Gluten-free Greek Stuffed Courgettes with Lemon Sauce (Kolokithakia Gemista me Avgolemono/ Κολοκυθάκια Γεμιστά με Αυγολέμονο)

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'Kolokithakia gemista' in Greek translates to stuffed courgettes or zucchini depending on where you are.

Traditionally courgettes are stuffed with rice and a ground meat mixture, but they can also be made plant based by replacing the meat with quinoa or lentils for more pulse power! 


The traditional Greek 'avgolemono' sauce is key for this dish so don't be tempted to skip it out. It is a creamy lemon sauce made from simple ingredients, it really elevates all the flavours. It’s really simple to make and so tasty, stuffed courgettes make a great lunch or dinner meal.

SERVINGS.

6 Servings

PREP TIME.

15 Minutes

COOK TIME.

40 Minutes

INGREDIENTS.

For the courgettes:


  • 8 large courgettes, approx 1kg total

  • 400g minced beef, (or 1 can cooked lentils rinced and drained)

  • 90g risotto rice, (or quinoa)

  • 1 large white onion, grated

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 medium carrot, grated

  • 5 Tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Good grind black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • 4 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

  • 1 organic lemon, zested

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 vegetable stock cube

  • Water 


For the sauce:


  • 85g butter (or dairy free butter)

  • 85g gluten-free plain flour

  • 700g juice from the courgettes

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • salt and white pepper, to taste

  • 1 pinch nutmeg

  • 2 egg yolks

METHOD.

  1. Cut off the courgette ends and then cut into 1/2 or 1/3s,

  2. Core to remove the flesh using a thin knife, creating a space to add the filling, then set aside.

  3. In a large bowl add in all the ingredients and use your hands to thoroughly combine.

  4. Fill each courgette and arrange them in a large casserole facing up.

  5. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and fill with water til the courgettes are just covered. 

  6. Over a low heat, simmer for 40 minutes.

  7. When ready, remove from heat and set aside.

  8. When cooled slightly, carefully pour the courgette juice into a bowl through a sieve, to catch any stray pieces of rice or vegetables.


For the avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce

  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the butter until it melts.

  2. Add the flour and whisk until a roux /creamy paste forms and turns a light golden.

  3. Whisking continuously, add the courgette juice in batches and mix until the sauce thickens.

  4. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg and egg yolks. Mix thoroughly to avoid any lumps. You can also pass the sauce through a strainer if you wish.

  5. Serve the stuffed courgettes with the avgolemono sauce, a sprinkle of fresh dill and feta cheese.

SERVE THIS WITH.

HEALTH BENEFITS.

Courgettes/ zucchini -  rich in antioxidants, several vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds which may support vision and immune system. (Source)


Arborio rice - is a good source of carbohydrates, which is essential for healthy brain function because glucose is its main energy source. Our bodies need these carbohydrates to function well, think clearly and have energy. (Source)


White onion - high in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects, they consist mostly of water, carbs, and fibre. Their main fibres, called fructans, help feed the good bacteria in your gut. (Source)


Garlic - contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing, helps improve blood pressure, cholesterol and bone health. (Source)


Greek extra virgin olive oil - specifically Greek oil, has the lowest acidity (approximately 0.5%) and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Benefits may include anti-inflammatory properties, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and improves bone calcification. (Source)


Parsley - provides a concentrated source of nutrients, particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K. The vitamins and beneficial plant compounds in parsley may improve bone health, protect against chronic diseases, and provide antioxidant benefits. (Source)


Dill - Ancient Greek soldiers used dill as a medicinal herb and popular wound healer for burns and soothing digestive diseases. Dill is rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin A. (Source)


Lemons - high in heart-healthy vitamin C and several beneficial plant compounds that may lower cholesterol. (Source)


Egg Yolks - contain many essential minerals including Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc and are a great source of many vitamins, as well as healthy fats. (Source)

HAVE YOU MADE THIS?

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  • Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.​

  • Kindly note, by purchasing products via certain affiliate links in this post, I may receive a commission. This in no way increases the cost to you. I only recommend products based on my preferences to help you get the best results. Thank you for your support.

  • Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.

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