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Orange Zucchini Bread Makeover Recipe


Orange Zucchini bread has a citrus twist on classic zucchini bread with a few swaps to make this delicious bread a healthier way to use up your zucchini!

Orange zucchini bread loaf with chocolate chips on top, with slices.

Is Zucchini Bread Healthy?

When you think of zucchini bread, even though you have made it a hundred times and you know exactly what is in it – doesn’t part of you think that it has got to be somewhat healthy because it has veggies in it?  I definitely do!  But the reality is that a lot of recipes have enough sugar and oil to rival a cake or cookie.  That doesn’t change the fact that I love zucchini bread and that my garden is exploding with zucchini and so I practically have to make it.  Once, a long time ago a friend made a chocolate chip orange zucchini bread.  It was to die for.  This friend is an excellent cook, but definitely not on the healthy side of things.  Since then, I have searched and searched for a recipe and finally came up with this one. I made a few swaps and added some different ingredients to not only boost the nutrition, but reduce the sugar.

How to Make Orange Zucchini Bread

This bread is your basic run of the mill quick bread with a few ingredients added, and a few ingredients taken away.  I love the hint of orange flavor combined with traditional zucchini bread spices. You can add chocolate chips on top, or we also love to add walnuts.  Either way this bread is a crowd pleaser.  You can double or even triple the recipe and freeze the extra loaves for the next time you get a craving but don’t have fresh zucchini – or don’t have an hour to let it bake 🙂

How to Grate Zucchini for Zucchini Bread

  1. Start by giving the outside of your zucchini a good scrub. No need to dig in, but you want the skin clean.
  2. You don’t have to peel your zucchini to cook or bake with it—as long as you give the thin skin a good scrub. Grated zucchini almost melts into your bread, so why peel it?
  3. My preference is to use either a food processor or a box grater to grate your zucchini. Both work great. For me it comes down to how much I am grating. If it is just one zucchini, a box grater is just grate and it goes really fast. If it is multiple large zucchini, bust out that food processor. I don’t recommend using a microplane because I feel like the zucchini can get too mushy.
  4. You don’t need to squeeze the zucchini. The moisture in the zucchini is accounted for in the recipe, so just leave it as is and add it in!

 For more ideas on eating more fruits and veggies with every meal, check out our Family Fresh Meal Plan Subscription.

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3.3 from 24 votes

Orange Zucchini Bread Recipe

Orange Zucchini Bread has a citrus twist on classic zucchini bread with a few swaps to make this delicious bread a healthier way to use up your zucchini!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2
Calories: 328kcal



  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, orange extract, and orange zest.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, salt and baking soda; mix well.
  • Add orange juice mixture to dry ingredients; stir until just combined. Fold in zucchini.
  • Pour into a 8×4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 


Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 271mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g
Keyword : Orange Zucchini Bread Makeover


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Recipe Rating


This is a five star recipe. Great job Natalie! I decreased the sugar to 3/4 C and used all whole wheat flour and my kids gobbled it up. Making more now. Thank you.

This bread is SO delicious! I used only whole- wheat flour and yogurt instead of applesauce. I didn’t have orange juice, so I threw a couple oranges in the food processor with the zucchini. Definitely my favorite recipe!

YUM!!! I made this and it is a new family favorite!! I was able to decrease the sugar even more. I used coconut oil. This bread did not last too long in my kitchen 🙂

I made this bread and it was awesome!! I was just wondering if I wanted to make them as muffins would I have to alter anything other then the cooking time?

This looks so yummy! I think we’ll try today! Do you know the nutritional data to this at all? Also would you be able to give me the original recipe because my daughter is in 4H and could use the before and after bread, recipe, etc for one of her projects. Thanks!

I was just about to ask about an applesauce alternative (there is none readily available where Iive?and I’m too lazy to make my own). Yoghurt it is.

Thanks!! 😀

For some reason my comments are not posting most of the time… grrr.

Approximately how many zucchinis in 2 1/2 cups?

Will this work the same if GF flour is used? Is there anything else I would have to change to make this GF?

We haven’t analyzed this recipe. I was just looking for the original recipe, but made this long ago and can’t find it. So sorry! Good luck.

Would you be able to omit the 1/2 c oil and use a full cup of unsweetened applesauce? I just bought some zucchini at the market and think i will have to try this tonight!!

I did the recipe and put them in a muffin tray but they were too gooey on the inside …. What can I do about it? I only did six muffins to see how they came out and I have the rest of the batter in the fridge. Is it ok to leave there for a day or two? Freeze the batter?

I have never made them as muffins – so I’m not completely sure what you would do about that. Yes, you could leave the batter in the fridge for a few days. I wouldn’t freeze it though. It may be really watery when it thaws.

I made the zucchini orange bread today. It is delightful!
One of the best sweet bread recipes I’ve ever made. Very moist and flavorful.
Thank you for this awesome recipe.