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Stuffed zucchini topped with fresh herbs

Stuffed zucchini

The humble zucchini acts as vessel for a special stuffing of spiced rice, ground beef, parsley, tomatoes and fresh herbs. To adapt this stuffed zucchini recipe for vegetarians you can use chickpeas instead of minced meat.


Serves: 8

To prep: 20 minutes

To cook: 50-60 minutes

Difficulty: Medium

Nutrition per serving

  • Energy: 994.1kJ

  • Protein: 14g

  • Total fat: 6.9g

  • saturated fat: 1.6g

  • Carbohydrate: 26.7g

  • Sugar: 6.4g

  • Fibre: 5.1g

  • Sodium: 53.8mg


  • 10 zucchini  
  • 2 cups of water  
  • 200g of lean/premium ground mince  
  • Pinch of salt and pepper  
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil  
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill  
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley  
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander  
  • 3 large tomatoes, finely diced  
  • 1 large onion, shredded  
  • 1 cup medium grain rice, rinse well  
  • 1 tablespoon salt reduced tomato paste  
  • tablespoon of Seven Mediterranean spice (This is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, fenugreek, allspice, pepper and clove powder 


  1. With a knife, remove the top of the zucchini, then hollow out the cores using a vegetable corer.* Insert the corer ¾ of the way to ensure you do not poke the bottoms. Twist the corer and pull out the cores and place in a separate bowl, this can be used later to make other dishes. Repeat this step a couple of times until you have hollowed out each zucchini to make room for the stuffing.  
  1. In a large bowl, combine the raw rice, ground beef, diced tomatoes, fresh parsley, dill, water, salt, olive oil and Mediterranean seven spice.  Use your hands to combine. 
  1. Now using your hands, gently stuff the hollowed zucchini with the rice stuffing, only fill about ¾ of the zucchini as the rice will swell and it will not fully cook if you over stuff.  
  1. Arrange zucchini stuffed side up in in a deep cooking pan, tilt slightly to help with cooking process and for it to cook nicely.  
  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste and add water to cover the zucchini.  
  1. Place pan on stove and cook on medium-high heat until liquid starts boiling.  
  1. Turn heat down, cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes until rice stuffing is fully cooked and zucchini is tender.  
  1. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy!  

*If you don’t have a vegetable corer, you can use a knife or a teaspoon to hollow out the zucchini.