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Barley Zucchini Boats

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour 25 min. Bake: 35 min.


6 servings

Barley is delightful paired with garden-fresh zucchini in this flavorful recipe.—National Barley Foods Council, Mary Sullivan, Spokane, Washington


  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 medium zucchini (8 to 9 inches)
  • 1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Drain tomatoes, reserving juice. Set the tomatoes aside. Add water to juice to measure 2 cups; place in a saucepan. Add barley and cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place zucchini in a Dutch oven and cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes or until slightly tender. Drain; cool slightly. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell. Chop pulp and set aside.
  3. In a skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic and allspice in oil until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add barley mixture, parsley, salt, pepper, tomatoes and zucchini pulp; mix well. Spoon into zucchini shells.
  4. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and butter; sprinkle over zucchini. Place in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. Cover and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

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