Finally…a post with a stuffed vegetable! ;) We Turks love our stuffed vegetables…we have stuffed peppers, potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes (although some might say it’s a fruit not a vegetable :p), onions, heart of artichoke, spinach, cabbage, vine leaves (anything that can wrap or be cored can be stuffed), and of course the star of today’s post, zucchini!

Our choice of stuffing depends on the area, or the climate, or taste. This is not the typical rice-ground beef – dill stuffing that is mainly used for stuffed zucchini. This zucchini is stuffed with ground beef and bulgur..and to make it all the more tastier, a bit of basil! :) This is mom’s recipe…and her’s tastes so much better :).

Oh and this post is a two in one…to go with this, I made ‘Bulgur Pilavi’ or Bulgur Pilaf…apparently I had run out of rice…and I thought maybe Bulgur Pilaf will compliment the stuffed zucchini better. I made plain bulgur pilaf..we cook our pilafs in numerous ways. I didn’t use broth or any meat or chickpeas…I made a plain easy bulgur pilaf. You can use broth, or add 1/2 a cup of cooked chickpeas into this. Or you can make it plain and easy like I did ;) either way, it’s tasty and healthy!

Scrape the zucchini’s with a fork or a serrated edge


Slice them into three. Each piece will be about 1-1 1/2 inches


Core each one. Don’t worry if you accidentally core through to the other can still stuff them


Fill each zucchini with the prepared stuffing


Prepare the sauce. Place them in in the shallow pot


Make patties with the left-over filling and spread them around in the pot


Arrange the cooked zucchini’s on a serving dish with some of the sauce.




Now for the ‘plain’ Bulgur Pilaf :))


Saute the bulgur with onions and tomato paste


Add the water; let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes


Check the center with the back of a spoon; if there is no water, it’s done. Keep covered and let steam for a further 10 minutes



5.0 from 1 reviews
Stuffed Zucchini with Bulgur
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 4
Zucchini stuffed with ground beef and bulgur, seasoned with basil, served with Bulgur Pilaf
For the Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper paste (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2¼ cups hot water
For the Stuffing
  • ¼ cup coarse ground bulgur, cleaned and washed
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 200 grams ground meat (I use beef)
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oil (olive oil or vegetable oil)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon basil leaves (I used dried basil)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
For the Zucchini
  • 7 small or medium sized zucchinis
For the Yogurt Sauce
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
For the mint mixture (garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint
For the Bulgur Pilaf
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 medium sized tomato, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper paste
  • 1 cup coarse ground bulgur
  • 1½ cups hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • a dash of black pepper
Prepare the Sauce
  1. In a large shallow pan, heat the oil and butter on medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic cloves, tomato paste, red pepper paste and stir for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the salt and pepper and mix.
  4. Finally add ¼ cup of water and stir until all the ingredients are well combined into a smooth sauce.
Prepare the Stuffing
  1. Combine the bulgur and hot water in a medium sized bowl. Cover tightly and let steam for 20 minutes.
  2. Once ready, add the onions, garlic, oil, ground meat, and, seasoning and knead until all the ingredients are well combined.
Prepare the Zucchini
  1. Wash the zucchinis and chop the tops off.
  2. Using a fork or a serrated utensil, possibly a corer, scrap the zucchini surface to give it decorative lines.
  3. Slice the zucchinis into three pieces, about 1 - 1½ inches in size.
  4. Core the centers carefully; if you accidentally core all the way through the bottom, it's alright. It won't affect the stuffing.
  5. Fill the zucchinis with the prepared stuffing and place them in the shallow pot on top of the prepared sauce.
  6. If any of the stuffing is left over, prepare patties and place in pot, on top of the zucchinis or on the side, in a spread out manner.
  7. Add 2 cups of hot water to the pot (or until the water reaches halfway of zucchinis)
  8. Put the pot on high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 45 - 50 minutes.
Prepare the Yogurt Sauce
  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic and yogurt and whisk until smooth.
Prepare the Mint Garnish
  1. In a small pan, melt butter. Add the dried mint and stir for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat.
To Serve
  1. Place cooked zucchinis on a serving dish and add some of the sauce from the pot.
  2. Drizzle the yogurt/garlic sauce on top.
  3. Drizzle the mint/butter sauce on top of the yogurt.
  4. Put the remaining yogurt in a sauce pourer or gravy boat and serve together.
Prepare the Bulgur Pilaf
  1. In a medium sized shallow pot, heat oil on medium/high heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 - 3 minutes, until the color turns slightly pink.
  2. Stir in the garlic. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and red pepper paste and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add the bulgur and stir for a further 1 minute. Add the hot water, salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Check the center of the bulgur with a spoon; if there is not more water in the center, it's ready. There may still be a bit of water on the sides, but that's alright because it has to steam.
  6. Remove from heat, cover and let steam for 10 minutes before serving.



Please follow and like us:

Related posts: