Savory zucchini bread is a tender quick bread that's packed with flavors like garlic, parmesan, and chives. It makes a great addition to a bowl of tomato soup or can be enjoyed on its own with a bit of softened butter spread on top.
Looking for more ways to use up that garden zucchini? Savory zucchini bread makes a great alternative to your standard garlic bread. It turns out incredibly soft and tastes great on its own or spread with butter.
Zucchini bread makes an excellent summer baking recipe - all you need are a few bowls, a spoon, and a loaf pan to get started. Plus, it's made with simple baking ingredients you may already have on hand.
One loaf makes ten hearty slices, so it can easily feed a crowd at your next meal. Pair savory zucchini bread with dishes like creamy chicken vegetable soup, tomato soup, or a hearty side salad for a complete meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Zucchini - You'll need 220 grams or 1.5 cups of finely grated zucchini (or about 1 to 1.5 medium zucchini). After measuring, you'll need to squeeze the excess liquid from the zucchini so that we don't add too much moisture to the recipe. Too much moisture = soggy and dense bread.
- All-purpose flour - I've only tested this recipe with all-purpose (plain) flour, so I can't say for sure how other flours will turn out. If you have a different type of flour on hand, I recommend searching for a recipe that is developed with that specific flour in mind.
- Buttermilk - This recipe is written to work perfectly with buttermilk and the listed leavening, so regular milk (or other non-dairy milks) won't work as substitutes. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to a measuring cup, then fill to the 1-cup line with whole milk. Allow it to set for 5 minutes and you'll have a buttermilk substitute that works in this recipe.
- Eggs - Add structure and moisture to the zucchini bread.
- Unsalted butter - Unsalted butter and ⅛ teaspoon of the listed salt can be substituted with salted butter if desired.
- Chives - Add flavor to your bread. Can be omitted if desired.
- Leavening - You'll need both baking powder and baking soda for the proper lift in this recipe.
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of the bread. I do not recommend omitting the salt - your bread will taste bland in comparison.
- Garlic powder - Adds garlicky flavor to your bread. Can be omitted if desired.
- Parmesan cheese - Adds savory flavor to the bread. If desired, it can be substituted with other cheeses like cheddar or gruyere. I recommend using cheese freshly shredded from a block rather than pre-shredded cheeses in a canister or bag. Pre-shredded cheeses are often coated in anti-clumping powders that can add a grainy texture when melted.
Frequently asked questions
- Do I need to squeeze the liquid from my zucchini? Yes, for this recipe you'll need to squeeze the excess liquid from the shredded zucchini before adding it to the batter. Too much liquid will make this bread soggy, gummy, and dense.
- Do I need to peel my zucchini? No, there's no need to peel zucchini for zucchini bread. The skin and flesh melt seamlessly into the bread as it bakes.
- Do I need to remove the seeds from my zucchini before making bread? If you're using a large zucchini with mature, hard seeds inside, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds before grating.
- Can I use cucumber instead of zucchini? No, zucchini has a mild flavor that makes it ideal for baking. Cucumber has a fresh "melon" flavor that's much more pronounced and not ideal for hiding in baked goods. For more information: Zucchini vs Cucumber - What's the Difference?
- How do I grate zucchini for bread? I recommend shredding zucchini using the small or "fine" side of a box grater. The smaller pieces melt right into the zucchini bread as it bakes. A larger grate also works but adds a more noticeable texture. Here's the box grater I use: Amazon: OXO Good Grips Box Grater
- What size pan do I need? This recipe makes one 9x5 loaf of zucchini bread. These are the pans I use for all my zucchini bread: Farberware Loaf Pan 9x5, Set of 2
For detailed information on storing zucchini bread, check out my full post: How to store zucchini bread
Room temperature - Zucchini bread can be stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Refrigerator - If your bread is extremely moist/wet, you may want to store your zucchini bread in the refrigerator instead. Zucchini bread will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week in a tightly sealed container.
Zucchini bread can be carefully wrapped in plastic wrap/foil (either the entire loaf or single slices), then stored in a freezer safe bag or container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Set out on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours to thaw to room temperature.
What to serve with zucchini bread
Wondering what to serve with zucchini bread? With a flavor similar to garlic bread, savory zucchini bread goes well with soups, salads, and pasta. Here are a few ideas:
- Tomato soup
- Zucchini basil soup
- Zucchini ribbon salad
- Grilled chicken salad
- Pesto pasta
Savory Zucchini Bread
- 1.5 cups (220 g) finely grated zucchini, after measuring, squeeze liquid out
- 1 cup (227 g) buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ¼ cups (270 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (56 g) freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease one 9x5 loaf pan (or line with parchment paper) and set aside.
- In a bowl, add finely grated zucchini (after liquid has been squeezed out), buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Whisk until evenly incorporated. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Stir until incorporated. Add cheese and chives and stir just until incorporated. Batter will be thick.
- Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 48 to 55 minutes, OR until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean/with dry crumbs, or bread reaches 200 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit in the center (baking times will vary based on your oven and type of pan used).
- Allow bread to cool completely on the counter before removing from pan and slicing.
- Leftover zucchini bread will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. If your bread is very moist/wet, I recommend refrigerating.
- Zucchini bread can be frozen for up to 6 months. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap/foil and store in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw on the counter top for 1 to 3 hours.