Stuffed Squash and Grape Leaves

Cousa Mihshi Warac Inab (koosa mihh-shee war-rac ein-nab)


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Classic Lebanese Cuisine: 170 Fresh And Healthy Mediterranean Favorites

Classic Lebanese Cuisine

By Kamal Al-Faqih

Published 2009

  • About

This dish of squash and grape leaves stuffed with ground lamb and rice steamed together in a rich flavorful tomato broth is a perfect choice for a Sunday meal with family and friends. One of the wonderful things about this meal is that you can prepare it in advance and refrigerate it until you are ready to serve it.


For the Stuffed Squash and Grape Leaves

  • ½ pound coarsely ground lamb, from the leg
  • ½ cup converted (also called parboiled) rice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
  • ¼ cup and ¼ cup cold water, divided
  • 6 yellow squash (about 2 inches wide at the base and 4 to 5 inches long)
  • 1 (8-ounce jar) grape leaves (Orlando brand if available), or about 18 grape leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion (slice into ¼-inch rounds)
  • 1 (29-ounce can) tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Kitchen twine
  • (You can substitute coarsely ground beef for the lamb, or zucchini for the squash.


    Prepare Ahead

    You can prepare this up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate until needed. You can freeze the cooked squash and grape leaves for several weeks. Submerge them in the tomato broth, then freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until warm all the way through. Serve as directed.