Fried Squash Flowers

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish

By Alicia Ghio

While I do enjoy summer squash, there is something that I like even more – the flowers. When lightly coated in batter and fried, they are a snack as addictive as potato chips. I know this as a classic northern Italian dish; however, these are a seasonal treat that spans many world cuisines.

While most Italian restaurants stuff them with ricotta cheese, I prefer to keep it simple. I make them just like my grandmother, dipped in a light batter, fried and sprinkled with coarse salt.

For the best flavor, I recommend the flowers be picked and eaten the same day.

Fried Squash Flowers

Serves 3-4 as an appetizer


  • 18-20 squash flowers
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chilled water
  • salt (to taste)
  • vegetable oil
  • olive oil


  1. Prep the flowers: gently remove the leaves at the base of the flower. Gently remove the pistil (the piece inside sticking up containing the pollen). Rinse both inside and outside of flowers.
  2. Drain them in a colander. Then, spread out on a towel.
  3. Make the batter: in a shallow dish, whisk the egg by itself firs. Then, whisk in the water and flour. Whisk until any lumps disappear. You want it to be a very light batter. If you need to add more water, feel free. Add a pinch of salt.
  4. In a deep sauté pan heat over medium-high heat, pour in equal parts vegetable oil and olive oil. You want the oil to be about 1/2 inch deep.
  5. Once the oil is hot, start lightly dipping the flowers into the batter, letting any extra batter drip off. Then, immediately put them into the oil. Work in batches of 3-4 flowers in the pan at one time.
  6. Fry until lightly golden on one side; then, flip and fry until golden on the second side.
  7. When golden all around, gently remove the flower from the pan and place on a cooling rack lined with a towel to allow the extra oil to drain off. The cooked flowers should be delicate and crisp. Give the cooked flowers a touch more salt.
  8. Serve immediately.

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