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Lemon Zucchini Bread with Olive Oil & Thyme

Use up all that zucchini you’ve got in the fridge to make Lemon Zucchini Bread with olive oil & thyme. It’s so good you won’t even notice the healthy veggies in the mix.

a loaf of lemon zucchini bread with olive oil and thyme

By now we’ve all seen about a 120,238,290,832 different zucchini bread recipes, haven’t we?

I have already posted a Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread, a Chocolate Orange Zucchini Bread recipe and a Zucchini Yeast Bread recipe, not to mention recipes for, Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Zucchini Biscuits, Zucchini Galette and Zucchini Pie.

But, just like the notoriously prolific veggie, there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, right?

This version of zucchini bread is super-moist with a hint of zesty lemon, a little olive oil & just a whisper of fresh thyme. I think you’ll love the extra fresh flavor that’s unlike any zucchini bread I’ve tasted.

How to make the best Lemon Zucchini Bread:

  • Add fresh lemon zest for a potent lemony flavor. Lemon juice is mostly acidic, but the zest has the lemon oil. That’s where the lemon flavor comes from.
  • Use the lemon juice to make a sweet/tangy glaze.
  • Add extra virgin olive oil instead of basic vegetable oil for a fresh “green” flavor.
  • Add a hint of thyme to enhance the olive oil and lemon flavors. It’s a slightly herbal background flavor that you’ll hardly notice. But it makes a big difference in the overall bright flavor in the loaf.

Drain the zucchini to wick away excess moisture:

Zucchini is a great baking ingredient because it has so much moisture and a neutral flavor. But we don’t want to overdo it.

Zucchini bread batter can only hold so much water. If you add too much water to the batter the bread will become gummy. Blotting the shredded zucchini with paper towels wicks away some of the moisture.

Less water in the zucchini means more overall zucchini with the same amount of water in the batter. By removing excess moisture we can add more zucchini to the recipe.

This is how we get a whole pound of zucchini in one loaf.

Scroll through the step by step photos to see how to make Lemon Zucchini Bread with Olive Oil & Thyme:

a loaf pan lined with parchment paper
Spray or butter the pan then line with parchment.
grating a zucchini on a box grater
Grate the zucchini on a box grater, mandoline or in a food processor.
shredded zucchini on paper towels
Layer the shredded zucchini in paper towels to wick away excess moisture
eggs, oil, lemon zest and thyme leaves in a bowl
Combine the eggs, oil, lemon zest and thyme leaves.
two bowls of zucchini bread batter, before and after mixing
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. The batter will look dry at first, but will loosen up as you mix.
a pot on a stove filled with sugar, lemon juice and thyme leaves
Cook the lemon glaze while the bread bakes. Remove the thyme leaves once the glaze is cooled.
pouring lemon glaze over freshly baked zucchini bread
Pour the glaze over the zucchini bread as soon as it comes out of the oven. Cool 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan. Cool completely before slicing.

This Lemon Zucchini Bread feels like a decadent treat, but don’t forget that there’s a whole pound of veggies in this recipe.

But wait, there’s more, this bread requires less oil because of the moisture added by the zucchini. So I’d say it’s a win-win-win recipe.

a cutting board with a sliced loaf of lemon zucchini bread with olive oil and thyme
a closeup shot of a slice of zucchini bread

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

slices of lemon zucchini bread

Lemon Zucchini Bread with Olive Oil & Thyme

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Use up all that zucchini you've got to make Lemon Zucchini Bread. It's so good you won't even notice the healthy veggies in the mix. It's super-moist with a hint of zesty lemon, a little olive oil & thyme. This loaf has an extra fresh flavor that's unlike your typical zucchini bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454g) zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups (10 oz, 280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 oz, 50 ml) olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest from 2 lemons, very finely grated
  • leaves from 1 sprig lemon thyme or thyme, about 1/2 teaspoon of leaves (optional)

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 60 ml) lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56g) granulated sugar
  • 1 sprig lemon thyme or thyme (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper in one direction.
  2. Use the large holes of a box grater or the large grating disc of a food processor to shred the zucchini. Spread the zucchini in an even layer on a paper towel and cover with another paper towel. Press to absorb the liquid. Let the zucchini sit while you mix the batter.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs. Stir the zucchini, lemon zest and thyme leaves into the wet ingredients.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients all at once and stir just until combined. The batter will look quite dry at first, but will loosen up as you mix it.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, 45-50 minutes.
  7. While the bread bakes, combine the lemon juice and the granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Toss in the thyme sprig. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Once the syrup is cool, remove the thyme sprig.
  8. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, pour the lemon glaze over the loaf. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooking rack to cool completely.
  9. Wrap and store at room temperature until serving. The bread will keep for several days at room temperature.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Frances Holmes

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Thanks for the recipe! I used rye flour to make it gluten free - cooked it for an hour as the skewer wasn’t coming out clean after 45 minutes. Delicious

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

It baked up OK with all rye flour?

Lisle

Thursday 16th of July 2020

Did you mean 1 1./2 t baking powder? I'm pretty sure it's a typo.

Eileen Gray

Thursday 16th of July 2020

Ha, ha. Yes. Don't you have a 1/5th spoon measure? Thanks for the heads-up. It's been fixed.

MW

Wednesday 5th of February 2020

can i replace the all purpose with oat or other non gluten flour? what other changes should i make to the recipe if i do that.

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 5th of February 2020

I'm not a gluten-free expert so I really couldn't tell you for sure. You do need structure from the flour so a commercial gluten free flour might be your best bet. But, again, I'm not a gluten-free expert.

Sherry E

Sunday 15th of September 2019

I doubled this recipe...and I have to say that it is THE BEST Zucchini recipe out there! Love it...gonna make more =) Thank you

Eileen Gray

Monday 16th of September 2019

Thanks!

Peggy Yetter

Thursday 15th of August 2019

Eileen,

I got a json error when I tried to print the zucchini/lemon/thyme recipe./ code "rest_no_route" message "No route was found matching the URL and request method" data status 404

Thanks.

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