Butternut Chickpea Fritters with Kale Winter Slaw

If you’ve been following my blog for very long, you’ll know that I have a conflicted relationship with frying things. You see, I love all the fried goodies in this world–beignets? Pass them to me, please. Veggie corn dogs? Um, yes. Deep fried mushrooms? Whoever invented those little morsels of goodness was on the right track. But the problem is that I suck, 100% absolutely verified suck, at frying. Techniques of frying bootcamp? I could use one. No matter how often I check the temperature of my oil or don’t crowd whatever I’m trying to fry or use different oils or different vessels, the breading and batter and all things good about fried food disintegrate into one big mess.

So I tend to bake things.

But, when I decided to make these fritters, I went for it. I fried them. 4 to a skillet. 3/4″ deep oil. Hot. And it worked. Praise the lord of oil, it worked.

Inspiration? These Butternut Squash and Chickpea Cakes from Cook Eat Live Vegetarian that I know we’ve all pinned. Don’t try to hide–I see what you all are taking note of on the internet now. I pretty much followed the recipe to a t, a few changes noted in the recipe below, and, dang, are these fritters as delicious as they are beautiful. And I’m sure you could bake them if you’re oil challenged like myself.

But fritters are lonely without an accompaniment, so I threw together a version (sortof) of this Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Salad from Mark Anthony posted in the Wall Street Journal. It made it to the dinner table simply because I had all those things on hand and, hey, it’s a pretty good winter slaw after it’s been veganized!

The genius of the combo is that you can mix and match–have pumpkin or acorn squash on hand? Use that instead of butternut squash. Want to use black beans instead of chickpeas? Dang, that sounds good. Have a different winter veg to throw in the slaw? Go for it. And use whatever vinegar you have on hand–I’m sure it’ll be delicious.

And, seriously, if you are a frying failure like me, just bake the little fritters at 400 degrees, flipping after the bottom turns golden brown. I don’t know how long it’ll take–15 minutes total, maybe? But the result should be delicious as well.

Butternut Chickpea Fritters with Kale Winter Slaw

Adapted from Cook Eat Live Vegetarian and the Wall Street Journal

For the fritters:
2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1″ dice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper

1 16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp aleppo pepper
1 tbsp garlic, minced (3 cloves)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 c panko bread crumbs (or 1 c cornmeal for gluten-free version)

Oil for frying

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixing bowl, toss the butternut squash cubes with the olive oil, salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Coat thoroughly, then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast the squash until tender, approximately 20-25 minutes. Turn off oven, set aside.

In that same mixing bowl, add the now roasted butternut squash and all ingredients except the panko bread crumbs. Mash the chickpeas with a fork into the other ingredients and mix to combine.

Chill the mixture in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Once chilled, remove from fridge and form fritters (I used about 1/4 c mixture per fritter). In a separate bowl, add the panko bread crumbs. Place the fritters one at a time into the bread crumbs and coat. Now place each bread crumbed fritter on a baking tray. Repeat until all the fritters are made.

Heat 3/4″ of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron works great) to 350 degrees. Add 3-4 fritters to pan and fry until golden brown on the bottom, flip to fry the other side. (Frying time is 4-6 minutes.) Remove to a paper towel lined cooling rack to soak off excess oil.

Freeze the fritters that you don’t fry for future use.

Serves 6.

For the Kale Winter Slaw:

1/2 lb cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 bunch lacinato kale, washed and sliced into thin ribbons
2 tbsp capers

2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 c grapeseed oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
pinch salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Combine all the vegetables in a big bowl.

In a food processor (I use a little Magic Bullet mixer, but any would do–and you could always whisk the vinaigrette…I’m just too lazy…) combine all the dressing ingredients (mustard, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt & pepper). Adjust to taste.

Pour the vinaigrette over the slaw and gently massage the vinaigrette into the vegetables.

Let chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serves 6.

17 Responses to “Butternut Chickpea Fritters with Kale Winter Slaw”
  1. Natalie says:

    So glad they worked out for you! These are one of my most popular recipes thanks to pinterest i love the winter slaw idea , will give that a go next time, thanks for the mention!

  2. Caitlin says:

    yay for tackling the difficult task of frying! the lord of oil was definitely on your side because these babies look absolutely gorgeous and delicious! most definitely making these, but i think i’ll do the baked option :)

  3. Eileen says:

    I feel you on the fear of frying! (So alliterative, and also reminiscent of Erica Jong. Uh. Win?) I think I would have a hard time deciding whether to bake or fry too, especially since the outer crusts of these patties look SO good. And that slaw looks like exactly the best kind of winter salad–all raw and green and crispy, right when we’re getting impatient for the new spring veg. :)

  4. lazysmurf says:

    That looks delicious!!! I kind of love frying stuff, I think I learned to make french fries before anything else! I just wish it wasn’t so wasteful and makes such a mess. I’m glad you got it to work out because it is so much fun to do. Frying doughnuts btw is the best.

  5. leigh says:

    These look so good! I’m always looking for new ways to use butternut squash.

  6. Hannah says:

    Sometimes, you’ve just gotta spread your wings and fry. Okay, enough of the bad puns, but I hear you! I often avoid it because of the mess, but I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable with frying at home after repeated exposure. Hasn’t killed me yet, so I’m happy to add another dish into the category. This sounds like it would be totally worth any amount of clean up, and I even have some butternut squash waiting for a destination right now!

  7. chow vegan says:

    Great job on the frying, it looks super delicious! I’m much too lazy to clean up the mess frying anything at home. It’s baking for me and eating out for anything fried. :-)

  8. Oh wow! not only are they beautiful, but the seasoning sound wonderful too. I love making chick pea burgers or chickpea and black bean burgers. But adding the squash would make it amazing and more local for me too. I am going to have to give this a try!!! Also kale and cabbage are coming out of the garden. just need to pick up some carrots for the slaw. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  9. Ooh this looks fantastical! I love a fritter.

  10. This sounds so fantastic! Like so good that even though I just went food shopping yesterday I’m going to brave the (1 inch) of snow and go get some butternut squash so I can make this tonight!

  11. Monica says:

    Dude these look amazeballs. The slaw as much as the fritters.

  12. Mandee says:

    YUM! I just saw these on Pinterest and was so happy to see your blog pop up! I have some sort of pumpkin…. I got it in our veggie box and I’m not sure what it is, so I will use it up in this recipe – yay!

  13. Chef William says:

    I like the recipe and want to give it a try once I return home up north. I believe I will try frying them in a little coconut oil and see how they turn out, Thanks for sharing such a great recipe

  14. Kat says:

    Your recipe inspired me to make something similar and it turned out wonderful, thanks for the inspiration!

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