Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Quick dinners are always great and when these are low carb and gluten-free is a real bonus. Beef zucchini enchiladas are one of those recipes that you can easily make more of and enjoy the leftovers the next day as a work lunch for example.
So, if you have some ground beef (minced beef) a couple of zucchini (courgettes) and a tomato can or a jar of classic Bolognese sauce you have this dinner put together in no time.
It takes a little effort to slice the zucchini and can do this by using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler ( a Y shape one). They will need to be sliced fairly thin as if they are too thick they will snap.
If your zucchini slices aren't thin enough making it difficult to roll, grill or pan cook these for a little time on both sides just sufficient to soften them slightly. This might work but if it doesn't or you cannot really be bothered, do not worry at all, you can make this dish with layers ( lasagna style). It will be as nice.
You do not like zucchini? Not an issue, you may use:
- aubergine/eggplant - salted and allowed to set aside for at least 30 min
- salad leaves
- cabbage leaves ( will need to blanch)
- spring greens leaves ( blanched just to make it easier to roll)
Don't eat or like beef? Not an issue, these go very well with :
- pre-cooked shredded chicken
- minced turkey
- pre-cooked turkey breast cut into strips
- shredded pork
- minced lamb
Want these vegetarian? Simple thing!
- use tofu or any vegetarian sausages to replace the meat
- use any veggies you may like
Want this dish vegan? It cannot be any easier!
- use vegan cheese,
- use tofu, rice and veg to fill them
- vegan sausage stuffing
- use mushrooms
- use vegetables of your choice and couscous or bulgur
- quinoa and vegetables
There are definitely many ways to make this dish, plenty of alternatives for everyone's taste. Just let me know what you came up with, I would love to hear your version.
This beef enchiladas dish makes a great lunch or dinner, I have made it for brunch too and did throw a few eggs in. It was very nice indeed.
Here are some more delicious recipes to enjoy including these cabbage casserole with minced beef or these delicious cabbage rolls that I can never have enough of.
Beef zucchini enchiladas
- skillet or pan
- oven proof dish
- mandolin or vegetable peeler (best a Y shape)
- 2-3 med zucchini courgette
- 500 g beef mince (17.64 oz) ground beef (I used 5% fat)
- 1 can chopped tomato see recipe notes *
- 200 g cheese ( 7.05 oz) grated *
- 1 large onion
- 1 small leek
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli flakes or cayenne pepper powder (optional)
- 1 tsp Italian Herbs dry
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- Preheat the oven to 190C/385F. Get an ovenproof dish out. Mine was a 25cm diameter but a 30x20cm will also do. You may (although not necessary) spray with cooking spray, grease with oil or butter.
- Get the zucchini ready. Slice these lengthwise into thin slices, sprinkle some salt over them and set aside. Salt will help soften them a little.
- Peel and chop finely the onion, wash and cut into small slices the leek. Cook both in a skillet or a pan on med heat for 2-3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and one generous pinch of red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper powder. Add a drizzle of water or oil. When ready, place aside to cool.
- Place the mince into a bowl, add a little more salt, pepper, season well, add half of the dry herbs, the cooked onions and leek, cumin powder, 1/4 of the tomato sauce and the nutmeg. Mix well until all incorporated.
- Depending on how big the zucchini and the slices you’re using are, set 2 or even 3 slices side-by-side, slightly overlapped, to create a 7-8 cm or 3'' wide strip.
- Spoon in 2-3 spoonfuls of the beef mixture at one end of the zucchini strip. Roll as tight as you can to nicely secure the filling.
- Transfer the rolls or the stuffed zucchini to the prepared ovenproof baking dish. Repeat until all enchiladas are made. They need to be closely tucked in.
- Spoon the remaining salsa over enchiladas and then sprinkle the grated cheese over.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 min. Bake until the cheese gets to a golden brown colour.
- Serve fairly immediately, they go well with some crusty bread, with rice or kept low carb and therefore served with a nice indulgent dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream.
- The mince can also be cooked with the onion and the leek together if you wish and cut the oven time by 5-10 minutes. If you do this the dish will end up with fewer juices in which case you will need to spray, oil or butter the dish before placing the enchiladas. You will also need to allow the filling to rest and get cooked enough to be able to handle it.
- Add as many spices as desired - I particularly like these ones but use the ones you like or have in the pantry cupboard
- You may add other veggies if you wish like, carrots, peas, peppers, black beans.
- Tomato sauce can be a plain one, a bolognese sauce or any pasta, fajita, enchiladas or salsa sauce.
- If you do not manage to make the courgettes thin enough for these to be able to roll them, do not worry, make the dish a lasagna style with layers.