Persian Zucchini Stew With Chicken (Khoresh Kadoo)

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

Khoresh kadoo, or Persian zucchini stew, is a delicious summer stew made with fresh zucchini and tomatoes. This stew is served with white rice and has a savory, and a bit tart, flavor.

Shadi Hasanzadenemati

Food52 Review: Featured in: My Mother's Persian Zucchini Stew Is Stronger Than Any Travel Ban.The Editors

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 4 zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
  • 6 chicken thighs, skinless, bone-in
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 3 tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
In This Recipe


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saute pan. Fry zucchinis on both sides until golden brown. Set aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat some more olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken thighs, sear them in the pan until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Heat another 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the same pan and saute the onion until golden and translucent.
  4. Add in the turmeric and saute for another minute. Add in the tomato paste and water. Stir well until the tomato paste has dissolved into the water. Turn the heat up and bring to boil. Turn the heat to medium and let it start simmering. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Add the chicken thighs back into the pan with the sauce. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Check to make sure the sauce isn't too thick.
  6. After about 25 minutes, add in the zucchini and halved tomatoes and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the zucchinis are cooked as well.
  7. Add the lemon juice, taste, and season with more salt if needed.
  8. Put some white rice in serving plates, and top with the zucchini and chicken stew.

More Great Recipes:
Stew|Persian|Middle Eastern|Mediterranean|Zucchini|Chicken Thigh|Chicken|Lemon Juice|Vegetable|Pan-Fry|Summer|Entree

Reviews (15) Questions (0)

15 Reviews

lplynch September 24, 2018
Has anyone made this without the chicken? Or oldest daughter has decided she's a vegetarian. <br />Shadi, I am so sorry. I hope your family is allowed to visit soon.
Susan A. August 12, 2018
I must confess --- your story had me in tears. I filed it under "Comfort Food" and look forward to making it.<br />
Author Comment
Shadi H. September 24, 2018
Thank you so much Susan, I hope this stew brings comfort to you <3
mpm6228 July 26, 2018
Wonderful. I used some white wine subbed for the water, and a bit of red pepper flakes, but otherwise stuck to the recipe, it is delicious, we loved the tartness of the lemon. Used our CSA onions, zucchini and tomatoes for a bright dish tasting of summer vegetables. Thank you!
Author Comment
Shadi H. September 24, 2018
Love the idea of white wine and red pepper flakes! Happy to know you enjoyed this dish.
Brad July 24, 2018
Really wonderful! Thanks. How about a bit of minced garlic just before the turmeric? How about a bit of cayenne for heat? Do you think a vegetarian version with garbanzo beans would work?
Frankie July 24, 2018
Interesting idea, I am sure it could work. Her recipe is a perfect base and the eggplants & tomatoes really combines well with other ingredients.
Author Comment
Shadi H. September 24, 2018
Hi Brad,<br />Yes! Garlic makes everything better imo and yes to cayenne as well! I love the idea of garbanzo beans for a vegetarian version.
Kathryn L. July 21, 2018
Could you make this with boneless chicken thighs? The recipe looks wonderful! It must smell so good while it cooks!
Frankie July 21, 2018
Yes, you can!! We did that as well and it was skinless as well.
Kathryn L. July 21, 2018
Thanks! I’ve got to hit up the farmers market to find good zucchini.
Author Comment
Shadi H. September 24, 2018
Hi Kathryn, yes you can use boneless chicken thighs as Frankie mentioned :)
Frankie July 21, 2018
My youngest son tends to pick out the cooked tomatoes pieces in any dish but with this recipe, he devoured them. It was wonderfully easy to prepare and so very easy to add seasoning as desired. I make triple portions and put the extra into the freezer for my youngest son after his soccer practice.
Author Comment
Shadi H. July 22, 2018
Happy to hear you all loved it! :)
dinaofdoom July 21, 2018
Is that photo of the same recipe? The zucchini is deeply browned like it was roasted, and the chicken appears to have skin.