by Olena

Healthy Zucchini Bread

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Olena Osipov
5 from 242 votes

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Healthy Zucchini Bread made with applesauce, whole wheat flour and no oil. Enjoy this super delicious, easy and moist recipe with your surplus garden zucchini or anytime of the year for breakfast or snacks.

Other quick bread staples in our house are healthy lemon zucchini bread, healthy chocolate zucchini bread and healthy zucchini banana bread.

Healthy zucchini bread in a loaf pan with fresh zucchini by the sides.

This recipe is a result of my local farmer’s zucchini season in full swing. Yay! Therefore, super easy recipe and truly healthy zucchini bread.

Most zucchini breads are full of oil and refined sugars, which cancel the fact that you are eating a vegetable!

This recipe has no white flour, no refined sugar and no oil without sacrificing the flavor or moistness. Freshly grated zucchini and applesauce make it moist and low fat. Honey (or maple syrup) and cinnamon add a really nice flavor and keep it low sugar at same time.

If you can find locally sourced zucchini during the summer season, that is the best! Otherwise, look for organic zucchini since you do not peel the zucchini and will be eating the skin.

There is no need to eat dessert for breakfast. This healthy zucchini bread is delicious and perfect as a healthy breakfast idea or to fuel your afternoon.

I feel good feeding my family low sugar quick breads and I am sure you can relate.

Sliced healthy zucchini bread on parchment paper.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • Easy to make: Healthy zucchini bread is made in one bowl, you don’t even need to squeeze excess water out of zucchini! Less work and less dishes to wash, means you can be in and out of the kitchen in less time.
  • Whole grain: Made with whole wheat or spelt flour, means you are consuming less refined carbohydrates. You will stay full longer as well as consume good for you nutrients.
  • No refined sugar: Honey or maple syrup are lower on the glycemic index which allows your body to burn sugar more efficiently and avoid the “crash and burn” that can come from white refined sugar.
  • Moist: It’s no secret using zucchini in breads adds moisture due to its high water content. Applesauce also adds moisture and means this quick bread stays oil free!

Ingredients You Will Need

Zucchini, maple syrup, spelt flour, applesauce, baking soda, baking powder, salt, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, misto.

Healthy zucchini bread ingredients are simple, wholesome and most likely in your pantry now:

  • Zucchini: Can also use yellow summer squash. No need to peel or squeeze zucchini.
  • Honey or maple syrup: Any liquid sweetener like agave, brown rice syrup or sugar-free syrup will work.
  • Applesauce: Makes bread moist without using oil. I like to use unsweetened applesauce or Instant Pot applesauce. If all you have is sweetened that is fine, your bread will just be sweeter. Yogurt works as well.
  • One egg: Acts like “a glue”.
  • Whole wheat or spelt flour: Are the only flours I have tested in this recipe. Baking is a science and it is super important to follow the recipe. See FAQs below for other flours info.
  • Cinnamon and salt: Salt to enhance the flavor of ingredients and cinnamon to add a sweet, earthy taste.
  • Vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor of all the ingredients in baking.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: Adds leavening and lift to the zucchini bread.

How to Make Healthy Zucchini Bread

This is one bowl recipe!

Applesauce, egg, maple syrup, vanilla and baking staples in metal bowl.

Combine all ingredients, except zucchini and flour, and whisk well. Mixture will be foamy and bubbly because applesauce reacts with baking soda right away.

A bowl of shredded zucchini.

Grate zucchini on large holes or medium size holes of a box grater. The only difference is that coarsely grated zucchini will have more prominent flecks of zucchini in baked bread.

If you would rather “hide the veggies”, use medium holes. I have tried and loved both methods. Also, I do not recommend to grate or “zest” zucchini.

Do not squeeze and do not pat dry. Just pack tightly 2 cups. We want all the juices for moist and healthy whole wheat zucchini bread.

Do not salt, squeeze or pat dry your zucchini! For this healthy quick bread with zucchini, the moisture plays a crucial role in the end result.

Zucchini bread batter in mixing bowl with spatula.

Add flour and stir until well mixed. I wouldn’t be too concerned with over mixing but folding ingredients into the batter gently is always a good baking practice.

Batter won’t be as thick as traditional quick bread or muffin batter.

Batter in long loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 60 mins. Photo shows a longer and skinnier loaf pan because I like to experiment. However, regular sized 9 x 5 inches loaf pan is all you need.

Sliced zucchini bread on cooling rack and two yellow squash nearby.

Bake, cool, slice and enjoy! You know the drill. 🙂

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Chocolate: Add up to a 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate.
  • Nuts: A 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans or pistachios for some crunch.
  • Dried fruit: Raisins, dried chopped apricots or dates, or unsweetened cranberries add additional texture. I would start with 1/4 cup and add up to a 1/2 cup.
  • Coconut: Look for unsweetened coconut in the baking aisle. Shredded works better than flakes.
  • Blueberries: Before adding, toss with a small amount of flour you are using to prevent sinking to the bottom. Or use to stud the top of the bread.
  • Dash of nutmeg: For additional earthy flavor.
  • Egg free: I think it will work although I haven’t tested with this bread, but let me know in the comments. Try flax egg or chia seed egg.

Tips for Best Results

All zucchini bread recipes differ. Here is what I recommend to do with your zucchini for this healthy zucchini bread recipe:

  • Do not peel: Squash’s skin is very soft and once cooked it becomes very tender. So, do not waste your time and discard valuable nutrients.
  • Do not squeeze: You do not have to squeeze zucchini for my recipe because we want all the water to make the bread moist.
  • Pack in a cup: You want 2 cups packed of shredded zucchini. As you fill up the cup with handfuls gently press on zucchini before adding more. Don’t go crazy but just pat it inside.
  • Frozen zucchini: I have heard from a few readers they freeze shredded zucchini and then use in baking. I have not tried. But if you are wondering, I would thaw frozen shredded zucchini for a bit so it’s not one blob and try. Please let me know if you do.

Please follow the recipe: I can’t stress enough that baking is a science and 99% times deviations from original recipe result in baking fails.


Can I use almond flour?

No because almond flour is ground up almonds and acts differently. Luckily, I have this foolproof almond flour zucchini bread recipe.

What other flour can I use?

All-purpose flour and gluten-free flour blend may make bread dry. I would reduce to 1 3/4 cups and possibly it will work but I haven’t tried. I think you can get away with half whole wheat and half white flour, for sure.

White whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour more likely will work 1:1 ratio. Please let me know if you try.

Coconut flour will not work as it is very “thirsty”.

Oat flour will not work as it will make bread gummy. However, I believe one of the readers tried successfully 50% whole wheat flour and 50% oat flour.

Can I reduce the maple syrup or honey?

While I have not tested this, some readers have reduced the sweetener to 1/2 cup with good results. The key is to keep the balance of wet to dry ingredients. So possibly, add equal amount of applesauce for reduced amount of liquid sweetener.

Also as I have more experience with baking, you can use dry monk fruit sweetener or erythritol like Lakanto. I would add more, about 1/2 cup, applesauce though. Again, please let me know if you try.

I am just shy of 2 cups of zucchini that is needed, what can I use?

Some readers have used grated apple, mashed banana or pumpkin puree and had great results! Let me know in the comments, if this works for you.

Can this bread be made into muffins or mini loaves?

Yes. You should be able to make 14 regular sized muffins and bake at 22-25 minutes. Can also just follow this very similar healthy zucchini muffins recipe.

Make 4 small loaves and bake at 20-25 minutes. Make mini muffins and bake at 10-12 minutes.

Serving Recommendations

While most of the time, our family enjoys this bread as is fresh from the oven, here are some other fun ways to serve this best zucchini bread recipe!

  • French toast zucchini bread: This is best if your bread is nearing the end of its “lifecycle”. Make an egg dip batter by combining egg, your preferred milk and a pinch of salt and cinnamon or nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Soak a slice of bread in the mixture for only a few minutes and fry both sides of the bread in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • Drizzle with a glaze: This works especially great if your bread is doubling as a dessert! Try the glaze from healthy lemon poppy seed bread. Alternately, drizzle with yogurt icing from this healthy carrot cake recipe.
  • Favorite beverage: Healthy iced coffee or healthy iced tea are all some of my favorite sippers!

How to Store and Freeze Zucchini Bread

Store: Quick bread dries out fast if you leave it in the open. I like to place zucchini bread in a resealable Ziploc bag and store in a pantry away from direct sunlight for up to 3 days.

I doubt you will have any left past day 3 but if you do, then freeze it.

Freeze: Bake zucchini bread and cool completely. I recommend you do not slice bread before freezing. It retains its moisture better this way.

Place in a gallon size Ziploc bag, let out as much air as possible and seal. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw: Defrost on a counter. Takes about 3-4 hours. Zucchini bread will taste just like freshly baked. Pop it in a toaster for a minute for that freshly baked bread warmth and aromas.

Enjoy this healthy zucchini bread!

More Healthy Zucchini Recipes

Or find a recipe that appeals to you among these 45 healthy zucchini recipes!

Baked healthy zucchini bread in a loaf pan.
Healthy Zucchini Bread

Healthy Zucchini Bread

Healthy Zucchini Bread made with applesauce, whole wheat flour and no oil. It is also low sugar and low fat!
4.98 from 242 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Muffins and Quick Bread
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 148kcal
Author: Olena Osipov



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line 9 x 5 loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add egg, applesauce, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined. Add zucchini and stir.
  • Add flour and mix gently with a spatula just enough to combine.
  • Pour batter into previously prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off for 10 minutes. Then holding onto the flaps of parchment paper remove bread from a loaf pan and let it cool off for another 30 minutes or completely.
  • Using sharp serrated knife cut into 12 slices and enjoy!



Store: Covered or in a resealable bag in a cool dry place for up to 3 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost on a counter which takes about 3-4 hours.
Can I use almond flour? No because almond flour is ground up almonds and acts differently. Luckily, I have this foolproof almond flour zucchini bread recipe.
What other flour can I use?
  • All-purpose flour and gluten-free flour blend may make bread dry. I would reduce to 1 3/4 cups and possibly it will work but I haven’t tried. I think you can get away with half whole wheat and half white flour, for sure.
  • White whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour more likely will work 1:1 ratio. Please let me know if you try.
  • Coconut flour will not work as it is very “thirsty”.
  • Oat flour will not work as it will make bread gummy. However, I believe one of the readers tried successfully 50% whole wheat flour and 50% oat flour.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g

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359 comments on “Healthy Zucchini Bread

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  1. 4 stars
    I substituted paleo flour for the whole wheat and it didn’t set at all. I left it in the oven for 25 minutes longer and still no good. 🙁 the taste is amazing though!

    1. Hi Katie. You cannot substitute whole wheat flour with gluten free flour because this recipe needs gluten to rise. That’s why this healthy zucchini bread never rose. It would have to be completely different recipe. Overall you can never swap any GF flour for wheat in any recipe just to save you some disappointments in the future.:)

      1. I’m surprised that you said no GF flour can be used in place of the whole wheat flour ever. I haven’t tried your
        recipes yet but I bake a lot of baked recipes using Cup per Cup GF flour in place of whole wheat for my daughter.
        While the batter comes out denser (I often use a little more liquid), the recipes always come out really well. I plan on using it to try out your recipe.

        1. I know that baking is a science. From my experience over the years, when I baked with GF flour goods come out much more dense, more dry and taste is a bit different. Plus there are so many brands of GF flours with different components, they might and I am sure will act differently in different recipes. It is not 1 ingredient flour like whole wheat. I stand by my tested recipes and would not recommend something to a reader I do not enjoy or something that might not work out. But if you feel like this substitution will work for you, please use it.:)

  2. 4 stars
    Super moist and delicious. I made gluten-free with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 all purpose flour and homemade oatmeal flour and a touch of almond flour. I think I should have used a little more flour as the texture doesn’t seem quite “done.” But my four year-old LOVES it! And I do, too!

    1. More flour wouldn’t help. It’s because almond and oat flours have no gluten. They don’t absorb liquids like wheat flours do. When it comes to baking, it’s best to follow the recipe, especially with flours.:)

  3. 5 stars
    Best zucchini bread EVER! Added chopped up 80% cacao ghiradelli bar for extra goodness!! Made with maple syrup and it was awesome!

  4. 4 stars

    + Surprisingly moist bread for an all whole wheat flour recipe.
    + Easy recipe to execute.
    + I made one loaf with maple syrup and expected it to taste too strong but that wasn’t the case.
    + Second loaf used all honey and again, didn’t seem to taste like honey but just sweetened the bread.


    – Flavor is too strong with whole wheat flour.

    – Cinnamon seemed high (even for this cinnamon lover) and I suspect it’s to help with the overwhelming flavor of all whole wheat.

    Overall – this recipe executed well, scientifically works great, and has a great texture and moisture content. Flavor, to me, wasn’t pleasing enough to decide to make this again. Perhaps subbing white whole wheat flour could taste better.

    1. I have a friend and she doesn’t like whole wheat flour and maple syrup baking. Period. So she bakes with all purpose flour and white sugar. End of story. Probably you are “the same friend”.?

  5. 4 stars
    Whipped this up today. I added 1/2tsp betterNOW stevia, 3/4c walnuts and 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolates. It was wonderful. Next time I’ll bump up the stevia to 1 full tsp for my family’s taste buds. Thanks for the recipe.

      1. 5 stars
        I have made a very similar recipe and have substituted almond flour using ¾ almond to ¼ spelt and tasted great I added a tsp more of baking powder to offset heaviness of almond flour, it is a matter of experimenting with the ratio until you find what works

  6. 5 stars
    Just took mine out of the oven and can’t wait til after dinner to try a piece! I had everything on hand, even the chocolate chips! This was so easy to make and smells wonderful!!

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