If you search for “stuffed mushrooms” on this wide web of the world, you will find many recipes. That’s great for those of us who love recipes, but stuffed mushrooms are one of the easiest appetizers to make without a recipe. You just stuff things in a mushroom hollowed-out mushroom, then roast those mushrooms that you stuffed until they are soft, and any cheese you stuffed them with is melted and browned on top.
Mostly, I use this genre of recipes for inspiration, then—once inspired—take a long hard look at what’s actually in my fridge. Mushrooms are, after all, nature’s bowls, and those bowls were made to be filled with leftovers.
With the exception of desserts, pretty much every leftover can be stuffed into a mushroom. You can make spaghetti stuffed mushrooms, fried rice stuffed mushrooms, crab cake stuffed mushrooms, of last bit o’ pot roast stuffed mushrooms. There is no leftover that isn’t good stuffed into a mushroom.
Stuffed mushrooms can also be served at any meal. Stuff them full of breakfast sausages and cheese (just make sure to cook the sausage before it goes in the mushroom), and serve it next to some scrambled eggs. Stuff them full of random cheese bits and that last spoonful of cream cheese, you have an easy appetizer. You can even make salad stuffed mushrooms—you just have to roast the mushrooms completely before stuffing them. A roasted mushroom stuffed with shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and bacon bits is really boss, especially if you toss the lettuce with a little mayo.
How to make stuffed mushrooms
Making a stuffed mushroom is easy. Clean some white mushrooms, pop out the stems, and gather your “stuffing” ingredients. (The stems can be chopped up and sautéed, then used to bulk up your stuffing.) If you want to add a meat, make sure that meat is cooked before it goes into the mushroom. Also, it helps to have some sort of binder—a little bit of mashed potato or cream cheese can work quite well, though it is not crucial for something like stuffing, rice, or pasta.
Heat your oven to 375℉. Drizzle your mushroom caps with olive oil and toss to coat, then season them with salt and pepper, and place them upside down on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until they give off a good bit of liquid, then remove them from the oven and flip them around. (This pre-roasting step isn’t mandatory, but it will keep them from getting mushy, especially if your stuffing ingredients are likely to give off moisture.)
Mix all of your stuffing ingredients together, then put them in the mushroom. If you are worried about the contents burning, top them with cheese, which acts like a shield and tastes really good. Roast the stuffed mushrooms for another 10-15 minutes, until the stuffing is hot, any cheese is melted, and the mushrooms are soft and browned on the edges.
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