Easiest Lentils & Zucchini Cakes Recipe

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Ok, let me just say that you are about to try little savory bites of heaven!  Crispy outside, soft and warm inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are so satisfying!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil.

Delicious and Good for You!

Lentils are not just a vegetarian staple, they are actually VERY versatile and very healthful. They have high levels of soluble fiber. Fiber is important for helping keep cholesterol low, supporting heart health and digestive health. Lentils are also high in protein, and a good source of iron. If you are a newcomer to the world of lentils, try this recipe and I promise, you will be Loving Lentils too!  

BTW, Lentils are a great protein to make a ton of and use in different ways.  You can use in soup, in these cakes, or in my Korean Rice Bowl with Lentils and Cauliflower recipe.  Click here to get 30 More Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas.

Zucchini is also healthy!  I mean, obviously, it is a veggie.  But here’s how!  Zucchini is low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A.  Zucchini is also rich in antioxidants that are linked to benefits for your eyes, skin, and heart.   I love using Zucchini in my Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Zucchini recipe and my Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For shredding the zucchini, I simply used the large-hole side of a grater. You could also use a food processor with a shredding insert if you have it.

You also need a large frying pan to cook the zucchini cakes. I use my absolute favorite 12″ Ceramic Pan, which is great because food really does slide right off with minimal oil and I don’t have to worry about food sticking and burning.  It comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for watching your dinner cook!

PREP-AHEAD STEPS FOR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

Cook the lentils on the stove in water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the lentils, then mash with a fork so that about 50% are mashed.
Fork mashing cooked lentils for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Can I add or swap ingredients in this recipe?

Yes, as long as you have the general measurements and include the flour and egg to bind it all together.  You can swap the Parmesan out for another cheese.  Shredded cheddar, gruyere, or manchego would all be fantastic.  You can swap out the lentils as well.  In their place you could add black beans or chickpeas.  Or you could add more of the zucchini.  You may need a tablespoon more flour if you remove a creamy bean from the recipe just to help it all hold together.

You can also add herbs, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic, and a great many other seasonings.  I kept these simple in flavor as that’s what I found my kids wanted.

Can I make this Zucchini Cakes Recipe ahead?

Yes, you can make the mixture and store it in the fridge sealed airtight for up to 3 days before cooking them.  You can also form the cakes and freeze them raw.  From the freezer, you can bake them in a 400 F degree oven for 20-30 minutes until cooked through and browned on the outside.

COOK YOUR ZUCCHINI CAKES RECIPE

Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.  Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes cooking in a frying pan. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.

Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

ENJOY!  😍 Carrie

Lentil Zucchini Cakes Recipe

Crispy outside, soft inside, these Lentil and Zucchini Cakes are such satisfying little bites of heaven!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan bringing a salty and nutty backdrop and oregano adding an herbaceous note.  The scallion gives a mild onion flavor.  But of course, the stars here are the meaty and earthy lentils and the fresh zucchini.  Formed into a perfect cake and pan fried in just a bit of olive oil. They make a perfect main dish or side! #zucchinicakes #lentilrecipes #zucchinirecipes #vegetarian

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword Lentils, zucchini
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 cakes
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-large zucchini 2 cups grated
  • 1/4 cup scallion finely sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cooked lentils drained cook according to directions on bag
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • ½ cup parmesan freshly grated
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Cook the lentils by adding 1/2 cup of uncooked lentils to 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Bring the water up to a boil, then reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover and let cook for 15 minutes until tender.

  2. While the lentils cook, finely slice the scallions. Using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini. After it is all shredded, squeeze out and discard the excess water.

  3. Drain the lentils and then transfer to a large bowl. Mash the lentils with a fork so that about 50% are mashed. Add the shredded zucchini, scallions, flour, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine. Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add additional flour, a little at a time, until it thickens up.

    Parmesan, flour, shredded zucchini and lentils in a bowl for Lentil and Zucchini Cakes. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  4. Divide the mixture loosely in the bowl into 8-9 equal large cakes or 16-18 small cakes.

Cook the Lentil and Zucchini Cakes!

  1. Add oil to a large skillet, heat to medium, add pancakes and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
    Lentil and Zucchini Cakes starting to cook in a frying pan with center cake flipped over. They have a crispy outside and soft inside and are perfect for an easy dinner!  The flavors are simple but perfect with parmesan, oregano, scallions, lentils, and zucchini.
  2. Serve with my Mind-blowing Remoulade or a Sriracha and Mayo mixture.

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

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Sliced BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe with cilantro on top. It has homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!   
Whole BBQ Chicken Pizza in a rectangle sheet pan with homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!   

THIS is the recipe that will blow your socks off!  I’m talking, one bite, socks off and blown clear across the room!  This is my BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe!  It has a homemade soft and pillowy pizza dough that gets perfectly crisp on the bottom.  It’s topped with a tangy and creamy sauce BBQ sauce and then hearty shredded BBQ chicken.  Then cheddar cheese melts over top for a nutty and chewy texture.  The final blow-your-socks-off topping?  Wait for it… COLESLAW ON TOP (yup, scroll down)!

I have to admit that I’m not a huge BBQ fan.  I like it, but I don’t crave it.  That is…until I had it on THIS BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe!  There’s just something about putting it on a homemade pizza crust and then topping it with cheese that makes it irresistible!   

Sliced BBQ Chicken Pizza with coleslaw and cilantro on top. It has homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!   

Make Once, Eat Twice

This is a great recipe to use leftover BBQ chicken for!  Make a big pot of BBQ Chicken for sandwiches and then save some to go on this pizza!  For more leftover protein ideas, check out this FREE Printable Download: 30 Leftover Protein Dinner Ideas!

Need a Veggie Side?

You can make this a full-on finger food dinner with my Crispy Parmesan Green Fries or Parmesan Zucchini Chips on the side!  Or how about Roasted Carrots with Avocado Crema?

Hand holding slice of BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe with coleslaw cilantro on top. It has homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

Nothing special for this one! Just pizza pan or a large sheet pan (I use a 17×11) and a small-medium pot for the chicken.

Oh, I also like to cut my raw chicken with kitchen shears, but you can also just cut with a knife.

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA RECIPE

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance.  (See the full recipe below)

For this recipe, you can

  1. Cook and shred the BBQ chicken up to 4 days in advance. 
  2. Make the coleslaw 2-3 days in advance
  3. Make the dough 30 min before baking or in the morning and let rise during the day. 
  4. Then roll the dough out, top, and bake it that night!

Can I use pre-made pizza dough?

Of course!  Life is busy and if you don’t have time to make dough, I totally get it!  Your local grocery store will carry a couple varieties, including the kind that comes in a roll and perhaps a more fresh dough brand.  You can also check the frozen section.  I would steer clear of the pre-cooked pizza crusts, as I just don’t think it will taste as fresh or tasty.  The last tip is to check with your favorite pizza place to see if they sell their dough!

Prep your Pizza Dough first – it needs 30 min to rise

Mix the active dry yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm water and stir to dissolve the yeast and sugar. Add 2 tbsp Olive Oil, the flour, and salt and mix to combine and form a ball.

Hand pouring a packet of yeast in bowl for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Yeast, sugar, and water in bowl for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

homemade pizza dough being mixed in a bowl for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Then transfer to a large bowl coated with olive oil. Let sit for 30 minutes until doubled in size.homemade pizza dough being transferred from bowl to floured surface for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Hand sprinkling flour on homemade pizza dough in a ball on floured counter for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Homemade pizza dough in a clear bowl covered with plastic wrap and hand on side for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and then cut it in half.  Note, if you split the dough in half, you will get 2 large pizzas with a relatively thick crust.  Not deep dish, but not super thin.  If you prefer really thin, split the dough into thirds.

homemade pizza dough in a bowl that has risen for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Hand punching down a homemade pizza dough in a bowl that had risen for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

If you are not yet ready to move on to rolling the dough and assembling your pizza, you can store it in the fridge covered.

Prep BBQ Chicken

Bring a pot of water (about 3 cups) to a boil with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. While water is warming, cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces so equal in size. They will be shredded, so don’t worry, this just helps it to cook faster. Add the chicken gently to the boiling water and then cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through (internal temp is 165F).

Cut raw chicken on a plate for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Chicken boiling in water in pot for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Remove the chicken to a plate to cool enough to handle and shred. Save 1/2 cup of the cooking broth. When cool enough, shred the chicken with your fingers.

Hand shredding cooked chicken on a plate on counter for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Add the shredded chicken back to the pot with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking broth and 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. I love KC Masterpiece Original for this recipe because of the deep flavor from the molasses and spices.  Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.

Shredded BBQ chicken in pot for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Can I use precooked chicken?

Yep!  You can buy a rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken from the deli.  Rather than boil it, just shred the cooked chicken and then follow the recipe from there.  You can use 1/2 cup of water or broth instead of the cooking liquid.

Do I have to add coleslaw?

Nope, but it TASTES AMAZING!!!!  It gives this pizza a creamy, bright, cool, and crunchy component that is needed with the deep savory and tangy BBQ sauce.  Just my opinion:)  

Mix the coleslaw mix with the mayonnaise and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to serve, it gets better if it sits for an hour or overnight!

COOK YOUR BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA RECIPE 

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.

When you are ready to make the pizza, roll out the dough to the size and shape of your pan. You can stretch the dough out slowly in the air by turning it around with your fist and fingers. Or you can roll it out on a floured surface.  Place the dough into your pan and then press it out to fill the pan.

Uncooked homemade pizza dough rolled and placed in a sheet pan for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

For a crispier crust, par-bake it for 10 minutes.

Mix together the BBQ sauce and the sour cream.  I love the addition of the sour cream as it makes the sauce thick and creamy, but also mellows it out a bit so you can add lots without it overwhelming the pizza.

BBQ sauce mixed with sour cream in a bowl with a spoon on counter for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Spoon the sauce onto the crust and spread it around. Add the Chicken on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle a layer of cheese. Finally, sprinkle cilantro leaves (optional).

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe being assembled on sheet pan with homemade pizza crust, creamy BBQ sauce, and shredded bbq chicken. BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe assembled on sheet pan with homemade pizza crust, creamy BBQ sauce, shredded bbq chicken, cheddar cheese, and cilantro.

Bake the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.  

Whole BBQ Chicken Pizza in a rectangle sheet pan with homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!   

Slice the pizza, top each slice with a spoonful of coleslaw, sprinkle with fresh cilantro, and enjoy!  😍 Carrie

Sliced BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe with coleslaw and cilantro on top. It has homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!   

BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

THIS is the recipe that will blow your socks off!  This is my BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe!  It has a homemade soft and pillowy pizza dough that gets perfectly crisp on the bottom.  It's topped with a tangy and creamy sauce BBQ sauce and then hearty shredded BBQ chicken.  Then cheddar cheese melts over top for a nutty and chewy texture.  The final topping?  Wait for it… COLESLAW on top!   #BBQchickenpizza #chickenpizza #homemadepizza #familydinnerideas #bbqchicken

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ, BBQ chicken, chicken, homemade pizza
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 Large Pizzas
Calories 603 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast (1 packet)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups Warm Water
  • 6 cups Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil (plus a little to coat the bowl)

BBQ Chicken

  • 1 lb Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tsp Salt (for water to cook chicken)
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper (for water to cook chicken)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce

Sauce and Toppings

  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro leaves

Coleslaw (optional)

  • 10 oz Coleslaw Mix (1 package)
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

Prep Ahead – Make the Pizza Dough

  1. Mix the active dry yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm water and stir to dissolve the yeast and sugar. Add 2 tbsp Olive Oil, the flour, and salt and mix to combine and form a ball.

    homemade pizza dough being mixed in a bowl for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
  2. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Then transfer to a large bowl coated with olive oil. Let sit for 30 minutes until doubled in size.

    Homemade pizza dough in a clear bowl covered with plastic wrap and hand on side for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
  3. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release the air bubbles. For a thicker crust, cut the dough in half. For a thin crust, split the dough into thirds for 3 large pizzas.

    Hand punching down a homemade pizza dough in a bowl that had risen for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Prep Ahead – Cook Chicken

  1. Bring a pot of water (about 3 cups) to a boil with 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. While water is warming, cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces so equal in size. They will be shredded, so don't worry, this just helps it to cook faster. Add the chicken gently to the boiling water and then cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through (internal temp is 165F).

    Cut raw chicken on a plate for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
  2. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool enough to handle and shred. Save 1/2 cup of the cooking broth. When cool enough, shred the chicken with your fingers.

    Hand shredding cooked chicken on a plate on counter for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
  3. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking broth and 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.

    Shredded BBQ chicken in pot for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe

Prep Ahead – Sauce and Coleslaw

  1. Make the sauce for the pizza by mixing 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce with 1/2 cup of sour cream. Store in the fridge for adding to the pizza crust.

    BBQ sauce mixed with sour cream in a bowl with a spoon on counter for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
  2. Mix the coleslaw mix with the mayonnaise and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge until ready to serve, it gets better if it sits for an hour or overnight!

Assemble and Cook Your Pizza

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.

  2. When you are ready to make the pizza, roll out the dough to the size and shape of your pan. You can stretch the dough out slowly in the air by turning it around with your fist and fingers. Or you can roll it out on a floured surface.

    Uncooked homemade pizza dough rolled and placed in a sheet pan for a BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe
  3. For a crispier crust, par-bake it for 10 minutes.

  4. Spoon the sauce onto the crust and spread it around. Add the Chicken on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle a layer of cheese. Finally, sprinkle cilantro leaves (optional).

    BBQ Chicken Pizza Recipe assembled on sheet pan with homemade pizza crust, creamy BBQ sauce, shredded bbq chicken, cheddar cheese, and cilantro.
  5. Bake the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.

    Whole BBQ Chicken Pizza in a rectangle sheet pan with homemade pizza crust, tangy and creamy BBQ sauce, hearty shredded chicken, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on top!   

Recipe Notes

Note, if you split the dough in half, you will get 2 large pizzas with a relatively thick crust.  Not deep dish, but not super thin.  If you prefer really thin, split the dough into thirds.