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Lebanese stuffed squash, or Lebanese kousa squash is stuffed with ground beef and rice mahshi

Lebanese Squash (Kousa Mahshi)- Stuffed Yellow Squash

Emily Ackerman
This traditional Lebanese dish, kousa or kousa mahshi, is stuffed squash filled with ground beef, rice and Middle Eastern spices. The stuffed yellow squash is then cooked in tomato sauce until tender, and served with yogurt or labneh.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6


  • 6 medium summer squash, or kousa squash
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or lamb
  • 1 ¼ cup long grain white rice
  • 1 15 oz canned tomato sauce add another 8 oz can for thicker sauce (optional)
  • 2 teas salt
  • ¾ teas ground black pepper
  • ½ teas ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 cups water or just until it covers the squash


  • Wash and cut the squash according to the picture. Discard the stem of the squash
    How to cut yellow squash for stuffed squash boats and making koosa recipe
  • Using a squash corer, or something comparable, core the inside of the squash out, leaving a thin layer. Core the body and the neck of the squash as much as you cans
  • Place the ground beef (uncooked), rice, spices and 4 Tbls of the tomato sauce in the large mixing bowl and cut the ingredients together until well combined
  • Stuff the squash with the ground beef filling to the top of the squash and make sure not to stuff it to tightly. Packing the filling too tightly will result in dense meat and crunchy rice
  • Place the stuffed squash on it's side into a large pot or Dutch oven and pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the squash. For a thicker sauce, add another 8 ounce can of tomato sauce (optional)
  • Add 3 cups of water to the pan, or enough water until it reaches the top of the squash
  • Simmer the squash on medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Squash should be tender and rice should be cooked
  • Serve the squash with a dollop of plain yogurt or Labneh
Keyword Lebanese Cuisine, stuffed yellow squash, stuffed summer squash,