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Aug 2, 2010 11:05 AM

Gluten-free binder for zucchini cakes?

Hello all,

I was going to make this recipe for a party, and found out that there are some folks attending who avoid gluten. Any suggestions for what might work in place of breadcrumbs....maybe crunched-up GF pretzels? This is a FANTASTIC recipe, incidentally, but I can swap in another dish if necessary- just looking for ideas to test-run.



I Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Crab Crab Cakes (From Kim O'Donnel's "A Mighty Appetite" blog:


2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or plain yogurt
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
vegetable oil, for frying

Place grated zucchini in a colander; sprinkle lightly with salt. Let zucchini sit for about 30 minutes, allowing it to drain. Squeeze to remove additional liquid - zucchini should be fairly dry.

Place zucchini and bread crumbs in a large bowl and mix together.

Place egg, Old Bay, Dijon, mayo, lemon juice and parsley in a small bowl. Mix well.

Pour egg mixture into zucchini-bread crumb mixture, and mix gently and thoroughly. Form into 8 patties the size of crab cakes. Heat a small amount of oil in a saute pan, and cook patties on both sides, browning well.

Serve with tartar sauce, chopped capers, fresh basil and/or lemon wedges. Goes really well with halved sun gold or cherry tomatoes.

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  1. i'd go with finely ground cornmeal or almond or flax meal (or even ground GF oats if the people can eat them)...but there are plenty of options, including several brands of store-bought GF bread crumbs:

    1. Gluten free bread crumbs, corn tortillas, crushed up GF cereals

      1. Get some GF bread from Whole Foods or your local natural market, whiz in the food processor and proceed as normal.

        I think pretzels would taste too strongly.

        1. Thanks for your guidance! I specifically went for a standalone posting because of the use of the breadcrumbs in zucchini cakes, compared to its role as a meatball binder or crispy coating/topping.

          Haven't found a swap that I'm pleased with- tried fresh gluten free breadcrumbs and dried. Even after wringing out the water from the grated zucchini, it just seems "heavier" in texture than I'd like. For now, I'm going to bring another dish to the menu. If I'm able to track down GF panko (not in my local stores) then it might be worth another shot.

          Thanks for your advice!

          5 Replies
          1. re: 4Snisl

            How about trying well-crushed potato chips? Try to get the low-salt variety. I think they might lend the texture you're after.

            1. re: 4Snisl

              maybe some crushed up rice crackers. rice-based products are quite light and probably won't give a heavy texture to the cakes.

              1. re: 4Snisl

                Excellent suggestions, CM and CM! :)

                Will see if I can test-run before tomorrow....if not, definitely on my "must-try" list!

                1. re: 4Snisl

                  "If I'm able to track down GF panko (not in my local stores) then it might be worth another shot."
                  i believe Kinnikinnick Foods is the only producer of GF bread crumbs, and i've never seen them in stores here in the US so you'd have to order them online. i have heard of people using finely crushed Rice Chex cereal as a panko substitute...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    That might work; I saw Chex are now listed as "gluten free" in my local grocery store. Not sure whether corn or rice chex would be better---but try and report back! :)

                2. Chick pea flour, Rice flour, Tapioca starch, potato products in general and the list goes on.