This healthy vegetable bread is a fun quick bread recipe with savory notes from zucchini, tomatoes, green onions, basil, and garlic. It’s also specked with shredded cheddar cheese throughout the loaf and sprinkled with parmesan that gets toasted in the oven, forming a delicious crust. Make a loaf with your summer harvest, and enjoy it in lieu of biscuits, as a side to pasta or soup, or slathered with butter for a snack.
Summer’s coming to a close, as the cool temperature this morning in Minneapolis so graciously reminded me. Soon we’ll be swapping tomatoes for root vegetables, but if you ask me, there’s still time for a new recipe using summer produce!
If you’re harvesting the last of your tomatoes, green onions, zucchini, basil, and garlic from your garden or still getting them in a CSA share and at the store, this vegetable bread recipe is for you! It’s sort of like zucchini bread meets cheddar biscuits, and I’m HERE for it.
The flavor is really delicious and the whole process is so easy (you don’t even have to squeeze water out of the zucchini). Plus, you can serve this bread so many ways, but it freezes beautifully in case you have leftovers. Enjoy! If you’re looking for a sweet zucchini bread instead, check out the Healthy Olive Oil Zucchini Bread while you’re here!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Zucchini: You can of course substitute yellow summer squash if that’s what you have instead.
- Tomatoes: I used a Roma tomato, but you can technically use any type of fresh tomato, including beefsteak or cherry tomatoes, as long as you remove the seeds and pulp before cutting it up.
- Green onions: You could try sweet onion or shallots as a replacement, but green onion works best because of its milder flavor.
- Basil: Fresh basil tastes best in vegetable bread, but you could substitute a teaspoon of dried basil. If you want to use a fresh herb other than basil, consider parsley, thyme, oregano, or dill.
- Garlic: I used fresh garlic, but you can use ½ to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder if that’s what you have.
- Milk: You can use any kind, including cow’s or plant-based milk. I used 2% cow’s milk because that’s what I had on hand.
- Eggs: I haven’t tried this recipe with flax or chia eggs in place of eggs, but I imagine it would probably work fine. Report back if you try it!
- Extra virgin olive oil: You can substitute melted butter or canola oil if needed.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: I grated cheese from a block of cheddar, but pre-shredded works well too.
- Parmesan cheese: Same as above.
- All purpose flour: I have not tried making the bread with other types of flour, but I don’t think it would work with other types except for a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour substitution.
- Baking powder, baking soda, and salt
The full recipe card for garden vegetable bread, including ingredient quantities, is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to guide you in the kitchen.
Grate the zucchini and chop the tomato and green onion. Gather and prep other ingredients.
Whisk together the wet ingredients — milk, eggs, and olive oil — in a large bowl.
In a separate measuring cup or bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ones. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine.
Fold in the vegetables, garlic, basil, and shredded cheddar cheese. The dough will be sticky.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake for about an hour at 350 degrees F, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Storage and Freezing
Vegetable bread will last in an airtight container on the counter, away from direct sunlight, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. To freeze the bread, let it cool completely. Wrap the whole loaf, or individual slices if you choose to freeze it sliced, tightly in a couple layers of plastic wrap. Place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Seal tightly.
Store for up to 6 months in the freezer. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before enjoying. You can also reheat slices of bread straight from frozen. Microwave in 20-second intervals until warmed through, or pop a slice in the toaster to reheat.
You can also serve it with pasta or other Italian recipes, scrambled and fried eggs, pulled pork or barbecue chicken, or soups and stews. It would go really well with my Tortellini Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes for an end-of-summer meal!
More Quick Bread Recipes
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- 1 cup milk - can use any kind
- 2 eggs - beaten
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated zucchini - no need to squeeze out the water
- ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes - any kind, seeds and pulp removed before dicing
- ½ cup thinly sliced green onions
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic - from about 2 to 3 cloves
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and olive oil.
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ones. Stir with a rubber spatula until combined.
- Fold in the cheddar cheese, followed by the grated zucchini, diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, chopped basil, and minced garlic. Stir with a rubber spatula until everything is incorporated throughout the batter. The batter will be sticky.
- Pour or spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the toothpick hits a piece of cheese and comes out with melted cheese on it, try again in another spot to ensure that the bread is cooked through.
- Let the bread cool for at least 20 minutes before taking it out of the loaf pan. Let it finish cooling on a cutting board or wire cooling rack.
- Slice the bread into pieces. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Serving: This tastes delicious served warm with butter, in lieu of biscuits or on the side of pasta, barbecue, eggs, or soups and stews.
- Storage: Keep in an airtight container, on the counter away from direct sunlight or in the fridge, for up to a week.
- Freezing: Let the bread cool completely. Freeze as a whole loaf or individual slices, wrapped tightly in a couple layers of plastic wrap. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or reheat slices from frozen in the microwave or toaster.