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This nice and easy, satisfying loaf of savory zucchini bread with cheddar, parmesan, shallots, and herbs works equally well for brunch, after-school snacks, or baaaasically any time. It’s been a favorite of ours for decades and can be yours in about an hour.

savory zucchini bread with slices
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Why we love this recipe

Savory zucchini bread has so much good stuff going on in the flavor department that you’d think it’s complicated to make. Blissfully, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This recipe:

  • Doesn’t require sifting or a mixer (I just use a fork)
  • Comes together quickly in one bowl + one liquid measuring cup
  • Has a tender crumb thanks to the buttermilk
  • Is great fresh or toasted with butter
  • Makes a nice little impromptu gift, if you’re into that sort of thing

What you’ll need

Here’s what you need to make this recipe. This bread is amenable to substitutions, so see the notes below for suggestions if you like.

ingredients for savory quickbread
  • One small zucchini should yield about a cup shredded. You can easily substitute other summer squash (like yellow squash) that have a similar texture to zucchini. Some summer squash have bigger seeds in the middle. If yours does, remove them before shredding.
  • Extra-sharp cheddar and a good parmesan make a great combination, but you can use any semi-hard or hard aged cheeses you like. Gouda or smoked gouda, pecorino, Manchego, provolone, havarti, and many more would be fab.
  • For herbs, you can use any combination you like. Since zucchini is more abundant in the summer, I usually stick to soft summer herbs like basil, chives, cilantro, dill, and chervil. But since the bread bakes for an hour, you could use a smaller amount of stronger woody herbs like thyme, rosemary, and sage if you prefer.
  • Don’t skip the shallot. It’s pure magic.
  • Buttermilk is an important ingredient. Its acidity creates a gentle tang and a tender crumb. But if you don’t have it, you can substitute one cup of whole milk plus one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.

How to make it

I love how quickly and easily this quick bread comes together. You don’t need a sifter, a mixer, or even a whisk.

mixing quick bread ingredients step by step
  1. First you’ll mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. I use a fork for the entire mixing process.
  2. Then you’ll stir in the squash, cheese, shallot, and herbs and mix until everything is coated well with flour and there are no big clumps of cheese or squash.
  3. In a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup (my preference), use the fork to whisk together the eggs, butter, and buttermilk.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir gently just until mixed. Then you’ll scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake it. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I bake savory zucchini bread in advance?

You can bake it up to 24 hours in advance. Let it cool completely, then cover tightly and keep at room temperature.

How long will it last?

This bread is great by itself on the day it’s baked and the day after. After that, I prefer to toast it lightly and add a little butter.

Can I substitute ingredients?

For sure! Try experimenting with the flavors by swapping in different cheeses and herbs if you like.

Swap in smoked gouda for the cheddar, or change up the herbs to suit the contents of your garden or fridge.

You can also substitute any summer squash with a similar texture for the zucchini. If the squash has large seeds, remove them before shredding.

How to serve it

This quickbread is great as is, or with a little butter, on the day you make it. It’s also excellent toasted on subsequent days. Or put an egg on it! It’s equally great for breakfast, on a brunch buffet, as a snack, or (D) all of the above.

More favorite zucchini recipes

Got a glut of zucchini? Here are some more of our favorite ways to use it!

Zucchini Cheddar Bread with Slices

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Savory Zucchini Bread with Cheddar and Herbs 780 | Umami Girl
4.50 from 22 votes

Savory Zucchini Bread with Cheddar and Herbs

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This savory, satisfying loaf has so many great flavors going on that it's a total delight to eat. And yet it's super-easy to make. No sifting and no mixer required. You can use zucchini or substitute another summer squash (like yellow squash) that has a similar texture to zucchini.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12
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  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons (16 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) fine sea salt
  • A few good grinds black pepper
  • 1 cup (135 grams) shredded zucchini
  • 1 ¼ cups (142 grams) shredded extra-sharp cheddar
  • ¼ cup (28 grams) grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, minced chives or a combination
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (235 ml) buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) melted butter, cooled slightly


  • Preheat the oven to 350° F with a rack in the center. Grease a 9 x 5-inch (8-cup) loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the zucchini, cheeses, shallot, and herbs and toss to separate and coat with flour.
  • In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on a rack.

Step-by-step video


    1. This recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking, which was hands-down the cookbook we used most when I was growing up. It’s a classic and worth having for sure.
    2. You’ll need a larger-size loaf pan like this one for this recipe.
    3. If substituting a summer squash with large seeds, remove them before shredding.
    4. This bread stays fresh for several days stored tightly wrapped on the counter. It’s also great toasted with butter on subsequent days.


Calories: 236kcal, Carbohydrates: 28.1g, Protein: 8.7g, Fat: 9.8g, Fiber: 1.2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Muffins and Quickbreads
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Ruth, I haven’t frozen it, but I think it would work just fine as long as you wrap it well. Please report back if you give it a try!

  1. I’ve used the Umami girl cheesy zucchini bread recipe for years. Why the sudden change to the whole page? I found the previous layout much easier to use/follow. Now its nonstop ad popups that make the page jump up and down. I’m very disappointed.

    1. Hi, Heather! First of all, thanks for using this recipe for years. I appreciate it.

      This is my full-time job, and it takes a lot of work to produce it all. The changes to this page added a lot more information for those cooks who need it, and also some more ads, which is one of the main ways I support myself, my family, and the ability to run this business. I know that ads can take away from the user experience, but it’s always a balance, and always one that I’m working on.

      If you’d rather print the recipe, you’re welcome to open the page, press the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, and then press PRINT in the recipe card. The whole operation shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 seconds.


  2. This also makes 18 excellent full-sized muffins, baked 30 minutes. I freeze the extras in small freezer bags, thaw on countertop while cooking the rest of a meal and toast briefly to warm.

    1. Thank you so much for this tip! Now I’m wondering why I’ve never thought to make muffins from it. Especially since it makes a very large loaf, I love the idea of portioning it and freezing.

  3. The recipe doesn’t say of the moisture should be blotted out of the shredded zucchini. Should I just drain or blot or wring the moisture out?

    1. Hi, Barbara. Thanks for the question. You don’t need to drain or blot the moisture from the zucchini in this recipe. That’s something we do in a lot of recipes on this site, but not this zucchini bread. Hope you love it!


  4. Hi Carolyn,

    I’ve just discovered your site and am excited to try this Savory Zucchini Bread! I was wondering though what the shelf life of the bread is – I was hoping to ship it interstate. We’re in Australia and due to COVID19 delays with the post, it could take up to a week – will the bread be ok? Obviously we will wrap it up nice & snug!


    1. Hi, Aps! Thanks for reaching out. I wish I could give you an unequivocal yes. But while it would probably be fine, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable advising a weeklong journey without refrigeration, given all the dairy in this recipe. I do hope you’ll make it sometime, though. It’s one of my favorites.