Cabbage-stuffed courgettes are not stuffed only with cabbage, they've also got leeks, red pepper and onion in them. The cabbage stuffing can be served as a side vegetable in its own right too - so this is really two recipes in one!
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If you've got a garden allotment, as we do, or even if you grow vegetables in your own back-yard, you'll know just how prolific courgettes can be. Now, I've called them courgettes, but depending on where you live in the world, you may know them as zucchini or baby marrows.
Once they start producing, one plant can grow enough courgettes to feed the entire street (or it feels like it when I get presented with yet another bagful).
So I've been wracking my brains to come up with original recipes that use up this bounty. I've made sweet desserts (zucchini and pistachio cake), savoury bakes (cheesy zucchini bake with cream crackers), and sauces (easy arrabbiata sauce with marrow). I've even shared my favourite South African way of preparing baby marrows with tomato and onion.
I love the tiny 3 to 4-inch-long courgettes that can be just braised in butter. But hubby seems to think that size does matter and so he waits until they are a bit longer before bringing them home.
The last offerings were about 8 inches long with a 2-inch diameter and the moment I saw them I knew I had to stuff them with something.
So I devised this recipe for cabbage-stuffed courgettes using cabbage, leeks, red peppers and onions, with a crispy topping of cheese and breadcrumbs. Even though there are lots of vegetables in the stuffing, I've called this recipe cabbage-stuffed courgettes. I think calling it cabbage, leek, red pepper and onion stuffed courgettes would be silly!
To be honest, it was quite delicious and I now happily anticipating the next delivery 🙂
And just by the way, you don't even need courgettes for this recipe. The cabbage mixture on its own makes a delicious side dish! How good is that? 2 recipes in one!
What you will need
You don't need much by way of equipment - just a saute pan for softening the vegetables, and a baking dish for putting it in the oven. The size of the baking dish will depend on how large your courgettes are.
I've used two 8-inch long marrows for this recipe (weighing 500 grams or just over 1 pound in total), You will find this is sufficient for 8 people (one-quarter of a marrow each) as a side dish. If you intend to serve this as a vegetarian meal then it will probably serve 4 people (half a marrow each).
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days and warmed up in the microwave.
**You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making cabbage-stuffed courgettes on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Courgettes - Your courgettes should be about 8 inches long and round enough so that you can hollow them out nicely.
For the vegetable stuffing, you will need one cup each of chopped leeks and shredded cabbage, and approximately half a cup each of finely diced onion and red pepper (capsicum). You will also need a diced tomato. In total, you should have about 3 cups of mixed vegetables which seems like a lot, but they do cook down.
Sunflower oil for brushing on the outside of the courgettes.
Butter - used to saute the vegetables.
Mustard seeds - for extra flavour. You could leave these out if you prefer.
A mixture of grated cheese and breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top. If you prefer you could substitute the breadcrumbs with a handful of crushed cheese and onion flavour potato crisps.
Salt and black pepper for seasoning.
What to do
Prepare and cook the vegetables
- Cut the leeks in half down the length and then slice them into narrow semi-circles.
- Cut the cabbage into narrow strips.
- Peel the onion and cut it into fine dice.
- Remove the seeds and membrane from the red pepper and cut it into fine dice.
- Cut the tomato into a fine dice.
Melt the butter in a saute pan or a frying pan (with a lid) and fry the onions and red pepper gently for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
Add the mustard seeds, along with the leeks, cabbage and tomato. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste and add 2 tablespoons of water. Stir well.
Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to simmer.
Cook gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened.
If the vegetables are not soft enough, cook for a few minutes more. Bear in mind that they will continue to cook once the dish is in the oven.
Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Leave the cabbage mixture to cool.
If you would like to serve the vegetables as a side dish (without stuffing them into a courgette), you can transfer them to a serving dish at this point.
Prepare the courgettes
Remove the top and bottom from the courgette and slice it in half from top to bottom
Remove the seeds, leaving about one-quarter of an inch of flesh all around. (Tip - don't throw the seeds away - keep them in the refrigerator for up to three days and add them to your next bolognese or savoury mince dish).
Brush the outside of each courgette lightly with oil.
Arrange the courgettes into a suitably sized baking dish and sprinkle them lightly with salt.
Divide the stuffing between the courgettes.
Mix the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the courgettes.
Cover the dish with a lid or a sheet of tinfoil.
If you are wondering why the courgettes are arranged differently in the above two images, it's because I forgot to take a photo of the courgettes with the cheese on top, so I had to remake the recipe. The courgettes were different sizes and that was the only way I could fit them in the dish 🙂
Bake in a preheated oven (200C / 400F) for 25 minutes.
Remove the lid from the dish and leave it in the oven for another 5 minutes to give the cheese time to brown.
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However, these cabbage-stuffed courgettes make a delicious side dish to accompany any roast.
Freezing and storage
Cabbage-stuffed courgettes are not suitable for freezing because they will turn mushy once defrosted.
However, the cabbage stuffing can be frozen in a suitable container for up to 3 months.
Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave.
You can also make the cabbage stuffing up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to stuff your courgettes.
What's the difference between a courgette and a marrow?
There is no difference - they both come off the same plant. I think the South African name baby marrow explains it best. In South Africa, a young courgette (or zucchini) is called a baby marrow and when it grows larger it is known as a marrow.
Both the skin and seeds of a baby marrow can be eaten. Once the courgette has turned into a marrow the skin and seeds become hard and inedible and should be discarded.
Save for later
If you would like to try these cabbage-stuffed courgettes for yourself, why not pin the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so that you can find it easily? Just click on the image below.
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If you enjoyed this recipe, you may like to try some of my other vegetable recipes:
- Crustless tomato quiche
- Spicy beetroot salad
- Curried green bean salad
- Glazed carrots
- Potatoes Romanoff
- Spicy braised red cabbage
- Creamy leek and brussels sprouts bake
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 2 8-inch long courgettes 500 grams or 17 ounces approximately
- 1 cup cabbage shredded
- 1 cup leeks sliced into thin semi-circles
- ½ cup onion finely diced
- ½ cup red pepper (capsicum) finely diced
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds optional
- 2 ounces / 60 grams butter
- ½ cup grated cheese
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- Cut the leeks in half down the length and then slice them into narrow semi-circles.Cut the cabbage into narrow strips.Peel the onion and cut it into a fine dice.Remove the seeds and membrane from the red pepper and cut it into a fine dice.Cut the tomato into a small dice.1 cup cabbage, 1 cup leeks, ½ cup onion, ½ cup red pepper (capsicum), 1 medium tomato
- Melt the butter in a saute pan and fry the onions and red pepper gently for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.2 ounces / 60 grams butter
- Add the mustard seeds, leeks, cabbage and tomato to the pan with the onions. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and add 2 tablespoons of water.1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Cook the vegetables gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened. If the vegetables are not soft enough after 15 minutes, leave them a few minutes longer but bear in mind they will continue to cook once they are in the oven.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set aside to cool while you prepare the courgettes.
Prepare the courgettes
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F
- Remove the top and bottom from the courgette and slice it in half from top to bottom2 8-inch long courgettes
- Remove the seeds, leaving about one-quarter of an inch of flesh all around.
- Brush the outside of each courgette lightly with oil.1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- Arrange the courgettes into a suitably-sized baking dish and sprinkle them lightly with salt.
- Divide the stuffing between the courgettes.
- Mix the grated cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the courgettes.½ cup grated cheese, ¼ cup breadcrumbs
- Cover the dish with a lid or a sheet of tinfoil.
- Place the covered dish into a preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove the lid and leave the courgetttes in the oven for a further 5 minutes to give the cheese time to turn brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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