Chef John's Zucchini Bread


We're making cake out of zucchini and calling it bread. This is an extremely beautiful and delicious loaf; not to mention super fast and easy to make. In fact, in the business, this is what is referred to as a quick bread.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Additional Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins
2 loaves

The main problem with zucchini bread is that it isn't banana bread or carrot cake, which is what it's often unfairly compared to. However, this delicious and easy recipe has something those two don't: Some mystery. Banana bread tastes like bananas and carrot cake tastes like cake. Zucchini bread tastes like…we're not exactly sure.

It doesn't taste like zucchini, which is no surprise, since zucchini doesn't really have a pronounced flavor. But there is a very subtle hint of something vegetal in the background. Maybe that's our mind playing tricks on us since you can see lots of beautiful green flecks once sliced, but no matter what's going on, it really works. Especially if you perform our famous "salt the zucchini first" trick to remove excess moisture and bitterness.

Besides simply wanting to make a tasty, sort-of-sweet loaf, this recipe is yet another great way for us gardeners to use up some of that seemingly endless supply of zucchini. Sure, it's only 3 or 4 squash, but every little bit helps this time of year. I mean, you can only eat so much frittata and zucchini spaghetti. But no matter the motivation, I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy

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  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 4 cups grated zucchini

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups white sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously butter two loaf pans.

  2. Mix kosher salt into zucchini and let sit for 10 minutes. Transfer to a strainer and rinse very thoroughly under cold water to remove salt. Let drain for 15 to 20 minutes before using.

  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl. Reserve until needed.

  4. Combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla in another large mixing bowl, and whisk until mixture is smooth and turns a pale yellow, about 1 minute. Grab a handful of the drained zucchini with both hands and squeeze out any excess water before transferring into the egg-sugar mixture. Repeat until all the zucchini has been transferred in.

  5. Pour in melted butter and stir until combined. Stir walnuts into the batter, followed by the flour mixture. Use a spatula to mix until the flour disappears.

  6. Transfer into the prepared loaf pans. Tap pans on the countertop to settle the batter.

  7. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown on top and a skewer poked in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out on to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving.

Chef's Notes:

If you use fine table salt for removing zucchini's excess moisture, cut in half.

You can use any nut you prefer, some people like pecans instead of walnuts. You can also add chocolate chips if you like.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

298 Calories
14g Fat
39g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 298
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 483mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 152mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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