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Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini with Chicken and Pine Nuts

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 60-90 Minutes
  • Total Time: 85 to 115 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking/Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Turkish, Middle Eastern


Stuffed Zucchini with Chicken and Pine Nuts has incredible Turkish flavors. Onion and cinnamon, paprika and cumin, combine to make this stuffed zucchini an easy culinary masterpiece!



1 Large Zucchini (about as big as my forearm!)

6 T olive oil

1 1/2 t ground cumin

1 1/2 T sweet paprika

1 T ground cinnamon

2 medium onions, finely diced

1 lb ground chicken

1 1/2 T chopped Italian parsley

2 t tomato paste

3 t sugar

2/3 c water

1 1/2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 t tamarind paste

4 cinnamon sticks

Salt and fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 425.

Split zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place skin side down in a roasting pan that will accommodate both halves snugly. Brush flesh with up to 4 T of olive oil and season with 1 t of salt and lots of black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes or until slightly golden. These do not need to cook all the way through. When they are finished remove from oven and reduce temperature to 375.

While the zucchini are cooking start on your filling. Heat remaining 2 T of olive oil in a large frying pan. Mix together the cumin, paprika and ground cinnamon and add half of the spice mix to the pan, along with the diced onions. Cook over medium high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring often.

Add ground chicken, pine nuts, parsley, tomato paste, 1 t of sugar, 1 t of salt and some ground black pepper. Cook and stir for another 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked.

Place the remaining spice mix in a large measuring cup and add the water, lemon juice, tamarind, the remaining 2 t sugar, the cinnamon sticks and 1/2 t salt. Stir well.

Pour the spiced liquid into the bottom of the zucchini roasting pan. Spoon the chicken mixture into the zucchini. Cover the pan tightly with foil and return to oven. Depending on the size of the zucchini, these may take up to 1 1/2 hours to bake. (Mine did not take more than 1 hour.) Remove foil every half hour and baste with the sauce, adding more water if it begins to dry out.

Serve zucchini, warm or at room temperature, over rice and with a salad. Enjoy!


Thank you Yotam Ottolenghi.

Recipe may also be made with eggplants and ground lamb.