Sausage Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms
When I say these mushrooms are stuffed, I don’t just mean with filling (though they are…it really gets heaped on there). I am also referring to the fact that these are positively jam-packed with flavor. I thought about naming these “TOTALLY EXTREME FLAVOR EXPLOSION MUSHROOMS” but I decided to dial it back and let you find out for yourselves. The filling is beyond decadent. It’s thick and creamy and cheesy and hearty and full of spices. The mushrooms have a bit of sweetness from the Balsamic vinegar and pre-roasting them gives them the perfect consistency. No soggy mushrooms here! I also love the way the Parmesan forms a nice crunch on top for added texture.
With the Super Bowl approaching, a lot of us are looking for tasty game-fuel recipes. Stuffed mushrooms are a staple of most appetizer spreads, but these are seriously a step up. With all these rich flavors no one will ever believe they’re only 47 calories each and only one Weight Watcher Point+ a piece!
Sausage Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms
Source: adapted from Sweet Sugar Bean
26 large mushrooms, cleaned with stems removed and discarded
1 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T Balsamic vinegar
0.5 oz sundried tomatoes, packaged dry and chopped (I used Bella Sun Luci)
2 links (about ½ lb raw weight total) hot Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
¼ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
1 tsp fennel seed
4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2 ½ oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided (I use the smallest holed side of a box grater)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (baking sheet with a rim around the edges) with parchment paper.
2. Place the mushrooms caps in a large bowl and toss with oil and vinegar until well coated. Place the mushrooms onto the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, flipping them halfway through. This initial step will allow the mushrooms to capture the Balsamic flavor but also to release a lot of the water they are holding. This is great because it ensures you won’t end up with soggy mushrooms at the end!
3. Fill a small bowl with water and microwave it until hot. Place the sundried tomatoes in it and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Drain them and chop them up small.
4. While the mushrooms are in the oven, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and bring it over medium-high heat. Add your poultry sausage and break it up with a spoon while cooking until the meat is cooked through. You want it to be broken into really small pieces, so you may want to further break it up with a fork. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sundried tomatoes, onions, garlic, rosemary and fennel to the sausage. Cook for a few more minutes until the onions are tender.
5. Place the softened cream cheese in a large bowl and then pour the hot sausage mixture on top of it. Add about 2/3 of the grated Parmesan to the mixture and then stir it together with a fork, making sure it is well combined.
6. When the mushroom caps are done cooking, transfer them face down to a stack of a few paper towels to drain for 3-5 minutes. Dump out any liquid from the jelly roll pan, wipe it clean and line it with a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Increase the oven temperature to 375.
7. Lay the mushroom caps face up on the lined baking sheet and fill each one with the sausage filling. You can really heap it on there – they get stuffed! Sprinkle the reserved grated Parmesan cheese over the top of each filled mushroom. Place the mushrooms back in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the stuffing is golden.
Yields 26 mushrooms. WW P+: 1 per mushroom (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per mushroom from myfitnesspal.com: 47 calories, 2 g carbs, 3 g fat, 3 g protein, 0 g fiber