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Kousa ~ Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini

  • Author: Cosette Posko
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 120
  • Yield: 12 1x


Units Scale


  • 12-14 Mexican or Grey Zucchini


  • 1 lb lean meat, petite sirloin works well, chopped in small pieces (can use ground beef as well)
  • 3/4 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed (or any long grain rice)
  • Small chopped bunch of Italian Parsley
  • 8-10 mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3-4 tbsp unsalted butter (omit if using ground beef)

Base in pot

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2-3 small tomatoes (Romas work well), sliced
  • 3-4 whole cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • Plain yogurt



  1. Wash zucchinis, trim the top and bottoms off to remove the stems.
  2. With a butter knife, score the top with a star shape.
  3. Hold your zucchini with your thumb and pointer finger gripping the top and holding by the neck.
  4. With your butter knife, slowly begin digging the zucchini into the inside of the zucchini. Continue until you reach the bottom (be sure to measure so you know how far to go).
  5. After you dug down, take your butter knife and carefully scrape the sides to thin out as much as you can without breaking.
  6. Continue with the remaining zucchini.
  7. Combine all your filling ingredients and mix until well combined.
  8. With a spoon or your hands, fill each zucchini about 3/4 of the way. You want to leave space so the rice has room to expand.
  9. In a large pot on medium-high heat, add your olive oil, onions, sliced tomatoes, garlic and salt. Let them simmer for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  10. Next, layer your zucchini horizontally on top of the tomato/onion mixture.
  11. Fill the pot with water, enough to cover your zucchinis.
  12. Let the pot come to a boil, then reduce your heat to low and add your tomato paste and vegetable bouillon.
  13. Leave uncovered on low for about an hour. After an hour, remove one zucchini and check for the rice tenderness. You can also check to see if you need to add any additional salt.
  14. If the rice is cooked through, remove zucchini when ready to eat with some sauce and top with fresh plain yogurt. Enjoy!


  • If you have any extra filling, you can fill blanched grape leaves and roll. I usually bundle whatever leaves I've rolled with butcher twine and drop into the pot with the zucchini.


  • Serving Size: 6