Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars made with ripe zucchini and have all the amazing flavors of zucchini bread! One of my favorite easy zucchini recipes, these bars are a real crowd pleaser!
These bars have flavors similar to our Best Zucchini Bread recipe, only they’re super simple to serve and share with a crowd of people! Perfect for summer potlucks or anytime you just have too much zucchini, give this chocolate chip zucchini bread a try.
What are Zucchini Bars?
I combined 2 fantastic recipes to make these Chocolate Chip Zucchini bars. They’re a modified version of my popular Chocolate Chip Banana Bars, only grated zucchini replaced the bananas and I added additional spices. The result? Incredible, cake-like snack bars that everyone enjoys. They are great for anytime of the day, breakfast, snack, lunch, or even with a glass of milk for an after dinner treat.
Do you have to peel zucchini to make zucchini bars?
No you do not have to peel zucchini before making zucchini bars. The peel on the outside of a zucchini is a lovely dark green and very tender. I just wash the zucchini, cut off the ends and then grate the entire vegetable. It’s very simple to do and I love seeing the tiny flecks of green in the bars after they’re baked.
Tips to make Healthy Zucchini Bars
There are several things you can swap out in this recipe to make them a bit healthier, here are some ideas:
- Reduce the amount of brown sugar to 1 cup. Just make sure you’re using smaller zucchini as the larger the zucchini gets, the more bitter it tastes.
- You can replace half, or all of the butter, with applesauce. I’m more of a fan of using half coconut oil and half applesauce, personally.
- Use almond or cashew milk in place of regular milk.
- Swap out regular flour with whole wheat or almond flour. Just add 2 rounded teaspoons of baking powder if you do make this adjustment.
- Add in 2-3 TBSP of ground flax! No one will notice and it gives an added boost of fiber.
Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars
Zucchini: You will need 3 cups of grated zucchini (about 1.5-2 zucchinis) for this healthy and delicious recipe.
Brown sugar: Adding in 1 ½ cups of brown sugar will give these tasty bars a nice depth of flavor.
Butter: Use ½ cup of butter, melted, to give these bars a lovely rich taste.
Milk: For amazing moisture, add in ¼ cup of milk to the batter.
Eggs: You need to add 3 eggs to this mixture to create fantastic taste and texture.
Flour: The structural base of this recipe is 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
Baking powder: To help the bars rise as they bake, add in 2 tsp of baking powder.
Salt: Use 1 tsp of salt to balance the flavors in these bars well.
Cinnamon: Adding in 1 ½ tsp of ground cinnamon will give this treat a delightful warm spiced flavor.
Nutmeg: For even more great taste, use ½ tsp of nutmeg in this recipe.
Chocolate chips: You will want to add in 1 ¼ cup of chocolate chips, mini & regular, divided, for a nice sweet addition in these healthy bars.
Walnuts: A bar is not complete (in my opinion) without some delicious nuts, using ½ cup of chopped walnuts is a great crunchy addition.
Steps to make Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars
Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Then, spray a 15×10.5″ pan with non-stick spray and set it aside.
Next, wash the zucchini, cut the ends off and grate. Set aside for use later in the recipe.
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, milk and eggs. Stir until smooth.
After that, add in dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stir well to combine. Next, fold in the grated zucchini, walnuts and ¾ cups of mini chocolate chips.
Proceed to spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle ½ cup of regular chocolate chips on top.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the bars cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes.
When ready to serve, cut into squares and enjoy!
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars
- 3 cups grated zucchini about 1.5-2 zucchinis
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup regular chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Prep: Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Then, spray a 15×10.5″ pan with non-stick spray and set it aside. Next, wash the zucchini, cut the ends off and grate. Set aside for use later in the recipe.
- Batter: In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, milk and eggs. Stir until smooth. After that, add in dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stir well to combine. Next, fold in the grated zucchini, walnuts and ¾ cups of mini chocolate chips.
- Bake: Proceed to spread the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle ½ cup of regular chocolate chips on top.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the bars cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. When ready to serve, cut into squares and enjoy!
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Can I use frozen grated zucchini to make zucchini bread?
Yes you can use frozen grated zucchini to make zucchini bread. Just defrost it, then squeeze out as much water as you can before mixing it in. Personally, I’m not a fan of how frozen zucchini tastes, so I like to bake zucchini bars, then after cooling completely, I freeze them in a ziplock bag until we’re ready to eat it.
Should I squeeze excess water out of my zucchini before making zucchini bread?
Yes, you can squeeze out excess water from grated zucchini before adding it to your batter. Zucchini naturally has a lot of water in it. that becomes quite clear after grating it, if you simply leave it to rest for 5-10 minutes, the water will begin accumulating in the bowl! I like to squeeze as much out as possible before making it into zucchini bread. Interestingly enough, each zucchini is a bit different when it comes to water content. I find zucchini straight from my garden has quite a bit more water in it than zucchini from the grocery store. I don’t usually try and squeeze out excess water from my grocery store zucchini because there’s not that much.
How many zucchini is in a cup?
I plan on 1 zucchini for each cup of grated zucchini needed in a recipe. Of course, this varies being as zucchini come in all sizes. Zucchini in the grocery store range from small to medium sized. When you grow your own zucchini it’s easy to grow them larger than normal! I once harvested a zucchini that yielded 10 cups of grated zucchini- and that was after I cut out the soft middle part with the seeds!
Can you freeze Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bars?
Yes! I freeze these zucchini bars often! My favorite way to freeze them is to cut them into 2″-3″ squares and place in a small baggie. Place all of the individual baggies in a larger ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Then you have individual servings of chocolate chip zucchini bars that are perfect for an on-the-go snack or school lunch! You can also freeze a half pan of these zucchini bars. Instead of baking in a 10×15 pan, bake them in 2 quarter bakers sheets or 9×13 pans. Simply cool fully, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Are zucchini bars gluten free?
My traditional recipe for chocolate chip zucchini bars does contain gluten, however you can substitute a gluten-free flour blend or use almond flour instead. If you swap out regular flour with almond flour, just add rounded teaspoons of baking powder instead.
More amazing quick bread recipes that we love:
- Sweet Coconut Quick Bread
- Best Zucchini Bread recipe
- Easy Lemon Quick Bread
- Yogurt Banana Bread recipe
- Dutch Apple Quick Bread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Quick Bread
- Caramel Banana Nut Bread
- Best Ever Pumpkin Bread
- Lemon Buttermilk Quick Bread
- Caramel Apple Quick Bread
- Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread
- Peppermint Chocolate Quick Bread
- Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
- Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars are made with deliciously ripe zucchini and have all the great flavors of a typical zucchini bread recipe. This is easily one of my favorite easy zucchini recipes, these healthy bars are always a hit with crowds!
These bars are so moist and delicious! Yum!
So glad you mixed 2 recipes in 1 to make these delicious chocolate chip zucchini bars! Thanks for the recipe!
Jennifer Flynn says
Just made these because my zucchini is growing like a weed this year! I’m not freezing these because they will go too fast. Can I leave them out or should they be refrigerated? Thanks!
You can leave them out – no need for refrigeration!
Can I use a cake pan? My baking sheet is bigger than one on recipe
Absolutely! Just be sure to adjust bake time as necessary!
Tara MacKay says
can I add cocoa powder? if so how much would you say ?
I add 1/3 cup cocoa powder! : )
Can I swap out regular flour for coconut flour?
I don’t have much experience with coconut flour so I’m not sure how well that would work, but please let us know if you try it!
Did you squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini?
Only if you’re using frozen zucchini, otherwise, I just use it as is.
Do you think this can be made egg free with the flaxseed egg?
I have not tried to do this substitution, but if you do, let me know how it goes!
I’d like to incorporate oats. How much would you recommend and do I need to adjust anything else?
Adding dry oats will definitely affect the recipe… this isn’t tested of course, but I’d try adding 1.5 cups quick oats and increasing the milk to 1/2 cup.