Who wants to eat the most delicious, nutritious healthy brownies in all the land? YOU DO?
Oh good, I’m glad you’re here.
This recipe is from one of our annual zucchini weeks a few years back and is still one of my favorite desserts of all time. I just had to share it again to encourage you to bake these babies up.
So say WUD UP to my healthy zucchini brownies aka the BEST zucchini brownies out there. This recipe officially goes in my ‘best of’ series!
You know me, always trying to experiment with baked goods to make them both nourishing, wholesome and delicious enough for you to jump on a couch like good old crazy pants Tommy Cruise (please reference this link).
This recipe might just be one of my favorite zucchini recipes because they’re SIMPLY INCREDIBLE. Fudgy, paleo, gluten free, packed with chocolate, naturally sweetened, full of zucchini and guaranteed to get you hooked!
What’s in these healthy zucchini brownies?
These zucchini brownies are packed with nourishing ingredients, plus they’re naturally sweetened and both dairy free and gluten free. There’s no butter in this recipe either; instead, these use nutrient-dense tahini, a tiny bit of coconut oil and zucchini to keep them fudgy. It sounds crazy, but somehow these beautiful fudgy paleo brownies taste INCREDIBLE! Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Zucchini: I mean it is zucchini season. So we’re putting the vegetable in our brownies. JUST DO IT.
- Tahini: you know, my obsession in life. If you aren’t into tahini yet, I’m here to convince you. I especially love it paired with chocolate since it happens to be just slightly bitter and earthly. It compliments these brownies very well. Here’s my favorite brand to use — use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ to get 10% off!
- Pure maple syrup: I adore pure maple syrup in baked goods because the flavor isn’t as noticeable as honey. It provides nourishing vitamins and it’s from the TREES. What more could you want in an all natural sweetener?!
- Coconut sugar: the caramel-like flavor that comes from coconut sugar helps to make the flavor of these brownies outstanding. Similar to maple syrup, it’s an all natural sweetener! And yes, this recipe requires that you use both.
- Coconut flour: you only need a little coconut flour (2 tablespoons) but it will go a long way to keep these brownies the perfect fudgy texture.
- Cacao powder: I’ve started to use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder in my recipes because it’s less processed but tastes exactly like cocoa powder. Each serving of cacao powder provides 25% of your daily magnesium, 10% iron and 18% fiber. This is the brand that I typically buy. If you don’t have cacao powder, use a good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Coconut oil: you’ll only need two tablespoons of coconut oil for the entire recipe!
- Chocolate chips: I love using chocolate chips in these brownies. If you want to keep these dairy free, be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips (such as the Enjoy Life brand).
Zucchini brownie substitutions
If you’re out of any of the ingredients in these zucchini brownies, here’s what we can recommend for substitutions:
- For the tahini: instead of tahini, feel free to use almond butter, sunflower seed butter or cashew butter. I would not recommend peanut butter because it throws off the flavor. Tahini is best though and I have only tested the recipe using tahini.
- For the coconut sugar: feel free to use brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar if you’d like. Learn how to make your own brown sugar here!
- For the coconut flour: if you don’t have coconut flour, you can try using oat flour (gluten free if desired). Feel free to make your own oat flour using this tutorial.
- For the coconut oil: feel free to sub melted vegan butter or regular butter.
Can I make them vegan?
Sure! I recommend using 1 flax egg in place of the regular egg. Learn how to make a flax egg here, and then be sure to use a vegan/dairy free chocolate as well.
How to make one bowl zucchini brownies
- Prep your pan. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Mix the wet ingredients. Add your shredded, squeezed out zucchini shreds to a large mixing bowl and mix in the egg, tahini, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla until smooth.
- Add the dry. Gently stir cocoa powder into the batter until well incorporated. Then add in coconut flour, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in the coconut oil. Add the melted and cooled coconut oil and stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips (and walnuts if you are using).
- Time to bake! Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached (it should not be completely wet, but a little gooeyness is just fine).
- Let the brownies cool. This will be tough, but it’s the best way to make sure the bars stay together perfectly before cutting since they will be moist.
- Make the chocolate drizzle. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave at 30 second increments until it’s nice and smooth.
- Drizzle & enjoy. Drizzle the brownies with the chocolate, sprinkle with a little fancy sea salt and devour!
Tips for baking with zucchini
- Use the small side of your grater so that you get little shreds of zucchini. No one will be able to tell there’s a veggie in their brownies!
- Squeeze out your zucchini shreds as much as possible to get all of the excess liquid out.
- Measure the shreds before you squeeze the moisture out.
- Feel free to shred a bunch of zucchini and freeze it for later! Follow my tips and tricks here.
How to store zucchini brownies
- In the fridge: Store these healthy zucchini brownies covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. They’re delicious and fudgy straight from the fridge!
- In the freezer: yes, you can freeze these gluten free zucchini brownies! Place them in the freezer for up to 2 months in an airtight container. I’d recommend separating the bars with parchment or wax paper as well. When you’re ready to eat them, let the brownies thaw in the fridge and then bring them to room temp as described above.
Our fav brownie baking tools
Check out more of our go-to kitchen essentials here.
More zucchini recipes you’ll love
Get all of our best zucchini recipes here!
I hope you love this delicious, healthy zucchini brownie recipe! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
The Best Zucchini Brownies You’ll Ever Eat
The BEST healthy zucchini brownies you’ll ever eat are gluten free, paleo, deliciously fudgy and the perfect way to bake with zucchini. These easy, gluten free zucchini brownies are sweetened just with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar and your favorite chocolate chips. Top them with fancy sea salt to make them extra special!
shredded and squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel (1 cup shredded zucchini)
pure maple syrup
high quality cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
melted and cooled coconut oil
chocolate chips, dairy free if desired
- Optional: ½ cup chopped walnuts
- For the topping:
chocolate chips, dairy free if desired
- Fancy sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
First, measure out 1 heaping cup of shredded zucchini, then place shredded zucchini in a paper towel or cheese cloth and squeeze out all of the moisture/water. This is very important!
Next add in egg, tahini, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla; stir until smooth. Gently stir in cocoa powder into the batter, mixing until well incorporated.
Next add in coconut flour, baking soda, salt and finally the melted coconut oil. Stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips (and walnuts if you are using).
Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with just a few crumbs attached (it should not be completely wet, but a little gooeyness is just fine).
Allow to cool completely. This will be tough, but it’s the best way to make sure the bars stay together perfectly since they will be moist.
Once ready for the chocolate drizzle: Add 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted.
Drizzle over zucchini brownies. Sprinkle with a little fancy sea salt (trust me, it’s good!). Cut into 16 squares.
To sub tahini: Instead of tahini, feel free to use almond butter, sunflower seed butter or cashew butter. I would not recommend peanut butter because it throws off the flavor. Tahini is best though and I have only tested the recipe using tahini.
To make it vegan: I recommend using 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water). Let it sit in fridge for 5 minutes before using in recipe.
See the full post for tips, tricks, substitutions and storing instructions.
Servings: 16 brownies
Serving size: 1 brownie
Saturated fat: 4g
This post was originally published on August 6, 2019, republished on July 23, 2021, and republished on July 25, 2022.