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6 Recipes for Stuffed Vegetables

 Around the world, stuffed vegetables are considered to be a delicacy. Every stuffed vegetable dish has numerous flavor combination possibilities, thanks to the variety of vegetables and stuffing you can use. Here are six fantastic examples that will add color and panache to your dining room table.
1. Ricotta and Pesto Stuffed Tomatoes
This dish creates a fantastic combination between the acidity of the tomatoes and the light sweetness of the ricotta.
vegetables, stuffed, recipes
•    4 ripe tomatoes
•    150g (5oz) ricotta cheese
•    2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
•    1½ tbsp. pesto
•    1 tsp. lemon zest
•    1 cup crushed tomatoes
•    1 tbsp. tomato paste
•    1 tbsp. honey
•    Handful of basil
•    Handful of parsley
•    Handful of chives
•    Olive oil
•    Salt & pepper (to taste)

1.    Preheat the oven to 180°c (355°f).
2.    Cut the top of each tomato, save it on the side and scoop the seeds out.
3.    In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, honey, herbs, and a dash of salt and pepper.
4.    In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan, pesto sauce and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5.    Pour the tomato sauce into a baking pan.
6.    Stuff each tomato with the cheese mix, place the top back on the tomato.
7.    Generously add olive oil to the tomatoes.
8.    Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have gone soft.
2. Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This is a spectacular combination of a vegetable and its stuffing – sweet potato that melts in your mouth, along with juicy chicken breast and spinach, seasoned with chipotle.
vegetables, stuffed, recipes
•    3 medium sized sweet potatoes
•    1kg (2.2lb) chicken breast
•    2 cups of spinach leaves (washed)
•    Olive oil
•    2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
•    2 garlic cloves (crushed)
•    Chipotle
•    1 tsp. oregano
•    1 tsp. cumin
•    1 tsp. dried chili flakes
•    1 handful of cilantro
•    Salt & pepper (to taste)

1.    Preheat the oven to 180°c (355°f).
2.    Wash the sweet potatoes and use a fork to poke holes all over them.
3.    Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 5-6 minutes, until they’re soft.
4.    Coat the chicken breast with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper, place on a separate baking sheet and bake alongside the potatoes for 25 minutes.
5.    Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to cool. Once cooled, break it into small pieces into a bowl.
6.    Heat up a frying pan on medium heat and put the spinach in until it starts to lose juices, and then add it to the chicken.
7.    Once the sweet potatoes are ready, cut them into halves and let them cool for about 5 minutes.
8.    In a bowl, mix the chipotle, ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili flakes, salt & pepper.
9.    Raise the oven’s temperature to 200°c (390°f).
10.    Scoop the insides of the sweet potatoes, leaving a thin layer and the skin. (Use the insides to make a delicious mash, if you want)
11.    Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, lightly cover them with the chipotle mix and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until they’re crispy and brown.
12.    Mix the rest of the chipotle with the chicken and spinach.
13.    Take the potatoes out of the oven, stuff them, then put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
14.    Garnish with cilantro and enjoy.
3. Leek and Parmesan Stuffed Artichoke
The earthy taste of the artichoke perfectly complements the sharp taste of the leek, along with breadcrumbs making it lightly crispy.
vegetables, stuffed, recipes
•    4 artichokes
•    ½ lemon
•    3 leeks
•    2 garlic cloves (crushed)
•    ½ cup parsley (thinly chopped)
•    2 cups breadcrumbs
•    1 cup chicken stock
•    ½ cup grated parmesan
•    2 tbsp. olive oil
•    Salt & pepper (to taste)

Artichoke Preparation
1.    Preheat the oven to 190°c (375°f).
2.    Cut off the artichoke leaves.
3.    Cut the ends of the artichoke stalks and remove the outer skin until only the soft part is exposed.
4.    Remove the top third of the artichokes, cut the rest in half and coat with oil (to prevent oxidization and discoloration).
5.    Remove the inner part (the thorny, “hairy” part) while making sure not to remove the heart (apply lemon).
6.    Place each half on a baking sheet and sprinkle with some salt & pepper.
7.    Pour the chicken stock into the baking pan, in between the artichokes, cover them with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.

Stuffing Preparation
1.    Wash the leeks, remove the ends, as well as any unsightly leaves and stems, and then finely chop them.
2.    In a medium frying pan, heat up 2 tbsp. olive oil, then add the chopped leeks. Fry until soft.
3.    Add the garlic, fry for 2 more minutes and season with salt & pepper.
4.    Remove the pan from the stove, add the bread crumbs and parmesan to the pan, mix well and transfer to a bowl.
5.    When the 40 minutes are up, take the artichokes out of the oven, remove the foil and add the stuffing to each half. Cover it again with foil and return to the oven for 20 more minutes. To get a lovely, golden color, remove the foil and bake as is for another 15 minutes.
6.    If at any point you see that the stock has evaporated – add some water.
7.    Enjoy!
4. Hazelnut and Kale Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms
The creminis take on the flavors of the cream, kale, and shallots, and are topped with a hazelnut glaze.
vegetables, stuffed, recipes
•    ¼ cup hazelnuts
•    2 tbsp. lemon zest
•    2 tsp. crushed garlic
•    2 tbsp. parsley (finely chopped)
•    16 cremini mushrooms
•    3 tbsp. unsalted butter
•    1.4 cup chopped shallots
•    1 tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
•    2 cups kale
•    ¼ cup cooking cream
•    1 pinch nutmeg
•    ½ cup parmesan (grated)
•    Salt & pepper (to taste)

1.    Preheat the oven to 200°c (390°f).
2.    Roast the hazelnuts for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and lay over a towel. Once the nuts are cool, rub them in the towel to remove the skin.
3.    Chop the nuts and place in a small bowl, add one teaspoon of crushed garlic, add the chopped parsley, season with salt and put aside.
4.    Wash the mushrooms and remove the stalks (don’t throw them away). Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet, topside down.
5.    Melt a cup of unsalted butter and coat the insides of the mushrooms with it. Bake for 12 minutes, until they soften.
6.    In a frying pan, melt the rest of the butter, add the chopped shallots, garlic, and thyme. Fry over medium heat for 5 minutes. Constantly stir until the shallots have softened.

7.    Chop the leftover mushroom stalks, add them to the pan and fry for another 8 minutes, until they soften. Add the kale and fry for 8 more minutes, occasionally stirring.
8.    Once everything has softened, add the cream and bring it to a boil, and then let it simmer until it thickens a bit and remove from the stove.
9.    Add the nutmeg and let the mixture cool down, then add the parmesan, salt & pepper.
10.    Stuff the mixture into the mushroom caps and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until the mushrooms brown and the cheese melts.
11.    Remove from the oven, add the hazelnut mix and enjoy!
5. Quinoa Stuffed Peppers a la Tex-Mex
In this recipe, we replace the rice with quinoa and add black beans to get a unique Tex-Mex flavor.
vegetables, stuffed, recipes
•    4 medium peppers
•    1 cup quinoa
•    ½ onion (chopped)
•    1 tomato (seeded, cubed)
•    400g (14oz) cooked black beans
•    ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
•    1 cup mild cheddar cheese (grated)
•    3 pickled jalapeno peppers (chopped)
•    500g (17oz) crushed tomatoes
•    2 tbsp. tomato paste
•    1 tsp. chili flakes
•    ½ cup sugar
•    Olive oil
•    Salt & pepper (to taste)

1.    In a large pot, fry the onion in olive oil until it becomes translucent, and then add 2 cups of water, a cup of quinoa and a dash of salt, and bring to a boil.
2.    Boil for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove, cover the pot and let the quinoa steam for about 15 minutes.
3.    Cut the peppers in half and remove the stalks and seeds. Microwave for 3 minutes on a plate to soften them a little.
4.    Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and add the black beans, cubed tomato, cilantro, ¼ tsp. of salt, ¼ tsp. pepper and the jalapenos (if it feels too dry, add some olive oil) and mix.
5.    In another pan, warm up olive oil, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chili flakes, sugar, and a dash of salt & pepper. Mix well and cook for 10 minutes.

6.    Stuff the peppers with the quinoa and place on a baking sheet.
7.    Pour the juice over the peppers and onto the pan, and then add the grated cheese on top.
8.    Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 190°c (375°f) for 25-30 minutes.
9.    Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes to get a nice, golden color.
10.    Enjoy!
6. Ground Beef and Rice Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
This is a traditional dish with many variations. This version is slow-cooked and mildly seasoned to perfection.
vegetables, stuffed, recipes
•    2 medium green cabbages
•    2 tbsp. olive oil
•    3 garlic cloves (crushed)
•    1 large onion (chopped)
•    2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
•    500g (1lb) ground beef
•    1 cup basmati rice (cooked)
•    4 cups chicken stock
•    1 handful bay leaves
•    800g (28oz) crushed tomatoes
•    Salt & pepper (to taste)

1.    In a large pot, boil water with 1 tsp. of salt, then cook each cabbage individually until the external leaves are soft. (approx. 5min)
2.    Remove the soft leaves and return the rest of the cabbage until all of it is cooked. (You will need 20 leaves in total)
3.    In a large frying pan, heat up the olive oil and fry the onion until it is translucent. Add the garlic and thyme and keep frying. Stir the ground beef into the pan and cook until it’s done.
4.    Transfer the meat to a large bowl, add the rice and season with salt & pepper. Stir well.
5.    Lay a cabbage leaf down, and put a healthy amount of the beef and rice mix in the center of the leaf.
6.    Fold the sides, and then roll the leaf into a cylinder shape. (Do the same for all 20 leaves)
7.    In a separate pot, pour the crushed tomatoes, add salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes on medium, then remove from the stove.
8.    Fire the oven to 190°c (375°f), place the leaves in a pan and cover them with sauce. Add the bay leaves to the dish.
9.    Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 2 hours.
10.    Enjoy!
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