breakfast Featured gluten-free muffins paleo snacks

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins [Grain-Free]

June 11, 2020

As a healthy paleo breakfast or snack, these Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins will become a summer staple all season long! Enjoy fresh or freeze for later.

I love how certain ingredients are a true sign of summer. Zucchini is one of those ingredients! We always had tons of zucchini on hand growing up thanks to all of our friends with gardens. I feel like if you grow zucchini you end up having more than you know what to do with! My family happily took any extras and had a variety of zucchini treats on hand at any given time. Ironically zucchini is one of the veggies we chose not to grow this year. According to our friends it has a habit of taking over your garden so we opted to just get leftovers from friends rather than grow it ourselves. There’s still been no shortage as zucchini season has just begun. I’ll be returning the favor with a batch of these chocolate zucchini muffins!

Baking With Zucchini

If you’re scared to add a vegetable to your baked goods, don’t be! Zucchini is similar to adding banana or applesauce. It adds a wonderful texture while adding extra nutrients too! It is super mild in flavor so doesn’t distract from the main flavor profiles of the treat. In this recipe, you won’t even be able to taste the zucchini! They’re basically just healthy chocolate muffins. 

Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Ingredients

  • zucchini – the star of the show! 
  • almond meal and coconut flour – to keep these muffins gluten-free and grain-free I’m using a combination of almond meal and coconut flour. Be sure to pick up almond meal and NOT almond flour.
  • unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • baking soda and baking powder 
  • sea salt 
  • banana – make sure it’s super ripe!
  • unsweetened almond milk – can sub in a different dairy-free milk if you prefer. 
  • eggs 
  • honey 
  • vanilla extract 


How to Make Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. In a separate bowl combine mashed banana, almond milk, eggs, honey and vanilla extract. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine.

STEP 2: Place grated zucchini between two layers of paper towel or a dish towel and squeeze out liquid.

STEP 3: Add zucchini to batter and stir to combine.

STEP 4: Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or place a muffin liner in each and distribute batter evenly between cups. Bake for 25 mins or until tops spring back when touched.

STEP 5: Let cool for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.


Tips [Baking + Storage]

  • It’s super important to squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the shredded zucchini. I like to put the grated zucchini in a clean dish towel or a few paper towel sheets to absorb the excess moisture. 
  • Make sure you use almond meal not almond flour!
  • Don’t try to replace the coconut flour. There is no 1:1 sub for coconut flour. 
  • Feel free to replace the banana with 1/2 cup of applesauce or pumpkin. They won’t be as sweet but will keep a similar texture.
  • We love these reusable silicone muffin liners!
  • To store these muffins, first let them cool completely on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins [Grain-Free]

As a healthy paleo breakfast or snack, these Grain-Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins will become a summer staple all season long! Enjoy fresh or freeze for later.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Bake
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 2 cups almond meal*
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large zucchini (about 1 cup), grated


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine almond meal, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt.
  3. In a separate bowl combine mashed banana, almond milk, eggs, honey and vanilla extract.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine.
  5. Place grated zucchini between two layers of paper towel or a dish towel and squeeze out liquid.
  6. Add zucchini to batter.
  7. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or place a muffin liner in each and distribute batter evenly between cups.
  8. Bake for 25 mins or until tops spring back when touched.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.

*Make sure you’re using almond meal and not almond flour.

Like this post? Here are others you might enjoy:


Join 20,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 5:22 am

    I should be working on my post for today or still sleeping. I actually set my alarm late this morning so I could get extra sleep because I was up terribly late last night (for me anyway) with Chipmunk Gate, which is exactly what woke me up at 5 a.m. Having a live animal, that is not a pet, in your home is a strange feeling. Simply put, life with cats is crazy and I need a nap or a shot of espresso.

    I hope you get a chance to relax and truly disconnect this weekend. We all deserve breaks from work and lots of times we’re the only one who can grant it. Go enjoy your friends and these muffins. The To Do list can wait. One thing I’ve learned about to do lists is they are always there so do them at a pace that allows you to still enjoy the task at hand. Now go frolic.

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    August 15, 2014 at 5:23 am

    Enjoy disconnecting buddy- and I think you’re friends are smarter than that….or maybe you will serve this after some vino.

  • Reply
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma
    August 15, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Looks good! Always a nice surprise to see a yummy looking grain free recipe in my inbox. Hope to try it soon!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Ha I’m having SUCH a procrastinatey (new word) day today so I should really be getting server working seeing as it’s chosen to take a day off from WORKING. But that’s no fun, whereas pinning your muffins is…

    And that sounded inappropriate.

  • Reply
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
    August 15, 2014 at 6:57 am

    YES to finding a balance…when people ask me to actually go out and do stuff I am always tempted to say “sorry, I have to blog” but, I realize that I should probably be less of a hermit…and then my to-do list never gets smaller. Sad day.
    Having said all that..I want these something FIERCE. Pinned!

  • Reply
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles
    August 15, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Have a terrific time!

  • Reply
    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
    August 15, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I love adding zucchini to baked goods! It makes them so much more moist. I’ve been dying to making zucchini muffins, so I think your recipe may be the way to go. They sound awesome!

  • Reply
    Danielle @ Chits and Chats and Chocolate
    August 15, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Yum! Anything with chocolate pleases me! Do you know of any substitutes for the coconut flour?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      August 15, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Coconut flour is a bit tough to replace but you could try using more almond flour but you may need to use a bit more than a 1/4 cup (as is called for the coconut flour) because almond flour isn’t as absorbent as coconut flour. Alternatively you could try using ground flax. Let me know if you have any luck!

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    August 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Enjoy your time off! Also–I like the backlit 🙂 I’ve been experimenting with it as well but haven’t quite perfected it…. soon hopefully!

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 9:18 am


    I’m making the muffins today! What can I use instead of Eggs (I’m Vegan)? Love your Blog, your writing is excellent and recipes are Great.


    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      August 15, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Arlene!!! You are too sweet 🙂 You can give it a try with some flax eggs or chia eggs. Use 3 Tablespoons of either ground flax or chia seeds mixed with half a cup + 1 Tablespoon of water (9 tablespoons total) and let sit for 10 minutes. Can’t promise it will work as I haven’t tried it myself but please let me know if you have success. If you’re finding the mix is a little try, add in some extra almond milk. Almond meal and coconut flour a highly absorbent so without the eggs it may need a bit more moisture. Let me know how it goes!!

      • Reply
        August 15, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Thank you! I’ll let you know, have a wonderful trip.


  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I’m honestly the biggest procrastinator in the entire world. That’s why I don’t sleep… I’m too busy doing things last minute. Can I meet you in MV so we can eat these muffins/drink a lot of wine?? K thanks xoxo

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 9:52 am

    These muffins look really good – the photos are awesome, as always!
    This weekend started yesterday. I came up to my Dads (home, home) for a long weekend. It is bloody bliss to be in my old home town. Funny how you grow up dreaming to get out of it and then when you are back it feels like home. So far I have had a lie in, a nice country run and an eggs florentine brunch – this is the life!
    Have an amazing time away lovely – make sure you relaxxxx and enjoy every minute 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Hummusapien
    August 15, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Yahoo for disconnecting from all this cray crayness! While you explore Boston, I’m going to dive headfirst into this batch of muffies. You know how I feel about almond meal….swoon city!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves
    August 15, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Boston!! Ahh I wish I were there to see you. But you probably just want to chill and sleep and eat at Mei Mei’s (do it).
    I actually should get started on my to-do list for the day as well, but I kinda just want to bake now. Must resist. But the spotted bananas sitting in front of me are calling to be mashed.

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    August 15, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I know that feeling when you just have to post a recipe. It turned out so good and the pictures are just right you just have to share. Right now I have more recipes to share than days. Guess I should stay out of the kitchen for awhile!

    I have a similar recipe to this. Love that you used coconut flour and banana.

  • Reply
    Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
    August 15, 2014 at 11:33 am

    These look amazing! And would be so popular! I can see why you wanted to share!

    Have so much fun in Boston! Enjoy, relax and go crazy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast
    August 15, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    LOVE zucchini muffins- and with chocolate? These look amazing!

  • Reply
    Parita @ myinnershakti
    August 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    These look so good, Davida! I love using zucchini in my baked goods – they add so much moisture. I look forward to making this soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Pip {Cherries & Chisme}
    August 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Have a wonderful break and disconnect 🙂
    My weekend consists of hitting up CrossFit, working at a wedding (went there today to set up, they have tipi style tents and benches lined with sheepskin, so cute!) and hopefully doing a bit of food prep for the week, should be good!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    August 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I should be packing for college….I leave in 1 week, AH!

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    August 15, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    I should be working on my final edits for my thesis…but nah. Maybe I should procrastinate by making these muffins?

  • Reply
    August 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Have a great trip!
    Based on the fact that I’ve dozed off about 3x in the past hour I’m pretty sure I should be going to be right now!!!

  • Reply
    ellie | fit for the soul
    August 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Grain free baked goods is the best!!!! I hope you have a restful weekend, and come back with a full heart! And belly. 😀 *geeky giggle*

  • Reply
    August 16, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Ive made chocolate and zucchini muffins before and they are so surprisingly good despite me being skeptical! Have a wonderful trip!

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    August 16, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I should be applying for jobs… at least that’s how I feel all the time now. But realistically I can’t spend all my time applying to jobs so I gotta let myself just enjoy this time in my life I guess.

    Have an awesome trip! 🙂

  • Reply
    Karey @ Nutty About Health
    August 16, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    These look great!! I love grain-free recipes, plus zucchini… that’s a definite win right now since it’s everywhere now!
    Hope you have a great week!! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 17, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I should be making these muffins instead of reading blogs, BUT it’s 9PM and I should actually be asleep. These look legit, and I have a zucchini the size of Texas in my fridge. Consider these baked.

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    August 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    i hope you are having a wonderful time…i should really be not here reading this but oh well….

  • Reply
    Nora (A Clean Bake)
    August 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    I hate to think how exhausted you were the next day but I am so glad you posted these because they look wonderful! I have been eating a lot more grain-free/almond flour based treats lately, due to some health issues so I am thrilled to have a new recipe to add to my repertoire! The photos look awesome by the way!

  • Reply
    Lilli @ sugar and cinnamon
    August 24, 2014 at 3:58 am

    These look so good! I’ve never tried zucchini in cake before but i’m sure with all that chocolate it would be awesome!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I tried this muffin recipe last night but had to substitute the almond flour with whole wheat flour and the banana with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. But my batter was SO thick… the dry ingredients took forever to mix into the wet mixture so I think I ended up over-mixing. I had to add extra almond milk just so I could get everything stirred together! So in the end my muffins ended up tasting good but they were quite dense. Is there anything I could have done to make this better? Should I have added more milk into the wet mixture to begin with? Or more applesauce? (I was hoping these would be moist and fluffy like chocolate cake…)

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      May 26, 2015 at 5:41 am

      Hi Shelaine. Unfortunately whole wheat flour cannot be substituted for almond flour. They have very different consistencies and change the batter immensely if substituted for the other. I’m gluten-free so I don’t use whole wheat flour and wouldn’t know the appropriate measurements for using it in place of almond flour unfortunately. Wish I could be more helpful! But if you do find almond flour I’d highly recommend making the original version since they’re delicious!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Tried the Muffins last week, but instead of Zucchini (As I didn’t had them) I used cooked beetroot! And they are sooooooo goood! To die for!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      February 9, 2016 at 7:24 am

      What a great substitution! I definitely have to try that!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2020 at 1:54 am

    I am going to be making this recipe but I do not want to use Almond meal. Can I use Coconut flour in place of the Almond meal?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      June 12, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Jael – unfortunately no! Coconut flour is super absorbent so you’d need to add a lot of other liquids (the ratios of which I wouldn’t know without testing!) to make sure they turn out.

      • Reply
        June 23, 2020 at 8:04 pm

        Ok, thanks
        I am going to try a few different things…. I will let you know if it works out 🙂

  • Reply
    Eva @ Cooking Goals
    June 12, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Delicious!! will have to try it out

  • Reply
    Albertina Geller
    June 19, 2020 at 9:39 am

    That muffins look really great and yummy! Thank you for sharing the recipe

Leave a Reply

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community and get my free 10 Day Guide to Busting Your Stress.