Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

These Italian-stuffed mushrooms are a great appetizer recipe for a party or potluck–you can even make them ahead. The mushrooms are stuffed with fennel, ham, sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, basil, garlic and cheese.


When Tom Petty comes to town, we are there. He puts on a great show. The band has been together 35 years and they are tight. My best friends from Virginia, Mary and Scott, came down this weekend to go to the show with us. Mary, Scott and I have known each other since college, and she’s Jim’s cousin — that’s how Jim and I met.

Mary just celebrated a milestone birthday and since she’s a mushroom fanatic, I made this recipe in her honor. I had never made these mushrooms before but loved the look of the ingredients. I added ham and green onions because I had them, plus pork makes everything better. Unlike most stuffed mushroom recipes, this one doesn’t have any breadcrumbs. It certainly doesn’t need them but I’m tempted to try them with a little bit of crumbs next time.

The mushrooms were a big hit. Here’s a photo of what they looked like before going in the oven. I got too busy to capture a photo after they were baked, but they look pretty good already, don’t they?

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms (before baking) | Grabbing the Gusto

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms (before baking) | Grabbing the Gusto

Italian-Stuffed Mushrooms

You’ll need a large baking dish, skillet and medium bowl.

  • Olive oil
  • 24 large (about 2” diameter) mushrooms, stems removed and chopped, caps reserved — I used cremini, but white mushrooms would work too.
  • 1/2 cup chopped fennel bulb
  • 1/4 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup ham (regular, pancetta, prosciutto), chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed shredded Italian cheese (Fontina, Asiago, Parmesan, Mozzarella, etc.)
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large egg
  • Additional olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush baking dish(es) with oil.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushroom stems, fennel, tomatoes, onion, ham and garlic. Sauté until stems and fennel are tender and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes; transfer to medium bowl. Cool 10 minutes. Mix in cheeses, red pepper flakes, then basil. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.

Arrange mushroom caps in prepared dish(es), cavity side up. Brush mushroom cavities lightly with additional oil. Mound filling in mushroom cavities, pressing to adhere. Bake until mushrooms are tender and filling is heated through, about 25 minutes, and serve.

You can stuff the mushrooms ahead of time and refrigerate them. Before baking, give them time on the counter to take the chill off. Preheat the oven and bake.

Original recipe: Italian-Stuffed Mushrooms, Bon Appetit, March 2003

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