Photos by Meghan Rodgers

Earth-Inspired Eats — Zucchini, Cheddar, and Herb Buttermilk Quick Bread

By Meghan Rodgers


August 4, 2020

Summer is in full swing, and that means a garden bursting with gorgeous green zucchini! We always try to grow enough that we can cook and bake with it several times a week — it’s probably my favorite summer vegetable. Even if you don’t garden for yourself, zucchini grows like crazy during these long, hot summer months, so you can probably find a green-thumbed neighbor willing to share a few. And you can always pay your generous friend back with a few yummy baked goods!

Speaking of baked goods, aren’t zucchini baked goods are simply the best? From zucchini brownies to chocolate zucchini bread, this summer veggie always manages to take a simple recipe and make it extraordinary. Zucchini has tons of health benefits — meaning some actual nutrition in your baked goods — but they are also loaded with water. All that water releases while cooking, meaning moist breads and cakes like you won’t believe!

No matter where you get your zucchini, this Zucchini and Cheddar Quick Bread is the perfect way to use that juicy summer crop. In just one hour, you can have fresh baked bread at your dinner table. There is no kneading, no rising, and really not much hassle at all. Just a bit of mixing and a whole lot of grating. 

It might be tempting to buy shredded cheese, but resist! Like all good things, the little extra time you’ll spend shredding your own will be worth it. Freshly grated cheese has so much more moisture, you’ll definitely notice the difference. 

When grating the zucchini, if it seems particularly “wet,” go ahead and wring it out a bit in a tea towel or even just in your hands. 

A few notes: 

— Choose a cheddar that’s aged a bit. And cheddar will do, but the better the cheddar, the more delicious flavor your bread will have. 

— Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking, or get creative with other fragrant herbs. 

— This recipe also works well with chives. As an alternative to Italian seasoning, try adding 2 tbsp of freshly chopped chives instead. 

— This bread freezes well, so double the recipe while you’re at it!

Zucchini, Cheddar, and Herb Buttermilk Quick Bread



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeeze out excess juice*
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning


1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x5 bread loaf pan with parchment paper, and set aside. This will help you lift the bread out of the pan once it’s done baking. 

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

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Add melted butter and whisk until combined. 

4. Add liquids to solids and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix, or you’ll have a tough loaf.

5. Fold in shredded cheddar and zucchini and seasoning.

6. Baking for 1 hour or until it passes the toothpick test.

*Pro tip: Bread will take a long time to bake if you don’t take this extra step. Grated zucchini can be pretty “wet,” so wring it out in a tea towel or just in your hands over the sink before adding to the dough. 


Meghan Rodgers is a media professional and writer covering travel, food and the environment. Find her writing on the food blog EverybodyCraves and her website,