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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.13 / 5 (79 votes)

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
30 min
4 as a starter or a side dish or as a main with a salad

Filled with rice, mince and chilli, Allegra McEvedy cooks her stuffed courgettes in a tomato sauce


1. Wash, top and tail the courgettes and cut into 3 or 4 pieces 8-10cm long that can stand on their own. Use a long, sharp knife, ideally with a thick blade (or a corer) to scoop out their middles.

2. Mix all the filling ingredients with 50 ml water and seasoning then carefully fill the cavities – don’t push the filling down but just tap it on the work surface, leaving a good centimetre at the top for the rice to expand.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the chopped tomatoes, hot water, olive oil and some seasoning.

4. Stand the courgettes up like pillars in a thick-bottomed saucepan with a lid, and pour the tomato cooking liquor all around it.

5. Put a lid on and bring to a fast simmer – cook for 15 minutes like this, then turn down to the lowest possible for another 15 mins.

6. Mix the ingredients for the yogurt sauce together gently so that not all of the olive oil is incorporated but is gathering slightly on the surface.

7. When the courgettes are cooked, take care when lifting them out that all the filling doesn’t fall out the bottom. Put them on your serving dish as you reduce the tomato sauce in the pan down to a spooning consistency.

8. Serve with some of the tomato sauce spooned over and the yoghurt sauce on the side.

9. Finish with a few sprigs of dill.


For the filling

  • 100 g minced beef
  • 2 tbsp rice, washed and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • A large pinch of cumin

For the yogurt sauce

Tips and suggestions

Make sure you leave a little extra space when filling the courgette so the rice has room to expand as it cooks

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