Savory Zucchini Bread, Gluten-Free

Yes, you read that correctly.

I made a gluten-free quick bread.

No, I have not changed my diet. I’m still an omnivore.

There are a few things I don’t eat: offal (except liver which I love) and insects (not if I can help it) being two, but I have not given up gluten (or dairy or carbs or most everything else).

This was part experiment and part courtesy.

It was for my Book Club meeting. I was the host and chose the book, ‘Lessons in Chemistry (thus the experiment). One of our members baked a gluten-free cake when it was her turn to host so I reciprocated (courtesy).

First – the recipe… Then I’ll tell you what I did (but not in 27 pages of words).

Click here to Pin Savory Zucchini Bread, Gluten-Free


Savory Zucchini Bread, Gluten-Free

I used chestnut flour for this, which gives it a dark color. Tree chestnuts, not water chestnuts (I didn’t know there was water chestnut flour…)

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 slices 1x
  • Category: Baking


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (3oz, 90ml) olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 8oz (240gr) chestnut flour
  • 1/2 tsp agar-agar dissolved on 2 tbs water
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 11oz (330gr) shredded zucchini / summer squash, about 2 cups, use medium / small holes on grater
  • 3oz (90gr) cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes, about 2/3 cup
  • 2oz (60gr) green, stuffed olives, sliced, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 tbs fresh chives, chopped


  • Shred zucchini, place in a colander and allow to drain until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Butter 1 large loaf pan (9×5), then line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.
  • Combine flour, sugar, paprika, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl whisk eggs, water, yogurt, and olive oil until well combined.
  • Whisk in dissolved agar
  • Gently squeeze most of the moisture out of the zucchini.
  • Add the zucchini to the eggs and stir to combine.
  • Add the olives, cheese, chives and dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture and stir gently until just starting to combine.
  • Spoon into loaf pan and bake 40 – 45 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.


There are many substitutions for the agar-agar, the most popular one being xanthan gum, which I couldn’t find. Both chestnut flour and agar are available in the bio section of my supermarket, or you can try a bio shop.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 145
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 370.8 mg
  • Fat: 8.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.4 g
  • Fiber: 0.8 g
  • Protein: 4.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.9 mg
Savory Zucchini Bread, Gluten-Free

This is my original Savory Zucchini Bread

First – I knew nothing about gluten-free baking other than it didn’t use wheat flour.

I asked my best friend, Google, for help.

I soon learned, over and over again, in every recipe / blog post I read, that regular flour has gluten so one has to use a gluten-free flour. (duh)

But gluten is what binds it all together and gives it the elasticity to rise so one needs to add fake gluten to the gluten-free flour. (also duh).

Further research finally led me to more useful info on how to modify an existing recipe to a gluten-free recipe and a page that actually gave a short synopsis on the gluten substitutes (xanthan gum, agar-agar, guar gum, etc.) and how to use them.

That’s where I learned that agar has to be dissolved in water. It was the substitute I found at my supermarket.

I also learned that leavening agents needed to be increased so I increased the baking powder and added baking soda.

Another site said to be cautions about dry baked goods, so I added some yogurt.

The reason I bought chestnut flour is because that was the only gluten-free flour my supermarket had and I didn’t feel like going to the bio store. Besides – I like chestnuts and thought it sounded good.

The results:

The positive: Everyone in my Book Club loved it. They esp. loved the chestnut flour. It actually had better height and a moister, softer crumb than my regular zucchini bread. I liked it and was very happy with how it turned out.

The negative: The chestnut flour made it sweet and I was trying for savory. The cheese and olives were overwhelmed by the chestnut flour. Mon mari said it should have more chocolate chunks in it. He was surprised when I told him there were NO chocolate chunks in it. No one else cared.

Conclusion: I really liked how it turned out. I’m going to make a zucchini bread again using the chestnut flour, but with nuts and chocolate chunks, as a more traditional ‘sweet bread’ – similar to this one, only different: Double Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread

I learned a lot of new stuff and I shall now rest on my laurels (aka: bay leaves).

4 thoughts on “Savory Zucchini Bread, Gluten-Free”

  1. I make a traditional sweet zucchini bread with almost the same base I use for banana bread. I am boring, I guess. I might like this though. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything gluten free before. One of the girls Thing 2 skated with had the worst case of Celiac I think I’ve ever seen. It seemed like all she had to do was smell it and she would get sick. I can’t imagine cooking like that on a daily basis.

    • This was a first for me – and kind of fun. I liked the texture a lot. I still have half the chestnut flour left so it will be a sweet one next time.
      It would be a tough diet for me to follow but given the alternatives (celiac)….

  2. I love your achievement but hunting out chestnut flour in Morocco maybe the local variation of looking for a needle in a haystack ! I will spend some of August in Australia so every chance it’s findable easily there !!!

    • Apparently chestnut flour has been around forever. New to me, tho… It was the only one in the bio section so I bought it. lol I did really like it !

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