Stuffed Marrow with a delicious bolognese sauce made with beef mince and veggies, and topped with cheesy bechamel sauce, a delightfully low-carb dinner. Very easy to make with simple ingredients, this is a dish after my own heart.
Marrow can be classed as a courgette/zucchini left to grow larger, and has the same watery texture and soft skin that can be consumed without peeling off. Having a pretty bland taste on their own, marrows are great at soaking off flavours from other ingredients, thus giving us delicious dishes that are healthy and nutritious.
Who doesn't like bolognese sauce? I certainly do. If you are bored of the same good old Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe, using it to stuff the marrow takes this simple squash to the very next level. And if that sounds delicious as it is, top it with a cheesy white sauce and you have just created a dish fit for a king.
It might look like there is a lot of work, but making this dish is a lot easier than you'd think. If you make a large batch of bolognese sauce, you can use it for any other dishes like: Gnocchi Bolognese, or simply freeze it for a later dish.
You can just half the marrow, or quarter it if it's large. I quartered mine, and made 4 good-sized portions of stuffed marrow that went down a treat with us.
Step-by-step photos and instructions to make stuffed marrow
I divided my work into 4 parts: the first was preparing the marrow, the second was making the bolognese sauce, and the third making the bechamel sauce, and the last one stuffing and baking it.
Preparing the marrow
The marrow needs no peeling, just a quick rinse and drying gently with a kitchen towel. Cut it in half or quarters depending on it's size, and use a spoon to scoop out the white fluffy flesh, leaving an approximately 1 cm thick edges.
Arrange the quarters on a baking try, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over, and bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) until just tender.
You can roast them for a lot longer, depending on the their thickness, but bear in mind that they will roast further after stuffing. It also depends if you like your veggies super soft or with a bit of a bite.
The bolognese sauce
I used beef mince for my sauce, for any other meat or meat alternatives can be used instead. You can get the recipes here for turkey bolognese and quorn bolognese.
- in a large pan, heat up the oil, add the peeled and chopped onion and fry until golden
- add the beef mince, and use a wooden spoon to break it into pieces
- cook until the meat is no longer pink
- add the peeled and chopped carrots, bay leaves and garlic
- pour in the beef stock/broth and chopped tomatoes, place a lid on and cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is reduced
- add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper, and give it a good stir
- remove from the heat and stuff the cooked marrow quarters with it
The bechamel sauce
This sauce really is amazing. It goes so well with so many dishes, from Cheesy Chicken Potato Bake, to Croque Monsieur, Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon and so many more.
- in a frying pan, melt the butter, add the flour and stir
- pour over the milk, and whisk well until it thickens
- add the grated cheddar and parmesan cheese, black pepper and dijon mustard and whisk again
- top the stuffed marrow and bake in the preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 10-15 minutes or until golden and bubbling hot
I absolutely loved this marrow recipe, it's such a fabulous way of transforming a bland veggie into a spectacular dish, or revamping good old sauce recipes. The same recipe would work with courgettes - although the cooking time will be less, given their size, or any other squash.
The taste reminded me of my High Protein Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna, which is pretty much the same thing just in a very different presentation and cooking time.
Having said low carb stuffed marrow, the bechamel sauce does use a tablespoon of regular wheat flour. For a keto version, replace it with corn flour (cornstarch) and problem solved. Do give it a try!
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- 250 g beef mince
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 cup beef stock/broth
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400 g, 13 oz)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the bechamel sauce
- 25 g butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or any other hard cheese)
- 2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- Quarter the marrow, and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about a cm on the edges.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over, arrange on a baking tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes until nearly tender.
- To make the bolognese sauce, heat up the oil in a cooking pan, add the peeled and chopped onion, and fry until golden.
- Add the ground beef, and use a wooden spoon to break it into pieces until no longer pink.
- Add the peeled and chopped garlic and carrots, bay leaves, stock and chopped tomatoes.
- Cover the pan with a lid, and leave to cook until the liquid is reduced, and we have a sauce, that could take 20 minutes or so.
- Add the tomato puree, season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
- Stuff the cooked marrow quarters.
- To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and whisk.
- Pour in the milk, and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens.
- Add the dijon mustard, ground black pepper and grated cheeses.
- Whisk to get a thick sauce.
- Pour the sauce on top of the bolognese.
- Bake for a further 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) until golden.
- Garnish with fresh parsley - optional.
Could you do this on the barbq?
I would bbq the marrow first, then add the sauce to it and cheese, and have it on the bbq again for the cheese to melt.