Persian Rice-Stuffed Zucchini with Pistachios and Dill

Persian Rice-Stuffed Zucchini with Pistachios and DillRecipe
Photo: Johnny Autry
A run under the broiler creates a crunchy crust, an essential for Persian rice dishes.


Serves 6 (serving size: 2 stuffed zucchini halves)
Total time: 56 Minutes

Recipe from

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Recipe Time

Hands-on: 34 Minutes
Total: 56 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 265
Fat 12.7 g
Satfat 2.8 g
Monofat 7.1 g
Polyfat 1.9 g
Protein 9.2 g
Carbohydrate 31.6 g
Fiber 5.6 g
Cholesterol 4 mg
Iron 2.2 mg
Sodium 389 mg
Calcium 81 mg


6 medium zucchini (6 ounces each)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/8 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup jasmine rice
6 cardamom pods
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups water
8 dried apricots, coarsely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/3 cup chopped shelled dry-roasted, unsalted pistachios
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Chop pulp. Place the zucchini halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until tender.

3. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Add rice, cardamom, and cinnamon; cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is opaque, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin, red pepper, and 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in apricots. Cover and let stand 10 minutes; discard cardamom and cinnamon. Spoon rice mixture into a large bowl; cool slightly.

4. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, orange rind, and juices in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add dressing, reserved zucchini pulp, pistachios, and remaining ingredients to rice mixture; toss well to combine.

5. Preheat broiler to high.

6. Spoon about 1/4 cup rice mixture into each zucchini shell. Broil 6 minutes or until lightly browned.