Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (Paleo, gluten-free)

These Paleo Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are a healthy snack or breakfast!

These healthy zucchini muffins are still gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. They just happen to have a veggie AND chocolate.

So they’re basically the perfect treat.

coconut flour zucchini muffins with chocolate chips on a green towel on a cutting board and wooden table

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Paleo chocolate chip zucchini muffins

The funny thing about zucchini muffins is…you can’t really taste the zucchini.

It’s not exactly a strongly flavored vegetable.

But by shredding them and adding to a muffin, you get to feel good about eating a vegetable while, you know, actually eating a muffin.

And these are some muffins. Not tiny little pucks but big, beautiful, “normal”-sized muffins.

I was able to adapt the Blueberry Muffins in Paleo Perfected by America’s Test Kitchen to get their size and perfect texture. I tweaked the process to make it faster and easier and added my own special touches.

These Paleo zucchini muffins are light, fluffy and subtly flavored from lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

That might seem like there’s too much going on but it all comes together for a perfectly moist, healthy zucchini muffin.

Zucchini, almond flour, coconut flour, eggs, cinnamon – all natural, healthful ingredients.

And while they do contain some coconut sugar, they’re not overly sweet. After all, as Nigella Lawson says, “Nor should a muffin be merely an un-iced cupcake.” She’s the queen for a reason, folks.

But to make it a little fun, let’s throw some chocolate chips in there!

(Side question: is a single zucchini technically a zucchino? Something to think about while you stuff your face with a muffin.)

 

What you need for these Paleo chocolate chip zucchini muffins

Ingredients:

Equipment:

Want to learn more about the ingredients I use? Check out my Paleo pantry.

healthy zucchini muffins with chocolate chips in a muffin pan on a cooling rack

How to make these Paleo chocolate chip zucchini muffins

It’s a pretty straightforward baking recipe: mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, fold in your fillings and bake!

  • Heat the oven to 325°.
  • Lay cheesecloth or a flour sack towel over a cutting board, place the box grater on top and grate your zucchini. Remove the grater, wrap up the shredded zucchini and squeeze the heck out of it over the sink. Really squeeze as hard as possible. You don’t want any excess water getting into the muffins. You’ll be left with about 1.5-2 cups shredded zucchini.
  • In a stand mixer or large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until fully blended.
  • Stir in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips.
  • Portion into your greased muffin pan, about 4-6 tablespoons of batter per muffin. You can use muffin cups instead of greasing the pan if you prefer, but they hold less volume so you might end up with more muffins.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan 180° halfway through the cooking time.
  • Let rest for 15 minutes.

And boom! You’ve got gorgeously golden, flavor-packed healthy zucchini muffins for breakfast, brunch, a snack or even dessert!

Eat them while they’re still warm with a smear of ghee or butter or maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Substitutions and variations

I haven’t tried a lot of variations with the basic components of the recipe (almond flour, coconut flour, etc.), but there are some ways you can switch it up.

  • Leave out the lemon zest (but not the lemon juice, that has to stay to help them rise).
  • Add ground ginger or ground cardamom or leave out the spices entirely.
  • Use raisins instead of chocolate chips. I know, that sounds like a real downgrade but I’ve tried it both ways and they’re both delicious.
  • You can also halve the recipe. See the notes after the recipe for instructions.

gluten free zucchini muffins with chocolate chips piled on a white plate on a wooden table

Storing Paleo chocolate chip zucchini muffins

These can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

They can also be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze in a baggie or container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

To reheat, nuke them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or in a 300° oven for 10-15 minutes.

 

Other Paleo and gluten-free baked goods

If you’re looking for other healthy but delicious treats, you can try:

  1. Paleo double chocolate zucchini bread
  2. Paleo strawberry rhubarb muffins
  3. Paleo chocolate chunk cookies
  4. Paleo apple bread
  5. Paleo pecan molasses bread
  6. Paleo pumpkin bread
almond flour zucchini muffins with chocolate chips on a green towel
gluten free zucchini muffins with chocolate chips piled on a white plate on a wooden table
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (Paleo, gluten-free)

These Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins are big, light, fluffy and perfectly moist. They're made with healthy ingredients but also have chocolate chips for a fun, nutritious treat. Plus they're Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free zucchini muffins, healthy zucchini muffins, paleo zucchini muffins, zucchini muffins
Servings: 12 muffins
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 3 cups superfine blanched almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour/starch or arrowroot flour/starch
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 lemons, zested, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (dairy-free, if necessary), plus more for the tops if desired

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 325°. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line it with muffin cups.
  • Trim off the ends and grate the zucchini. Wrap up the shredded zucchini in cheesecloth or a flour sack towel (you can try paper towels but they might rip) and wring and squeeze out as much water as possible. When you think you're done, twist and squeeze a bit more.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cream of tartar.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the coconut sugar, water, eggs, avocado oil, vanilla, lemon zest and juice until blended.
  • If using a stand mixer with a whisk, with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients then increase the speed to medium until everything is blended. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. If whisking by hand, whisk in the dry ingredients in 4 or 5 additions.
  • Give the zucchini one last squeeze and add to the batter along with the chocolate chips. Stir in with a spatula, breaking up the clumps of zucchini, until evenly distributed.
  • Portion the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cup to to the top. Each cup will probably need 4-6 tablespoons of batter. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top of each one, if desired.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan 180° halfway through, until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (unless it pierces a chocolate chip). Let the pan cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes.

Notes

To halve the recipe: use half the amount of ingredients. For the eggs, add one egg to the wet ingredients. Crack a second egg into a small bowl. Whisk until fully blended, then add half the mixture to the wet ingredients. Save the other half for scrambled eggs or a smoothie (if you're okay to consume raw eggs).
These can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
They can also be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and freeze in a baggie or container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
To reheat, nuke them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or in a 300° oven for 10-15 minutes.

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