Qarabali Mimli (Maltese Stuffed Marrows)

Qarabali Mimli – A Maltese Stuffed Courgette Recipe (Vegan)

Qarabali mimli il-forn is one of Malta’s most loved comfort foods. ‘Qarabali’ in English translates to courgettes or marrows or zucchini, depending on your location. 

In Maltese cuisine, qarabali mimli refers to stuffed round courgettes and not the long ‘stuffed zucchini boat’. In this part of the Mediterranean, round courgettes are much more popular than the cucumber looking type. 

Qarabali mimli on a wooden tray decorated with red lentils

Since this is a hugely popular traditional Maltese recipe, I grew up eating it very frequently. Although I must admit, as a kid, it was never really one of my favourites. Mainly due to the fact that I didn’t quite like vegetables in general. My mum struggled to make me and my brother eat our greens and always used to come up with every possible invention to sneak some veggies into our food. 

As my tastebuds matured, I grew to love this Maltese food and it became a staple in my meal planning. I love to prepare a large batch of this delightful treat and keep it stored in the freezer for those days when I have 0 time to cook. 

Qarabali Mimli are traditionally stuffed with minced meat in tomato sauce and topped with a generous helping of Cheese. This one’s a vegan twist on the classic, making it a fantastic recipe for weight loss. 

Maltese stuffed marrows topped with vegan grated cheese

How to make stuffed courgettes 

This vegetarian stuffed courgette recipe is fairly simple to make. All you need to do is boil the lentils and meanwhile, stir fry the main ingredients in olive oil. You then add the lentils and some seasoning to the mix and stuff it into the cored marrow. The hardest part is waiting patiently for the courgettes to bake for around 45 minutes. 

And voila, you’ve got yourself a totally filling, divine tasting, healthy lunch or snack. 

What’s not to love about food which is nutritious and healthy yet tastes just as incredible?

These lovely lentil and mushroom stuffed courgettes surely taste like a treat and are an awesome twist on the well-loved food. And to top it all, lentils come packed with numerous health benefits. They’re a great source of protein and dietary fibre and are also rich in iron, minerals and B-Vitamins. Not to mention that they’re an inexpensive and easy to cook ingredient, what more could you possibly wish for?

Maltese Qarabali Mimli (stuffed marrows)

Did I mention that this stuffed courgette recipe contains ONLY 70 calories per serving? Now that’s an awesome treat, especially for those on a diet! And I can promise you that it tastes so much more decadent than the calories it contains! If you’re set on losing weight, tasty recipes like this one can be a real godsend. It’s nice to eat something that really tastes like comfort food without the calories. 

If you’re wondering what to do with the courgette flesh, don’t throw this away. You can use the zucchini flesh to make soup, fritters, or even some zucchini bread if sweets are more your thing. Speaking of which, don’t forget to check out the diet recipes section for a bunch of guilt-free sweet recipes that will make you forget you’re on a diet. 

Want to discover more Maltese recipes? Check out this stuffed aubergine (brungiel mimli) recipe and this low calorie baked pasta casserole!  

Qarabali Mimli (Maltese Stuffed Marrows)

Qarabali Mimli (Maltese Stuffed Marrows) – Vegan Version

Geraldine Bartolo
Qarabali Mimli is a Maltese stuffed courgette recipe. At just 70 calories per serving, this vegetarian dish is the perfect recipe for weight loss.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Maltese, Mediterranean
Servings 8 Stuffed Marrows
Calories 70 kcal


  • Glass Baking Dish (30cm x 25cm)


  • 8 Medium Marrows
  • 200 g Split Red Lentils
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Onion
  • 200 g Mushrooms
  • 2 tsp Bouillon Stock
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Curry or mixed spice of choice
  • 2 tbsp Kunserva
  • 20 g Vegan Parmesan
  • 15 g Nutritional Yeast
  • 50 g Vegan Cheese for topping


  • Preheat oven to 200°C
  • Boil lentils for 5 minutes and drain
  • Meanwhile, wash marrows, remove the top, and gently remove the core with a spoon. It’s best to choose medium to large marrows as small ones are easier to break while removing the inside
  • Fry the garlic, and onions in some olive oil, add mushrooms and stir fry
  • Top with bouillon stock mixed with water, herbs and spices of choice
  • Add kunserva and cooked lentils to the mixture
  • Add vegan parmesan and nutritional yeast. These ingredients help the mixture come together in a rich, mushy texture
  • Stuff marrows, top with vegan cheese, and bake for 45 – 55 minutes


If you use My Fitness Pal to log your food, you can find this recipe listed on the database as ‘The Healthy Malteser Qarabali Milmi (Stuffed Marrow)’.

Did you give this simple tofu recipe a go? We’d love to hear from you! Rate the recipe and leave your comments below. And don’t forget to Tag @TheHealthyMalteser on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to have your recipe featured in our stories! 

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    1 thought on “Qarabali Mimli – A Maltese Stuffed Courgette Recipe (Vegan)”

    1. Sandra Banavage

      I tried this recipie and it turned out really good. I used the brown lentils instead of the red and with the extra stuffing i filles in some obergenes as well.
      Great and yummy recipie!

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