Baked Stuffed Portobellos: Meatless Meal
I try to cook at least one meatless meal in my house per week. Vegetarian doesn’t have to be boring, or lack nutrition, if the right ingredients are used. Today is my “Meatless Monday” and tomorrow is “National Mushroom Day,” so I perused the market and came up with these simple, flavorful Baked Stuffed Portobellos. These hardy Baked Stuffed Portobellos make perfect appetizers or vegetarian entrées if served with your favorite grain or pasta. Easy to make, few ingredients and super fresh, these Italian-inspired Baked Stuffed Portobellos can also easily be made vegan and/or gluten-free by subbing a few ingredients (see suggestions at the end of post). Let’s get cooking!
- 4 portobello mushrooms (large size; fit in your hand)
- 1 cup extra thick marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 – 3.5 ounce tub crumbled goat cheese
- 1 – 9 oz bag large leaf spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 2 tbsp room temperature unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- 4-6 leaves fresh basil, rolled and thinly sliced into ribbons
Preheat oven to 350°F . Gently remove stems and scrape black gills out of portobellos, taking care of not to rip the edges. Place mushrooms open side up on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.
While mushrooms are baking, put olive oil in large skillet over medium heat on stove top. Add garlic. Sauté for approximately 1 minute; do not allow to burn. Add spinach and salt to pan. Stir and fold constantly until the spinach wilts down (aprrox 5 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside, and allow to cool to the touch. Place spinach in a colander lined with paper towels. Use additional paper towels and squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
With mushrooms still on baking sheet, spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of each. Divide the cooked and drained spinach into four parts. Place equal amounts of spinach in each mushroom. Divide the crumbled goat cheese into four parts. Using your hands, form a loose patty of sorts before putting one on top of each mushroom.
Place the mushrooms back in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. During that time, melt the unsalted butter in a small bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds or so. Add and mix Panko bread crumbs and Italian seasoning to the butter (roll the dried herbs in-between your fingers when adding to help release natural oils).
Next, when 10 minutes cooking time is up, remove pan from oven. Add Panko mixture on top of the goat cheese, pressing down gently. Put mushrooms back in the oven for approximately 5 minutes, or until Panko bread crumbs become slightly brown (take extra care not to burn).
Remove pan from the oven, place mushrooms on plate, sprinkle fresh basil ribbons on top, and serve while hot.
Serves 4. Recipe can easily be multiplied. You could bake mushrooms and wilt spinach in advance. Be sure they are both at room temperature before assembling. Remember to always have fun in the kitchen. Cheers!
Product substitution suggestions:
*If desired, you could add precooked minced meat into the mushrooms.