Use up your sourdough discard and any vegetables you have in the fridge and made delicious, healthy sourdough vegetable fritters. Reduce waste, save money, and eat tasty, good-for-you food all at the same time!
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I realized the other day as I was whipping up a batch of sourdough vegetable fritters that I was holding out on you.
While I've shared my easy sourdough artisan bread, a nice and soft sourdough sandwich bread, sourdough English muffins, crackers, and more - I hadn't shared my favorite way to use up the discard I have when waking up my starter from the fridge (that's how I keep starter when I'm not using it - you can read more about that here).
And by favorite, I mean I've been making a large batch of these sourdough vegetable fritters about every month.
They are that good.
So I apologize and hope this makes up for the lapse because I know you are going to want to keep this recipe to make again and again just like I do.
What is sourdough discard?
Discard is the portion of the starter you remove before feeding a newer starter (not brand new, but after the first week) or one you are waking up after keeping in the fridge for awhile. This keeps the starter strong and growing.
(Once the starter is strong and growing, you can just feed it without removing any until there's enough to make a recipe you have.)
This discard will not be strong enough to raise bread, in which case you'll want to use it for "discard recipes" like this one, crackers, or quick breads like sourdough lemon bread that don't need to raise much or have other leavening like baking soda or powder.
So you don't want to throw out discard from an established starter you're waking up again - it's still great for many things, it just has a confusing name.
(Note: you DO want to get rid of the discard from a NEW starter in the first 7 days, though - that's when it's establishing the good bacteria from the bad and you don't know what's in the discard).
There are so many reasons to love this sourdough fritter recipe, beyond the fact that we are using up our discard:
- First and foremost, they are delicious - really, really good.
- The recipe is so versatile - you can change up the veggies, spices, and cheese type (or leave it out entirely).
- I absolutely love that it uses up all those odds and ends of veggies that are languishing in the fridge.
- They store either in the fridge or freezer and reheat beautifully in a toaster oven or air fryer.
- They are great for any meal or snack: top with a fried egg for breakfast, eat with a salad for lunch, dip in spicy mayo for a snack, use as a side dish for dinner.
Have I convinced you yet to give this recipe a try?
Sourdough Vegetable Fritters
- Sourdough discard (or regular starter)
- Vegetables of choice, grated or diced small (see more details on this in the FAQ section)
- Cheese, optional
The main work in this recipe is chopping the vegetables. Once that is done, you simply mix everything together thoroughly.
Since the amount of vegetables can vary with what you have on hand, I wanted to make sure you had a visual of what I aim for the dough to look like - the ratio of starter to veggies.
As you can see above, it should look like mostly vegetables being held together with some batter. If you have more batter than vegetables, it's more of a pancake situation.
Once the batter is mixed, heat a nonstick pan or griddle with a couple tablespoons of oil and use a 1/4 cup, #16 cookie scoop to portion the fritters into the pan.
I like using a square electric skillet to fit five fritters at a time. When the kids were home, I'd use a large griddle but now the skillet works best for us - I can use if for more things and it takes up less room.
Cook (at about 350 degrees or medium heat) until deep brown on one side, about 5-7 minutes. Turn and cook until completely brown on other side.
Set on a cooling rack to cool as you continue cooking until the batter is all used.
Eat right away or store in fridge for a week. You can also freeze them for longer storage.
I've found that heating them in an air fryer for 5-7 minutes crisps them up again. A toaster oven should do a similar job.
Sourdough Discard Vegetable Fritters FAQ
Because the wild yeast partially consumes the gluten, it is easier to digest, has a lower glycemic index, provides healthy gut bacteria as a fermented food, and contains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than other breads. (source)
Sourdough discard is fully fermented and highly digestible, which is why you want to find recipes to use it up.
If you can't use the discard right away (or you want to build up your discard amount to make a big batch of fritters…), you can keep it in the fridge, covered, for 1-2 weeks. It may be thicker and more deflated and even have a bit of gray liquid on the top in the second week (hooch) but it's perfectly safe to eat and will just have a more sourdough flavor.
Because they are cooked fairly rapidly, the best vegetables are softer, quicker cooking vegetables, though harder veggies can work if they are grated or diced very fine.
Here's a list and how to prep them:
-Carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets: peel and grate (if using dark red beets, just be aware that the fritters will turn red)
-Onion, shallot, green onion: dice finely
-Cabbage: grate or finely chop
-Sweet peppers or mild hot peppers: finely chop (you can certainly use hot peppers - add to your own level of heat tolerance)
-Zucchini: grate onto a towel, roll up and squeeze before adding to starter mixture.
-Potato or sweet potato: peel and shred
-Corn: cut off cob or add frozen
-Greens like spinach, kale, and chard: chop very finely (some take the time to blanch them, but I have found they work fine in the fritters as long as they are chopped small).
-You can use broccoli, cauliflower as-is in the riced form, but they should be precooked if using fresh and chopped small. Making the fritters with leftover cooked vegetables like these and green beans is another great way to use up what you have.
Sourdough Vegetable Fritters
- electric skillet, griddle or nonstick skillet
- 1/4 cup scoop
- 1 cup sourdough starter , cold discard, active discard or active starter all work
- 1 cup grated carrot (1 med-large carrot)
- 2 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1/4 medium head)
- 1/2 cup diced onion (1/2 medium onion)
- ½ to 1 cup other vegetable, grated or diced (zucchini- squeezed in a towel, sweet pepper, parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc.)*
- 1 egg
- 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup grated cheese (parmesan, sharp cheddar, gouda, pepper jack, etc.) - optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt , or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes , or to taste
- 1/4 cup high heat oil for frying (avocado, coconut, ghee, peanut, cold-pressed sunflower) - or amount needed
- Add starter to a medium mixing bowl.
- Top the starter with all the prepared vegetables, egg, garlic, cheese (if using), and spices. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Mixture should be mostly vegetables with some batter (if it seems too much batter, add a few more veggies).
- Heat a non-stick skillet, electric skillet, or griddle over medium heat (350 degrees) with 2 tablespoons of the oil.
- When hot, use a 1/4 cup scoop to ladle the batter onto the skillet, flattening the fritters with the back of the scoop to shape and spread evenly.
- Cook the fritters 5-7 minutes or until they are well browned. Turn and cook 5-7 minutes more on the other side until browned.
- Transfer fritters to a cooling rack (set in a baking sheet to protect counters if needed) and continue cooking until all the batter is used.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week, or freeze for longer storage. Reheat in a toaster oven or airfryer for a few minutes to crisp up again.
- Carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets: peel and grate (if using dark red beets, just be aware that the fritters will turn red)
- Onion, shallot, green onion: dice finely
- Cabbage: grate or finely chop
- Sweet peppers or mild hot peppers: finely chop (you can certainly use hot peppers - add to your own level of heat tolerance)
- Zucchini: grate onto a towel, roll up and squeeze before adding to starter mixture.
- Potato or sweet potato: peel and shred
- Corn: cut off cob or add frozen
- Greens like spinach, kale, and chard: chop very finely (some take the time to blanch them, but I have found they work fine in the fritters as long as they are chopped small).
- a spicy mayo dip (my fav is kimchi mayo)
- salsa & sour cream
- tomato chutney
- squeeze of lime
- pickled jalapenos