Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread

The end of summer hit with a vengeance here this week—last dragon boat race of the season, end of summer hours at work, and a hurricane that brought the first rain in a long time. Dramatic much, Massachusetts? I’m not ready to need pants again! There’s still ice cream to be eaten and s’mores strategy to be hotly debated and the last of the tube of sunscreen to be squeezed out before I’ll succumb to fall.

Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread | Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread |

I got a tiny pumpkin in last week’s CSA that melted my heart but also marks the turning of the seasons in vegetables, and I’m not ready for that either. We’re sticking with summer squashes here for a few more weeks at least before we break out the nutmeg and cinnamon.

Rather than warm spices for a traditional zucchini bread, my friend Laura requested a savory version (I’m not sure how she doesn’t have a sweet tooth, but I’m not good at turning down challenges). I have a freezer full of test batches, but I finally figured out the right amount of salt and liquid. Moist and dense, cheesy and savory, a slice of this perfectly golden bread makes a delicious afternoon snack.

Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread | Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread | Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread |

I wrote up my favorite version below, but I also loved one with Cheddar, green onion, and black pepper, and I couldn’t resist swapping in some bacon fat on more than one occasion. Have fun with it, and squeeze every last drop out of summer!

Basil Parmesan Zucchini Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
Celebrate the last of the summer produce with a savory, cheesy twist on classic zucchini bread.
  • 1 lb. zucchini, shredded
  • ½ c. (42 g) olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. (60 g) buttermilk
  • 1½ c. (170 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1½ c. (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 t. (8 g) baking powder
  • 1 t. (8 g) salt
  • 4 t. (24 g) sugar
  • 1 c. (110 g) Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 8-10 leaves basil, chopped finely
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and grease a loaf tin.
  2. Squeeze the shredded zucchini in a dish towel to remove water.
  3. Mix the zucchini with the wet ingredients until well blended.
  4. Stir together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Mix into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  6. Bake for 65-75 minutes, covering the top with foil around minute 50 if the top starts looking too dark. Loaf is done when the top springs back when touched.