’s absolutely packed with nutrition! It’s a core ingredient for me in gluten free recipes because of its excellent flavour, texture and nutrition.
A ¼ cup of chickpea flour has about 5 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fibre in addition to a bunch of other vitamins and minerals like iron (1mg), magnesium (40mg), zinc (about .7mg) and 100 micrograms of folate.
Each of these savory zucchini waffles (made from ½ cup batter) has about 8 grams of total protein and 5 grams of fibre.
PS…yes, you can make your own chickpea flour from dried chickpeas! Just grind in the food processor or high-speed blender until a fine flour forms.
Tips, Tricks and Substitutions
- These waffles take longer to cook than typical waffles so be patient! I cook mine on level 4 of my waffle maker for about 8-9 minutes. It takes time for the chickpeas to cook and firm up in the centre. Remove them too soon and they break in half and the crust because the centers haven’t cooked through. A good test: the waffle maker should open effortlessly and the amount of steam rising from the waffle iron will be minimal. Any resistance, and you should leave it for another minute. You won’t burn them.
- If your waffle iron has any tendency to stick, definitely grease it before adding the batter. My iron is nonstick and the waffles pop out effortlessly.
- These waffles freeze well. Just ensure they’re fully cool (cool on a wire rack) before freezing so they don’t stick together. You can also refrigerate them for 2-3 days. Either way, reheat them in the toaster until warmed through.
- Don’t have a waffle maker? You could totally cook these like fritters in a bit of oil in a nonstick skillet. I haven’t tested the method yet, but I’m 99% sure it would be a hit.
- Try substituting the parsley for other herbs like chives, basil or cilantro!
More delicious zucchini recipes
- 30 Minute Zucchini Orzo with Chile Oil
- 15-Minute, Fork Tender Grilled Zucchini
- Healthy, Baked Zucchini Fritters (Vegan)
- Easy Vegan Pasta Salad
30 Minute Savory Zucchini Waffles
- 2 cups chopped zucchini, one medium zucchini
- 14 oz can chickpeas, no salt added
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup chickpea flour, or chickpea fava flour
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup packed curly parsley
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- waffle maker see tips + tricks for a fritter option sans waffle maker!
- Food Processor
- Preheat waffle iron to level 4//medium-high//375℉ (190℃). If your waffle iron has a tendency to stick, you'll grease it with a bit of oil before adding batter.
- Place chickpeas, shallot, garlic and zucchini in a food processor and pulse until mixture is finely chopped.
- Add chickpea flour, water, parsley, nutritional yeast, oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin, thyme and onion powder and blend until a thick batter forms.
- Scoop 1/2 cup of batter for a 4 inch (10 cm) waffle. Cook waffles until golden brown and crisp on outside and firm inside, about 7-10 minutes. Be patient and ignore your ready light! It takes time for the chickpea mixture to fully cook and thicken up. When ready, the amount of steam rising from the iron will be minimal and waffle iron will open with no resistance.
- Serve waffles with your favourite toppings…from a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, to a leafy, herby salad, to sliced avocado and sautéed greens. I've put tons of options in the blog post!