I know what you’re thinking.
“Ooooh, stuffed mushrooms! Finally, a vegetarian appetizer! I wonder if it’s healthy…”
I’m sorry, sweet friend, but today is not the day for vegetarian or healthy appetizers.
While I have a soft spot for those and other fun veggies (remember, I’m the girl who wants to make cabbage sexy), today we are talking about roasted mushrooms stuffed with sausage, two kinds of cheese, and crunchy breadcrumbs.
The only thing green about this are the little flecks of parsley. And the only healthy thing we are discussing today is my appetite.
After all, Thanksgiving is just a few days away. And if I’m not mistaken, that’s a day for stuffing. Stuffing turkey, stuffing mushrooms, stuffing yourself full of warm holiday dishes.
These poppers are white mushrooms caps filled with a mixture of spicy Italian sausage, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and crispy Panko breadcrumbs. You’ll get spicy, creamy, umami, and meaty in one bite. Or two bites, since I used pretty big mushrooms.
If you’re still thinking of a new stuffing recipe, this stuffing isn’t just for mushrooms, either. You can use it to stuff chicken, turkey, pork loin, zucchini, eggplant. You don’t even have to use it as stuffing. You can just eat a small bowl for a snack. I won’t judge. (Please don’t judge me.)
But if you insist on a healthy vegetarian dish that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, may I suggest The Best Thanksgiving Side Ever?
Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, shallots, and garlic are roasted in a sweet and spicy maple syrup dressing. It’s a sure crowd-pleaser.
But so are these stuffed mushrooms…
20 oz fresh large white mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
2 garlic cloves
2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs (you can substitute Italian-flavored breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Give your mushrooms a quick cleaning by using a damp paper towel to wipe each mushroom to remove dirt. You can also rinse in water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove the stems from mushrooms and chop finely. Set aside.
- Place the mushroom caps in a lined baking sheet, and brush them with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, separating and crumbling it. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add breadcrumbs and mix until well combined with the other ingredients. Fold in ricotta, then turn off heat and add Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Fill each mushroom cap generously with the stuffing mixture. Arrange mushrooms in a baking pan or baking dish, and bake for 45 minutes, until tops are golden brown and crusty.
adapted from an Ina Garten recipe
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week, everyone!