Healthy Recipe: Zucchini Brownies


Zucchini Brownies

Recipe by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN | Photo by Erin Kunkel

Satisfy your sweet tooth and boost your nutrient intake. Yes, these fudgy brownies do contain sugar. But they’ve got so much more to offer, like heart-friendly cocoa polyphenols and whole grains. And compared to more traditional brownies, they only contain about half of the butter. Most surprisingly (and sneakily!), you’ll be getting some veggies, too. Mild and moist, shredded zucchini is delightful for baking, in zucchini bread and more.


½ cup (1½ oz/45 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (5 oz/155 g) whole-wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 large (10 oz/315 g) zucchini, unpeeled
8 oz (250 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup (7 oz/220 g) firmly packed brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line the bottom of 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking pan with parchment.

In a bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Set aside.

Shred the unpeeled zucchini on the large holes of a box grater-shredder. (You should have about 1½ cups packed shredded zucchini.) Place on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid. Set aside.

In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water, add the chocolate and butter. Stir until melted, glossy, and smooth. (Alternatively, you can microwave in a glass measuring cup until melted, stopping and stirring every minute to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.) Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Stir in the cooled chocolate. Sprinkle with the cocoa mixture and stir gently just until combined. Fold in the shredded zucchini last. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until springy to the touch about 1½ inches (4 cm) from the sides, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Cut the brownies into squares and serve. For any remaining brownies, cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes 24 servings
Serving size: 1 brownie

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 153
Protein 4 g
Carbs 17 g
Fiber 3 g
Total fat 10 g
Saturated fat 6 g
Total sugar 9 g
Added sugar 8 g
Sodium 67 mg

Updated September 12, 2016: This recipe has been edited to clarify when you add the zucchini back in.
Updated July 12, 2017: This recipe has been revised and retested, to call for fewer eggs.

Healthy recipe for dark chocolate and almond butter cups
Hungry for more? Check out these other recipes for chocoholics.

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