Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini (Kousa Mahshi)

Tracy McBurney


My love of Middle Eastern cuisine always has me looking for new recipes to try and this one is a a hit. I've also served it with falafel balls and a tzatziki dip.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

1 Hr
50 Min
Stove Top


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  • 3/4 lb
    good quality beef or lamb
  • 3/4 c
    arborio rice, rinsed
  • 1 c
    chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 c
    chopped onion
  • 2-3
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1
    lemon juiced
  • 1 Tbsp
    minced fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp
    minced fresh mint or 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp
    salt and pepper
  • 12
    small to medium zucchini, about 6-8 inches long

  • 4 c
    low sodium broth (i use chicken)
  • 1 15 oz
    can low salt tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz
    can low sodium crushed tomatoes, don't drain
  • 2-5
    cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp
    minces fresh mint or 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp
  • 1
    lemon juiced
  • ·
    salt to taste
  • ·
    hot sauce to taste (optional)

How to Make Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini (Kousa Mahshi)


  1. To core the zucchini, I cut off the top end and use a small teaspoon to hollow out the insides. Leave the walls about 1/4 inch thick. Be careful not to poke a hole in them if possible. Discard the pulp.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together first 15 ingredients, (this will be the stuffing). Fill the zucchini with the stuffing, be careful not to overfill as the rice will expand as it cooks. In a large, heavy bottomed pot, combine the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil while stirring. Lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors marry.
  3. Very carefully float the stuffed zucchini in the broth and simmer, covered for about 45-50 minutes till the rice and meat is done. Serve with a little sauce over and garnish with fresh mint and parsley on top. You can serve with couscous or rice.

Printable Recipe Card

About Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini (Kousa Mahshi)

Course/Dish: Beef
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Middle Eastern

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