Stuffed vegetables are the easiest way to incorporate more vegetables into daily meals. This dish involves stuffing a hearty filling into the vegetables and cooking them topped with cheese.
Stuffed vegetables are not only an exquisite dish. They are also very nutritious and easy to prepare. The stuffed vegetable recipes are endless since you can use almost any vegetable and introduce assorted fillings. So your options are endless.
Can all vegetables be stuffed?
You have probably eaten stuffed peppers. This is the most popular ingredient to prepare in this way. Peppers are not the unique alternative.
Most vegetables can be stuffed. The requisite is that they have a firm outer shell and an easy-to-take-out inside. So, you can have a solid container with enough interior space to fill.
Here is an exquisite example of a nutritious vegetable to stuff https://minuterice.com/recipes/rice-stuffed-eggplant-parmesan/. Check it and discover different ways of preparing this versatile vegetable.
Following these guidelines, these are the most suitable vegetables to stuff:
Other vegetables that do not have a firm shell but can be filled with extra care are:
- Squash blossoms.
Different types of fillings
You already have several vegetable options. Now, let’s discover different fillings to use.
The fillings are an opportunity to be creative. You can fill vegetables with almost any ingredient, from meats, grains, and pulses, to other vegetables. You can even use the ingredients in your fridge, including leftovers.
The most common fillings are:
- Beef, sausage, tomatoes, and rice.
- Tomato paste, vegetable flesh, mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil.
- Ground beef, pancetta, and marinara sauce.
- Tomato sauce, pork sausage, onions, and Parmesan cheese.
- Shrimp, tomatoes, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese.
- Chorizo, black beans, tomatoes, and onions.
- Garbanzo beans, carrots, celery, and couscous.
- Onion, garlic, chopped nuts, dried fruit, fresh herbs, and rice or couscous.
- Shredded chicken and rice pilaf.
Reasons to prepare stuffed vegetables
Stuffed vegetables need no reasons to eat them. They speak for themselves. They look mouthwatering and attractive just freshly baked.
In case you still have doubts, here is a list of their marvelous characteristics:
- They are an exciting way of eating vegetables. Besides, they look eye-catching and delicious.
- They can be cooked in a few steps with little time and effort.
- They are customizable. You can use any vegetables and fill them with your preferred ingredients or use components you already have at home.
- They are nutritious since you can incorporate more beneficial grains and veggies to boost your body.
- They are a saving-money dish because you can use leftovers and stretch the fillings by adding more rice, couscous, orzo, or beans.
Steps to stuff any vegetable
Depending on the vegetables to decide to use, there can be some extra steps to fill them. However, there are some rules you must always follow as general guidelines.
- Halve the vegetables lengthwise with a sharp knife.
- Scoop out the flesh using a spoon or fork. You have to leave a sturdy shell (about ½-inch-thick) all around.
- Some vegetables need to be precooked to soften them before filling. After preparing, steam them in the oven or microwave.
- If you do not pre-cook the vegetables, cover them with foil before baking. Remove the foil by the end of the cooking process, so, the cheese at the top can melt.
- Use the flesh from the vegetable in the fillings.
- Place the vegetables in a baking tray prepared with oil.
- Once the filling is ready, place it into the vegetable, so try not to overfill them.
- Add cheese to the top of each vegetable.
- For a crunchy texture, you can use the cheese mixed with panko, breadcrumbs, crackers, seeds, or nuts.
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