Jade Leighton | @_jadeleighton

Jade says:

“Courgettes are botanically classified as fruits but in the culinary world they are considered a vegetable. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why they are so diverse when cooking with them. This cheesy stuffed courgettes recipe is a great vegetarian dish for late summer/early autumn when you find these beautiful round courgettes at your local farmers’ market. If you can’t get hold of the round ones, you can use large normal courgettes or marrow.

“The filling is packed with mushrooms, quinoa and blue cheese and the result is a kind of risotto within your baked courgette. My recommendation is to serve with a side salad.”

Serves 4

Prep/cooking time: 45 minutes


  • 4 round courgettes
  • 200g mushrooms
  • ½ red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 100g blue cheese of choice
  • Avocado oil for cooking (or olive oil)
  • 150g dry quinoa
  • 300ml hot water
  • 15g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Lots of cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Salad of choice to serve


  1. Pre-heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 6, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Remove the tops from the courgettes and scoop out the majority of the middle so there is plenty of space inside. Put the scooped-out flesh and seeds to one side. Place the courgettes and their tops on the lined baking tray and drizzle with oil. Place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse the quinoa and boil in salted water (300ml) for 15 minutes until soft.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, dice the onion, courgette flesh, mushrooms and finely chop the garlic.
  5. Preheat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan and fry the diced onion over a medium heat until it begins to soften.
  6. Add the courgette flesh, mushrooms and garlic to the onions and fry everything up. You may find that the courgette creates excess liquid in the pan. In that case, use the lid of your pan to carefully drain the liquid. Crumble the blue cheese into the mixture, leaving a small amount for topping and stir in thoroughly so that it melts.
  7. Drain the quinoa and add to the pan along with the fresh parsley, dried thyme, salt and pepper.
  8. Remove the pre-baked courgettes from the oven and stuff them with the quinoa mushroom mixture, then top with extra blue cheese before returning to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Note: Remaining quinoa mixture can be kept for another day or served with salad and your stuffed courgettes.