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2 round zucchini dolma stuffed with rice and mince mixture, topped with fresh herbs on a blue plate.

Kabak Dolma

  • Author: Margaretha @myconvenientkitchen
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Kabak Dolma (stuffed zucchini) is a beloved culinary delight that hails from the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. This timeless dish represents the art of combining fresh, aromatic ingredients into a harmonious culinary creation.  


Units Scale

For the stuffing:

  1. 1 cup cooked leftover rice (or if you don’t have, make it per instruction)
  2. 300g of ground meat (lamb is a good option to add flavour)
  3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  7. 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  10. 1 teaspoon paprika
  11. 1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the dolma:

  1. 46 medium-sized round zucchinis
  2. Olive oil
  3. Lemon juice
  4. Vegetable or chicken broth


Preheat your oven to 190°C

Prepare the zucchinis:

  • Wash the zucchinis and trim off the ends.
  • Cut a small slice from one side of each zucchini to create a flat surface, which will help them stand upright.
  • Use a zucchini corer or a small spoon to hollow out the zucchinis, leaving about 1/4-inch (about 1/2 cm) thick walls. Be careful not to puncture the zucchinis.

Prepare the stuffing:

In a mixing bowl, combine the leftover rice, ground meat (or meat substitute), chopped onion, minced garlic, tomato paste, fresh parsley, dill, salt, pepper, and any optional spices you like (cumin, paprika and cinnamon). Mix everything together until well combined.

Stuff the zucchinis:

  • Take a small amount of the stuffing mixture and fill each hollowed-out zucchini.
  • Arrange the zucchinis in an ovenproof dish, a large enough dish to hold all of them snugly.
  • Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the stuffed zucchinis.
  • Add enough vegetable or chicken broth to the baking dish to partially cover the zucchinis.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil or a lid to trap steam and moisture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes, or until the zucchinis are tender and the filling is cooked. The exact cooking time may vary depending on the size of the zucchinis and your oven, so check them periodically to avoid over cooking
  • Once the zucchinis are cooked, you can remove the foil or lid and broil for a few minutes to lightly brown the tops if desired.
  • Let the zucchinis cool slightly before serving.

By baking the zucchini dolma in the oven, you’ll achieve a similar result than the stovetop, yet with a slightly different texture and an enhanced roasted, nutty flavour.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Category: Appetiser
  • Method: Stuffing
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean