Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Everyone who loves mushrooms loves stuffed mushrooms. They can be filled with any of the foods and flavors that tickle your fancy: seafood, veggies, meat, cheese, um… more mushrooms! Whichever way you choose to stuff your shrooms here are a few tips and tricks to avoid a couple of common stuffed mushroom problems.

Bring forth the tips!

The first potential issue with stuffing shrooms is that mushrooms always release liquid as they cook. If you stuff raw mushrooms:

  1. You’ll probably end up with soggy results no matter what filling you use.
  2. There’s a chance that the mushrooms won’t be cooked through and tender at the point where the filling is cooked and ready.

To avoid this always roast your caps on a baking rack before filling them, and always use a filling that is completely cooked and just needs to be warmed and browned. This step cooks the mushrooms through so they’re already nice and tender by the time they get filled. It also allows the mushrooms to release their juices, and by baking them on a rack over a pan the liquid drips down and they don’t sit there in their sad little juices.

The second problem I’ve run into with stuffed mushrooms is getting that perfectly golden brown crunch on top without scorching it under the broiler. If the mushroom caps are topped with cheese instead of breadcrumbs then broil away (just don’t WALK away). But if you’re going for a crunchy topping I have two tips:

  1. Use more oil in your breadcrumb mixture than you would think necessary. That oil is the key to getting those bready bits golden and not blackened.
  2. Don’t have your oven rack too close to the broiler. To get any filling bubbly, cheese melty, or breadcrumbs goldeny you’re gonna need those mushrooms to broil at least 2-3 minutes under a really hot broiler. If they’re too close to the broiler then that’s gonna be tricky, especially with breading.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

Shrooms

  • 12-15 baby portobello mushrooms (2-3 inches wide)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (divided)

Filling

  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 4-6 cloves fresh garlic (grated or minced)
  • 3/4lb bulk Italian sausage
  • 4oz soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup green onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Topping

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cups panko bread crumbs

Directions

Step 1
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set aside to mince and use in the filling.

Divide the mushrooms evenly between two gallon-size resealable bags. Into each bag add 2 Tbls. oil, 1 Tbs. vinegar, and a pinch of salt over the mushrooms. Seal up the bags, toss everybody around, and set aside. Let the mushrooms hang out for about 10 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees, flipping the bags every couple minutes.

Once the oven is nice and hot and the mushrooms have soaked up some flavor place the mushrooms, flat side down, onto an oven-safe rack set on top of a rimmed baking pan. Bake the shrooms about 20 minutes, or until they are tender and have released their juice.
Step 2
Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced stems with a pinch of salt and stir occasionally for around 8-10 minutes.

Once the onions have softened a bit and the stems have released their juices stir in the garlic. Cook until the garlic is nice and fragrant, about a minute or so.

Step 3
Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the Italian sausage. Cook the sausage, breaking it into very small pieces as you stir it until completely browned. When the sausage is almost finished browning stir in the 1/3 c. panko.

Turn off the heat and stir in the green onion and goat cheese. Mush around and stir until the cheese has softened and thoroughly blended into the mixture.

Step 4
In a small bowl, mix together the other 2/3 c. panko, parsley, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 c. olive oil.

It may seem like a lot of oil, but that is what's really gonna help those crumbs brown up beautifully instead of scorching.
Step 5
Preheat your broiler to 450 degrees and make sure that your upper oven rack is at least 6-8 inches below the heat source.
Step 6
Using your fingers gently fill the mushroom caps with the meat & cheese mixture.

You want plenty of filling in each cap, but keep in mind that you'll also be adding the crunchy topping. Go for slightly mounded, and make sure to gently pack it in so that when you dip them into the panko mix the filling doesn't fall out.
Step 7
Carefully dip/press each cap, filling side down, into the bowl of panko mixture.

I like to use a small spoon to help gently get the cap upside down into the crumbs and then right side up again. Then I use my fingers to press another pinch or two of the crumbs on top for good measure.
Step 8
Place the filled and crumbed caps back onto the rack they roasted on earlier and broil for 2-4 minutes.

They should be golden brown and bubbly. The tricks are:
1) Plenty of oil in the topping
2) Not placed too close to the broiler
3) Do NOT walk away or do anything else while they're broiling
Step 9
This recipe will make enough filling and crunchy topping to stuff about double this amount of shrooms.

I personally love having the leftover filling and topping. I stuff pork chops, chicken breast, or a small loin roast with the filling and then bread with the panko mix.

However, you can simply double your amount of mushrooms (around 24 mushrooms 2-3 inches wide). If you make a full batch of mushrooms, just remember to only use the stems from about twelve of them for the filling, and of course, you'll need more balsamic and oil to marinate the rest of the gang.
Step 10
Yum.
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