Lamb and Chickpea Stuffed Zucchini with Tahini Yogurt Sauce is a delicious and easy to make dinner that’s perfect if you’re new to cooking with or eating lamb. Warm, fragrant, spices such as cinnamon and allspice add wonderful flavor to this exotic, but comforting dish.
When I made these Lamb and Chickpea Stuffed Zucchini with Tahini Yogurt Sauce it was my first time cooking with lamb. Lamb has never been something that I’ve gone out of my way to eat. In fact my first couple experiences eating it were pretty bad.
It was overcooked, chewy and not seasoned in a way that I found appealing. It took me a long time to try it again, but thankfully I did because it was delicious!
The good experiences I had with lamb were at two of our favorite restaurants in Denver, Linger and El Five. It just so happens that both restaurants are owned by the same chef Justin Cucci. Whenever we go to one of his restaurants I’m never afraid to try something new or that I might hesitate to somewhere else. He has a way with combining flavors that simply put, is magical.
After our last dinner at El Five and ordering the Moroccan lamb sausage served with hummus, feta, fava beans, lemon and mint, I knew I wanted to create something for the blog using lamb.
If you’ve never had lamb, it has a distinct flavor. In comparison to beef it’s gamier and has an earthy flavor. The reason for these flavors is largely due to the fat in lamb. If the gamy flavor isn’t something that appeals to you, try looking for a leaner cut.
For this recipe I used a lean 80/20% ground lamb. It may not sound super lean, but in terms of lamb, it is. I detected a small amount of gamy flavor in it, but when the warm spices of cinnamon, cumin, allspice and coriander were added in, the gaminess was almost undetectable.
The lamb is combined with chickpeas, which allows you to cut back on the amount of meat you’re using and adds fiber to the filling. The filling goes into hollowed out zucchini boats, which you’ll roast while you’re cooking the filling.
The final step is to top the Lamb and Chickpea Stuffed Zucchini with Tahini Yogurt Sauce, crumbled feta and flat leaf parsley. This easy dinner is a Mediterranean lovers dream come true and a great way for people who have never cooked or eaten lamb to try it out. Enjoy!
More Mediterranean Dinners
Lamb and Chickpea Stuffed Zucchini
- 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 pound lean ground lamb, I used 80/20%
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon each; ground cumin, coriander and allspice
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Feta cheese and flat leaf parsley for toppings
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F. and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the tahini yogurt sauce, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Scoop out the inside of the zucchini leaving 1/4 inch thick sides. Reserve the part scooped out and chop it up. Place the zucchini boats onto the prepared baking sheet, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the zucchini are tender.
- While the zucchini bakes, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the olive oil and swirl around the bottom of the pan. Add in the red onion, garlic and chopped up zucchini. Sauté for 2-3 minutes then add in the ground lamb and all the spices, salt and pepper. Cook until the lamb is browned and crumbly, about 5-7 minutes then stir in the chickpeas. Taste for seasoning.
- Divide the lamb filling into each of the baked zucchini boats. Top with feta cheese, flat leaf parsley and drizzle with the tahini yogurt sauce. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 332mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 33g