Stuffed zucchini in egg lemon sauce (Kolokithakia avgolemono) is one of my favourite recipes to make in spring and summer. This traditional Greek dish combines several flavors including lemon and parsley to make a filling one-dish meal with zucchini as the base.
The zucchinis are filled with mince meat, most commonly pork, though beef and chicken can also be used, rice and aromatic herbs.
The egg lemon (avgolemeno) sauce ties all the ingredients together perfectly and not just flavour wise. Avogolemono (egg-lemon sauce), key to this zucchini dish, is thin enough and not too creamy or thick. The fresh lemon and dill enhance the lightness of the dish, making it irresistible and leaving you craving for more.
Why this stuffed zucchini in egg lemon sauce ( kolokithakia avgolemono) recipe works
This recipe works as it is a one pot wander. No need to use lots of pans and pots as other recipes call for.
1. One pot
This light and comforting dish can be made in one pot, saving you time in washing up an simply enjoying the dish.
In this traditional recipe, the stuffed zucchini are cooked in one pot with the egg-lemon ( avgolemono) sauce added at the end. There is no need to cook the zucchinis (courgettes) and the mince meat stuffing separately. Instead, core the zucchinis, prepare the mince meat-rice stuffing and add it in the zucchinis. Continue by stuffing the zucchinis and cook them. Lately, add the delicious egg-lemon (avgolemono) sauce.
2. Light dish
The lightness of this dish lays on the lightness of the ground meat filling. This aromatic mince meat filling with rice is the same as the one in the famous Giouvarlakia soup, ie Greek meatball soup.
The mince (ground) meat filling is light as it is effectively boiled along with the zucchini, just as in Giouvarlakia.
Traditionally, the ground meat filling is made of ground beef, though for an even lighter version, use pork or chicken instead.
3. Many servings
This Greek dish can make many services from a mere four to five large courgettes, thus keeping the entire family happy.
4. Minimal wasted ingredients
This traditional Greek dish produces minimal wasted ingredients with only the zucchini pulp discarded. Moreover, only two eggs are needed for this stuffed zucchini dish. Use the egg whites in the ground meat stuffing and use the leftover egg yolks in the egg-lemon (avgolemono) sauce.
5. Versatility of the dish
The egg lemon sauce or avgolemono sauce can be stored separately from the dish so that when you reheat it, it doesn’t get curdled.
You can add cold avgolemon sauce to warmed up stuffed zucchini. Moreover, if you mopped up all the egg lemon sauce and have none left, you can warm up the remaining stuffed zucchini and serve with freshly squeezed lemons.
Tips for delicious stuffed zucchini in egg lemon sauce (Kolokithaki avgolemono)
Seasoning is key for any dish. It can make or break the flavour. When cooking bland vegetables, like zucchinis, seasoning the stuffing is crucial. It brings out the taste and helps the flavours blend together. To get the most flavour, season the stuffing with ground black pepper, cumin and add fresh herbs while food is still uncooked.
Moreover, adding seasoning and add fresh herbs (dill) in the cups of water added to the pot, gives the dish an even more aromatic and delicious twist.
For this stuffed zucchini in egg lemon sauce (Kolokithakia avgolemono) recipe choose the freshest zucchini you can get your hands on. I personally choose medium sized zucchinis for this dish.Why not experiment with round zucchini? They are perfect for stuffed dishes!
Ground meat ( Mince meat)
Use good quality beef, pork or chicken mince meat. For a lighter dish opt for pork or chicken mince meat.
There is no more suitable rice of this recipe, than a short grain variety one like Arborio.
Parsley and dill pair very well and bring an earthy flavour to the dish as well as excellent aroma.
Egg Lemon (Avgolemono) sauce
This delicious egg lemon sauce / avolemono sauce is super easy to make and requires only staple ingredients from your pantry. All you need are fresh eggs, lemon juice and broth.
Pair this finger licking stuffed zucchinis in egg lemon sauce ( Kolokithakia avgolemono) with sourdough bread, pitta bread to mop up the creamy avgolemono sauce as well as Feta cheese and Tirokafteri. Horiatiki salad also pairs perfectly with this dish.
Other egg lemon (Avgolemono dishes)
Stuffed Courgettes in egg lemon sauce ( kolokithakia avgolemono)
- 1Kg 250gr zucchinis /courgettes
- 400g ground meat (mince meat) beef, pork or chicken or mixture of
- 1 cup short grain rice (Carolina or Arborio variety)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley
- 1/2 bunch fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon butter
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ground cumin
- 2 eggs ( egg whites)
- 1 stock cube (preferably chicken)
Egg Lemon (Avgolemono) sauce
- 2 eggs ( egg yolks)
- Lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
- To prepare this traditional and delicious stuffed zucchini dish in egg lemon sauce start by washing the zucchinis. Pat them try and slice off the ends.
- With a zucchini corer, core the zucchinis and discard the seeded part.
- In a mixing bowl, add ground meat, sliced onion, egg whites and rice. Season the ground meat mixture and add finely shopped dill and parsley. Knead the ingrown meat an rice mixture.
- Stuff the zucchinis with the ground meat and rice mixture and set them into a large pot.Fill the hollow zucchinis up to 3/4 , avoid overfilling them as rice will expand upon cooking.
- Place all the stuffed zucchini in the pot, along their long axis, so make sure you use a a wide pot. Place them in layers. There is no need to place zucchinis upright as other recipe calls for with potato wedges in between.
- Add water to the pot along with a stock cube, preferably a vegetable one, seasoning and chopped dill.
- Cook the filled zucchini for 30 minutes over medium heat.
- Place the zucchini in a plate and strain the aromatic broth they cooked in. Place the zucchinis back in the empty pot and set the broth aside.
- Continue by preparing the egg lemon (avgolemono) sauce. To do so, whisk two egg yolks with lemon juice until bubbly. Continue by whisking a large tablespoon of strained broth to the egg lemon mixture. Make sure the broth is not boiling hot as this will cook the eggs.
- Carry on by slowly adding and whisking tablespoons worth of the broth to the egg and lemon mixrure. This will help bring the the sauce in the correct temperature.
- Once you have added most of the broth to the egg lemon mixture, pour both the avgolemono and remaining broth back in the pot.
- Your dish is ready to serve! Kali Orexi!