Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini


When you have leftover meatballs, like my favorite lamb and beef kofta recipe, it only takes a few minutes to reinvent it into another delicious Middle Eastern-inspired dinner.


Middle Eastern Stuffed Peppers and Zucchini

  • Author: Roni Proter
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 1/2 cup cooked leftover ground lamb and beef mixture, or 1 lb ground 85% beef or lamb seasoned with Middle Eastern spices
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Generous pinch of salt


Ingredients for the stuffed peppers:

  • 4 red bell peppers
  • 2 long zucchini
  • 1 jar favorite marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

If making this dish from scratch:

  • 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil


Combine the cooked ground meat and rice, chopped parsley and salt and toss until mixed. Cut the top off the bell peppers and remove seeds. Cut off the ends of the zucchini, cut in half and core, leaving a half inch of the bottom and a quarter inch on each side. Fill the peppers and zucchini with the filling, do not press down or pack the filling as it will make the rice dense and mushy. In an oven safe baking dish, pour a quarter inch of marinara sauce on the bottom. Place the stuffed bell peppers and zucchini in the baking dish and pour any remaining meat and rice mixture on top. Add the water to the tomato sauce jar, close the lid and shake, which will thin the tomato sauce slightly. Pour the sauce evenly over the stuffed vegetables and over the rest of the pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and serve.

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