• Beef and rice stuffed zucchinis (One World Kitchen)Source: One World Kitchen

This decorative presentation is not only easy to do, it's a novel way to increase the vegetable component of a meal.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (11 votes)


  • 6 small zucchinis (make sure the zucchini you select are straight, not curved) 
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g minced beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • ⅓ cup basmati rice
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted  


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 800 g tomato puree
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear. Drain well and set aside. 

  3. Trim the ends off the zucchini, then cut each zucchini in half crosswise. Using a zucchini or apple corer, core the inside of the zucchini, leaving ½-inch (1.3 cm) thick walls. Discard cores. Rinse zucchini thoroughly under cold water, then drain and set aside. 

  5. Heat olive oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add ground beef and sauté, stirring often, until cooked through, roughly 7 to 10 minutes. Add onions, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, nutmeg and dried mint and sauté for a few minutes, stirring once in a while, until onions are soft. 
  6. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt. 

  8. Stir in rice and pine nuts to skillet, then remove from heat and set aside. 

  10. To make the tomato sauce, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low. Add onions to saucepan and sauté until soft. Add tomato puree, black pepper allspice, cinnamon and salt and stir. Bring to a gentle simmer. 

  12. In the meantime, stuff the inside of the zucchinis with the beef mixture. Use your fingers to make sure the stuffing gets all the way down inside the zucchini. Make sure the zucchini is not packed too tightly, as the rice will expand as it cooks. 

  14. Put the stuffed zucchini in the saucepan. If there is any extra filling left, place in the sauce inside the saucepan. Cover saucepan with a lid, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. 

  16. Serve zucchini with sauce and extra filing. Garnish with fresh parsley.