Veggie Lovers Rejoice: Heavenly Kusa Mihshi Recipe Await!

Welcome to my kitchen, where I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite Middle Eastern recipes: Kusa Mihshi, also known as stuffed Lebanese squash or cucuzza. This dish is a delicacy that’s popular all over the Middle East and Mediterranean, and it’s been enjoyed by generations of families.

Kusa Mihshi consists of hollowed out zucchini or Lebanese squash filled with a spiced meat and rice mixture, then baked until tender and juicy. The flavors in this recipe are bold and aromatic, thanks to the use of ground lamb, cumin, allspice, and dried mint. The tomato sauce adds sweetness and tanginess to complement the savory filling.

This recipe is quick, simple, and easy to make – you don’t have to be an expert chef to enjoy it! It’s also versatile enough to be customized to your liking by adding your favorite spices or vegetables. If you’re looking for a healthy yet delicious meal that everyone in your family will love, look no further than Kusa Mihshi!

So join me in my kitchen as we embark on a culinary journey through Middle Eastern cuisine. Together we’ll create a dish that’s sure to become one of your new favorites – Kusa Mihshi. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Kusa Mihshi - Stuffed Lebanese Squash / Cucuzza / Koosa
Kusa Mihshi – Stuffed Lebanese Squash / Cucuzza / Koosa

Are you in search of the perfect comfort food? One that not only tantalizes the taste buds but also brings a wholesome feeling to the belly? Then look no further than Kusa Mihshi – Stuffed Lebanese Squash.

What sets this recipe apart from others is its versatility. You can use zucchini, lebanese squash, or even cucuzza, giving you the freedom to choose based on what’s available in your local store or farmers market. And the stuffing? It’s a savory blend of ground lamb, instant brown rice, and traditional Middle Eastern spices like ground allspice, dried mint, ground cumin, and dried marjoram.

Now, let’s talk flavor. The combination of the seasoned meat and rice mixture with the sweetness of the squash makes this dish an explosion of flavors. And when smothered with tomato sauce and baked until tender, it transforms into a hearty and nutritious meal that will leave you wanting more.

But there’s more to love about this recipe than just its deliciousness. It’s quick and simple to make – perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to spare in the kitchen. Plus, it’s a healthier alternative to traditional stuffed dishes because it uses fewer carbs and more vegetables.

And let’s not forget its cultural significance. Kusa Mihshi is a staple in Lebanese cuisine, making it an excellent way to infuse some Middle Eastern flavors into your menu rotation or impress guests at your next dinner party.

In summary, if you’re looking for a quick, simple, and delicious meal with loads of flavor and cultural significance, then Kusa Mihshi – Stuffed Lebanese Squash should be on your dinner menu tonight!

Ingredient List

 A burst of flavors in our Kusa Mihshi dish!
A burst of flavors in our Kusa Mihshi dish!

Let’s dive into the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Kusa Mihshi – Stuffed Lebanese Squash recipe.


  • 6 medium-sized Lebanese squash, also known as kousa or courgette (if you can’t find them, zucchini will do)
  • 1 cup of instant brown rice

Meat Filling

  • 1 pound of ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of dried marjoram

Tomato Sauce

  • One and a half cups of canned tomato sauce

This list might look daunting, but don’t be intimidated by it! I promise that this recipe is a quick and simple version of the traditional stuffed Kusa Mihshi dish that my family absolutely loves. So, let’s get started!

The Recipe How-To

 These stuffed Lebanese squash are the perfect appetizer.
These stuffed Lebanese squash are the perfect appetizer.

Now that we have gathered all the ingredients from our pantry, let’s dive into the recipe itself and learn how to make Kusa Mihshi like a Lebanese chef.

Step 1: Prepare the Squash

Firstly, select fresh and young Lebanese squashes for this recipe. To begin, wash 6 small Lebanese squash (cucuzza) and cut off the stem. Peel every alternate strip of flesh in lengthwise so it produces stripes on the surface. Then wash each squash again and scoops out the seeds by making a hole at one end using a corer or apple-corer.

Step 2: Make Rice Mixture

Next, we’re going to make the rice mixture that will be stuffed into the squash. Cook 1 cup instant brown rice following packaging instruction and keep aside to cool down. In another pan, brown 1/2 pound of ground lamb with a teaspoon of cumin until lightly brown while breaking up any large chunks. Then add ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon each of ground allspice, dried mint, dried marjoram, and cayenne pepper. Stir regularly and cook until completely browned. Once done, transfer it to a bowl and add in the cooked rice.

Step 3: Stuff the Squash

After preparing both parts, fill each squash three-fourths full with the meat-rice mixture till there’s around ½ inch left from the opening. Pack it in well with your finger so they stay together during cooking.

Step 4: Cook Kusa Mihshi

Then put them upright close together in an uncovered pot, preferably a dutch oven or ceramic casserole dish- a snug fit is a must. Pour over two cups of homemade tomato sauce, or store-bought if you are short on time. Cover with extra tomato sauce if needed as you don’t want them dry when finished cooking. In order to prevent sticking at the bottom, you can line between each row with sliced tomato or eggplant. Cover with lid and simmer over low-medium heat for an hour or more until everything is well-cooked through without falling apart.

Step 5: Serve it up!

Once cooked, arrange them on a serving dish with some spoonfuls of sauce on top to keep them moist before serving. This delicacy is often eaten hot but can be refrigerated for leftover cravings later.

Now that you know how to make Kusa Mihshi step-by-step, invite your friends over for dinner and impress them with this traditional Middle Eastern cuisine!

Substitutions and Variations

 Trust me, one bite is not enough.
Trust me, one bite is not enough.

This recipe for Kusa Mihshi is incredibly versatile and allows for some simple substitutions and variations. Here are a few options to try:

– Meat: While this recipe calls for ground lamb, you can easily substitute it with beef, chicken, turkey, or even plant-based alternatives like tofu or tempeh.

– Rice: Instant brown rice is used in this recipe because it cooks quickly, but you can also use regular brown rice or white rice. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

– Vegetables: In addition to Lebanese squash and zucchini, feel free to experiment with other vegetables like eggplant, bell peppers, or grape leaves.

– Spices: The spice blend used in this recipe incorporates cumin, allspice, marjoram, mint and cayenne pepper. However, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce or omit the cayenne pepper. Alternatively, you can add other spices that you enjoy such as paprika, cinnamon or coriander.

These substitutions and variations offer endless possibilities to customize this dish according to your liking while remaining true to its traditional Middle Eastern roots. Have fun experimenting with different combinations and see what new flavors you can come up with!

Serving and Pairing

 You don't want to miss out on this traditional Lebanese recipe.
You don’t want to miss out on this traditional Lebanese recipe.

Kusa Mihshi, also known as stuffed Lebanese squash, is a versatile dish that can be served in many different ways. One of the best ways to enjoy it is as a main course with either rice or salad. It’s filling and nutritious, and the spiced meat and rice mixture makes it a complete meal on its own.

When serving Kusa Mihshi, consider pairing it with a light green salad for contrast. The acidity and crunch of the vegetables will complement the richness of the dish perfectly. You can also pair it with sautéed greens or roasted vegetables for an extra boost of nutrients.

Another option is to serve Kusa Mihshi as part of a traditional Lebanese mezze platter. This is a spread of small dishes that are perfect for sharing with friends and family. Pair it with other Middle Eastern classics like baba ganoush, hummus, tabbouleh, kibbeh, falafel or grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs.

Since Kusa Mihshi has a fair amount of spice and aromatic herbs in its stuffing, it pairs well with red wine or full-bodied beer. You can even serve it alongside a glass of Arak, an anise-based spirit that is popular in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East. For non-alcoholic beverages, try pairing it with mint tea or pomegranate juice.

Regardless of how you choose to serve Kusa Mihshi, be sure to garnish it with some sprigs of fresh parsley or cilantro for color and freshness. You can also add sliced lemon wedges for a burst of acidity that will enhance the flavors even further. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Get ready for some serious food envy with this Kusa Mihshi.
Get ready for some serious food envy with this Kusa Mihshi.

Don’t worry if you can’t finish all the Kusa Mihshi in one sitting because this dish stores well in the fridge or freezer. To make ahead, prepare the recipe as directed and let it cool completely. Then, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

To reheat, simply pop it in the microwave or on the stove with some extra tomato sauce and warm it up until hot. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the oven by placing it in an oven-safe dish and baking at 350°F for 15 minutes or until heated through.

If you want to store Kusa Mihshi for longer periods of time, you can freeze it! Once it has cooled down completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container or bag labeled with the date and freeze for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen Kusa Mihshi, thaw it overnight in the fridge and follow the reheating instructions above. This dish retains its flavor even after being frozen, so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing its taste.

Whether you want to make this dish ahead of time or save leftovers for later, Kusa Mihshi is a versatile recipe that will be sure to please your taste buds time and time again.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The entire family will love this stuffed squash dish.
The entire family will love this stuffed squash dish.

Now that you’re ready to make Kusa Mihshi, here are some tips to make sure you get perfect results.

1. Prepare the squash

Using a corer specially designed for this recipe is your best bet for peeling and hollowing the squash perfectly. However, if you don’t have one, a small sharp knife or vegetable peeler will work as well.

2. Be Gentle with the Squash

When removing the pulp from the squash, be gentle not to pierce the outer skin. The skin of the squash is delicate and can break easily if you aren’t careful.

3. Don’t overcook the rice mixture

The rice will continue to cook in the oven after it’s stuffed inside the squash, so be sure not to overcook it on the stovetop. The perfect rice should be cooked but slightly firm.

4. use fresh herbs and spices

For optimal flavor, use fresh herbs and spices. Dried seasonings can lose their potency over time and won’t give you the depth of flavor that freshly ground spices would.

5. pair it with Lebanese/Middle Eastern sides dishes

Kusa Mihshi goes well with side dishes such as fattoush salad, roasted vegetables, tabbouleh or hummus & pita bread.

6. Allow it to Rest before serving

Once removed from the oven, let your kusa mihshi rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This will allow its juices to redistribute and keep it from falling apart when cutting into it.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create an authentic and delicious Kusa Mihshi dish every time you make it.


Now that you’ve learned how to make this delicious stuffed Lebanese squash dish, you may have some lingering questions about the recipe. In this FAQ section, I’ll answer some common questions and concerns that might come up as you try out this recipe.

What is long squash in italian?

For this recipe, we will need a type of squash called Cucuzza, which is a long Italian squash.

Bottom Line

with a burst of flavor and an invitation to give the recipe a try.

In conclusion, Kusa Mihshi is not only a traditional Lebanese dish but also quick and simple to prepare in the comfort of your own kitchen. With its unique combination of ground lamb, spiced rice mixture, and stuffed vegetable of choice, it’s no wonder that this recipe has been passed down through generations. Plus, with the added convenience of substitutions and variations, there’s no excuse not to try it out.

So, whether you’re looking for a new addition to your family dinner repertoire or just wanting to explore Middle Eastern cuisine a little more, Kusa Mihshi is the perfect option. Give it a go and see for yourself why this stuffed dish has become a staple in the Lebanese food scene. Enjoy!

Kusa Mihshi - Stuffed Lebanese Squash / Cucuzza / Koosa

Kusa Mihshi – Stuffed Lebanese Squash / Cucuzza / Koosa Recipe

Kusa – AKA Lebanese Squash / Zucchini / Courgette, Cucuzza. This is a recipe for a quick & simple version of the traditional stuffed Kusa dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Lebanese
Calories 426.6 kcal


  • 8 zucchini, ends trimmed (each approx. 6” long, about 3 pounds)
  • 12 ounces ground lamb
  • 3/4 cup instant brown rice
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons dried marjoram, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried mint, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce, preferably chunky


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Hollow out each zucchini using a zucchini / apple corer or small, flexible paring knife, leaving 1/8-inch-thick walls.
  • Combine lamb, rice, 1 1/4 teaspoons marjoram, 3/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon mint, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Loosely stuff each zucchini with the lamb mixture. Place the stuffed zucchini in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  • Combine tomato sauce with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 teaspoon mint and 1/8 teaspoon allspice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then pour over the zucchini. Cover the pan with foil.
  • Bake, turning the zucchini halfway through cooking, until the zucchini and rice are tender and the filling reaches 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 40 to 50 minutes. Serve the zucchini with the sauce.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 464gCalories: 426.6kcalCarbohydrates: 38.2gProtein: 23.1gFat: 21.9gSaturated Fat: 9.1gCholesterol: 62.2mgSodium: 1278.7mgFiber: 7.5gSugar: 18.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Easy, Inexpensive, Lamb/Sheep, Lebanese, Meat, Middle Eastern, One-Dish Meal, Oven, Ramadan, Savory, Stove Top, Vegetable
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