This week, I have two potlucks to attend, so on top of the regular meals for the week I needed some crowd-pleasers (not that I’m complaining- who doesn’t love sharing a meal with friends?)
The first was a dinner party on Sunday so I had plenty of time to prepare, but the second was during work hours on Wednesday so I needed a make-ahead recipe. For the dinner party I made stuffed mushrooms and for the second party, a dill dip with pita chips. (Due to some time constraints, I’ll be posting the dill dip recipe next week. I had planned a two-for-one post, but pesky real life got in the way!)
Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms/Spicy Sausage Mushrooms with Paprika
Stuffed mushrooms are very budget-friendly and customizable. For example, this time I decided to stuff some of the mushrooms with spinach and cheese (my favorite mixture), some with spicy sausage, and a few with a mixture of both. Although I don’t eat sausage, I knew that most of the people attending this party do and I wanted to try something new.
- 3 packages of mushrooms, cleaned (I used organic Baby Bellas but pretty much any kind will work)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika for sprinkling on top
For the spinach mixture:
- 1 16-oz package frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
- 16 oz package of goat cheese
- 1-2 cloves of garlic and about 1/4 yellow onion, chopped (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
For the sausage mixture:
- 1 16-oz package of spicy ground sausage
- Shredded cheddar cheese, about 1/2 cup
Since there’s both a vegetarian recipe and a non-vegetarian recipe here, it takes a little planning to get both done. When alternating steps, I’ve bolded the type of filling in hopes it keeps things straight.
- Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil in a nonstick saute pan. Once it is heated through, add the garlic cloves and onion, cooking until they are slightly browned. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- While the garlic and onions are cooking, gently pop the stems out of the mushrooms. Clean them gently with a wet cloth or paper towel. (Gently is important here, or they’ll break and not be usable. There’s some debate on how to clean mushrooms, but for our purposes, they need to be intact and somewhat dry so I prefer this method.)
- If making sausage mushrooms: this is a good time turn your pan heat to medium and start browning your meat. It should not be cooked completely through as it will finish in the oven, and will become rubbery if cooked too long on the stove.
- For the spinach mixture: combine all the ingredients and a teaspoon of olive oil and mix thoroughly. Fill each mushroom cap with a heaping serving of filling. Since the mushroom caps are varying sizes, there’s really no measuring this. Just fill until it looks good!
- There should be spinach mixture left over, so if making spinach and sausage mixture, set it aside. If not, you can use this in other recipes- mixed in pasta sauce or as filler for portabello mushrooms as a dinner entree are two really easy ways to use leftovers.
- By this time, your sausage should be cooked enough. Remove it from the pan and fill each cap with a heaping helping of sausage.
- Before doing any further steps, wash your hands! (This the mama and vegetarian in me talking. Raw meat contamination…ewwwwww.)
- If making the spinach and sausage mushroom, mix together all the leftover spinach mixture and sausage, and fill the remaining caps.
- Sprinkle all the mushrooms generously with paprika.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes. I used glass pans, but baking sheets work as well. I like pans with sides because sometimes mushrooms roll and you don’t want to lose them in your oven; I can tell you this from experience.
- For the sausage mushrooms, remove about 5 minutes early and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese, then return to the oven until melted.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately. If transporting to another location, like I did, cover tightly with foil until just before serving. Mine were eaten about 40 minutes after baking and still tasted fine cooled.
What are some of your favorite party foods? I love these mushrooms because they’re so versatile. I’ve added different kinds of cheese to the spinach mixture, and I’m sure someone who eats sausage could recommend yummy fillings to mix in. I was debating adding sriracha to the spinach mixture, but since it was for a party I didn’t want to make anything too spicy. I also think a harder cheese, like Pecorino romano, would be delicious.
What’s your favorite filling? Share in the comments.
Tune in next week for part 2 of party food!