So yes, I made my favorite zucchini muffins into a bar.
And yes, they are as dense, moist, blondie-like, wholesome (!!) and perfectly sweet as you are hoping they will be.
Zucchini Bars: A Love Story
Let me tell you 7 of the 100+ things I love about these zucchini bars:
Super easy to make. NO FUSS WHATSOEVER.
Shockingly nutritious. No refined sugar or flour. All ingredients that you can feel good about – oats, olive oil, maple syrup, zucchini, almond butter, etc.
Pantry friendly! You probably have everything you need already.
Breakfasty, but also snacky and desserty. There is no such thing as a bad time for these.
Delicious served warm or (wait for it) cold out of the fridge on a hot summer day. SO GOOD.
Extremely popular with the kidlets because they are so yummy.
Even more popular with the parentals who let the kidlets eat *almost* as many bars as they want because of the aforementioned wholesome factor.
If you can ignore my use of the words kidlets and parentals and just only take the really good things from that list, then you will be tracking with me on the awesomeness of these bars.
These Bars On Repeat All Summer Long (For Real)
We test so many recipes on this website and love them all, but because we’re always trying new things, there are actually very few recipes that earn a repeat-after-repeat, year-after-year place in my real life home kitchen.
I’m happy to tell you that these muffins (the zucchini muffin originals) and now their cousins, the almond butter chocolate chip zucchini bars, have BOTH earned a spot in that esteemed repeat-after-repeat, year-after-year category.
They were a near-weekly staple for us last summer (BIG HIT with 18-month-old Solvi last year, both the making and the eating), and they have been and will continue to be making an appearance in my kitchen all summer long. ♡
These Can Be Made Date Or Date-Free
A quick note about the dates in this recipe:
This “base recipe” which we use for so many baked yummies (apple muffins, carrot muffins, etc.) on POY started way back in the day with a genius idea from Krista and Alana on our team to try using dates in a muffin batter.
The dates make the bars gooey and dense in all the right ways, and they also add some natural sweetness.
That being said, I realize that not everybody loves dates and not everyone HAS dates on hand all the time, so we also included a version in the notes of the recipe for date-free option of these zucchini bars that is still really, really good.
Bottom line: dates or no dates, we can work with it either way!
These are such an essential. They are a total easy summer baking project for, honestly, kind of everyone. Looks like it’s time for me to head home and… um, make another batch.
Prefer To Watch Instead Of Read?
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars: FAQs
These bars look amazing! Is there a way to make them totally vegan?
Yes! Try using a flax egg (or the equivalent of two regular eggs) here.
How should I store these zucchini bars?
These are best stored in a sealed container in the fridge to maintain freshness.
Do I have to drain out all of the excess water from the zucchini?
After you grate the zucchini, one quick squeeze to get out some of the extra water should do the trick.
These Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars are wholesome and perfect and just everything your summer needs! Made with oats, almond butter, zucchini, dates, and maple syrup. So many feel-good ingredients packed into one bar!
1/4cup + 2tablespoonsolive oil
8medjool dates, pitted
1–2zucchini, grated and squeezed once (about 2 cups total, divided)
1 teaspoonbaking soda
pinch of kosher salt
chocolate chips (optional, for topping)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set aside about half of the zucchini and chocolate chips to stir in later. Blend everything else together until a smooth-ish batter comes together.
Stir in chocolate chips and zucchini. Pour batter into a square baking dish (9×9 or similar). Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and gently springs back when you press into it.
For clean cuts, let it cool completely. (Or for hungry bellies, just get into it right warm out of the oven.) I like to store this in the refrigerator but you can serve warm or cold ALL DAY LONG! Snack, breakfast, dessert, all of it. ♡
For a date-free version, use 1/2 cup almond butter and 1/2 cup maple syrup (and omit the dates). Still delicious!