One year my mom and I grew zucchini in our garden, yet rather than having a few zucchini for recipes, we ended up having about 20 zucchini the size of our arms. At that point, there was only so much zucchini we could give away to friends or shred and fit in our freezer.
Therefore I’ve been on a mission to bring you the BEST zucchini recipes every year, and have over 30 on my site! These paleo zucchini banana bars are from one of the first-ever AK Zucchini Weeks (back in 2017) and OMG I almost forgot how good they were.
If you took your fav banana bread and combined it with zucchini bread, plus some wonderful chocolate, you’d get these wonderful, fluffy and delicious bars.
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Ingredients in these zucchini banana bars
These delicious gluten free zucchini banana bars taste like a fluffy dense banana cake with puddles of chocolate and a sweet cashew flavor. SO GOOD. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Zucchini: this sneaky veggie is actually what gives the bars moisture, so you won’t need any extra oil!
- Banana: mashed ripe banana adds natural sweetness to the bars.
- Cashew butter: the majority of the base is made with natural creamy cashew butter. See below for more options.
- Maple syrup: we’re also adding a couple of tablespoons of pure maple syrup to bring out a little extra sweetness.
- Eggs: you’ll need 2 eggs to help the bars hold up.
- Coconut flour: one of my fav gluten free flours to use. It gives the bars a delicious flavor and absorbency so that they’re nice and fluffy.
- Baking staples: don’t forget the vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Chocolate: because everything’s better with chocolate! I like to add chocolate chips right to the batter, plus melt some chocolate chips with coconut oil for the drizzle.
Can I make them vegan?
I haven’t tested these bars using a vegan substitute, but feel free to try swapping the eggs for flax eggs and let me know in the comments if it works! Then be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips.
Optional: try your favorite nut butter
If you don’t have any cashew butter (or have a different favorite nut butter) feel free to swap it! Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or tahini should all work.
The key to perfect zucchini banana bars
Because these bars are gluten free and grain free it’s important that you do not overbake them. Take them out of the oven as soon as they start to turn golden brown so that they stay nice and moist!
Tips for baking with zucchini
- Use the small side of your grater so that you get little shreds of zucchini. No one will be able to tell there’s a veggie in their brownies!
- Squeeze out your zucchini shreds as much as possible to get all of the excess liquid out.
- Measure the shreds before you squeeze the moisture out.
- Feel free to shred a bunch of zucchini and freeze it for later! Follow my tips and tricks here.
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: I’d recommend leaving the zucchini banana bread bars on the counter for no more than a day or two and then storing them in the refrigerator. They’re especially delicious straight from the fridge anyway.
- To freeze: allow the bars to cool completely, then cut them as directed. Wrap individual bars in plastic wrap, then in foil or a reusable bag such as Stasher bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.
More sweet recipes using zucchini
- The Best Zucchini Brownies You’ll Ever Eat
- Healthy Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake (healthy + gluten free)
- Salted Brown Butter Banana Zucchini Baked Oatmeal
- Grain Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Zucchini Bread (2 different ways!)
Get all of my zucchini recipes here!
I hope you love these paleo zucchini banana bread bars! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Paleo Zucchini Banana Bread Bars
Incredible paleo zucchini banana bread bars made soft and delicious with coconut flour and naturally sweetened with ripe banana and a bit of pure maple syrup. These easy grain and gluten free zucchini banana bars make the perfect treat or snack when the sweet tooth cravings hit!
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini)
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 medium banana)
- 3/4 cup cashew butter*
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired)
- For topping:
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (dairy free, if desired)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray to prevent the sides from sticking.
In a large bowl, mix zucchini, banana, cashew butter, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla together until smooth and well combined.
Add in coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and stir to combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in ⅓ cup chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mine were perfect at 35 minutes. Allow bars to cool on a wire rack.
To make the chocolate drizzle: Add chocolate chips and coconut oil to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir frequently until melted then drizzle over bars.
*Feel free to use any nut butter instead of cashew butter.
Bars are freezer friendly. If you want to freeze them, simply wait until they are completely cool, then store in an airtight container or freezer safe plastic baggie.
I think you are starting Zucchini week off right!!! With a treat! Really, though, the zuchs are starting to come in en masse in the garden, so perfect timing
Right?! So glad they’re thriving in your garden! Enjoy!
OMG! Zucchini week has to be one of my fav weeks of the year. I made your Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread last week and it was TO DIE FOR. It literally tasted like chocolate cake. I’m going to try to make these this afternoon! About how many mashed bananas is one cup?
Hi Isabela! 🙂 I love that bread so much. And 1 cup of mashed banana is about 2 medium ripe bananas. Just be sure to measure for best results!
These look super yummy! Is there any sub for cocanut flour?
Hi Steph! Unfortunately not. I mean perhaps you could try 3/4-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, but I’m not sure they would quite be the same.
Yay Zucchini week!!!
I don’t have a green thumb but I tend to stock up (a little too much) on zucchini when it’s on sale. I often end up tossing some because I get bored of my typical recipes. I look forward to adding some of these recipes to my arsenal!
These look great! I Have some leftover chickpea flour from another recipe. Do you think it would be good to use it for this? Or no?
Hi, I luv this, yum, can you use oatmeal flour instead of coconut flour? I make my own oat flour. Thanks Dolores
These look so good. Do you think almond flour would sub okay for the coconut flour?
I’m not a fan of nut butters in my baked goods-can I substitute the cashew butter for something else?
Could you use organic cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips to lessen the amount o f sugar?
This is awesome, our garden is going crazy right now….I have your zucchini meatloaf in the oven right now and 2 more zukes on the counter and wanted something sweet. Love it!
Zucchini Week was made for you! Hope you love these too 🙂
I am drowning in zucchini coming out of my right now, I’m about to turn into a zoodle so this recipe was a great change of pace! so yummy!
*out of my garden
Amazing!! Yes these are a perfect sweet treat for those extra zucchinis 🙂
These look delicious!! I’m just about finished with your gabanzo bean banana bread I made last week, these will be next up on my to-make list. Also, I actually laughed out loud when you mentioned getting all those zucchinis as big as your arms (I might have been a little jealous too).
Amazing!! I hope you love these ones. And YES they were huge! I’m sure you’ll find some just like it haha.
These are awesome–and I’m not fond of bananas! Thanks for sharing.
I’m glad you loved these, Bridgette (even with bananas in them!)
Loved these! Thank you!
So great to hear!
Oh my goodness! My husband is SO picky and he LOVED this bread! I added walnuts to the top and didn’t have cashew butter so I used all natural pb. SO YUMMY!!!!!
Thank you for this recipe 🙂
LOVE to hear that! So glad you both enjoyed 🙂
Followed the instructions as listed (minus the drizzle), 32 minutes was perfect. They are a nice treat, not to sweet, but sweet enough. Thank you 🙂
Perfect! I’m so glad you enjoyed them 🙂
These look absolutely PERFECT. The only problem is deciding when to eat them! Breakfast, snack, dessert, midnight chocolate craving???
These were delicious! I didn’t even have a chance to get the chocolate drizzle on, because half the pan was gone before I knew it. I will definitely be making them again. They’re a great way to use up all of those zucchinis and over-ripe bananas.
I’m so glad you enjoyed these! They’re great with or without the chocolate drizzle 🙂
I have been DYING to try these for way too long. I don’t know what I’m waiting for!!!!
You should make them!!
These are just so good I feel naughty eating them although they are paleo! Just amazing! Thank you!
Such a great, healthy treat 🙂 glad you enjoyed!
I forgot to rate them! Can I give six stars?
I made the zucchini banana muffins and unfortunately they taste fishy from the zucchini. I think I’ll skip the zucchini next time.
Very strange! The zucchini should not add a taste in the recipes. You could try peeling the zucchini beforehand, but I wouldn’t omit it as the liquid ratio will be off.
I just tried this recipe last night and it is amazing! Super moist, and fool proof! Thanks so much, I now have a go-to banana bread recipe 🙂
So happy to hear that!
Do you have to refrigerate these after baking? I left mine out overnight, and they tasted like they had TURNED in the morning!
Strange! They should be okay for 1-2 days in an airtight container, but will last longer in the fridge.
The recipe is super easy. I love how incredibly moist my muffins came out. I also love the fact that I don’t have to use too many eggs when using the coconut flour. I am going to try adding pecans next time for an extra crunch. My husband loved them drizzled with extra honey.
Yummm pecans sound delicious in these! And so does honey 🙂
These were heavenly! I made them to take camping and they were well-received. None left over! Thanks for a great recipe.
Perfect! So happy to hear that.
would this recipe work baked in a loaf pan (as bread?) thanks!!
Even better after refrigeration. They’re filling and I feel good after eating them!
So happy to hear that!
These are very nice. I have just made them today for the very first time and already ate half :-). Will double the recipe next time. Easy to make and delicious. Good use for leftover bananas. I used tahini and big chocolate chip chunks. Looks like any nut butter will be perfect here.
Such a great treat! I’m glad you loved them 🙂 Big chocolate chunks are the best.
I’m so happy to hear that!! Thanks for the note on the stars – we’re working on a fix.
Why are these SO good though?!!! Another amazing recipe girl, thanks!
Aren’t they delicious?? Glad you loved them!
Love how easy these bars are to make!
I just made these bars last night and they are delicious! I already devoured 1/4 of the tray as I ate 2 pieces for breakfast this morning as well! I used tahini instead of cashew butter and almond extract instead of vanilla. The consistency was a bit “mushier” than I’d like but it could be because I needed to bake them for a little longer (I had them in the oven for 34 minutes.) Overall, love the recipe and think it will be added to my monthly rotation of healthier dessert/breakfast options. Once again, thank you Monique!
So glad you enjoyed! Yes, feel free to leave them in just a bit longer (and use a tester to check for doneness).
These look scrumptious! Could I make these without the nut butters? (Allergies!)
I would recommend either tahini or sunflower seed butter!
SO delish! Super moist. And so easy. Love only cleaning one bowl, too. Thank you for the recipe. Keep em coming!
Absolutely! Glad you loved these 🙂
Easy to mix up and delicious. Made them yesterday and we are down to two bars tonight! I love them, Husband and 3yo do too! I skipped the chocolate glaze on top and it’s still good (too lazy and sure to add messiness with the 3yo).
Perfect! So happy to hear that 🙂
Wow! This recipe was very delicious! The bananas are the perfect sweetener and the bread was soft and moist. I used mixed nut butter instead of cashew, and honey instead of maple syrup. I can’t wait to make this again! Thanks for this great recipie!
Perfect! So happy you loved them!
Excited to make these! Should I squeeze the moisture from the shredded zucchini?
These sound great excited to make them! Quick question should I squeeze out the moisture from the shredded zucchini, or do you want the extra liquid in there for the coconut flour to absorb? Thanks!
Great question! Yes, squeeze out the moisture 🙂
Thanks so much! These are now one of my go to recipes to make for my 1.5 year old son for breakfast we both love them! Perfect texture and flavor and a great way to sneak in some extra veggies to his diet!
Yes, so good for kiddos! Yay!
I made this as is but added an extra banana. The texture was insane! So good & simple. Everyone needs to make this! (Don’t forget to remove excess water from zucchini!)
Perfect! Glad you loved them!
I made these according to the recipe except I skipped the chocolate drizzle (feeling lazy, LOL) and just added a few more chocolate chips to the batter. Baked for 35 minutes, as the notes indicate. SO delicious! It’s very difficult to eat just one. 🙂 Will definitely be making again!
Ambitious kitchen is my go-to for any new recipes! I liked this one but not as much as some of the other zucchini recipes I’ve made. The texture of the bars were a bit more fluffy then bread like- still delicious- but not what I expected.
Totally understood! Glad you tried them. I’d definitely recommend trying my new apple spiced zucchini bread 🙂
Deliciously moist and yummy!
I know you’ve said to never substitute something for coconut flour, but well…I don’t have coconut flour… so I just used what I had and put in 2x the amount of almond flour. It turned out great! I also didn’t do the chocolate drizzle – yummy enough without it!
Not sure if the consistency is different because of different flour I used, but I’d consider this more of a “cake” than “bars.”
Actually, right after I made this, I realized it tasted exactly like https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/grain-free-chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-zucchini-bread-2-different-ways/ , which I loooooved. Only real difference is this one has banana and that one doesn’t.
Oh I’m so happy that worked out well! I think the almond flour would change the consistency, yes. Happy you loved it!
Love these so much!! I’ve been making them monthly for the past several months, great to have as a quick snack or breakfast dessert 🙂