Tender and delicious, these stuffed mushrooms are the perfect appetizer to pass around—they're filled with Italian sausage and Vermont cheddar in a sweet-n-savory stuffing!
Stuffed Mushrooms, a Delectable Little Appetizer
Part of the fun of a casual little get-together or even a more formal dinner party is the opportunity to whip up and serve some sumptuous appetizers, something that I must admit I thoroughly enjoy!
When it comes to appetizers, a good rule of thumb is to keep them to around one to two bites; and for this, my favorite way to go is stuffed mushrooms, scrumptiously filled with stuffing and topped with a sprinkle of Vermont cheddar!
They're so earthy and delicious, not to mention cute!
The beauty of stuffed mushrooms is that they're fairly easy to prepare. They can be made ahead of time, then simply baked off to golden perfection just before serving.
They're delicious whether enjoyed hot out of the oven or even at room temperature—the perfect appetizer!
This recipe is definitely something to have handy when the need arises, whether it's the holidays, a special occasion, or even just a casual meet up.
They're a wonderfully filling and rustic-yet-cozy offering, and they're sure to make hungry bellies very happy!
Sweet-n-Savory Ingredients for Stuffed Mushrooms
Because complex and earthy flavors are ideal from a one to two-bite appetizer, I created my stuffed mushroom recipe with that in mind.
A few simple ingredients such as finely cubed French bread, some crumbled sweet sausage, onions, and seasonings are used to prepare a light stuffing; and to that I add a hint of chopped dried apple and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
This sweet-savory combination of ingredients pairs really well with baby portobello mushrooms, and offers a lot of flavor with a relatively small handful of ingredients—something I always appreciate!
How to Make Stuffed Mushrooms
The process for preparing stuffed mushrooms is quite simple, and basically involves two components: the filling (which is a stuffing in this case), and the mushrooms themselves.
To make things easy, I prepare my mushrooms and the filling ahead of time. Then, when I'm ready to serve, all that's left is to fill the mushrooms, place them onto a baking sheet, and bake!
Here's an overview of my stuffed mushroom recipe:
- First, I saute my sausage and onion, then combine that mixture with the rest of the ingredients for my stuffing.
- To prep the mushrooms, I remove the stems and gently scrape out the gills with a spoon.
- I fill each mushroom with a heaping spoonful of stuffing, then bake them on a sheet pan for roughly 25 minutes, or until golden.
- As a finishing touch, I melt some Vermont cheddar over top for even more savory goodness.
- When ready to serve, I place the stuffed mushrooms onto a platter, garnish, and serve!
Tips & Tidbits for Stuffed Mushrooms:
- Baby portobellos, or cremini mushrooms: This recipe is for mushrooms that are going to be about 1-2 bites each, and baby portobellos are perfect. Cremini mushrooms are actually considered baby portobellos as well; they can be smaller, but also good for this recipe.
- Sweet sausage, or go vegetarian: My choice for this recipe is sweet Italian sausage, but you can also use spicy if you prefer. You can omit the sausage altogether as well for a vegetarian preparation, and even substitute a splash of veggie stock for the chicken stock.
- Say cheese: I use a delicious Vermont cheddar cheese for this recipe; but you can use sharp cheddar, gruyere, or your preferred variety of cheese. Something with a mix or savory-sweet is ideal.
- Prepare ahead for easy stuffed mushrooms: If you'd like to get a head start on the recipe and make a day or two before you plan on serving, prepare the stuffing mixture and keep it covered in the fridge. You could also prepare the mushroom caps and stuff them ahead as well. Simply fill the mushroom caps with your prepared stuffing, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you're ready, all you have left to do is bake and serve.
- Herbs: I use a combination of herbs here, with thyme being one of them, even as a garnish. You can substitute parsley, sage, or even a hint of rosemary—just go a little more sparingly on the latter two as they are stronger in flavor.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: 12 mushrooms
Nutrition Info: 117 calories (per stuffed mushroom)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
• Olive oil
• 3 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed
• ½ small onion, finely diced
• 6 ounces (a little less that half a loaf) French bread, finely cubed
• ¼ cup dried apples, chopped
• 6 fluid ounces chicken stock, warm
• 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped, divided use
• 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
• ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ½ cup grated Vermont cheddar (or any extra sharp, white cheddar), divided use
• Freshly cracked black pepper
• 12 mini portobello mushrooms, stems removed and gills scraped out
-Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil
-Place a medium-size saute pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil; add the sweet Italian sausage into the hot pan, and break it up into as fine a crumble as possible while it browns for a few moments; once browned, remove the sausage from pan, and set aside; leave the heat on the pan.
-Next, add the diced onion into the same hot pan, and saute it in the drippings for a couple of minutes until golden-brown; set aside for a moment.
-To make the stuffing, add the finely cubed French bread into a medium-size bowl; next, add in the browned and crumbled sausage, the sauteed onion, the dried apples, the chicken stock, the melted butter, the parsley, 1 teaspoon of the fresh thyme leaves, the honey or maple syrup, and the Italian seasoning.
-Using your hands, mix the stuffing together very well to incorporate the ingredients.
-Next, add in ¼ cup of the grated Vermont cheddar along with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and once again incorporate those into the stuffing until combined.
-To stuff the mushrooms, first drizzle a little olive oil over each cap, and add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
-Stuff each cap with about 2-3 tablespoons worth of the stuffing, or enough so that it overflows a little above the top of the mushroom cap, and drizzle just a touch more olive oil over and bake for about 25 minutes until mushrooms are tender and the stuffing warm.
-To finish the mushrooms, sprinkle over each one a little of the remaining ¼ cup of Vermont cheddar, and place back into the oven for a few minutes more to melt the cheese.
-To serve, plate the mushrooms and top each of them with a sprinkle of the remaining 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.
Hungry for another tasty appetizer recipes? Check out these Crispy Caprese Meatballs, these Arancini, or these Chicken Lettuce Wraps!
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!
Absolutely love the creativity put into this recipe. The flavour combinations are so intriguing and they sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing...
The Cozy Apron
Thank you Shannon!
Julie @ Cooks with Cocktails
These look sooo good! Love the sausage, apple, cheddar combo! These are going on the list 🙂
The Cozy Apron
Hey Julie! Hope you enjoy!
I made these as an appetizer on Thanksgiving for the gathering I was attending. My host's requested stuffed mushrooms... I chose these as I was interested in the sweet and savory. The moment they were descended upon I heard a shout out of 15 stars on a scale of 10 !! Outstanding my host said... I was a little bit embarrassed by the accolades but immediately tried one as I had tasted the stuffing cold which was very tasty! These were amazing... my only substitution was Vermont maple syrup for the honey...and added a pinch of smokey paprika!! Definitely making them for the annual Christmas party I attend !! Delicious!!
The Cozy Apron
I am so thrilled & tickled by your comment! Job well done! Very glad that these were a success for you, and that you received such amazing compliments...that's wonderful. Enjoy for Christmas, and thanks so much for sharing your precious experience with me!
These sound amazing and I want to make for Christmas Eve but most guests don’t eat meat. Is there anything you suggest as a substitute? I’m sure the sausage adds lots of flavor and I don’t want them to be bland. Thanks in advance!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Maureen! These are perfect for Christmas Eve (my hubby and I will be making them for our New Year's Eve!), and can certainly be made vegetarian.
Yes, the sausage does add good flavor, but you can "cheat" things a bit. There are lots of vegetarian "meats" available these days in that section of the market where you find vegetarian options. They have seasoned ground soy (looks like ground beef with various flavors), or other strips that resemble meat and its texture that could be finely minced and added. (This is good because it takes the place of the sausage in bulk/volume.) And honestly, no one would really know the difference because it is a part of a stuffing.
Or, you can simply omit any of that altogether. The seasoning in the mixture is really good already, so you honestly will not have to worry about it being bland. The only issue would be it being a bit "light" and having a little less mixture because the sausage is not a part of it.
Another option is that you could always get another package of mushrooms, chop those up very well and sauté them (with a bit of garlic), and have that be the "meat". Drain the mushroom mixture of any extra liquid, and then add that to the other ingredients. (Also sub veggies stock in place of chicken for vegetarian.)
Hope that offers you some good suggestions! You can now choose what sounds best to you. Hope you and your guests enjoy!
Thank you SO much for responding so quickly! Great ideas and I appreciate all of them! I’m going to buy another package of mushrooms, chop them up, sauté with garlic and add to the mixture. Love that suggestion:-) I’ll also use veggie stock. I can’t wait to make these for my guests Christmas Eve! I’ll let you know how they come out. Thanks so much!!
The Cozy Apron
My pleasure, Maureen! Happy cooking!
Merry Christmas Ingrid! I just had to tell how much I love these mushrooms! Hands down the BEST I’ve ever made or eaten - anywhere. This will be my go to stuffed mushrooms recipe from now on. The sausage wasn’t missedI did use chicken stock instead of veggie stock. I doubled the recipe. So moist with that incredible bit of crunchiness on top. Very tasty and yummy! Loved by all!
Oh and I also made your Grown Up Mac & Cheese. Again it was the BEST Mac & Cheese I’ve ever had! So creamy and delicious. Just perfect!
Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to making more of your amazing recipes!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Maureen, thanks so much for the rave review! 😉
I'm so happy these turned out so delicious for you—I was hoping they would! (Funny enough, my hubby and I also prepared these as a little appetizer before our Christmas Eve dinner.)
It makes me so happy that you've found your go-to recipe for these, and plan on preparing them whenever the occasion calls for them.
Thanks so much for sharing!