Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms – An All Occasion Dish
I love those recipes that offer a lot of versatility in flavor and cooking styles while maintaining a high level of forgiveness against something going wrong. Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms is one such dish. It seems like one of those froufrou appetizers that you may expect to pay top dollar for in a snooty restaurant, only to receive an odd number of them on a smallish, saucer-like plate. I mean, why do appetizers come in odd numbers? When do you ever go to dinner with 3 or 5 people? Is there some marketing technique I’m not aware of that states it’s a good thing when your guests fight over who gets the last one of a thing? Am I right?! But I digress.
These offer diversity because they have so few ingredients, that by changing one or two of them around, you can create a whole different flavor profile without really messing up the balance of the dish. These stuffed mushrooms also do well under multiple cooking techniques; smoking, baking, braising, frying or even steaming. The recipe I’m including below is my favorite way to have them, but I’ll throw out a few ideas here and encourage you to experiment.
The ingredients are simple: mushrooms, sausage, cheese, herbs and spices. Playing around with those is where you will get such a wide range of flavor styles. For example, if you use chorizo for the sausage, queso fresco for your cheese and toss in some cilantro, then you have a whole ‘South of the Border” thing going on. They can be served on Taco Tuesday right along side your favorite, tortilla-wrapped main course.
On the other hand, try bringing the Spicy Italian Sausage off the bench and pair it with some shredded fresh mozzarella. Add in a pinch of garlic and some oregano and you have a side dish fit for Spaghetti night. As a bonus note for this one; braise your stuffed mushrooms in your favorite tomato-based sauce and your family will be telling you “ti amo” before their forks hit the plate.
More Potential Combos
Here are a few additional cheese/sausage pairings you may try in this sausage stuffed mushroom recipe:
- Sharp cheddar and spicy breakfast sausage
- Brie and maple flavored breakfast sausage – for added filler, try mincing in a few slices of green apple
- Irish Cheddar and Irish Sausage – braise the mushrooms in Kerry Gold butter for an Emerald Aisle treat that’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day
- American cheese and Boudin Sausage – add in some Cajun rice and braise your mushrooms in a bourbon and butter sauce to have yourself a little taste of New Orleans.
What’d I tell you? Versatility! I wonder what other combinations you may be able to come up with for these?
While the recipe below is one of my favorite ways to make these, don’t let yourself be limited. I love smoked food, so I make my sausage stuffed mushrooms in my smoker, but they are amazing in the oven. You can use the same temperature and cook time that I noted in the recipe if you decide to go that route.
One of my favorite things about cooking is that you can experiment with flavors and make food that you and your family enjoy. So cut loose, have fun and eat well!
- 8oz Tennessee Pride Real Country Sausage
- 10 - 12 Baby Bella Mushrooms
- 8 oz Smoked Gouda Cheese
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Hard wood chips or pellets; like Apple or Hickory for the smoke
- Prepare your smoker with your hard wood of choice - heat to 225 degrees F.
- Remove stems from mushrooms and set aside
- Wash mushrooms and clean out vents with a spoon, being careful not to damage the sides of the mushrooms. No need to be too thorough here; just get most of the vents out.
- Pat mushrooms dry and lightly brush them with olive oil. NOTE: Don't toss them in the oil because they will soak up too much of it. Brushing them is best.
- Sprinkle mushrooms with kosher salt to taste.
- Dice the mushrooms stems you reserved
- Shred the Gouda if not already shredded
- Add diced stems, Gouda and sausage to bowl and combine. Don't work the mixture too much or it will become gummy.
- Portion the sausage mixture into roughly 2 ounce balls and stuff them into the mushrooms, being sure to distribute the mixture as it makes sense (some mushrooms will be a bit larger than others, so will hold more stuffing)
- Place stuffed mushrooms onto a baking sheet or similar vessel and place in smoker for 35-40 minutes, until internal temperature is 145. NOTE: These do well in an iron skillet which makes it easy to add a braising liquid if you choose