Mince And Courgette Bake | Cook Once Eat Twice

This mince and courgette bake is one of those meals you can freeze. I make two at a time, one for dinner straight away. The other gets popped into the freezer for me to take out the night we get home from travelling. Or for nights I really do not feel like cooking.

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Sometimes when making arrangements with people we leave the time and place up to them. We are usually very flexible when it comes to where we meet as we don’t mind having to drive somewhere. The only thing we are not flexible with is eating at an establishment we don’t enjoy. Timing for us is not really an issue as the dogs can be fed early if need be. And if we have to go somewhere straight after work then James will feed the dogs. The only night we do not make plans for is a Thursday when Dave works late. A few weeks ago a friend suggested we meet up for a drink before dinner at a local beach front restaurant. He chose the time and place and 15 minutes before we were meant to be there we left the house. We arrived early and chose a table outside.

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We then ordered drinks and I sipped on mine slowly as our friends had not yet arrived. Fifteen minutes later I sent a message to say that we were waiting. A quarter of an hour later I sent a message saying we had left. No sooner had we walked halfway home they sent a message saying they were on their way. So we walked back only to find they actually were not on their way. We walked home and suggested they meet us at our place. While waiting for them to arrive I popped this mince and courgette bake into the oven. I cooked it from frozen as it is one of my emergency meals. I had not prepared anything as I was not sure if we would eat at the restaurant or not. Do you freeze ready-made meals?

Mince And Courgette Bake

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Mince And Courgette Bake

This is a great freezer meal and you can make use of any vegetable for the layering
Recipe Category: Meat
All Rights Reserved: an original recipe from Lavender and Lime


for the mince

  • 15 mls olive oil
  • 1 kg mince
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 250 mls red wine
  • 1 x 400 g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 15 mls tomato paste
  • 10 mls dried oregano
  • 5 mls fructose
  • 10 mls beef stock powder

for the bechamel

  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g flour
  • 500 mls milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

to assemble

  • 4 courgettes thinly sliced lengthwise *
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 120 g cheddar cheese grated
  • Smoked paprika for sprinkling


for the mince

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the mince in batches, seasoning as you go along
  • Set aside and sauté the onion until soft
  • Add the garlic and return the mince to the pan
  • Add the wine, stir, and bring to the boil
  • Tip the tomatoes into the pan and pop them open using a wooden spoon
  • Stir in the tomato paste, dried oregano, fructose and stock
  • Reduce the temperature and leave to simmer until all the moisture has evaporated
  • Set aside to cool slightly while you make the bechamel

for the bechamel

  • Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and then stir in the flour
  • Once incorporated add 100mls of the milk and whisk to combine
  • Add the rest of the milk, whisk and leave to thicken
  • Season to taste and then begin to assemble the dish

to assemble

  • Place courgette slices at the bottom of an oven proof dish
  • Season to taste and then top with some mince
  • Carry on with the layering, ending with a mince layer
  • Top with the bechamel sauce and then sprinkle on the cheese and smoked paprika
  • Bake for 30 minutes unless frozen

if frozen

  • Bake for 30 minutes then remove the lid
  • Continue baking for another 45 minutes


* I have tried this recipe using 2 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced. The baking time needs to be increased by 15 minutes if you use potatoes.

I am away for the long weekend. For those of you celebrating I wish you a great Pesach, or Easter. I will be back at work on the 4th of April and will start replying to blog comments then.

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime March 30:

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