Bite into the ultimate chocolate chip cookie experience with soft and chewy gluten-free zucchini cookies! Loaded with oatmeal, chocolate chips, and a touch of maple syrup and cinnamon, they are hearty while being perfectly sweet. Easy dairy-free adaptations are included!
gluten-free zucchini chocolate chip cookies
While typically cooking and baking with zucchini brings healthy to mind, there are plenty of gluten free zucchini recipes and desserts with a perfect mixture of nutrition and indulgence.
Recipes like zucchini cookies, gluten-free zucchini bread and muffins benefit from shredded zucchini’s moisture, while taste testers wouldn’t suspect healthy veggies hidden inside.
These cookies are reminiscent of breakfast cookies’ soft oatmeal texture included in my gluten-free cookbook. However, the maple syrup and absence of banana gives a chewy rather than cakey bite, with the slightest bit of crisp edges, similar to gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
While this recipe was adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction zucchini cookies, some changes were made to make these gluten-free zucchini oatmeal cookies taste just as good as the originals!
- Gluten-Free Quick Cooking Oats – I recommend using quick-cooking oats because the cookie dough binds together and holds shape. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oatmeal.
- Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour I use and recommend Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. I found this flour to work the best when researching the best gluten-free flour taste tests.
- Zucchini – While larger zucchini may be used in baking recipes, such as gluten-free zucchini cake, I recommend a smaller one for cookies. There will not be as much water content, keeping the cookies chewy. Also blot excess water with a towel before stirring in grated zucchini.
- Butter – For dairy-free cookies, use vegan butter sticks, such as Earth Balance.
- Maple Syrup – Use a tad more pure maple syrup than the original recipe to help with spread and coat the gluten-free starches.
- Chocolate Chips – When making chocolate cookies, I recommend using a mixture of miniature chocolate chips and semi-sweet baking chips, which as works well for gluten-free zucchini muffins. The mini chips disperse throughout to ensure chocolate in every bite! For a dairy-free cookies, substitute Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips.
how to make gluten free zucchini cookies
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Begin by grating the zucchini. Use paper towels to soak up excess moisture and gently blotting the zucchini.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the brown sugar, sugar, and softened butter until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- To the batter, add the egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Beat until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl – gluten-free flour, oatmeal, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Once the wet ingredients are combined with the dry, stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips until evenly dispersed.
- Use a medium cookie scoop (or heaping 1 1/2 tablespoons) to parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 13-15 minutes, turning sheets halfway through.
- Cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Refrigerate cookie dough before baking or not?
The recipe was tested both ways – refrigerating the dough for an hour first and baking right away. With either way there was no difference in spread or a more cohesive, chewy texture.
The only difference slightly detected was a little softer bite on the chilled cookies. This is due to gluten-free baking recipes benefiting for resting time to soften starches, plus the oats had more time to hydrate.
However, the difference was so negligible, I left the extra chilling step out of the recipe. To give a slight elevated texture nudge, chill for 1 hour before baking.
Is Oatmeal Gluten free?
Although oats are naturally gluten free, they are typically processed on equipment shared with wheat products. Certified gluten free means it’s guaranteed to not be cross-contaminated.
Some people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, though, are still sensitive to oats, whether they are certified GF or not. If making these for a friend or family member, you may want to double check first.
I have a hard time not adding chocolate to any cookie recipe, but several mix-ins pair with the zucchini, oats, and slightly spiced cinnamon flavor.
- Chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts
- Dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, or cherries
- Butterscotch chips, but read label to make sure they are gluten-free because some contain barley. Hershey’s and Guittard are labeled gluten-free.
freezing and storing
Store baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container up to 3 days. They may be refrigerated up to 5 days.
Zucchini chocolate chip cookies may be frozen baked or unbaked. To freeze unbaked, portion out the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the unbaked cookies to an airtight freezer container and freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, place the dough about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 1-2 minutes longer.
To freeze baked cookies, make sure they have cooled completely and the chocolate chips have hardened. Wrap the cookies in stacks of 2-3 and then transfer to an airtight freezer container up to 3 months.
more gluten-free cookie recipes
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Soft & Chewy Gluten-Free Zucchini Cookies
- 1 cup shredded zucchini, blotted dry
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups quick cooking oats, certified gluten-free
- 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour, I recommend Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use ¼ cup mini chocolate chips and ¾ cup semi-sweet chips)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use silicone baking mats.
- Begin by grating the zucchini. Transfer to a paper towel or clean dish towel to gently blot and soak up excess moisture. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Beat until well combined.
- Mix in the oatmeal, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Once it is well mixed, stir in the grated zucchini and chocolate chips.
- Use a medium cookie scoop (or heaping 1 1/2 tablespoons) to distribute heaping scoops about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway though, until the edges are set and middles just start to set. Cool on the baking sheets for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
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Dairy-Free AdaptationSubstitute a vegan butter stick for the softened butter and reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon. Use dairy-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life, for the baking chips. Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
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