Zeppole – Zippoli Calabrese

How to Make Zeppole – Zippoli Calabrese

Zeppole calabresi are divine savory fried donuts on high demand in our household! This zeppole recipe uses the traditional Calabrian method, taught to us by Nonna Maria. She has been making her family drool for these for years and while the original is with anchovies, there is a caprese surprise in store for you too. Make these fresh with your family and friends and eat them hot on a special occasion. No one will dream at stopping at one when you recreate this zeppole recipe.

Watch Zeppole Calabrese video recipe:

Italian Nonna Makes ZEPPOLE Calabrese Recipe | How to Make Zippoli

zippoli calabresi

Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Zeppole

Portion by portion

3kg of plain flour noted in this zeppole recipe will make around 50 or so. To make a smaller portion, start with 1kg and divide the ingredient quantities by 3.


Nonna’s Top Tips To Make Zeppole

To speed up the process

You can also place the bowl inside another larger one (or inside your sink) filled with hot water so that it keeps the mixture warmer which will help activate the yeast even quicker.

zeppole recipe

Zeppole - Zippoli Calabrese

Vincenzo's Plate
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10


  • Extra large mixing bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Tablespoon
  • Deep fryer or medium fry pan


  • 3 kg Plain flour 6.6lbs
  • 8 cups Warm water
  • 3 sachets Dry yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil EXOO
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Anchovies Or Sardines
  • Dry mozzarella
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Small bowl with oil for keeping your hands moist


  • Zeppole (also known as Zippoli) are best served nice and hot, so prepare the mixture ahead of time, then fry them up on the spot for your guests!
  • To start with, fill up a bowl with 2 cups of warm water and dissolve 1.5 tablespoons of salt by stirring them in.
  • In a separate bowl, prepare up to 3kg/6.6lbs of plain flour.
  • Next, pour 3 sachets of dry yeast into the warm water and stir through to dissolve before adding 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and continuing to stir.
  • To ensure the yeast is activated, place a flat plate over the top of the bowl with the yeast mixture and leave for at least 15-20 minutes or until bubbles have formed on the top layer.
  • Once the bubbles have formed, stir it again, create a small well in the middle of the flour and gently pour the mixture in.
  • Keep a bowl of warm water next to you at all times as you will need to keep adding this to your zeppole dough.
  • Mix through the liquid using your hands to ensure there is no dry flour left and keep gradually adding water until you get a consistency that is thick and sticky,
  • For this zeppole recipe, each time you add water, knead the dough and turn it over so it combines really well.
  • Once you have reached the right consistency (it will take at least 15 minutes), cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or folded tablecloth so no air is let in, leaving it for at least an hour to raise.
  • Before you start cooking the zeppole, heat up the desired amount of vegetable oil in the fryer or saucepan to approx. 180 degrees celcius (356F).
  • Place a small bowl with oil next to you as you will need to keep your hands moist at all times through this process.
  • Prepare a large plate or tray with kitchen paper so you can place your zeppole inside and this can absorb any excess oil.
  • Remove the cover from the dough and moisten your hands using the oil.
  • Pull up a piece of dough and roughly flatten it out on the palm of your hand. Take an anchovy (sardine or your desired filing), place it in the middle and then fold the dough over, and twist it on both ends gently to encase the anchovy, making sure there are no holes and that the dough is not too thin around the filling.
  • Place it into the fryer/saucepan, and add a few more without overcrowding them.
  • Using a long set of tongs, tap the zippoli to turn them over and once they are completely golden, they’re ready!
  • Remove them from the oil, place them onto your plate or tray and serve.
  • Repeat until the dough is finished.
  • You can even make this zeppole recipe plain with no feeling, or leave some dough until dessert time and dip plain ones in honey and cinnamon!
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!


Keyword Basil, Cherry Tomatoes, Easy Italian Appetizers, Finger Food, Zeppole
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Zeppole

Immediately! There are no arguments that zeppole taste best when eaten HOT, but you can also prepare them ahead of time and warm them up in the oven.



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