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Food & Recipes

This Zucchini Bars Recipe Sneaks Summer Squash Into a Moist, Nutty + Healthy Dessert

They're extra delicious topped with brown butter frosting!

Summer brings an abundance of fresh vegetables, and zucchini is often a star player. But sometimes, you just get tired of the same old stir-fries and salads. After trying to come up a new way to use my leftover zucchini, I remembered a treat I loved eating during my younger days: zucchini bars. They’re moist, flavorful and a bit more nutritious than your typical dessert. I found a classic recipe with warm spices, pecans and a brown butter frosting that’s ready in under an hour. Plus, learn more about zucchini and how to shred it just right. This is your guide to the best zucchini bars.

The nutritional benefits of zucchini

Don’t let its mild flavor fool you — zucchini packs a surprising punch of vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of manganese, essential for healthy bone development and enzyme function. Zucchini is also rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and promotes collagen production. Plus, it boasts a good amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

Tips for baking your zucchini bars

For zucchini bars that are as moist and delicious as they are healthy, here are a few key tips:

1. Shredding savvy

Grate your zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater. This ensures the zucchini shreds distribute evenly throughout the batter and also don’t release too much moisture, leading to a soggy bar.

2. Squeeze out the excess

Once shredded, toss the zucchini with a generous amount of salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. This draws out excess moisture that can make your bars dense. Be sure to squeeze out any remaining liquid with a paper towel before adding the zucchini to the batter.

3. Don’t overmix

Once you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix just until combined. Overmixing can lead to tough bars.

4. Brown butter bliss

The nutty, caramelized flavor brown butter adds to frosting is unbeatable. Use unsalted butter for the clearest flavor and also cut it into cubes for even browning. Remember to swirl the pan and keep a close eye on it to prevent burning. These bars are also great with a simple powdered sugar glaze or cream cheese frosting.

Easy zucchini bars recipe

close up of cut zucchini bars with nuts and frosting
Al Gonzalez/Getty

I loved making this recipe from The Recipe Critic. These bars were moist, buttery and so full of zucchini flavor.

Zucchini Bars


  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, about 3 medium
  • 1½ cups pecans, chopped

Brown butter frosting

  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 8-10 Tbs. milk


  • Active Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bars
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 15x10x1 inch pan. Then, in a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a mixer, add sugar, oil and eggs and mix until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until incorporated. Stir in zucchini and chopped pecans. Spread evenly in prepared pan and cook for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Then, let bars cool completely.
  3. While baking, heat a medium-sized saucepan on medium heat. Add butter and whisk until it turns brown. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Stir together until smooth. Spread over cooled bars.

Storage instructions

If you plan to enjoy your zucchini bars within 3 days, you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container. But for longer storage, refrigerate them for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

For more veggie-forward desserts, click through these recipes:

Carrot Cake Cookies Combine 2 Treats in 1 Delicious Bite — Easy 30-Minute Recipe

Make This Ingredient Swap for the Best Pumpkin Pie Ever — So Easy!

Shortcut Rhubarb Pie Recipe Makes It So Easy to Celebrate a Taste of Summer

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