New American Plate Challenge

Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fritters

Weekly Recipe
Serves 4 servings, three fritters each serving

Butternut squash and chickpeas are the perfect combination for this vegetarian entrée. Legumes like chickpeas pack protein and the B vitamin folate, and winter squash is rich in carotenoids, a group of phytochemicals. Both are also rich in fiber, which has been shown to support growth of health-promoting bacteria in the gut and reduce risk for colorectal cancer. Plus these healthy fritters are lightly sautéed instead of deep-fat fried, cutting down on calories and fat.


  • 2 Cups
    cubed butternut squash
  • 1
    can (15.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained
  • 3 Tablespoons
    whole-wheat flour
  • 1
    large egg
  • 4
    scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1
    large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons
    chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon
    red pepper flakes
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons
    canola oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 Cups
    field greens (5 oz.) package
  • 1/4 Cup
    coarsely chopped toasted skinless hazelnuts
  • 1 Cup
    low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons
    finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1
    clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon
    lemon zest
  • 1 Teaspoon
    lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon
    lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon
    extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. For Yogurt Dill Sauce, in small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, dill, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into small serving bowl and set aside.

  2. For Salad Dressing, in small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

  3. For Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fritters, in large saucepan with a steamer basket, steam squash until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer squash to food processor. Add chickpeas, flour, egg, scallions, garlic, sage, cumin and pepper flakes. Pulse until blended yet slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Gently drop six scant 1/4-cup portions of mixture into pan and gently press into round patties with back of measuring cup or spatula. Don’t over crowd skillet. Sauté fritters until golden brown on bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Heat may need to be adjusted for optimal browning. Carefully turn over each fritter and sauté until other side is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer fritters to plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Use remaining oil to sauté remaining six fritters. There should be 12 fritters in total.

  5. In large bowl, add salad greens. Stir salad dressing and pour over greens. Add hazelnuts and gently toss together.

  6. Arrange greens on large serving platter or four individual dinner plates. Arrange all fritters on top of greens if serving on platter or 3 fritters on each individual plate. Serve with Yogurt Dill Dressing on the side or drizzle on fritters and serve.

Nutrition: Per serving: 400 calories, 18 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 47 g carbohydrate, 17 g protein, 10 g dietary fiber, 392 mg sodium.


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