Super tasty stuffed courgettes (zucchini)

This recipe is for a really tasty stuffed courgette (or as some of my blog readers call them zucchini). It’s really easy to make and, whist I’ve used meat, the filling could also be adapted to suit a vegetarian.

IMG_5321As usual I’ve included some images with the different stages of the recipe below, but if you don’t want to read all of the steps, or my tale of the glut, then you can just Skip to the printable recipe.

This year I’ve been sharing the veg patch with a friend called Tina – here she is on the right having a well earned rest after a bit of harvesting.

She only lives up the road and it’s been fantastic having someone to share the planting woes with as well as help out and more importantly to share the produce with.

When we planned what we were going to plant this year – originally we were only going to plant 4 courgette plants – but we ended up with 8! This left us with the first dilemma of where to put them as they do take up a bit of space. However, neither of us are keen on food waste, so we utilised some old tyres and pots and let the lot grow.

As many of you in the UK will know, the weather has been amazing and so we ended up with loads and loads of courgettes. The thing was, they’d be tiny tiny one day then absolutely massive the next, so we had to find ways to use them up which really showcased the vegetable – hence this recipe. You could make this with smaller courgettes, but it’s absolutely wonderful as a main with a larger courgette/marrow.

The images below literally do show the tiny courgette one day and the MAHOOSIVE one the next!

The recipe below is what I came up with to really show off the courgette. There’s no waste – it uses up the centre of the veg, it’s really adaptable, so if you’ve a glut of tomatoes, or carrots, those can go in too and it tastes divine!

The recipe below for the filling will actually make more than you need for the amount of marrows you are using. It keeps brilliantly, you’ll probably have enough to stuff another couple of large marrows, but it’s also excellent with spaghetti or other pasta.

Stage 1 – Prepare the courgette/marrow and part cook

  • Time = A few minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to pre-bake
  • Ingredients = 2 large marrow or 4-6 small courgettes and some olive oil (or sunflower oil)
  • Oven temp = 180 fan or 200 conventional.
  • Equipment =  Roasting tin.
  1. Wash and dry the courgettes / marrows – no need to peel and cut them in half straight down their length.
  2. Using a spoon, ice cream scoop or a melon baller if you have one – scoop out the flesh from the middle leaving the ends intact. You don’t need to go too deep, just about 5 cm so that your filling won’t fall out.
  3. Reserve the flesh and seeds you’ve scooped out.
  4. Put each half in the roasting tray green skin side down and brush with oil.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 mins. Just enough to soften them.
  6. Once the 20 – 25 minutes are up remove from the oven and set aside (leave in the tin). Note that you are only part-cooking these so don’t worry if they are still very firm.

Image 1 = Just picked courgettes. Image 2 = One large courgette. Image 3 = Another large courgette. Image 4 = The scooped out courgettes. Image 5 = Courgettes brushed with oil and in the tin ready for baking. Image 6 = The reserved centres.

Stage 2 – Make the filling whilst the courgettes bake

  • Time = 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Ingredients = 500g of mince (any kind, I used a mix of pork and beef because that’s what I’d got. You could also use a vegetarian mince, or 100 – 200g of cooked rice mixed with peppers). 1 large onion chopped, 1 x chilli chopped (or a pinch of chilli flakes (optional). 2 x garlic cloves minced. The reserved middles of the courgettes from stage 1). Salt and pepper seasoning. 1 – 2 x tbsp of dried mixed herbs. 410g of chopped tomatoes (I used a tin of plum in this version and bashed them with a spoon, but you could also use fresh from the garden with the skins removed first). 2 x heaped tbsp of tomato puree. 1 x tbsp of sugar. 1 x tbsp of Worcestershire sauce. 1 x grated carrot (optional). 1 x Tbsp of oil.
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, or if you’ve got one a deep casserole dish.
  2. Fry the onion and chilli (if using) gently for 5 minutes then add in the garlic and fry for another minute. You just want to soften the onion rather than colour it.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the mince. Brown the mince so that it’s got some colour on – but be careful not to burn it.
  4. Once the mince is brown add the reserved courgette and herbs and stir – cook for a minute or so to incorporate.
  5. Add in all other ingredients you are using – so the tomatoes, puree, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and carrot if using.
  6. Give everything a really good stir then season with salt and pepper.  DO NOT add any water or other liquid – it’s meant to be a dry mix – otherwise when you stuff the courgettes it will be too wet.
  7. Let simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until it’s quite thick and then check the seasoning. Add more herbs or salt and pepper if required. If at the end of the 20 – 25 minutes the mixture is still quite wet then cook for a bit longer.

Image 1 & Image 2 = Onions and chilli gently frying. Image 3 & 4 = Mince browning and browned. Image 5 = Adding in the reserved courgettes to the cooked mince. Image 6 = Adding the herbs. Image 7 = Adding the tomatoes. Image 8 = Adding everything else. Image 9 = Giving it all a good stir. Image 10 = The cooked mixture.

Stage 3 – Stuff, top, bake and enjoy!

  • Time = A couple of minutes to prepare and stuff and around 20 minutes to half an hour to bake.
  • Ingredients = A slice of bread whizzed into bread crumbs, about 25 – 35 g of your favourite melty cheese grated (I used cheddar, but parmesan or other cheese that melts would work too), some toasted pine nuts (about a handful) and a sprinkling of herbs, the courgettes from stage 1 and the mince from stage 2.
  • Oven temp = 180 fan or 200 conventional.
  1. When your mince from stage 2 above is ready spoon into the part-cooked courgettes / marrow halves from stage 1. Cram in as much as the marrow will comfortably hold, but don’t over stuff. Place any left over filling in containers and freeze to use for another day as a filling or with pasta.
  2. Top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs, cheese and pine nuts.
  3. Place the tin back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the filling is piping hot but the courgettes are still firm enough that they won’t fall apart.
  4. Serve and enjoy! We eat these on their own as they are already packed full of veg. But if you’ve used smaller courgettes you could serve up with some other veg or a side salad.

Note that if you’ve frozen any excess filling you will need to defrost it thoroughly before using.

Image 1 = Toasted pine nuts. Image 2 = Whizzing up the bread crumbs. Image 3 = The filling from stage 2. Image 4 = Stuffing the marrow / courgettes. Image 5 = Topping with bread crumbs, pine nuts and herbs. Image 6 = Topping with the cheese. Image 7 = The baked stuffed courgettes / marrows. Image 8 = Serve and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this wonderful recipe. Below you’ll find the printable recipe.

For other recipes on my site please follow this link.

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Super tasty stuffed courgettes (zucchini)

  • Servings: Makes enough for 2 hungry people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A really easy recipe which can be adapted to suit. The recipe below for the filling will actually make more than you need for the amount of marrows you are using. It keeps brilliantly, you'll probably have enough to stuff another couple of large marrows, but it's also excellent with spaghetti or other pasta.

  • If you freeze any left over filling, don’t forget to defrost it thoroughly before use.

Ingredients

  • 2 large marrows or 4-6 small courgettes
  • Olive oil for baking the veg and about 1 tbsp for frying the filling.
  • For the filling
  • 500g of mince (any kind, I used a mix of pork and beef because that’s what I’d got. You could also use a vegetarian mince, or 100 – 200g of cooked rice mixed with peppers).
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 x chilli chopped (or a pinch of chilli flakes (optional).
  • 2 x garlic cloves minced.
  • The reserved middles of the courgettes
  • Salt and pepper seasoning.
  • 1 – 2 x tbsp of dried mixed herbs.
  • 410g of chopped tomatoes (I used a tin of plum in this version and bashed them with a spoon, but you could also use fresh from the garden with the skins removed first).
  • 2 x heaped tbsp of tomato puree.
  • 1 x tbsp of sugar. 1 x tbsp of Worcestershire sauce.
  • 1 x grated carrot (optional).
  • For the topping
  • A slice of bread whizzed into bread crumbs.
  • About 25 – 35 g of your favourite melty cheese (I used cheddar, but parmesan or other cheese that melts would work too),
  • Some toasted pine nuts (about a handful)
  • A sprinkling of herbs
  • You’ll also need a roasting tin.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 fan or 200 conventional.
  2. Wash and dry the courgettes / marrows – no need to peel and cut them in half straight down their length. Using a spoon, ice cream scoop or a melon baller if you have one – scoop out the flesh from the middle leaving the ends intact. You don’t need to go too deep, just about 5 cm so that your filling won’t fall out. Reserve the flesh and seeds you’ve scooped out.
  3. Put each half in the roasting tray green skin side down and brush with oil. Place in the oven and bake for 20 – 25 mins. Just enough to soften them. Once the 20 – 25 minutes are up remove from the oven and set aside (leave in the tin). Note that you are only part-cooking these so don’t worry if they are still very firm.
  4. While the marrows / courgettes are part-cooking make the filling. To do this, heat the oil in a large frying pan, or if you’ve got one a deep casserole dish. Fry the onion and chilli (if using) gently for 5 minutes then add in the garlic and fry for another minute. You just want to soften the onion rather than colour it.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the mince. Brown the mince so that it’s got some colour on – but be careful not to burn it. Once the mince is brown add the reserved courgette and herbs and stir – cook for a minute or so to incorporate. Add in all other ingredients you are using – so the tomatoes, puree, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and carrot if using. Give everything a really good stir then season with salt and pepper.  DO NOT add any water or other liquid – it’s meant to be a dry mix – otherwise when you stuff the courgettes it will be too wet. Let simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until it’s quite thick and then check the seasoning. Add more herbs or salt and pepper if required. If at the end of the 20 – 25 minutes the mixture is still quite wet then cook for a bit longer.
  6. While your mince is cooking prepare the ingredients for the topping – whizz your bread crumbs, toast your pine nuts, grate your cheese etc.
  7. When your mince is ready spoon into the part-cooked courgettes / marrow halves. Cram in as much as the marrow will comfortably hold, but don’t over stuff. Place any left over filling in containers and freeze to use for another day as a filling or with pasta.
  8. Top with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs, cheese and pine nuts.
  9. Place the tin back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the filling is piping hot but the courgettes are still firm enough that they won’t fall apart. Serve and enjoy! We eat these on their own as they are already packed full of veg. But if you’ve used smaller courgettes you could serve up with some other veg or a side salad.

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Bread, Baking and More

Lover of bread, baking and growing my own veg.

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