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Sausage stuffed mushrooms

Spicy sausage stuffed mushrooms recipe

I’ve made these spicy sausage stuffed mushrooms, in one form or another, dozens of times for birthdays and the big holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas/New Year’s and Easter) and frequently as a favor for my sister who brings a giant covered platter of these delectable appetizers to work for special events*. At least I’m being told they’re for work… I’ve made them so many times for her that I have to wonder if she isn’t secretly running a food truck in Dallas.

In fact, I’ve made this recipe so often that I feel like I could whip up a batch from muscle memory alone. And one Christmas, I may have actually done it. I had woken up early — Amish farm-early — to make a giant batch of stuffed mushrooms for our holiday brunch. I’m not much of a morning person as it is, so cleaning and cooking four containers of mushrooms while slipping in and out of a waking dream made for a surreal, trainspotty session in the kitchen. I kept thinking that this was all some sort of latent post-traumatic server stress dream (you servers out there know what I’m talking about **) where my only mission was to inexplicably prep wave after wave of endless mushrooms as fast as humanly possible.

I only have hazy memories of finishing the mushrooms, but finish them I did. Apparently, I used an obscene amount of cayenne by mistake… but I did finish them. Lucky for me, this recipe makes a resilient and addictive appetizer. Even though these unintentionally 5-alarm mushrooms were making their eyes tear and their tongues burn, friends and family could not seem to stop eating them — the compliments just kept rolling in until every last one of those stuffed mushrooms were gone and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

* My sister prefers her stuffed mushrooms without the spicy sausage. And truthfully, I find myself cooking the sans-sausage kind the most often simply because they’re faster and easier to make. But they’re still fantastic.

** Many years later, like many former and current servers, I still occasionally have the typical “server nightmare” where I have to serve an impossible (and growing) amount of tables. Or sometimes I can’t get the evil nightmare kitchen to make the correct order no matter how desperate the situation with my evil nightmare table becomes. One morning — in real life, after back-to-back-to-back doubles — I once couldn’t make my phone work for like 10 minutes until I finally realized I had been putting my server number into my phone’s number pad before I was putting in the actual phone number I was trying to call. 51, in case any of you were wondering.

Image: ForkingSpoon



Spicy sausage stuffed mushrooms recipe

Yields12 Servings

These spicy sausage stuffed mushrooms make for seriously addictive appetizers so don't be surprised when they just seem to disappear at your next party.

Prep Time15 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr

Ingredients

 1 pound crimini mushrooms (AKA Baby Bellas)
 4 ounces Italian sausage
 ½ onion, grated
 ¼ cup white wine
 3 cloves garlic, grated
 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
 ¼ teaspoon paprika
 ¼ teaspoon cayenne
 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchâtel cheese, softened
 2 tablespoons butter
 dried parsley (for garnish)

Instructions

1

Prepare the mushrooms
Remove any excess dirt or debris from the mushrooms by gently wiping with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from each mushroom, setting aside 12-14 of the largest caps for stuffing. Chop the stems and any remaining mushroom caps very fine. (Do not chop the mushroom caps you reserved for later use.)

2

Cook the sausage
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage according to the package instructions (usually 10 to 12 minutes), breaking the sausage up into small, even chunks with a potato masher (see note). Use a flat spatula to scrape off the meat that presses through the masher.
When the sausage has been browned and cooked completely through, remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess grease.

3

Cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms
In the skillet that you cooked the sausage, cook the chopped onion for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cook for an another 3 to 4 minutes until the onion becomes soft and fragrant, incorporating the fond from the pan as you cook. Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms to the onions and garlic and cook the mushroom mixture over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes[/cooked-timer until most of the moisture has cooked off. Set aside to cool.

4

Make the mushroom filling
In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, paprika and cayenne. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan-spice mixture with the Neufchâtel cheese. Fold in the sausage and mushroom mixture until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

5

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

6
Cook the stuffed mushrooms

In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of the reserved mushroom caps with the butter and arrange them evenly on a baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart. Using a tablespoon or small scoop fill and mound each mushroom with the mushroom-cheese mixture, careful to evenly distribute the cream cheese-mushroom mix as much as possible. Bake for 20 minutes until the mushrooms become tender and liquid starts to form under the caps. Garnish with the parsley. Be careful removing the stuffed mushrooms from the oven as there might be hot liquid in the baking sheet.


Notes

Of course, you can break up sausage and ground meat the more traditional way, using a flat, wooden spoon or spatula, but I agree with the very awesome J. Kenji López-Alt at www.seriouseats.com. This method is tedious, time-consuming, imperfect and for some cooks, an unnecessarily demanding physical task. Try a masher next time, it can be a much better method (if you mind your pan).

Ingredients

 1 pound crimini mushrooms (AKA Baby Bellas)
 4 ounces Italian sausage
 ½ onion, grated
 ¼ cup white wine
 3 cloves garlic, grated
 ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
 ¼ teaspoon paprika
 ¼ teaspoon cayenne
 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchâtel cheese, softened
 2 tablespoons butter
 dried parsley (for garnish)

Directions

1

Prepare the mushrooms
Remove any excess dirt or debris from the mushrooms by gently wiping with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from each mushroom, setting aside 12-14 of the largest caps for stuffing. Chop the stems and any remaining mushroom caps very fine. (Do not chop the mushroom caps you reserved for later use.)

2

Cook the sausage
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage according to the package instructions (usually 10 to 12 minutes), breaking the sausage up into small, even chunks with a potato masher (see note). Use a flat spatula to scrape off the meat that presses through the masher.
When the sausage has been browned and cooked completely through, remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess grease.

3

Cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms
In the skillet that you cooked the sausage, cook the chopped onion for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cook for an another 3 to 4 minutes until the onion becomes soft and fragrant, incorporating the fond from the pan as you cook. Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms to the onions and garlic and cook the mushroom mixture over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes[/cooked-timer until most of the moisture has cooked off. Set aside to cool.

4

Make the mushroom filling
In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, paprika and cayenne. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan-spice mixture with the Neufchâtel cheese. Fold in the sausage and mushroom mixture until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.

5

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

6
Cook the stuffed mushrooms

In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of the reserved mushroom caps with the butter and arrange them evenly on a baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart. Using a tablespoon or small scoop fill and mound each mushroom with the mushroom-cheese mixture, careful to evenly distribute the cream cheese-mushroom mix as much as possible. Bake for 20 minutes until the mushrooms become tender and liquid starts to form under the caps. Garnish with the parsley. Be careful removing the stuffed mushrooms from the oven as there might be hot liquid in the baking sheet.

Spicy sausage stuffed mushrooms


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