Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread

I’m on a mission this summer. A mission out of necessity, resulting from the abundance of certain summer squash I planted in my parents’ garden. Four plants. What was I thinking?! One zucchini plant alone could feed a family of four. Every time I stop by my parents’ house my mother glares at me accusingly. Actually, she’s not the glaring type. It’s more like a bemused look that says, “we have a problem, and it’s your fault,” along with an offer to cook me up some squash (she has an excellent recipe) and a plea to give some to me to take home.

zucchini-drawer-in-fridge.jpg
3 days worth of summer squash (and a couple lemon cucumbers) from the garden

So the mission? Come up with recipes that we all like and that use a lot of summer squash. For this I have been experimenting with zucchini bread for the last two weeks. We have a couple fine zucchini bread recipes on the site, but I was hoping for something a little more savory. I tried all sorts of combinations, experiments with cheddar, with Parm, jalapenos, etc. Mom’s response to most of them, “good if you toast them and then put sugar and butter on them.” Not good enough. Finally I succumbed to the classic somewhat sweet zucchini bread, but seasoned it with rosemary and lemon, so you get a savory note. More than good enough. Really good. My conclusion is that zucchini bread works well with sugar. Here we use 1 1/4 cups for 3 cups of zucchini and 3 cups of flour. So, it’s not a lot, but it’s enough to make a lovely, lightly sweet bread.

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One of the raised beds, with a patty pan and a zucchini

Lemon Rosemary Zucchini Bread Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Makes two loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (390 grams) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (from about 1 pound of zucchini)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two 4x9-inch loaf pans, either coating with butter or spraying with baking spray.

2 In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.

3 Beat the eggs in a mixer (or by hand) until frothy. Beat in the sugar. Beat in the melted butter and olive oil. Stir in the lemon zest and grated zucchini.

4 Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation.

5 Divide batter/dough into two loaf pans. Bake in a 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Test after 40 minutes. If you gently press down on the surface of the loaf, it should bounce back, and a bamboo skewer inserted into the center should come out clean.

6 Remove from the oven. Let cool for a few minutes and then remove the loaves from their pans to cool on a rack.

61 Comments

  1. Barefeet In The Kitchen

    We’re gardening for the first time this year and I had no idea how much squash a single plant would produce. When my sweet husband asked me how many pattypans I wanted him to plant for me, I naively told him as many as possible. Well, TWENTY plants later… let’s just say that we are eating it with almost every meal and happily passing it on to friends as well.

    This bread looks delicious!

    Oh my gosh, you can feed a whole town with that many plants! ~Elise

  2. Christine

    I absolutely love zucchini, and one of my favorite recipes right now is a grilled zucchini sandwich with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, arugala, topped with olivada (green olives, garlic, olive oil and lemon zest) and red wine vinegarette on ciabata… sounds like a lot but it is all perfect together.

  3. Lou Grubaugh

    Lemon cucumbers are wonderful, and only available for a short season. Have you tried old-fashioned farm salad? Combine a bowl full of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions with a dash of olive oil, a big splash of red wine vinegar (or seasoned rice vinegar if you want less tart) salt, pepper and Italian herbs. A perfect summer side.

  4. Pat

    Used all the zest from my lemons this evening on scallops – can I sub the juice for some of the liquid ingredients? Any suggestions appreciated!Thanks – love your recipes!

    You could try it, your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

  5. JustHeather

    @razzle, my sister-in-law makes an awesome pickle relish thing with cucumbers. It is so yummy! And easy!

    I love zucchini bread. The great thing about zucchini is that you can shred it ahead of time and freeze it in the amounts you need for later. (Don’t throw away the ‘juice’ when you thaw it.)

  6. Heidi

    I will have to try this recipe. I only planted one zucchini and one yellow squash. They were in late, so I will be waiting a while. I was given a recipe for an apple pie. My friend had us try it first, we all loved it! Afterward she shared that the “apples” were cored and sliced zucchini! I also have another for a savory pie made similiar to a quiche. Thanks for a new recipe!

  7. Kate

    Zucchini fritters — or zucchini & corn fritters — are delicious.

    I have thought about growing zucchini just to harvest the blossoms!

  8. Stephanie Irwin

    You could pick a few blossoms before they become veggies (if it isn’t too late yet). The blossoms are edible and are excellent in quesadillas, salads, or are great stuffed. I like to stuff them with a mixture of cream cheese, curry, green onion, salt, and pepper. I then bread and fry them. They make an excellent appetizer!

  9. Deana @CookTJ

    My husband planted more than 12 zucchini & yellow crookneck plants this year. Crazy, right? In fairness, I think a few of them were volunteer hybrids that showed up on their own with crazy-colored and patterned (winter) squash.
    My favorite zucchini recipe is my version of Zucchini Squares from the moosewood cookbook. Uses up a lot of them.
    Zucchini recipes are extra-welcome this summer (although maybe my family has already had enough!)

  10. Melissa

    I too know what it is like to have an abundance of zucchini. I’m still working off the frozen shreds from last summer. One of my favorite ways to go savory is to mix 1/2 cup of the shreds for every pound of meat in a meatloaf. It keeps things really moist. If you need to be tricky about it, peel the green off before you shred it.

    I also bulk up my pasta sauce with hidden veggies. If only the family knew! I like to make a big batch of red sauce in the crock pot with 2-3 finely shredded carrots, a minced red or green pepper, a sweet onion and at least 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Put it on low and let it go. The veggies practically melt into the sauce. Then I keep it in meal size portions in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.

  11. Cedric

    This sounds lurvely. Could anybody just recommend what to have with it? I’m thinking to have it for dinner one night, but I have no idea how *really* savoury it is… Should I serve cold cuts and cheese with that?

    It’s sweet, perfect for an afternoon snack or with breakfast, like a muffin. ~Elise

    • Glenn Sullivan

      Toast it in the toaster oven and put some chunky peanut butter on it… that’s my favorite “solution” to too much Zucchini Bread…

  12. Susan

    We planted two plants last year and learned our lesson; this year, only one and it still produces more than we can use. I have recently discovered a simple beer bread that we fell in love with that might be the answer to using up some of that zucchini. (I notice that Hank Shaw has one on this site as well, which is similar in proportions) Mine uses 3 cups self rising flour, 1 12oz bottle of beer (I used Gordon Birsch’s Marzan Lager, I thought a wheat beer appropriate and it was delicious) and that’s it! I added 3/4 cup sharp cheddar, 1 tsp fresh med. course black pepper and 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. I’ve been tempted to add 1 small zucchini shredded and squeezed dry to it for some color and just to use up some of it! Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. You might play around with variations of this application and see what you can come up with.

  13. MPParis

    My CSA has had a bumper crop of zucchini (and swiss chard) this year. I’m happy to have a new zucchini bread recipe. Thank you!

    I love your swiss chard with olives and the swiss chard tzatziki. My favorite is epicurious warm mashed potatoes and swiss chard but it’s a lot of work. Have anything similar that’s not so time consuming and doesn’t produce so many dirty dishes?

    Have you tried our colcannon recipe? ~Elise

  14. Susan

    Whoops! In my previous comment, I forgot that there is also 1/4 cup of sugar in the basic beer bread recipe. I used half brown and half white. Also, I baked it in a well greased 8×4 inch loaf pan. I do hope you consider this, Elise. It’s so easy and so good.

  15. Liz

    I made this today after coming back from out of town and finind 2 giant zucchini on our plant. The giant ones really aren’t good for anything but baking. This turned out great. It’s nice and moist with a subtle lemon rosemary flavor.

  16. Gordon

    Wonderful! Not at all what I was expecting – but delicious. I had to be sure and measure the rosemary very carefully as the fresh herbs this season are really strong up here in Redding – must be all the water followed by this hot summer.
    Anyway, thanks for this recipe :)

  17. Rosemary

    This sounds great, can’t wait for NYS zucchini season! I can never get enough of them.

    I take the extra zucchini, dice them and saute with halved cherry tomatoes, white beans, oregano, garlic, lots of pepper and a little wine. It makes a nice snack or breakfast on toast.

    Grilled zucchini is awesome too!

  18. Ruth B

    This is fabulous. Just took it out of the oven and tasted it while it’s still warm. Lovely change from sweet and cinnamony zucchini bread. I didn’t have 5×9 pans but used 4 smaller ones – about 3×6 – and baked for 25 minutes. Delicious!

  19. Judith

    I mix up olive oil with chopped fresh herbs and garlic, paint it on slices of zucchini (eggplant, anise, peppers, whatever you like) and grill. My family eats it as it comes off the grill, in sandwiches the next day, and straight out of the fridge. The variations are endless and they all taste great.

    Cucumbers are great sliced thin, wilted with a little salt, and rinsed. Add a little rice wine vinegar and chopped fresh chervil.

    Summer is wonderful!

  20. Regina

    I saw this recipe, gathered the ingredients (sadly the lemon and zucchini came from a market and not my backyard but the rosemary was mine) and made it the next day. It’s the day after and the loaf (regrettably I made a half a recipe) is already gone. Another utter fantastic recipe! Thank you.

  21. EB

    WOW – I made this bread over the weekend by halving the recipe just to try it BUT I wish I would have made the whole recipe now! It is a great bread for breakfast (had a big chunk of it this morning), dessert or anytime of the time especially when it is still warm from the oven. Could not keep my hands off it once I tasted it. Just thinking of it I want to go home and polish off the half that is left on the kitchen counter! Kiddos for sure on this recipe. I really do enjoy your comments/stories before the recipes you share with us. Yummy & Thank You! ~ EB in TX

  22. Amanda

    I made this yesterday, as our CSA unloaded all of their excess zucchini in our box (or so it seemed). It’s absolutely delicious. Moist, with a perfect texture.

    My only advice (which should be taken with a grain of salt, as I know next to nothing about cooking and/or baking) is to be careful about the rosemary. Ours was pretty strong, so the rosemary flavor is very, very dominant. I wondered about it as I was mixing the rosemary in, because it seemed to have a stronger smell than it normally does, but I ignored my instinct. Next time, I’ll measure the rosemary according to its strength.

    Superb!

  23. Marion (London)

    Tried this today and it’s yummy! Has to be added to my collection of favourites from this site, top of the list being the banana bread – I’ve shared that with friends and family here in the UK and in Australia. Keep up the good work!!

  24. Malia

    This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it when our neighbor brings over their mounds of extra squash. As for a savory bread, what about a bread with curry? I just had a zucchini soup with typically Indian spices and it was pretty tasty, it might translate nicely to a bread. Just a thought.

  25. Michelle

    This is amazing! I cut out half the sugar and replaced with 2/3 cup of honey and an extra 1/2 tsp of baking soda… reduced baking temp to 325 and increased time. I’m sharing this with everyone I know. WOW!

  26. Sharon

    Delicious bread! Lovely texture, delicate flavor, and not too sweet. I made it yesterday. I had to substitute vegetable oil for olive oil because I was running low. When filling the larger pans (the pan size you recommended) the mixture barely fills 1/3 of the pan, making a loaf that is about 4 inches high. Is that the height of the bread in the picture?
    I have already shared this recipe with friends!

    Yep, that’s about right. ~Elise

  27. Carol

    Easy to play with. I used 3/4 cup EVO, no butter, cut sugar down to one cup, patted into circle in the middle of cookie sheet (it’s more of a dough than batter). adjusted cook time down. This created a cake that could be cut in wedges, crispy on the edges, cakey and moist center. Really good with fresh raspberry or blueberry sorbet if cake is served warm.

  28. Penny

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I made it the same day I read the post, having on hand a huge zucchini from my garden (I cut out the big seeds) and some rosemary as well. I didn’t have a lemon on hand, so I used dried lemon peel, which was fine. The bread is delicious–so different from the usual zucchini bread (which I also like).

  29. Marianne

    Every year when the farmer’s market fills up with zucchini I look for a good zucchini bread recipe and I’m always disappointed with the results. Not this time! It was delicious. I love the brightness of the lemon.

  30. Sarah

    I made this for a lunch with friends. Great! Everyone liked it. I swapped the butter with unsweetened applesauce because one friend can’t have dairy products and it was still rich and moist. I used extra virgin olive oil and liked the taste of the flavorful oil with the rosemary and lemon.

  31. Carol

    I baked this over the weekend and it was wonderful. It was sweet enough to be a dessert but not so sweet that you feel guilty eating it for breakfast. I used a 4-mini loaf pan which reduced the baking time to about 35 minutes. I’m excited about the possibilities of playing around with different herb & citrus combinations. I also think this would be great as a bundt cake with a lemon glaze drizzled over it.

  32. Joyce

    Made this bread and liked it, didn’t love it… It is an acquired taste because of the rosemary… It’s different… One of my co workers gave me a zucchini from her garden that was huge and I made this bread and brought it in to work this past Monday… When I got to work this morning (Wednesday) there was still one piece left and there is normally nothing left over when you bring food into my office to share on the first day… Pack of wolves… This is good for special occasions like holidays or brunches but not a bread I would make all the time…

  33. Susan

    My husband is a pastry chef and made this for me the other day! Unfortunately, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so this bread was perfect. He did cut down on the rosemary though, thinking it might be a little too overpowering. Loved the splash of color of the zucchini sprinkled throughout the bread. Goes so well with my morning tea.

  34. libby

    I made this bread a few days ago and have really enjoyed it. It’s even better the next day!
    Next time I plan to add chopped walnuts for a little crunch. Thank you!

  35. Michelle

    Made this last night…it was really good. I only used 1 TBL of fresh rosemary as it was smelling really strong. It was a perfect amount for me. I loved the hint of lemon. Thanks for sharing!

  36. SUP

    This recipe was super easy (with the grater on the food processor) and so tasty. I love sweet + savory foods so this was perfect. Thanks!

  37. Heather

    Wow. We made both this recipe and your regular zuke bread recipe last night. This recipe is a WINNER. It is simply delicious! Thank you. While we only had 1 TBSP of rosemary…vs 2 – it was just the perfect kind of kick zuke bread needs. No butter spread necessary. ;)

  38. Pam D.

    I thought this looked very interesting. I made it exactly as the recipe was written. Really wonderful flavor, could be considered sweet or savory. Good job!

  39. Kelly

    Made this today from my abundant zucchini & rosemary in my yard! Love It! Will do this one again! My rosemary isn’t too strong so I used 2 T. Just fine. I did grate the zucchini & added 1/2 tsp salt & mixed well & left it in a strainer to draw some moisture out. 1/2 hr later I squeezed the heck out of it then added to the mix. I will make this again & try changing out some of the fat & lower the sugar a smidge, like I do all my recipes. This was just great! Hubby ate 1 slice w/dinner & 1 w/his homemade pie for dessert!

  40. carol

    This post just reminded me of the zucchini that was almost ready two days ago…oops! It should be plenty to make this delicious recipe by now!

  41. Sosanguine69

    Made this tonight, it was delicious! Just wanted to let you know that I made it vegan because my daughter is allergic to dairy/eggs and it came out wonderful. Subbed vegan egg replacer and earth balance margarine for the egg and butter. Also used half whole wheat flour. Everyone (non-vegans) thought it was delicious, and made this way was fairly healthy, I didn’t feel guilty eating an extra helping!

  42. Jennifer

    Your site is awesome! Just discovered it a few weeks ago and have already made the banana bread and this lemon rosemary zucchini bread. Delicious! I halved the recipe with no problems. Can’t wait to share this with my friends!

  43. Monica Day

    My loaves are baking now and by the batter, I think it will be delicious! I’m hosting a going away party for some dear friends who are moving and was looking for a bread that incorporated rosemary for remembrance. I was going to do a yeast bread but came across your recipe. I think it will be perfect for them to take on their long moving drive to snack along the way and as a bonus it incorporates the super abundant zucchini at this time of year. The 15 minute prep has got to be for some super baker, it took me 50 minutes to prep on the first go around.

  44. Molly

    Best zucchini bread ever! Very light and fresh …. not the usual dark, heavy stuff I’ve made before. The fresh rosemary and lemon are a perfect mixture.

  45. Courtney

    Finally got to try this recipe today and it did not disappoint! I love zucchini bread and rosemary has always been a favorite herb of mine. Love how it created an earthiness to the bread. Made it less sweet; more savory. Thanks for my new favorite!

  46. Limor

    WOW!!
    I never thought of this combination before, and as soon as I saw it I had to try it. I cut the suger though to 1 cup, and still thought it was a bit too sweet for my own taste, but everyone else just LOVED it. it was abseloutly delicious. I can’t wait to try it again. Thanks for this wonderful addition to my favorites :)

  47. Anon

    I just made this today, and I really liked it. I did make one addition, though. I made a simple lemon juice/sugar mixture and added some rosemary leaves as an infusion. When the loaf was still warm, I spooned the “syrup” over the top as a glaze. Totally would make this again. Thanks!

  48. JY KIM

    i absolutely loved your recipe,
    i had to prepare some dessert cake today and i had just one hour, the reason why i selected this recipe was ingredients i had- only one zucchini and just two spoons of rosemary leaves,,
    i replaced butter and olive oil with canola oil, and turned out quite well, i love the silky, moist texture. such an well-made recipe site, i send my heart from paris! thank u(-:
    everyone said it’s really delicious, this is something you can’t taste in french bakery!

  49. bob

    i grow about 35 zuc plants every year. i use a lot and give a lot to friends..but i also give most of them to several food banks and soup kitchens..they are most happy to get them

  50. Denise W

    I have made this recipe several times over the last month or so, since the zucc’s started coming on. I also add about 1/2 of the juice from the lemon, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of very finely slice Lemon Balm leaves. This makes the lemon flaver really sing and the littel speckles of green are very pretty in this bread. Oh….and I also make this recipe in a 9×13 pan, instead of loaves for large gatherings. Really easy to transport that way. Love, love this recipe. All my friends are amazed since it is so different from the usual zucc breads. Thanks a bunch!

  51. deepali

    as someone with a pathological need to adjust recipes, i have to say that this one is so amazing that i follow it exactly as is. the only thing i’ve changed is the size of the pans (which affects temp and cooking time) only because i lack the right sizes. still turns out amazing, and has gotten rave reviews!

I apologize for the inconvenience, but comments are closed. You can share your thoughts on our Facebook page ~ Elise.