#TastyThursday – Middle Eastern stuffed zucchini

Fall in South Florida means that the green markets are starting to open back up again. It also means that it’s stuffed zucchini season!

This week, Chef Zelicious brings us her favorite fall green market recipe; Middle Eastern stuffed zucchini!


Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • 1 cup rice, rinsed
  • 2 packs seitan
  • 1 small onion, peeled, shredded
  • 1/3 packed cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 packed cup chopped dill
  • 1 organic canned diced tomato
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large and very firm tomatoes, divided (3 to be cored and stuffed, 1 to be
  • sliced)
  • 1 onion, sliced into rounds
  • 6 Medium-organic zucchini or Middle Eastern zucchini lightly peeled
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce


1. In a large bowl, combine the stuffing ingredients of rice, ground seitan, fresh parsley, dill, diced tomatoes, water, olive oil and spices. Mix by hand to combine.

2. Now, remove the top of the remaining 3 tomatoes and remove the core to hollow out the tomatoes making room for the stuffing. Do this using a corer.

3. With a knife, remove the very top of the zucchini, then cut each zucchini in half to make shorter zucchini for stuffing. Now you need to hollow out the zucchini to make room for the stuffing.

4. Insert your corer about 3/4 of the way into the zucchini, making sure not to poke the bottoms. Twist the corer and pull out the zucchini cores or hearts. Do this a few times, and gently scrape the sides of the zucchini until you have hollowed each out making room for the stuffing. You’ll want to leave about ¼ inch rim of zucchini.

5. Lightly oil the bottom of a large deep cooking pan. Slice the remaining tomato and spread over the bottom of the pan. Now add the onion slices and the cores or hearts of the zucchini. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

6. Now, using your hands, gently stuff the hollowed tomatoes with the rice stuffing. Then loosely stuff the zucchini with the rice stuffing about 3/4 of the way (do not over-stuff or crowd the rice stuffing in the zucchini or it will not cook well).

7. Arrange the stuffed tomatoes in the center of the cooking pan, then add the stuffed zucchini (stuffed side up) around them. Tilt the zucchini a little, this helps them cook nicely through using less liquid.

8. Now add the tomato sauce and water. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

9. Place the pan on the stove and cook on medium-high heat until the liquid starts boiling. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 50 minutes until the zucchini is tender and the rice stuffing is fully cooked.

10. Transfer to a serving platter or individual bowls. Top with the sauce from the cooking pan and garnish with fresh lemon, cilantro.


This dish can also be non-vegan by adding your favorite meat protein.


Recipes courtesy of Zainab Fisher, a professional chef who specializes in raw and vegan cuisine. She was the former Chef at the Raw Kitchen. She was a guest chef for Fox 29 WFLX and guest chef for the CBS 12 health and wellness expo, and provides our readers a new and exciting recipe each week for #TastyThursday.

For more information on Chef Zainab’s services, please contact her at [email protected] or by phone at  561-629-0593.