Experience the classic flavors of Greece with this delicious and hearty Greek Stuffed Zucchini in Egg Lemon Sauce (Avgolemono)! This traditional Greek dish is a great way to enjoy zucchini, even if you aren’t usually a fan. It combines ground beef or lamb, rice, onion, herbs and spices for an incredibly flavorful stuffing topped in a delicious egg lemon sauce!
The finishing touch comes from the creamy egg and lemon sauce known as “avgolemono,” which adds a tangy flavor to the dish. Perfect for any meal – appetizer or main course – this recipe will surely please everyone!
What is Greek Stuffed Zucchini?
Greek Stuffed Zucchini in Egg Lemon Sauce, also known as “Kolokithakia Yemista Avgolemono” in Greek, is a traditional Greek dish that is commonly served as a main course or part of a mezze platter.
Greek stuffed zucchini consists of small to medium-sized zucchinis that are hollowed out, stuffed with a flavourful mixture of ground meat (usually beef or lamb), rice, onion, herbs, and spices, and then boiled in water until tender.
After the stuffed zucchinis are cooked, they are finished with a creamy egg and lemon sauce called “avgolemono.” The sauce is made by whisking eggs and lemon juice together and then slowly tempering it with hot broth until it thickens into a creamy, tangy sauce.
The result is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for a family dinner or gathering with friends.
- Classic way to serve zucchini: Even if you aren’t a fan, this dish will convince you to eat the vegetable!
- Great for any meal: Make it as an appetizer or as part of a larger meal.
Greek Stuffed Zucchini Key Ingredients
Zucchini: You’ll need four large zucchinis. Also a large potato to use to stand the vegetable up when it is cooking.
Stuffing: Ground beef is mixed with white rice, then white wine, parsley, mint and dill are added, along with cinnamon, allspice and some black pepper.
Sauce: The egg and lemon sauce is made with egg yolks, lemon juice and a little cornstarch.
Greek Stuffed Zucchini Key Preparation Tips
There are four main steps involved with this recipe:
- Prepare the stuffing
- Prepare the zucchini
- Cook the zucchini and create the sauce
- Serve the dish
Prepare the stuffing for Greek stuffed zucchini
To start, heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the peeled and finely chopped onion, along with a pinch of salt, and gently fry until it becomes soft and begins to turn color.
Cook the beef with a wooden spoon for approximately 10 minutes until it is well-cooked and has browned in some areas.
Along with the rice, add the peeled and crushed garlic. Cook for an additional minute until the garlic becomes aromatic and the rice grains are heated through.
Lower the heat to low and pour the white wine into the mixture. Let the wine simmer until it completely evaporates.
Take the pan off the stove. Add the herbs, spices and a substantial quantity of black pepper. Taste and adjust as needed, then let it cool for a while.
Prepare the zucchini
Cut off the ends of the zucchini and slice them into three equally sized pieces. Then, use a sharp knife and a long spoon (an ice cream spoon is recommended) or an apple corer to hollow out the zucchini pieces to make tubes 1/2 cm (0.3 inches) thick.
To create a honeycomb pattern with the zucchini in a lidded saucepan, stand them up so that their cut bottoms are flush with the bottom of the pan, and ensure they can’t fall over during cooking by wedging pieces of potato between them to keep them upright. Make sure they fit snugly in the pan.
Use a small spoon to fill each zucchini tube with the beef mixture. Be sure to pack it in tightly, but leave enough space for the rice to expand.
Cook the zucchini and create the sauce
Add cold water to the pan until it reaches halfway up the zucchini tubes and then generously season the water with salt.
Set the heat over medium-high to boil the water and lower it to a low simmer. Put the lid on and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the zucchini becomes tender.
While whisking together, make a thick paste by combining the egg yolks and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the lemon juice and set it aside.
Serve the Greek stuffed zucchini
Using tongs, carefully take out the zucchini from the pan and put it on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess moisture.
Pour the remaining cooking liquid through a strainer and gradually add 200ml (2/3 cup) of it to the beaten eggs while whisking.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and gently heat it. Then, warm up the egg sauce in the saucepan, frequently whisking until it thickens significantly. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the stuffed zucchini when poured over them.
To enjoy the stuffed zucchini, you can serve it either warm or at room temperature. Simply pour the freshly made sauce over the top and add a little fresh dill for extra flavor.
You can easily switch the ground beef in this Greek stuffed zucchini recipe for either ground veal or lamb and the recipe will work just as well.
Making ahead of time and storing
Leftover stuffed zucchini can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To store, make sure the zucchini is completely cooled down first. Place the stuffed zucchini in a container, cover it with a lid, and place it in the fridge.
Greek Stuffed zucchini can be served as a main dish on its own or paired with a variety of side dishes to create a delicious and filling meal. Here are some ideas for side dishes to serve with stuffed zucchini:
- A simple salad of wild greens with feta cheese
- Roasted or grilled vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, or asparagus
- Rice pilaf or quinoa
- Crusty Greek village bread or garlic bread
- Greek lemon potatoes
- Grilled chicken, steak, or fish
These options provide a range of flavors and textures that complement the savory stuffed zucchini. Choose your favorite side dishes and enjoy a complete and satisfying meal!
Love zucchinis? More zucchini recipes to try
- Greek Crispy fried zucchini
- Greek zucchini pie (kolokithopita)
- Greek Briam (Mixed roasted vegetables)
Experience the classic flavors of Greece with this delicious and hearty Greek Stuffed Zucchini in Egg Lemon Sauce (Avgolemono)! It combines ground beef or lamb, rice, onion, herbs and spices for an incredibly flavorful stuffing topped with creamy egg lemon sauce!
For the Greek stuffed Zucchini
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion
- 500g ground beef (approx. 1 lb/ 18 oz.)
- 1 large garlic clove
- 3 tbsp white rice
- 125ml white wine (1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnishing
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large zucchini
- 1 large potato
For the egg lemon sauce
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- juice of 2 lemons
For the Greek stuffed Zucchini
- Heat the oil in the bottom of a large skillet or frying pan set over a medium high heat and gently fry the onion, peeled and finely chopped with a pinch of salt until soft and starting to colour.
- Add the beef and fry for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with the wooden spoon until it is cooked through and has browned in places.
- Add the garlic, peeled and crushed along with the rice. Cook for another minute until the garlic is aromatic and the rice grains have heated through.
- Add the white wine and turn the heat down to low. Allow the wine to bubble away completely.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the herbs, spices and a generous amount of black pepper. Check for seasoning and set aside to cool a little.
- Top and tail the zucchini and slice them into three equal pieces. Using a very sharp knife and a long handled spoon – an ice cream spoon works well for this – or an apple corer, hollow out the zucchini pieces to create tubes with 1/2 cm (0.3 inch) sides.
- Stand the zucchini up to create a honeycomb pattern in a lidded saucepan where they fit snuggly. To make sure they stand up straight with their cut bottoms flush to the bottom of the pan, and to make sure they can’t fall over during cooking cut up pieces of potato to wedge between them to keep them upright.
- Using a small spoon, fill each zucchini tube with the beef mixture. You want this to be quite tightly packed, but not so much that the rice does not have a chance to expand.
- Pour cold water into the pan so it reaches half way up the zucchini tubes and salt the water well. Set it over a medium high heat to bring the water to the boil before turning it down to a low simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes with the lid on, or until the zucchini are just tender.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the zucchini from the pan, setting aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper to capture any extra moisture.
For the egg lemon sauce
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks with the cornstarch into a thick paste, and gradually whisk in the lemon juice. Set aside.
- Strain the remaining cooking liquid and slowly whisk 200ml (2/3 cup) into the egg mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the saucepan and return it to the low heat. Warm through the egg sauce, whisking often until it has thickened substantially, and will coat the stuffed zucchini when poured over the top.
- Serve the stuffed zucchini warm or at room temperature with the freshly made sauce poured over the top and with an extra sprinkling of fresh dill. Enjoy!
Keywords: greek stuffed zucchini, Greek stuffed zucchini avgolemono