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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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- First you'll mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. I use a fork for the entire mixing process.
- 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.
- In a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup (my preference), use the fork to whisk together the eggs, butter, and buttermilk.
- 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
You can bake it up to 24 hours in advance. Let it cool completely, then cover tightly and keep at room temperature.
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.
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!
- Savory fritters with corn and feta
- Spiralized noodles with: turkey meat sauce // lemon caper butter // summer vegetables
- Camille Kingsolver’s orzo
- Chocolate cake!
- Sheet pan pizza with pesto
- Quick curry with chickpeas
- Thai red curry with vegetables
- 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.
- 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.
- You'll need a larger-size loaf pan like this one for this recipe.
- If substituting a summer squash with large seeds, remove them before shredding.
- This bread stays fresh for several days stored tightly wrapped on the counter. It's also great toasted with butter on subsequent days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 9.8gCarbohydrates: 28.1gFiber: 1.2gProtein: 8.7g