Make Ahead

Savory Zucchini Bread

July 28, 2022
9 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes One 9-inch loaf
Author Notes

Zucchini bread is a godsend during peak summer when zucchini is everywhere, but I often find the loaves disappointing: sweet, dense, and one-note in flavor. So I ditched the sugar, raisins, and other sweet add-ins and created a savory rendition that’s exactly to my taste.

It’s flecked with chopped Castelvetrano olives, manchego, almonds, and smoky paprika, kind of like it summered in Spain! Olive oil reinforces its savoriness, and a little rye flour boosts its texture and flavor.

The bread can be baked in either a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (start checking for doneness after about 30 minutes) or a standard loaf pan. I love serving it plain or lightly toasted with salted butter—either as a snack or part of a meal. —EmilyC

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups (158 grams) shredded, unpeeled zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini) (not squeezed or wrung dry)
  • 1 cup (113 grams) shredded manchego or aged cheddar (from a 4-ounce piece)
  • 1/2 cup (112 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) whole-milk yogurt, regular or Greek
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice from a large lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) slivered almonds (can substitute chopped walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup (62 grams) castelvetrano olives, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter or oil the bottom and sides of a 9-inch loaf pan. (If your bread pan isn’t non-stick, line the bottom with parchment paper for extra insurance.)
  2. In a medium bowl, use a rubber spatula to mix together the zucchini, cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, yogurt, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until well incorporated.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and paprika.
  4. Pour the zucchini mixture into the dry ingredients, folding a few times with a rubber spatula, then add the almonds and olives. Gently mix until just combined and no flour remains. Scrape batter into prepared pan. (Note: the batter is thick and dense but the resulting bread is not!)
  5. Bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through baking, or until a paring knife or thin skewer inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. (Note: don’t use a toothpick; it’s an unreliable gauge of doneness.) The crust will be golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool on a rack completely before slicing. The flavor is even better the next day. Store it in an airtight container or wrapped in foil for 3 to 5 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pamelalee
  • EmilyC
  • inflytur
  • Theothernarwhal

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

5 Reviews

inflytur August 28, 2020
Thank you for developing this recipe. I have been wishing for a savory zucchini bread. I am really enjoying the loaf. It is wonderful toasted and warm. I do perceive the flavor of baking powder sneaking through. I wonder how much I can decrease the amount and still get a decent rise?
Theothernarwhal May 2, 2020
Wow, this recipe is amazing! I made it around a week ago when I had no yeast for bread, and this recipe hit the spot.
I didn’t have castelvetrano olives so I used kalamatta, and I didn’t have any rye flower, but it turned out great anyway!
The olive oil and the lemon flavors really came through, and the consistency was moist and spongey. I would love to try it again once I have rye flower.
hetty F. April 22, 2020
Good consistentcy but I found it very underseasoned. It needs a ton more olives and cheese and smoked paprika.
pamelalee September 26, 2019
I made this bread last night, and it is delicious! I’ve been looking for recipes for savory quick breads. I love all the different flavors and textures.
EmilyC September 27, 2019
Wonderful to hear, pamelalee! Thanks so much for trying it and circling back!!