This Savory Zucchini Bread with cheddar cheese & jalapeños is cheesy with a little bit of subtle heat. It has so much flavor. The shredded zucchini keeps the bread from drying out, and cheese always makes everything delicious.

Cheesy Zucchini Bread is not what you usually think of when you think of zucchini bread – but this is easily my favorite quick bread recipe. This zucchini bread is so cheesy, so flavorful, and with a little melted butter – it is a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack.

In the peak of summertime, gardens are overflowing with zucchini, squash, and peppers – and ours is no exception. We love to make sweet zucchini bread loaded with chocolate chips, and this year I decided to make a savory zucchini bread recipe. I am so glad I did!

We have five different kinds of squash in our garden, and I have used them all to make this recipe. I love how this recipe turns out with regular old garden zucchini and yellow squash. Those big, fat zucchini that got hidden behind the leaves and grew too big after a summer rainstorm are perfect for this recipe. (I prefer to save some of the sweeter squash varieties (tromboncino squash) for sweeter bread recipes.)

Savory zucchini muffins with cheese on top of a muffin tin.
Table of Contents
  1. 🥘 Ingredient Notes
  2. 🍽 Equipment Needed
  3. 🥣 How to Make It
  4. Recipe Yield
  5. Variations
  6. How to Store Zucchini Bread
  7. Make it into Muffins
  8. 🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
  9. ✏️ Helpful Tips
  10. Other Ways to Use Up Zucchini
  11. Savory Zucchini Quick Bread with Cheddar and Jalapeños Recipe
    1. Variations
    2. How to Store Zucchini Bread
    3. Make it into Muffins

🥘 Ingredient Notes

The ingredients needed to make savory zucchini bread, laid out and labeled.
  • Zucchini, shredded/grated
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher Salt
  • Buttermilk, room temperature
  • Egg, room temperature
  • Butter, melted and allowed to cool
  • Sharp Cheddar, shredded/grated
  • Jalapeños, finely diced

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A Food Processor or Cheese Grater
  • A Large Bowl
  • A Loaf Pan or Muffin Tin
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons

🥣 How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard loaf pan – a 9×5 bread pan – with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray or coat with softened butter.
  2. Place grated zucchini in a towel over a strainer and let it sit while you grate cheese and prepare the other ingredients. When you are ready, squeeze some of the liquid out of the zucchini – it doesn’t have to be totally dry, but try to get as much out as you can.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  (Pictures 1 – 2) I like to sift it because its humid as heck in the south and no matter what I do, flour gets clumpy.
  4. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, cooled melted butter, and egg. (Pictures 3 – 4)
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients but do not overmix – the batter will get mixed more when you add the cheese and zucchini. The batter will be thick. (Pictures 5 – 6)
A collage of images showing how to make savory zucchini muffins and bread, steps 1 - 5.
  1. Add grated zucchini, cheese, and diced peppers. Gently fold the batter until it is combined. It will be pretty thick and sticky. (Pictures 7 – 8)
  2. Pour batter into prepared pan or muffin cups. (Pictures 9 – 10)
A collage of images showing how to make savory zucchini muffins and bread, steps 6 - 10.
  1. Bake at 350°F for one hour for the loaf and 35 minutes for muffins.
  2. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the bread. If it comes out clean, it is done! The bread will be golden brown on top. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Because of the moisture content of the zucchini, you really want to make sure that you get to the center of the loaf with a toothpick or a knife – it might appear to be fully baked, but the inside could still be gooey.

I like to double this recipe when I have lots of zucchini or giant, overgrown zucchini – and make a loaf of bread and a batch of muffins at the same time.

They both freeze really well and reheat well, toasted with some butter for an easy breakfast or afternoon snack.

Recipe Yield

This recipe makes 12 muffins, 6 jumbo muffins, or 1 9×5 loaf.

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Variations

  • Add Bacon – I have also made this recipe with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, and diced bacon. It is SO good. I cooked and diced up 3 strips of bacon and mixed the diced bacon into the batter. Make sure to drain off excess grease from the bacon on paper towels – otherwise, the bread will absorb all that grease.
  • Swap Jalapeños for Green Onions – I can’t take full credit for this delicious bread recipe – it was inspired by the Laughing Spatula. They use a buttermilk substitute and green onions – so definitely give that combination a try! You can also add finely diced onion, a pinch of onion powder or garlic powder, or even some fresh chives. This is a really flexible recipe.
  • Change Up the Cheese – This recipe is a great way to use up any kinds of medium or hard cheeses that you have. I have used parmesan cheese, smoked gouda, smoked cheddar, and pepper jack. I have even thrown in some Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. I wouldn’t use a soft cheese like blue cheese, cream cheese, or gorgonzola because they will completely melt and burn when baked, but you can definitely spread some veggie cream cheese on a slice of cheddar zucchini bread when serving. Yum!
A hand holding a cheesy zucchini muffin over a muffin tin.

How to Store Zucchini Bread

Because of the high moisture content in zucchini bread, it can grow mold easily. (Especially in the summer in the south when humidity is high.) Once zucchini bread has cooled, I store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Reheat in the toaster before serving with a little butter on top – it is perfect!

Zucchini bread also freezes really well, so that is another option to ensure optimal freshness. For a family of two, like us, bulk baking is easier but can result in waste if we aren’t careful. I leave enough out that will last us 2 – 3 days, and I freeze the rest in 2 – 3 day portions, so we can just grab what we need.

You can also bake your bread in 1 or 2 cup Souper Cubes or a mini loaf pan, then freeze mini loaves for easy and delicious fresh zucchini breakfasts any time of year. (Bulk food prep is such a great way to do a lot of work at one time to enjoy delicious food at a later date – especially when summer produce is involved!)

Slices of savory cheddar zucchini bread with jalapeños.

Make it into Muffins

I LOVE to make this bread recipe into Zucchini Muffins. I almost prefer a zucchini muffin to zucchini bread, but I wanted to give both options for you to try. Follow the same recipe, but scoop about ¼ – ⅓ cup of the zucchini mixture into a lined muffin tin and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

To make jumbo muffins, one batch of this recipe will make 6 muffins. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use as a buttermilk substitute?

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a buttermilk substitute by combining one cup of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. I prefer to use white vinegar to make “mock” buttermilk, but you can use apple cider vinegar if that is all you have.

Can you freeze zucchini bread?

Yes! Zucchini bread freezes really well – freezing actually helps it last longer because zucchini bread is really moist and can grow mold easily.

A muffin tin with baked savory zucchini muffins with cheese in them.
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • I like to grate the cheese first using a food processor, then transfer it to a bowl. Do not clean the food processor. Then grate the zucchini. I find it is kind of annoying to clean the food processor after grating cheese – the wet, fibrous zucchini kind of helps clean the cheese off of the food processor. (Do not do this if you are grating a giant zucchini and will have extra that you don’t want to be covered in cheese 😉 Any leftover shredded zucchini can be stored in a ziplock bag and can be frozen.)
  • I like to double this recipe and make one batch of muffins and one big loaf of bread. We have breakfast for the week, and bread or muffins go in the freezer for another time!
  • Make sure that you allow the buttermilk and egg to come to room temperature and allow the melted butter to cool – otherwise, when you combine all the wet ingredients, the butter will harden up and get chunky.
  • Do not skip the step where you squeeze a bit of the moisture out of the grated zucchini, or you could end up with mushy bread.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a buttermilk substitute by combining one cup of milk with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. I prefer to use white vinegar to make “mock” buttermilk, but you can use apple cider vinegar if that is all you have.
  • Fresh Bread is a great gift to bring to a hostess or when visiting friends and family. I normally bring people chocolate chip cookies… it’s kind of my thing… but lately, I have been bringing a small loaf of zucchini bread wherever I go (along with a whole zucchini and a bucket of tomatoes.) Everyone loves this zucchini cheddar bread, and no one ever knows there’s zucchini in it because there aren’t any big chunks of zucchini – the thin shreds just kind of disappear, and there are just mysterious green specks.
A jumbo zucchini muffin sliced in half with melted butter on it.

Other Ways to Use Up Zucchini

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

Savory zucchini muffins with cheese on top of a muffin tin.

Savory Zucchini Quick Bread with Cheddar and Jalapeños

5 from 4 votes
This Savory Zucchini Bread is cheesy with a little bit of subtle heat – and has so much flavor. The shredded zucchini keeps the bread from drying out, and cheese makes everything delicious.
Author: Kari
Servings: 12 slices
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 10 mins

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ cups zucchini grated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 3 tablespons butter melted and allowed to cool
  • 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar grated
  • 2 – 4 jalapeños finely diced

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard loaf pan – a 9×5 bread pan – with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick spray or coat with softened butter.
  • Place grated zucchini in a towel over a strainer and let it sit while you grate cheese and prepare the other ingredients. When you are ready, squeeze some of the liquid out of the zucchini – it doesn’t have to be totally dry, but try to get as much out as you can.
    1 ½ cups zucchini
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (I like to sift it.)
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, cooled melted butter, and egg.
    1 cup buttermilk, 1 large egg, 3 tablespons butter
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients but do not overmix – the batter will get mixed more when you add the cheese and zucchini. The batter will be thick.
  • Add grated zucchini, cheese, and diced peppers. Gently fold the batter until it is combined. It will be pretty thick and sticky.
    1 ½ cups sharp cheddar, 2 – 4 jalapeños, 1 ½ cups zucchini
  • Pour batter into prepared pan or muffin cups.
  • Bake at 350°F for one hour for the loaf and 35 minutes for muffins.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the bread. If it comes out clean, it is done! The bread will be golden brown on top. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Notes

Because of the moisture content of the zucchini, you really want to make sure that you get to the center of the loaf with a toothpick or a knife – it might appear to be fully baked, but the inside could still be gooey.
I like to double this recipe when I have lots of zucchini or giant, overgrown zucchini – and make a loaf of bread and a batch of muffins at the same time.
They both freeze really well and reheat well, toasted with some butter for an easy breakfast or afternoon snack.
This recipe makes 12 muffins, 6 jumbo muffins, or 1 9×5 loaf.

Variations

Add Bacon – I have also made this recipe with jalapeños, cheddar cheese, and diced bacon. It is SO good. I cooked and diced up 3 strips of bacon and mixed the diced bacon into the batter. Make sure to drain off excess grease from the bacon on paper towels – otherwise, the bread will absorb all that grease.
Swap Jalapeños for Green Onions – I can’t take full credit for this delicious bread recipe – it was inspired by the Laughing Spatula. They use a buttermilk substitute and green onions – so definitely give that combination a try! You can also add finely diced onion, a pinch of onion powder or garlic powder, or even some fresh chives. This is a really flexible recipe.
Change Up the Cheese – This recipe is a great way to use up any kinds of medium or hard cheeses that you have. I have used parmesan cheese, smoked gouda, smoked cheddar, and pepper jack. I have even thrown in some Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar. I wouldn’t use a soft cheese like blue cheese, cream cheese, or gorgonzola because they will completely melt and burn when baked, but you can definitely spread some veggie cream cheese on a slice of cheddar zucchini bread when serving. Yum!

How to Store Zucchini Bread

Because of the high moisture content in zucchini bread, it can grow mold easily. (Especially in the summer in the south when humidity is high.) Once zucchini bread has cooled, I store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Reheat in the toaster before serving with a little butter on top – it is perfect!
Zucchini bread also freezes really well, so that is another option to ensure optimal freshness. For a family of two, like us, bulk baking is easier but can result in waste if we aren’t careful. I leave enough out that will last us 2 – 3 days, and I freeze the rest in 2 – 3 day portions, so we can just grab what we need.
You can also bake your bread in 1 or 2 cup Souper Cubes or a mini loaf pan, then freeze mini loaves for easy and delicious fresh zucchini breakfasts any time of year. (Bulk food prep is such a great way to do a lot of work at one time to enjoy delicious food at a later date – especially when summer produce is involved!)

Make it into Muffins

I LOVE to make this bread recipe into Zucchini Muffins. I almost prefer a zucchini muffin to zucchini bread, but I wanted to give both options for you to try. Follow the same recipe, but scoop about ¼ cup of the zucchini mixture into a lined muffin tin and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.
To make jumbo muffins, one batch of this recipe will make 6 muffins. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice or muffinCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 7gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 266mgPotassium: 191mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 310IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 161mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: savory zucchini bread, zucchini bread
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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