Zucchini – the blessedly over-abundant plant! If you plant one, you can feed your family. If you plant three, you can feed an army. Zucchini has a plethora of uses, but you can only eat zucchini for dinner so many nights a week. How else are you going to use this vegetable? And what if your family doesn’t even like zucchini?
I know, I know – zucchini brownies sound pretty weird. I thought so, too. I don’t care for the flavor or texture of zucchini in savory dishes. But these brownies are different! The zucchini is grated to the point where it is nigh indisdinguishable within the brownies themselves. And with the amount of chocolate chips we throw in, these brownies are excellent regardless of what vegetables might be hiding inside.Jump to Recipe
My recipe is adapted from the one found in the Simply In Season cookbook, introduced to me by dear friend Ida. She was one of my best friends in high school and her family had a spectacular garden. Every summer, I would host a movie marathon with a small group of friends, and every year, Ida made these wonderful zucchini brownies to accompany the festivities. Being an artist, she would use brightly-colored frosting to pipe a movie-reference design on the brownies, and we would dig in as the opening credits scrolled across the screen. Years later, Ida and her mom gave me a copy of Simply in Season as a wedding gift, and I continue to make the brownies while remembering some of the happiest moments of my life.
Simply in Season is a great cookbook; this isn’t an ad, and I get nothing from you clicking the link above or buying a copy. It’s published in cooperation with the Mennonite Central Committee, an organization that does good, sustainable work, striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ all over the world.
As you might have guessed, this recipe calls for grated zucchini. How many zucchini? I used 3 fairly small zucchini; about 2 1/2 cups of the vegetable, once grated. If your zucchini are enormous, you might only need 1.
In addition to zucchini, you’ll also need the normal brownie ingredients: all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla bean paste (or extract), and, of course, semi-sweet chocolate chips.
The only other “unusual” ingredient you’ll need in plain, nonfat yogurt. I used Greek yogurt, but you could probably substitute vanilla nonfat yogurt without much issue. You could hypothetically also substitute sour cream, but I have not personally tried that at home.
Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’ll be time to get started! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” x 13” pan and set it aside.
Next, peel your zucchini and grate it into a a large bowl. (Peeling the zucchini is technically optional, but if you’re trying to hide the vegetables in these brownies, you’re going to want to remove as much additional fiber as you can.)
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in shredded zucchini and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Stir in the Greek yogurt and vanilla bean paste before beating in the egg. Pour this sugary mixture into the bowl holding the zucchini mixture.
Once the the mixture is homogenous, stir in the chocolate chips before pouring the batter into your prepared pan. Spread into an even layer and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips.
Now, when I say “additional chocolate chips”…I mean it. Don’t skimp here. I always eyeball this portion of the recipe, but I recommend at least 1/2 to 1 cup of chocolate chips for sprinkling. The key memory I have of these brownies is that they are (1) profoundly moist, and (2) so filled with chocolate chips that my chocoholic soul is deeply satisfied with every bite. The sprinkling is “to taste”, but in my house, the sprinkle is more like a downpour.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to briefly cool before slicing and serving.
Your brownies are done and now your kitchen smells amazing! My zucchini-averse husband states he cannot taste the zucchini in these brownies, so I’d recommend you try this recipe even with your family members who aren’t big fans of vegetables. Let me know how it works out in the comments section below, or by tagging @WhiskAverseBaking on social media.
- 9 by 13 pan
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ cups zucchini shredded
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips plus more for sprinkling*
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9” x 13” pan and set aside.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in shredded zucchini and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Stir in the Greek yogurt and vanilla bean paste before beating in the egg. Pour into the bowl holding the zucchini mixture.
- Stir to combine, making sure the mixture is homogenous, before stirring in the chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into your prepared pan spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the brownies to cool briefly before slicing and serving.