Koosa – Stuffed Summer Squash

Like the stuffed grape vine leaves, the stuffed squash, Koosa, is another Lebanese favourite. My mother’s first vegetable garden this year on Saltspring Island was almost wholly devoted to growing this unique vegetable. The recipe can be done with regular-sized squash or zucchini, although this family recipe has always traditionally been done with small, pale green or summer squash.


15 small squash (or other squash), hollowed
1 Lb. lean ground lamb or beef
1 cup rice
1 can of tomato juice (4-5 cups)
Juice from 2 lemons
1-2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, cinnamon and allspice



1. Prepare the squash by hollowing out with a vegetable corer (available at most kitchen stores, or the back of a spoon.)

Hollow out squash with coring utensil or back of spoon

Mom at work

2. Once cored, rinse the hollowed squash and let soak in a bowl of water for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt.

3. In the meantime, mix beef, rice, lemon, and spices in a bowl. Mix thoroughly by hand.

Mix together ingredients

4. Gently fill the cavities of the squash with the meat mixture. Push with the finger to make sure the entire space is filled. Leave half a centimetre of space free at the ends.

Fill the squash with the meat mixture

5. Place the stuffed squash into a large saucepan. Fill with tomato juice until squash are nearly covered. Place a dish on top of the squash as they cook to make sure the contents stay inside and they don’t move around while cooking. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 35 minutes.


About gentlemangourmet

My name is Mike and even though I’m not always a gentleman, it’s safe to say I am in love with food. Like my more famous namesake, the kid on the cereal commercial from the early 80′s, I had an ability to eat just about anything and “like it.” I’ve become a tad more discerning since my toddler phase: I prefer Pinot Noir to the customary Shiraz my parents liked, I no longer eat parmesan cheese sprinkled from a container, and can pick out which ingredients I like or don’t in a recipe by smell alone. I blame my Lebanese heritage, my large Lebanese nose (all the better for smelling with) and exposure over the past few years to some exquisite ethnic cooking styles and cuisine, as well as to some stunning, inspiring cooks who are family or friends. I’ve included a lot of their favourite recipes on this site, as well as a few of my own that have become my staples over the years. I hope you find something here that you like. Happy cooking! View all posts by gentlemangourmet

6 responses to “Koosa – Stuffed Summer Squash

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