One of my favourite ways to eat courgette is in this dish, oven-baked in tomato passata mixed with basil pesto and stuffed with mushrooms, onions, garlic and lentils.  A dish full of plant-based protein and full of flavour.  Serve with a side of peppery rocket leaves which compliment this dish really well whilst adding those nutrient-dense greens to your plate.

Garlic, Mushroom & Lentil Stuffed Courgette Spirals in Pesto Passata

The Balanced Kitchen
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine English, Mediterranean
Servings 2 servings


  • 30cm diameter round oven proof dish.


  • 1 large onion peeled, chopped finely
  • 200 g mushrooms washed, chopped small
  • 2 tins green lentils rinsed, drained
  • 3 large cloves garlic peeled, minced
  • 1 TBSP dried mixed herbs
  • 700 g tomato passata
  • 2 Spoonfuls green basil pesto
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 large courgettes washed, ends removed, shaved into thin strips using peeler


  • Begin by placing the chopped onion and chopped mushrooms into a large frying pan and cook over a low-medium heat with a lid placed on top, for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook for another few minutes to allow the liquid released from the mushrooms to evaporate. You so not need to add any oil to the pan.
  • Whilst the onions and mushrooms are cooking, rinse and drain the 2 tins of green lentils then add them to the frying pan.
  • Next, add the minced garlic and dried herbs and stir to combine. Leave to cook for a few minutes to allow any moisture to evaporate. Now add 1/3 of the tomato passata. Stir to combine then turn off the heat.
  • If you haven't already prepared the courgette strips, do this now. Use a peeler to carefully peel lots of thin strips of courgette, ready for rolling. You will need about 40 strips to fill a 30cm round oven proof dish.
  • In the bottom of the oven proof dish, pour the remaining tomato passata and the 2 spoonfuls of basil pesto, stir together.
  • Roll each of the courgette strips into a roll with a 1" centre and place it into the dish on top of the passata and pesto mixture. Start at the side of the dish and continue placing the rolls all around and into the centre until the whole dish has been filled.
  • Use a small spoon to fill each of the courgette rolls with the mushroom and lentil mixture. Once all of the rolls have been filled, use any leftover mixture to fill the gaps between the rolls so that it is compact.
  • Place the dish in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 30mins until cooked through.
  • Serve with a generous helping of greens such as rocket leaves and some ground black pepper.
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