During the holidays, it can be easy to get derailed when it comes to our health. There is so much temptation all around us with treats galore, lots of cheer, and all of those pre-made hors d’ouevres that simply require us to open a box and turn on the toaster oven.
But with a few fresh ingredients, you can create an amazing hors d’ouevre to take to a party that is not only a crowd-pleaser, but that includes the things our bodies, and our taste buds, crave!
Enter, the stuffed mushroom!
Why I LOVE Mushrooms
I LOVE mushrooms, and use them in many dishes like sauces, soups, stir frys and omelettes, but they’re not often the main event. This recipe changes all that. 🙂
While mushrooms aren’t actually a vegetable, they are a fungus, high in antioxidants, which help neutralize free radicals. They provide a natural source of Vitamin D which helps ward off depression, and they also help us boost our immunity, which is beneficial especially during cold and flu season.
So with the holidays knocking at our doors, I am thrilled to share with you one of my all-time favourite recipes for stuffed mushrooms that combines the flavours of earthy thyme and tart goat cheese. Along with being incredibly tasty, goat cheese is also a great option for people who are lactose intolerant, as they can often tolerate it better than cow’s milk/cheese.
I shot a video to make it even easier to see how simple these stuffed mushrooms are to make. And at the bottom of this post, you can download the recipe. 🙂
As an hors d’oeuvres for a festive occasion, I love serving these on a white platter with a few sprigs of thyme and a few cherry tomatoes.
NOTE: If serving as hors d’oeuvres, you may wish to go with small mushrooms so that people can take just one bite.
If Roger and I are just eating them at home, they usually don’t make it off the baking sheet. 😉 jk we aren’t savages! Ok, we have eaten them off the baking sheet but I usually like to serve them with a big green salad or roasted asparagus as a starter or main meal. 🙂
This was dinner for two on Sunday night. Stuffed mushrooms with leftover chicken, roasted asparagus, yellow peppers and tomatoes.
Caution: They will be very hot right out of the oven, so allow them to cool slightly before popping one in your mouth!
As I mentioned, you can download the recipe at the bottom of this post, but if you'd like a bit more detail, it is found here.
A great added benefit is that this recipe is extremely cost-effective! If you are making loads of these little babies, I suggest hand-picking small white mushrooms at the grocery store (use the brown paper bag to allow your mushrooms to breathe) and buy the 2-pack of goat cheese from Costco (for under $10, you'll have enough goat cheese to do about 10-15 batches of these!). Although I always prefer to buy organic dairy, there are exceptions to this rule when it comes to buying in bulk and saving a ton of money. 🙂
NOTE ON CLEANING MUSHROOMS
You can either wipe your mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel or you can wash them.
You may have been told not to wash your mushrooms, but you absolutely can! The trick is to wash them just prior to use.
Simply place the mushrooms in a bowl of clean water and gently turn them with your hands. You will see the dirt fall away to the bottom of the bowl.
Place them on a towel and pat them very dry.
What You'll Need
16 Whole white mushrooms (size depends on your needs)
1 small cooking onion or one medium shallot
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or Ghee
A few tablespoons goat cheese (about ¼-½ teaspoon per mushroom)
1 clove fresh garlic
4 stalks fresh thyme (can be frozen)
Salt & pepper to taste
How You'll Do It
PREPARING THE MUSHROOMS
Preheat Oven to 400° F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Clean the mushrooms with your preferred method and cut the very ends off each stem. Discard. Remove no more than necessary, as you will be using the stems in the recipe.
Remove the stems by gently pushing and pulling or wiggling them out.
NOTE: If there is no stem, try using a butter knife to gently draw a circle around the stem and remove any interior stem you can.
Arrange the hollowed out mushrooms on your baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd them. Make in batches, if necessary.
PREPARING THE FILLING
Chop the mushroom stems into small pieces using your chef’s knife. Mince onion or shallot. Set aside.
COOKING THE FILLING
Heat frying pan over medium heat and melt the butter/ghee. Add in the onions. Sautée for about 4 minutes until the onions begin to appear translucent.
NOTE: Have your thyme and your garlic ready. This dish will go quickly after you add in the mushroom pieces.
Add in the mushroom pieces. Season well with salt and pepper.
Increase the heat to medium high and sautée for about 3 more minutes, allowing everything to brown.
Add in fresh thyme (if you prefer rosemary, it also tastes great on this recipe but you may want to finely chop it—about 1-3 stalks worth).
Add in one crushed garlic clove and cook, being sure not to let it burn.
Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside, allowing it to cool while you stuff the mushrooms with goat cheese.
STUFFING THE MUSHROOMS
Using a teaspoon, place some goat cheese (about ¼-½ teaspoon) into each mushroom cavity. Remember that a little goes a long way, so there is no need to overstuff. Plus, you need to leave some room for the mushroom/onion mixture.
Once they are all stuffed with cheese, use another teaspoon to scoop mushroom filling onto each mushroom and press down gently with the back of the spoon or your fingers.
ROASTING THE MUSHROOMS
Roast mushrooms in the oven for 15-23 minutes at 400° F, depending on their size. For bite-sized mushrooms, 15-18 minutes should work. For larger mushrooms, you may need 20 or more minutes.
Check them after 15 minutes. You want the whole mushroom to be a medium brown and appear slightly “wrinkled” from the cooking process, but not overly cooked. This will just take a little trial and error. 🙂
If you sample one and the mushroom isn’t cooked enough, simply pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Variations On The Theme
Although I haven't personally tried these variations, I am sure these would be wonderful with blue cheese or even as a vegan appetizer with nothing but the onion/mushroom mixture inside.
For the vegan option, simply use a large onion or 2 medium shallots, or consider using chopped/ground walnuts as well. Swap out the butter/ghee for coconut oil or olive oil.
Sautée the walnuts with the mushroom pieces and continue the recipe as described below. Let me know if you try it!
An Added Benefit Of Taking These To A Holiday Party
One of my favourite parts about taking a home made dish to a party is that it gives me an ice breaker when meeting new people!
I am not a big fan of small talk, but having a conversation about a recipe helps me be more authentic and allows me to connect with others in an intimate, more meaningful way.
I have made many friends standing near the food table at a get-together, sharing favourite recipes and talking about all things yummy. 🙂 Plus, it's always fun to taste things together at a party!
I hope this recipe helps you make some new friends or strengthen your ties with others this holiday season.
Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.
P.S. What is YOUR favourite holiday recipe? I would love to hear! And if you try these, please let me know what you think in the comments below.
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