Stuffed mushrooms aren’t just for passing around on trays anymore. This recipe turns them inside out to create a luscious mushroom stuffing, perfect as an appetizer or side dish. Moist, rich in umami, sharp with Parmesan and bright with herbs, it has a marvelous Italian accent. And in the finest Italian tradition, it offers good food in abundance—abbondanza!
We’re happy to be able to share this gem from Lisa DiNardo, who grew up surrounded by great cooks and who loves to cook herself. This favorite from her mother, Mary, makes a clever casserole and, as a bonus, offers an option for traditional mushroom canapés.
Here’s Lisa’s story:
“I grew up in an Italian-American family and food was often the focal point. Recipes were created, handed down, shared, coveted and protected. My Mom cooked up a storm. Sunday dinner was nearly always a multi-course meal consisting of a pasta, meat, vegetables, salad and dessert. Holiday meals were amazingly plentiful.
“When I think of my Mom’s cooking, this Stuffed Mushroom recipe is always at the top of the list. It was a Sunday dinner and holiday staple. Not only is it delicious, it’s also pretty easy to make. My Mom always made the vegetarian casserole version. Usually, Mom used white mushrooms but when she got wild mushrooms from Uncle Charlie, she used those instead.
“My Mom’s handwritten recipe mentions that for canapés, sausage or bacon can be added. The meat version is also delicious as a casserole. I prefer the casserole over individually stuffed mushroom caps. Also, I like to use a variety of mushrooms like shiitake, brown and white. Maybe someday I’ll try portobello.“
We used meaty baby bella mushrooms, and added Italian sausages and diced roasted red peppers. Rich and savory, it reminded me of my Italian-born father-in-law’s all-meat Thanksgiving stuffing. It made a perfect party pot-luck dish.
Thanks, Lisa, for sharing this favorite from your Italian-heritage family recipe collection.
Mary DiNardo’s Italian Baked Stuffed Mushrooms
- For the casserole: 2 ½ – 3 pounds mushrooms, sliced
- For the canapés: 24 large-to-extra large white mushrooms
- ¼ pound (8 tablespoons) melted butter
- 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups Italian-flavored bread crumbs
- ¼ – ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon each: salt, black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
- Garlic powder to taste, or 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup minced onion sautéed in 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ pound crispy bacon broken up into small pieces, OR
- ¾ pound ground sausage, squeezed from the casing and sautéed in a skillet until brown and crumbly. Drain off fat.
- 1 cup diced roasted red peppers
- Slice mushrooms, caps and stems (or use pre-sliced mushrooms).
- In a large pot, heat water to a rolling boil. Remove pot from heat, add mushroom slices, and cover. Allow mushrooms to parboil off heat for 5–6 minutes.
- Drain well. Place mushroom slices on paper towels to dry, pressing out water with more paper towels.
- In a large bowl, mix stuffing ingredients. Stir in parboiled mushrooms and any optional goodies. Mixture will be moist.
- Spoon into a greased 13″ x 9” pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle with a little olive oil.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 6-10 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for about 10-15 minutes more, until sizzling.
- Use 24 large-to-extra large white mushrooms. Do not blanch.
- Remove caps. Chop the stems and sauté in olive oil.
- Mix stuffing, sautéed pieces and any optional goodies in a large bowl.
- Place caps snugly on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spoon the stuffing into the mushroom caps.
- Bake at 325° for 40–50 minutes.