When it comes to stuffed mushrooms, the classic version is easiest to make, and in my opinion, it’s the most delicious!
The Perfect Crowd Pleasing Appetizer
Some early holiday party planning brought to mind these stuffed mushrooms, which for some reason I have not made in years! In my younger days working at the Holiday Inn in the Catskills, I helped make countless hors d’oeuvres for small and large parties––weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthdays, and anniversaries. Stuffed mushrooms were always a favorite among guests.
I worked different jobs, including walking around during cocktail hours with napkins and small plates in one hand, and a tray of these stuffed mushrooms hot out of the oven in the other. My job was to warn guests that they were hot!
As I got more experienced, I became a kitchen helper, doing everything from cutting, chopping, and cleaning to, yes, stuffing mushrooms! When I worked the kitchen, I had much more opportunity to sneak a mushroom or two of choice fresh from the oven (of course when my father, the head chef at the time, wasn’t looking!).
Sometimes, Simpler is Better
So what’s the secret to a good stuffed mushroom? There’s really no magic ingredient to these easy stuffed mushrooms––just a handful of simple ingredients!
But there are a lot of variations in mushroom stuffings out there: meat fillings, extra chopped mushrooms, bacon, sausage, cheeses of all sorts…the list goes on.
My conclusion is the same as with ice cream: while all the different flavors are great, you really can’t go wrong with a good vanilla!
Before we get cooking, one tip for making these easy stuffed mushrooms:
Mushrooms contain a lot of moisture that comes out as they cook. The moisture from the mushroom itself when combined with the buttery breadcrumb stuffing is just enough to yield the perfect mushroom. Trust me on this one!
So here’s our classic stuffed mushroom recipe from the head chef and staff at the Holiday Inn circa 1982!
Stuffed Mushroom Recipe Instructions
Rinse the mushrooms lightly to clean them of any dirt, but don’t use too much water. You don’t want them to get soggy.
Carefully break off the mushroom stems (they should come off easily, or you can cut them). Set them aside and toss them into a vegetable stir-fry, vegetable stock, lo mein, or an omelette! You might think about including them in the stuffing, but that will make it too wet, which you don’t want! A drier stuffing is key to making these stuffed mushroom caps a success.
Pat the mushroom caps dry with a paper towel, and arrange them neatly on a sheet pan with the cap side up.
Heat 6 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it’s just melted. Remove from the heat.
Next, use a pastry brush to lightly brush the mushroom caps with melted butter.
Turn them over afterwards so they are top-side down.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, make the stuffing. Stir ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ¼ teaspoon salt (or to taste) into the butter until well combined. Use a rubber spatula to mix in ¾ cup plain or Italian breadcrumbs until all the breadcrumbs are saturated with butter. Next, add 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, and stir to combine.
Stuff a spoonful of breadcrumb mixture into each mushroom cap but don’t pack or compress the stuffing which will keep your stuffed mushrooms light and flaky, then bake them for 9-12 minutes.
The mushrooms should be cooked through, but firm enough to pick up with your hands. You don’t want to overcook them, or they’ll be droopy and hard to handle.
Serve immediately! These stuffed mushrooms are a perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any special holiday meal or event!
Pro-tip, if there’s any chance you have leftovers (we did the morning after our blogging session), chop up any leftover mushroom caps with the spare mushroom stems, heat them in a pan, and pour over some scrambled eggs to make one of the best breakfasts you’ve ever had!