Incredibly moist and tender gluten free zucchini bread, made with tons of summer’s pushiest vegetable. This is your new favorite zucchini recipe!

The importance of gluten free zucchini recipes

Incredibly moist and tender gluten free zucchini bread, made with tons of summer’s pushiest vegetable. This is your new favorite zucchini recipe!

You can’t really taste the zucchini, so it’s a great recipe for hiding vegetables from the veg dodgers, and it’s got tonnes of chocolate chips. It’s also naturally dairy free as well as gluten free. What’s not to love?

When the zucchini plants start to flower, you know you’ve got to get your recipes ready if you hope to stay ahead of things. Or at least not falling miserably behind.

Like night follows day, it’s just the way things are. At least baking with zucchini is truly a pleasure (so much moisture!), and this chocolate chip gluten free zucchini bread is a time-honored favorite. It just so happens to be dairy-free, too.

Brown quick bread with brown spots in nonstick loaf pan lined with white paper on purple cloth

Gluten free chocolate chip zucchini bread: the recipe for vegetable haters

Do you have a vegetable-hating child (or adult?) in your home? I have one. It would be a total drag, but her saving grace is that she’s now old enough that she wishes she liked vegetables.

She’s accepted that vegetables will be a part of every meal, and understands why. So when I can, I try to give her vegetables hiding in a healthy homemade popsicle or, say, baked into this lightly sweet, moist and tender zucchini bread. It’s the least I can do.

Ingredients of zucchini bread in round glass and ceramic bowls on light wood surface with words corresponding to each ingredient: gf flour, chocolate chips, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, zucchini

Gluten free zucchini bread recipe — key ingredients

  • All purpose gluten free flour blend – I love the results that Better Batter gives me, and you can always make my “mock” Better Batter blend yourself.
  • Salt – balances out and complements all the other ingredients
  • Cinnamon – adds a lovely, warm spicy but subtle taste to your bread; you can leave it out, though, if you’d prefer
  • Chocolate chips – optional, but I do love the richness that they add to this delicious bread
  • Sugar – I use both granulated and light brown sugar to give this gf zucchini bread its sweetness and texture
  • Zucchini – be sure to remove as much moisture as possible for the best consistency
  • Eggs – these help provide the lift your bread needs and help bind that bread together so it slices cleanly

How to prepare zucchini for gluten free baking

Zucchini and other summer squash naturally have a ton of moisture, which is probably a large part of how they grow so quickly. The moisture isn’t a problem for a recipe like this one, which could easily be designed to account for the moisture since it’s not being baked until crisp, like our gluten free zucchini tots.

But baking requires consistency, and the moisture in zucchini varies tremendously from one vegetable to the next. Draining the zucchini of as much moisture as possible before measuring it by weight is the way we standardize our ingredients.

You can drain the grated zucchini by placing it in in the center of a tea towel (just a kitchen towel with a flat weave that doesn’t shed) or even an old t shirt. Just wrap the cloth around the grated vegetable, and squeeze until the liquid is all gone.

You can also use cheese cloth to do the same, but it tends to be too fragile and tears easily under pressure. My favorite way to drain the moisture from zucchini and cauliflower is with a nut milk bag, which is just a strong mesh bag designed for filtering out the nut pulp left behind from making a nut milk.

When you use a nut milk bag to drain zucchini or cauliflower, you’re preserving the solid and discarding the liquid. Drain it over the sink and flush the liquid away.

Here’s my favorite nut milk bag (affiliate link; feel free to shop around), if you’re interested. I like that it’s larger than many, and strong enough for repeated use. In fact, mine has lasted through many years of regular.

How to make gluten free zucchini bread

This is a simple recipe that is mixed together beginning with dry ingredients, then adding wet ingredients. But the wet ingredients are prepared a bit differently. Let’s walk through the recipe:

First prepare the zucchini

We begin before we even place any of the ingredients into the wet ingredients by shredding the zucchini, skins and all, on a standard size grater. Then, to make sure your zucchini has the same amount of moisture as expected, you will wring out as much moisture as possible. There are some success tips on how to remove moisture from zucchini above and in the recipe below.

Composite image of dry ingredients with whisk and mixing spoon in large metal bowl, small bowl of chocolate chips in fingers, green shreds added to dry ingredients, eggs and liquids whole and blended in blender container, and being mixed into dry ingredients

Whisk dry ingredients and blend wet

Next, we place all the dry ingredients (gluten free flour blend including xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, the optional ground cinnamon, and the sugars) in a large mixing bowl, and combine them well.

Be sure to break up any clumps in the brown sugar. Toss the chocolate chips in a bit of the dry ingredients and set them aside.

Add a bit more than half of the shredded and drained zucchini to the dry ingredients and mix throughout. The rest of the prepared zucchini is then blended fully with the eggs, oil, and vanilla. That puree is then mixed into the dry ingredients until combined.

Large metal mixing bowl with light green batter and black mixing spoon, with chocolate chips added, batter in white paper-lined metal loaf pan, with chocolate chips on top, and baked in same pan

Transfer the zucchini bread batter to a prepared loaf pan and bake

The batter at this point will be relatively pourable, and smooth except for the shredded zucchini that hasn’t been pureed. It will also be light green in color.

All that’s left is to mix in the chocolate chips tossed in some of the dry ingredients, transfer the batter to a greased, lined standard loaf pan, and top with more chocolate chips. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, maybe with a few moist crumbs attached.

This bread doesn’t burn especially easy, so don’t worry too much about overbaking it—unless you’re using a dark colored loaf pan that attracts more heat than we’d like. Be sure it’s baked completely or it will collapse as it cools.

Tips for making the best gluten free zucchini bread

If you follow my gluten free zucchini bread recipe to the letter, you won’t go wrong. But there are still some extra tips you can use to make sure your gluten free treat is perfect.

Don’t skip pureeing some of the zucchini

Back when I first made this recipe, I added in mashed banana, but after much tweaking and experimenting, I now omit the banana and add pureed zucchini instead, alongside the eggs and oil. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, as it really boosts the moisture content, keeping your gluten free quick bread soft and delicious.

P.S. Looking for a chocolate version? Try my recipe for Double Chocolate Gluten Free Zucchini Bread.

Toss the grated zucchini in the dry ingredients

Toss the grated zucchini with the dry ingredients so the pieces don’t clump together. They’re baked right into the loaf, and show up as tiny green flecks in the bread.

Measure the gluten free flour blend the right way

While I include a volume measurement in my gluten free zucchini bread recipe, I much prefer that you pay attention to the weight measurement instead.

My reasoning is simple: You’ll more closely match my irresistible results when you measure flour by weight (easy to do with a kitchen scale), than if you pack it into a cup and hope for the best.

Leave the skin on

You can cut down on the time it takes to prepare this easy gluten free zucchini bread recipe by leaving the skins on your zucchini. The taste and texture of your bread won’t be any different because the skin is actually quite soft, but you will notice tiny green flakes as you slice.

As an added bonus, you’ll also up your nutrient intake as the skin is where many of the veggie’s nutrients and vitamins hide.

Really wring out that zucchini

As you’re grating your zucchini, you’re sure to notice that this once firm, dry vegetable quickly turns into a soggy pile. For this reason, it’s extremely important that you take the time to wring the excess moisture out of your zucchini.

It’s true that the point of zucchini is to add tons of moisture to bread, but if it’s too moist, your bread is going to come out gooey. You may be able to save it by baking longer, but there could also be a point where there’s simply too much water to bake off.

brown crust of bread with chocolate chips on top in light gold colored metal loaf pan on brown table

Gluten free zucchini bread: ingredients and substitutions

Gluten free, dairy free zucchini bread

Luckily, since this gluten free quick bread is made with oil instead of butter, it’s naturally dairy free. Be careful about your chocolate chips, though. Some are dairy-free, but others are not.

Make sure yours are if you need to be dairy-free. The semi-sweet chocolate chips from Trader Joe’s are dairy-free.

Gluten free, egg free zucchini bread

Since there are two eggs in this recipe, you may be able to successfully replace each of them with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). I haven’t tried this substitution, though, so proceed with caution! A “flax egg” might also work, but tends to add a truly unwelcome flavor.

Gluten free, sugar free zucchini bread

This gluten free zucchini bread recipe calls for both granulated white and brown sugar. If you’re trying to avoid refined sugars, you can try swapping for a granulated sugar alternative and a brown sugar alternative — but I haven’t tried it and can’t speak to the results.

Coconut sugar might work in place of brown sugar, but it doesn’t have the added moisture of brown sugar and has a much coarser grind, so it doesn’t dissolve as well. I don’t recommend substituting unrefined liquid sugars like honey and pure maple syrup, as they change the moisture balance and would require a lot of experimentation to get a gf zucchini bread that will rise fully, and cook all the way through.

Gluten free zucchini bread without xanthan gum

Personally, I don’t like the texture that psyllium husk powder gives gluten free quick breads, but it’s a popular alternative to xanthan gum. I suggest using it only if you absolutely can’t use xanthan gum.

For this recipe, you can try using 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk powder in place of the xanthan gum. You may also need to adjust your baking time. I can’t promise results since I haven’t tried this swap!

Another ingredient that can substitute for xanthan gum with which I have had better results is konjac powder, which we discuss fully in our recipe for gluten free biscuits without xanthan gum.

Slice of light brown bread with chocolate chips and green flecks being grabbed by fingers

How to store leftover gf zucchini bread

When you keep it tightly wrapped in a zip-top bag, your leftover gluten free zucchini bread should last about 3 days on the counter. Just keep it sealed tight, and squeeze out as much air as possible from the bag.

How to freeze zucchini bread

If you’ve made lots of extra gf zucchini bread in an effort to use up all your zucchini (been there, done that!), you can store your extra loaves in the freezer to enjoy later.

I like to store whole loaves. First, let your zucchini bread cool completely. Next, slice it and wrap the slices in groups of 2 or 3 tightly in plastic wrap and then place the bread inside a zip-top bag. Your bread will easily last up to six month in the freezer so long as it’s carefully wrapped.

When you’re ready to eat some gluten free zucchini bread, just leave a group of slices on your kitchen counter or in the fridge overnight to defrost. Refresh in the microwave or, better yet, your toaster oven on low.


Is zucchini gluten free?

As is the case with most fresh fruits and veggies, zucchinis are gluten free. This means that if you grow your own zucchini or pick one up from the fresh produce aisle of your grocery store (or at your favorite fresh market), you don’t have to worry about gluten.

What’s the best way to grate zucchini for wheat free zucchini bread?

I find that a box grater is the easiest tool for grating zucchini. I suggest leaving the skins on your zucchini to speed up the preparation process.

Also remember that freshly grated zucchini is loaded with excess moisture, so you’ll need to diligently drain it off to maintain the proper ratios for your zucchini bread batter.

Can you taste zucchini in this gf zucchini bread recipe?

If you’re not a fan of veggies, you’ll be thrilled to know that the taste of zucchini does not come through in this recipe for gluten free zucchini bread.

Instead, the zucchini adds a ton of moisture to the batter so that you end up with a bread so tender, it’s almost like a dessert.

Can I add nuts or dried fruit to my gluten free zucchini bread recipe?

Absolutely! Feel free to add walnuts, raisins, shredded coconut, and other mix-ins to your zucchini bread. So as not to mess around too much with ingredient ratios, I suggest sticking with one cup or less of mix-ins.

Can I use a different gluten free flour for this zucchini bread recipe?

You’re always free to experiment with my awesome recipes by substituting ingredients. Unfortunately, I just can’t promise what your final results will be like!

For this recipe, my gluten free all purpose flour of choice comes from Better Batter. I have not tried using almond flour, coconut flour, or any other blends, so I can’t say how they’ll turn out — but I wouldn’t recommend using any of those flours in anything other than a recipe that was designed to be made with them.

Can I use frozen zucchini to make this gluten free squash bread?

You probably could, but I really don’t recommend it. Believe me when I say that fresh zucchini makes all the difference in this recipe. It’s loaded with the moisture you need for perfect consistency — even after draining out all the excess.

Using frozen zucchini (or old or out-of-season zucchini) would become mushy, and can’t be grated. You can, however, grate and drain extra zucchini and then freeze it to use another time. Just let it defrost, gently squeeze out any remaining moisture, and then proceed with the recipe as written.

Can I use this recipe to make gluten free zucchini bread muffins?

I don’t like this recipe as muffins, instead of a quick bread. Instead, use this recipe for gluten free zucchini muffins instead. It’s perfect! And don’t miss our superfood muffins, made with almond flour, grated zucchini, and grated carrots.

closeup image of 3 slices of brown colored bread with chocolate chips with rest of loaf on rectangular white serving dish on brown paper

Why is my gluten free zucchini bread gooey in the middle?

When zucchini bread is gooey in the center, it’s usually an indication that it wasn’t baked long enough—or your zucchini wasn’t rid of enough moisture.

Even if you follow my suggestion of 50 minutes of cook time, you may still run into this problem. Remember: Your oven may not be properly calibrated, and other issues like altitude, climate, and ingredient substitutions can also have an affect on baking times.

Also remember that fresh zucchini is full of moisture and bread recipes tend to be sensitive when it comes to the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. If you don’t properly wring the excess water from your grated zucchini, your batter is will be watery and require more baking time to firm up.

The best way to tell if a gluten free zucchini bread is ready is to test it with a toothpick. Insert the toothpick into the center of the bread and remove slowly. If there’s any batter or moisture clinging to the toothpick, your bread needs more baking time.

What do I do if my leftover gf zucchini bread dries out?

It doesn’t happen often in my household, but when bread sits around too long and isn’t as soft and springy as it once was, I like to take it to the toaster. Sprinkle it with water, and warm individual slices in a 300°F oven. I find that lightly browning the bread and then smearing a pat of butter over it makes things all better.

What can I add to zucchini bread besides chocolate chips?

As zucchini bread recipes go, this one is pretty forgiving, you can’t go too crazy with the add-ins. You don’t want to add any more moisture, as the bread will end up dense or gummy.

If chocolate chips aren’t your thing, you can add an equal quantity of chopped nuts – walnuts or pecans make great additions, just like they do for our gluten free banana bread. Alternatively, try adding an equal amount of shredded coconut for an interesting texture and flavor boost.



Gluten Free Zucchini Bread | Moist, Tender, Naturally Dairy-Free!

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Impress kids and adults alike when you make this gluten free zucchini bread. Tender, moist, and delicious, this gf zucchini bread is both tasty and healthy!
Course Bread, Quick bread
Cuisine American
Keyword gluten free zucchini bread
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 standard loaf
Author Nicole Hunn


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter)
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your blend already contains it
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (use dairy free chips to keep the recipe dairy free, if necessary)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 ⅛ cups drained grated zucchini (weight is zucchini as drained of liquid; See Recipe Notes)
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, place flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder and optional cinnamon, and whisk to combine well.
  • Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl, add about 1 teaspoon of the dry ingredients to the chips and toss to combine. Set the chips aside.
  • To the flour mixture, add the granulated sugar and light brown sugar, and whisk to combine (working out any lumps in the brown sugar).
  • Add 1 1/4 cups (125 g) of the grated zucchini to the dry ingredients, and mix gently to combine. Set aside the dry ingredients.
  • Place the remaining 7/8 cup (88 g) of grated zucchini, the eggs, oil and vanilla in a blender, and pulse until well-blended and beginning to emulsify.
  • Create a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredient mixture. The batter will be very wet.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and reserved dry ingredients to the batter and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Scatter the remaining chocolate chips on top and press down lightly to adhere.
  • Place the loaf pan in the center of the preheated oven.
  • Bake, rotating once, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (about 50 minutes).
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes in the loaf pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.



Measuring and preparing the zucchini

First, grate at least one medium-size zucchini (but you’ll probably need more). Drain the grated zucchini by placing it in in the center of a tea towel (just a kitchen towel with a flat weave that doesn’t shed) or even an old t shirt.

Just wrap the cloth around the grated vegetable, and squeeze until as much of the liquid is gone as possible. The shredded and drained zucchini will clump and not feel wet, only damp, to the touch.

Only after the zucchini has been shredded and drained of moisture do you measure it on your digital kitchen scale. Grate and drain more zucchini as necessary to reach the proper amount of zucchini for this recipe.

Originally published on the blog in 2012. In 2020, recipe tweaked to increase eggs slightly and replace mashed banana with pureed zucchini, blended with eggs and oil; new photos and some text. In 2023, more step-by-step photos and some additional text resources added.

Two images of gluten free zucchini bread, one of a slice being grabbed by a hand, and one of three slices facing up.
whole zucchini, shredded zucchini, pureed zucchini, flour in large glass mixing bowl, chocolate chips, and green tinged raw batter with green shreds and chocolate chips in glass mixing bowl
slice of light brown bread with chocolate chips and green flecks on small square white plate on brown paper

The post Gluten Free Zucchini Bread | Moist, Tender, Naturally Dairy-Free! appeared first on Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

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