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How to Cook Zucchini Stuffed With Ground Beef & Rice

by 
author image Devra Gartenstein
Devra Gartenstein has owned and run a variety of food businesses for more than 20 years. She has published two cookbooks: "The Accidental Vegan" and "Local Bounty." Gartenstein holds Master of Arts degrees in philosophy and English literature.
How to Cook Zucchini Stuffed With Ground Beef & Rice
Stuffed zucchini on a white plate. Photo Credit: gresei/iStock/Getty Images

Zucchini stuffed with ground beef and rice is a basic recipe with variations across a range of cuisines, from Italian to Greek to Egyptian. According to Magda Mehdawny, Egyptian cookbook author, the dish is probably Persian in origin. It is similar to a wealth of other recipes that involve stuffing vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. These stuffed vegetables are typically served either hot, cold or at room temperature.

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Step 1

Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut them in half lengthwise.

Step 2

Boil water in a medium-size saucepan.

Step 3

Blanch the zucchini halves by dropping them in the boiling water and letting them cook for about 30 seconds. The purpose of this step is to soften them a bit, not to fully cook them.

Step 4

Drain the zucchini. Scoop out must of the pulp with a teaspoon when they're cool enough to handle. Work carefully, taking care to remove as much of the zucchini flesh as possible without tearing the skin.

Step 5

Heat 2 tbsp. vegetable oil in a medium-size skillet. Add 1/2 lb. ground beef and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook on medium-high heat for five to 10 minutes, until well browned.

Step 6

Mix the cooked beef with 1 cup cooked white or brown rice, 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes and another 1/2 tsp. salt.

Step 7

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 8

Stuff a few tablespoons of the beef and rice mixture into each zucchini shell.

Step 9

Arrange the stuffed zucchini halves on a baking sheet and spoon tomato juice over them.

Step 10

Bake for about 30 minutes.

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