Zucchini Tempura Tacos

zucchini tempura tacos
Category: Main Dishes
Published Date: 10/04/2021
Comments: 55

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This recipe for zucchini tempura tacos is what the late Bob Ross would call, a “happy little accident.” Sometimes the best recipes start out that way, though.

Last year, while we were under quarantine, we began ordering fresh produce from a local farm. In one of the boxes, we elected to add on a recipe box that included zucchini flowers. 

I was eager to make them. I pulled out all of the ingredients, including these zucchini flowers that I’ve never heard of, and attempted to make tacos for my family. I’ll spare you the details, but the recipe was missing instruction and they just weren’t turning out like anything I thought my family would eat.

So, I improvised. I grabbed the zucchini out of the produce box and happened to have some tempura batter mix in the pantry. I fried the zucchini and topped it with the slaw I had already made for the original recipe and sprinkled it with cotija cheese. My family LOVED them. 

tempura battered zucchini in a bowl
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cilantro lime slaw for tacos
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Before I share our homemade zucchini tempura tacos recipe, let me share a few tips.

It’s super important to make sure that your oil is heated to 350º. I purchased an instant-read cooking thermometer last year that makes the process so much easier!

Turn the zucchini every minute or so, so that all of the sides cook equally and they don’t burn. 

If you like extra sauce on your tacos, mix together the mayo, lime juice, and spices before adding in the coleslaw mix. Save 1/4 cup of the sauce on the side. Then combine what’s left with the coleslaw mix (bag of shredded cabbage and carrots). You can drizzle the extra sauce on top of each taco before serving. 

aerial view of everything you need to make zucchini tempura tacos
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zucchini tempura tacos
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Can I use other veggies instead of or in addition to the zucchini?

While we haven’t tried it yet, we do love vegetable tempura! You can try sweet potatoes, onions, peppers, or broccoli. Just test out one piece to make sure that they are cooked to your liking, as different veggies will cook differently once battered and fried.

Do you have a tempura batter mix that you prefer?

I buy the Kikkoman Tempura Batter Mix. It’s easy to use and all you need is 2/3 cup of ice-cold water for every cup of tempura batter mix. That will give you a thicker batter. 

taco on a plate with ingredients around it
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What is the easiest way to cut the zucchini?

I chop the ends off of each zucchini and then quarter them. Next, I slice them all in half so that I have pieces that are approximately 3″ by 1/2″. They don’t have to be perfect, but you want them to be around the same size so that they cook evenly. 

What if we don’t like mayo?

I typically buy the avocado oil mayo, but you can also use greek yogurt or sour cream if you aren’t a fan of mayonnaise. 

ingredients needed to make cilantro lime slaw
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ingredients needed to make zucchini tempura tacos
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steps to make cilantro lime slaw
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steps to make zucchini tempura tacos
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I’ve tried to show the steps in the photos above for you, to make it a bit easier to make these zucchini tempura tacos.

Step 1: Place all of the cilantro-lime slaw ingredients into a large bowl.

Step 2: Mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate.

Step 3: Mix the tempura batter according to the instructions on the box.

Step 4: Coat zucchini pieces in batter (6 at a time). Fry in oil for 4-5 minutes. Repeat with remaining pieces of zucchini. 

Step 5: Place fried zucchini tempura in a bowl with a paper towel on the bottom. This will help drain any excess oil. 

Step 6: Build your taco! Place one or two pieces of zucchini tempura in a warm tortilla, cover in slaw and sprinkle cotija cheese. 

zucchini tempura tacos

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zucchini tempura tacos
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Zucchini Tempura Tacos


  • Author: Heather l The Super Mom Life
  • Yield: 12 tacos 1x

Description

Looking for a change for your next taco night?! These delicious zucchini tempura tacos feature lightly battered zucchini, a cilantro-lime slaw, and cotija cheese.


Ingredients

Scale

Cilantro Lime Slaw:

  • 1 12oz bag of coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Taco Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis, sliced into 1/2 inch thick and 3 inch tall pieces
  • 1 box of tempura batter mix (plus ingredients listed on box)
  • vegetable oil
  • cotija cheese
  • corn tortillas or taco shells

Instructions

  • Place all of the cilantro-lime coleslaw ingredients into a large bowl. Mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Pour approximately 2 inches of oil into a deep pan and heat to 350º.
  • Mix the tempura batter according to the instructions on the box.
  • Coat zucchini pieces in batter (6 at a time). Fry in heated oil for 4 minutes, turning every minute or so until golden brown. Repeat with remaining pieces of zucchini.
  • Place fried zucchini tempura in a bowl with a paper towel in the bottom. This will help drain any excess oil.
  • Warm your tortillas or taco shells.
  • Build your taco! Place one or two pieces of zucchini tempura in a warm tortilla, cover in slaw and sprinkle cotija cheese.

If you try our zucchini tempura tacos, we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you take a picture or share it on social media, don’t forget to tag us! Don’t forget to check out all of our family-friendly recipes

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These delicious, vegetarian zucchini tempura tacos feature lightly battered zucchini, a cilantro-lime slaw, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese.
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These delicious, vegetarian zucchini tempura tacos feature lightly battered zucchini, a cilantro-lime slaw, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese.
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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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Recipe rating


  1. I am not sure if I’ve ever tried zuccini before but I think this would be a perfect dish for it. It looks so good!

  2. Wow this looks so tempting. Must appreciate your photography and cooking skills. I will definitely try this.

  3. I love zucchini so much! These zucchini tempura tacos look so good. I need to give this recipe a try soon 🙂

  4. Oh wow, these look so delicious. I will definitely have to give this recipe a try sometime!

  5. Nnnniiiicccceeeeee….the ingredients’ list is looking good, from my end here. I think I can make myself a plate or two of them! Thanks for the Zucchinis’, Heather! XO

  6. I have never had anything tempura battered before. I like the look of these tacos and would totally try them.

  7. Wow, this must be so delicious! I’ve already tried zucchini tempura before but not with tacos!

  8. I really love the sound of these. I really like tempura zucchini. What a great recipe.

  9. Since I’ve been to Japan, I love tempura. However, I never thought of making tacos with it. Sounds absolutely delicious.

  10. This looks like a super tasty dish. I definitely don’t use zucchini in cooking as much as I should x

  11. I love tacos and your zucchini tempura tacos look super yum. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’d love to give it a try.

  12. I love tempura but never thought about them in a taco! What a lovely and unique idea – I bet they are super light and crunchy too!

  13. I never thought about making zucchini tempura tacos. I’ll definitely have to try this out soon.

  14. What an interesting idea for tacos! We love tempura and I would have never thought to put these together. I have never made my own tempura and that alone would be very tasty.

  15. Oh that looks really appetizing.. I have never thought of zucchini as tempura amd i think this is a clever idea. I will surely try this taco recipe.. Thank you so much for sharing

  16. Thanks for sharing with us your zucchini tempura tacos, they look so delicious! I also enjoyed vegetable tempura, even our kids who don’t eat plain vegetables can now eat them!

  17. Yum! Now I am hungry! And this is a great accident, they look and sound amazing!!!

  18. I think we’ve got everything needed for this recipe. Might give it a try and taste these looking yummy tacos.

  19. We’ve tried a version of zucchini tempura but never thought of making them into tacos. Delicious idea!

  20. Love this recipe and your pictures make it really easy to follow along. Tempura tacos look so delicious!

  21. Hello yum town! These look absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try them. Thank you for sharing your zucchini tempura tacos recipe with us <3

  22. Oh wow this looks so so good. I love tempura and tacos so the two combined is a winner. will be trying this out xx

  23. I would love to try this recipe but since I don’t like zucchinis, can I replace it with squash?

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  24. Wow! This recipe is amazing. I’ve never had tacos before to be honest but it’s time to try new foods

  25. Oh, Heather, these look bomb! We love tacos, and I have tried vegetarian ones made of aubergines, but your recipe looks fab! I will try to make it over the weekend. Many thanks for sharing!

  26. Yum! This dish looks absolutely delicious. My family will surely love these zucchini tempura tacos.

  27. Sounds great, something delicious even without meat, thanks for sharing your recipe!

  28. Definitely taking note of this when cooking zucchini tempura. It would be my first time so I need to have some guidance.

  29. Thanks for mentioning other options with the recipe. But I think I’ll just copy how you really made it.

  30. I have never tried a Tempura Taco before, this has to be the best use of Zucchini ever! I definitely need to give this a go.

  31. This looks delicious! It looks like a great alternative for shrimp tempura tacos. I used to eat them often but found out I’m allergic to seafood. I can’t wait to try these!

  32. Be still my heart! That looks amazing! I adore fried zucchini and what a great way to eat it.

  33. Oh how I wish that my zucchini would grow in my garden. For some reason, my zucchini plants are not doing well

  34. I love everything zucchini! This looks like a great meat free option especially seeing as I now trying to be veggie most of the week if possible.