These healthy Zucchini Carrot Muffins are made with 100% whole wheat flour, a touch of brown sugar, and applesauce. Warmly spiced and lightly sweetened, these dairy-free muffins are perfect for an easy breakfast or snack.
These easy zucchini carrot muffins are the perfect way to sneak a few extra vegetables into your day. Whether you're hoping to get your kids to eat their vegetables or you need a boost yourself, these scrumptious muffins are here to help.
Packed with shredded carrot and zucchini, each muffin contains half of a serving of vegetables. I wanted to make a super nutritious and delicious muffin that you could feel good about eating for breakfast. When the mornings are busy, having something quick and easy to grab is essential.
Plus, the best part about these kid-friendly muffins is that they freeze really well. So, you'll always have a healthy breakfast or quick snack ready to grab and go.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Packed with Healthy Veggies- These carrot zucchini muffins are loaded with carrot and zucchini. In fact, each muffin has about ¼ cup of vegetables. So, if you have two of these whole wheat muffins for breakfast, you're getting a ½ cup serving of vegetables!
- Whole Wheat- Made with 100% whole wheat flour, these whole wheat veggie muffins boast 4 grams of gut-healthy fiber each.
- Easy to Make- Using a box grater or a food processor to shred the zucchini and carrot makes these muffins a breeze to make. You can have a fresh batch of healthy, whole grain muffins ready for the week in under an hour.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Zucchini- I find that one small to medium-sized zucchini will give me about 1 ½ cups of shredded zucchini. No need to peel the zucchini, remove the seeds, or drain the liquid. Just shred it and add it to the batter.
- Carrot- Typically, I get about 1 ½ cups of shredded carrot from one medium to large-sized carrot. You want about 3 cups of shredded vegetables total for these muffins, but it doesn't have to be perfectly exact.
- Whole Wheat Flour- I love the nutty, earthy flavor 100% whole wheat flour gives to these zucchini carrot muffins.
- Brown Sugar- Brown sugar adds a warm, rich sweetness to these muffins that pairs well with the cinnamon and ginger. I used light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar can work just as well.
- Spices- I wanted these muffins to feel a little bit like healthy zucchini bread or carrot cake. Therefore, I added warm spices like cinnamon and ginger to achieve a similar flavor profile.
- Applesauce- To reduce the fat and increase the fiber, I used applesauce to replace some of the oil. I used unsweetened applesauce, but you can use sweetened applesauce if that's all you have. Just keep in mind it will make the muffins a little sweeter.
- Flaxseed- Not only can flaxseed act as an egg in quick breads when it's mixed with water, but it also provides a bit of fiber and healthy fat.
- Dairy-Free Milk- I used unsweetened almond milk, but any unsweetened plant-based milk can work here.
Fresh Tip: Garden overflowing with fresh zucchini? Make a few batches of these Zucchini Carrot Muffins to freeze so you can enjoy your homegrown zucchini all year long.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make these zucchini carrot muffins.
Step 1: Prepare the flax egg. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan. In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside for 5 minutes to make a "flax egg."
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients. Meanwhile, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add grated carrots and zucchini to the dry ingredients and toss to coat the veggies.
Step 3: Whisk together the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, milk, and flax egg. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold gently to combine, being careful not to over-mix. The batter will be thick.
Step 4: Bake the muffins. Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin tin wells (they will be filled to the top), sprinkle with slivered almonds or pepitas, if desired, and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Quick Muffin Tips
- Measure the flour in grams, not cups. It's super easy to accidentally use too much flour if you measure it with a measuring cup. For this reason, I always recommend weighing flour with a kitchen scale so you don't end up with dry muffins. Otherwise, use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level it off before adding it to the mixing bowl.
- Don't over-mix the batter. The batter for these zucchini carrot muffins is thick, but take care not to over-mix it. It's okay if a few lumps of dry flour remain. Over-mixing the batter will lead to dense, tough muffins.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can customize these zucchini carrot muffins to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Zucchini- Try using summer squash or patty pan squash in place of the zucchini. Otherwise, substitute the zucchini with more carrot, if you prefer.
- Carrots- Butternut squash, pumpkin, and sweet potato are comparable carrot substitutes. However, you can also skip the carrot and use 3 cups of zucchini instead.
- Whole Wheat Flour- If you're not a fan of whole wheat flour or you're all out, replace it with white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour.
- Brown Sugar- Substitute the brown sugar with granulated sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
- Applesauce- Pumpkin purée, mashed banana, yogurt, or sour cream can be used in place of the applesauce. If you don't mind a little extra fat, replace the applesauce with an equal amount of canola oil.
- Canola Oil- Any neutral-flavored oil, coconut oil, or butter can be used in place of the canola oil.
- Spices- Nutmeg, cloves, and allspice would all make nice additions to these carrot zucchini muffins.
- Dairy-Free Milk- Apple juice, orange juice, or even water can be used in place of the dairy-free milk. Don't mind dairy? Use regular milk instead.
- Flaxseed- Chai seed, eggs, or a vegan egg replacer can all be used in place of the flaxseed.
Variations and Additions
- Gluten-Free- Use a gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour in place of the whole wheat flour to make a gluten-free version of these zucchini carrot muffins.
- Chocolate Chip- Chocolate makes everything better, doesn't it? Add ½ cup of chocolate chips to the batter to add a little extra sweetness.
- Oatmeal- Replace half of the whole wheat flour with oat flour and sprinkle the top with old-fashioned oats. You may need to add a few extra tablespoons of milk if you use oats.
- Nuts- Add ½ cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to give these muffins some crunch.
- Dried Fruit- Raisins, dried cranberries, or even chopped dates can add a little texture and sweetness.
Here are a few suggestions for how to serve these zucchini and carrot muffins.
- Warmed with butter, peanut butter, or cream cheese.
- Topped with some Blueberry Jam or Strawberry Apple Jam.
- Drizzled with icing or warm cream cheese frosting.
Storage and Freezing
Whenever I make these whole wheat veggie muffins, I always make sure I double the batch. These muffins freeze very well and are perfect for those mornings when you're in a rush. I don't recommend storing these muffins in the refrigerator as this will cause them to turn stale.
How to Store
- Room Temperature- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Freezer- Place leftover muffins in a freezer-safe bag or storage container and freeze for up to 3 months for the best flavor.
How to Thaw
Muffins can be thawed on the counter at room temperature or in the microwave. To thaw in the microwave, place the muffin on a microwave-safe plate and heat on high in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both zucchini and carrot are mild enough in flavor that you can't taste them in the baked muffin. The shredded vegetables practically melt into the batter, leaving you with a lightly sweetened, warmly spiced, nutty whole wheat muffin.
Over-mixing muffin batter will lead to gluten-formation, leaving you with tough muffins that often have “tunnels” or large air pockets.
Nope, no need to peel the zucchini before shredding it. Zucchini skin is soft and thin enough to not be noticeable in the baked muffins. Plus, zucchini skin adds some extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
- Vegan Raspberry Muffins
- Strawberry Zucchini Bread
- Acorn Squash Bread
- Pumpkin Baked Oats
Zucchini Carrot Muffins
- Muffin Tin
- 4 tablespoons flaxseed ground
- 10 tablespoons water
- 2 cups (300 grams) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger ground
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups carrots peeled and grated
- 1 ½ cups zucchini grated
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ⅓ cup applesauce unsweetened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dairy-free milk unsweetened
- Slivered almonds or pepitas optional for topping muffins
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan. In a small bowl, stir together the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside for 5 minutes to make a "flax egg."4 tablespoons flaxseed, 10 tablespoons water
- Meanwhile, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add grated carrots and zucchini to the dry ingredients and toss to coat the veggies.2 cups (300 grams) whole wheat flour, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 ½ cups carrots, 1 ½ cups zucchini
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, milk, and flax egg. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold gently to combine, being careful not to over-mix. The batter will be thick.¼ cup canola oil, ⅓ cup applesauce, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ¼ cup dairy-free milk
- Divide the batter evenly amongst the muffin tin wells (they will be filled to the top), sprinkle with slivered almonds or pepitas, if desired, and bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.Slivered almonds or pepitas
- Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature or kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Easy grab and go breakfast. I love them with butter!