If you're looking for an autumn appetizer, side, or main course perfect for any cool night or for Thanksgiving, you've come to the right place! For Thanksgiving especially, it always seems so fun to me to throw in a curveball, even though we all love the classic sides. These stuffed mushrooms have all the delicious fall flavors, and would definitely add a little something different to your holiday table.
On their own, portobellos have a mild flavor, and a great texture, slighly more sturdy than other types of mushrooms. If mushrooms aren't usually your favorite, I suggest starting with trying portobellos as they are thicker which makes their texture less similar to other mushrooms and more like that of an eggplant. They are extra perfect in the form of stuffed portobello mushrooms, as they are filling - which can make these perfect for a main dish, but also the perfect size to just have 1, to make the most flavorful side to the rest of a great meal.
There are a few aspects of these stuffed portobello mushrooms which make them the absolute perfect addition to any autumn meal. First of all, once cooked, they are the type of meal which just make you feel extra warm, which is what we're all going for this time of year. In addition to that, they are truly filled with as many of the favorite fall flavors as possible - cider, autumn herbs, onions, and chicken sausage, which is the most delicious protein addition to any meal this time of year. If you prefer these to be vegetarian, you can absolutely leave the chicken sausage out.
This is a 1 hour meal start to finish, so you'll start off by preheating the oven, and then quickly cleaning off the portobellos. To remove the gills from the center (and leave more space for the tasty filling!) I find it easiest to use a small spoon to carefully scrape them out, being gentle around the edges as to not tear the portobellos. Brush them with a little olive oil, then pop them in the oven for 5 minutes on each side to help remove some of the excess water. I find it easiest to use a paper towel to blot the excess water. Chop up those reserved stems and set them aside to use in the filling.
Stuffed meals are the perfect opportunity to add in all of your favorite foods and flavors, so that each bite is flavorful and delicious. For a fall side or appetizer these are the ingredients you'll need to make these an extra cozy autumn meal!
On their own, these ingredients are arguably still delicious, but put together into a baked stuff mushroom, well, I can't think of a better seasonal meal! My two favorites here are the cider and marsala, as they add that little something extra, the flavor you might not be able to pinpoint but that really makes you love each bite.
The process from here is easy - sautéing the chicken sausage in a little olive oil in a large skillet, setting it to the side, then adding just a bit of butter and the chopped onions. Then you'll add the garlic, some salt and pepper, the herbs, and then a little crushed red pepper. If you like a little heat at all, I find that in an otherwise mild recipe it adds the perfect subtle kick.
Next you'll add in something to ensure these mushrooms won't be the least bit dry when baked - the cider and marsala. Stir in the spinach (which is often the best thing to add to anything stuffed) until it is just wilted and most of the liquids are evaporated. Stir back in the chicken sausage, then move on to the easiest and best part!
Now that the filling is packed with lots of flavor and delicious ingredients, you'll want to add in some panko breadcrumbs. Because panko breadcrumbs are slightly larger, they won't get the least bit soggy when stirred in off the heat, but they will help create a cohesive filling that will fill you right up if you do prefer to have these as a main dish.
With all the cheeses out there, it can be difficult at times to decide which ones to use in which recipe. In this case, these three are the BEST combination, and here's why!
Stir those cheeses in until they are melty and everything is evenly combined. Your next step is simply to fill each roasted portobello, sprinkling with extra fontina if you like. Pop these in the oven for just 10 minutes, and get excited as your kitchen fills up with all the autumn smells!
Serve these stuffed mushrooms sprinkled with additional thyme as a warm and filling fall main dish, or the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas side to pair perfectly with all your other favorite seasonal foods!
Cheesy baked stuffed portobello mushrooms filled with chicken sausage and spinach, and full of all the warm fall flavors including thyme, rosemary, and cider.
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