Creamy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms with sun-dried tomatoes and basil are a show-stopping, make ahead appetizer perfect for all your holiday parties!
These Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms are a creamy, cheesy flavor explosion on the inside and buttery, crunchy panko delight on the outside. They are the ultimate party appetizer that everyone will be raving about! If you’ve never made stuffed mushrooms before, they are easier than you think and you can make them a day in advance!
With holiday parties and Thanksgiving approaching, everyone needs a no-fail, crowd pleasing appetizer that is so tantalizing, everyone will be singing your praises. Enter Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms.
These are not diet mushrooms. These are not “I don’t like mushrooms,” mushrooms. Nay, these are crowd pleasing stuffed mushrooms, flavor bursting stuffed mushrooms, can’t stop at 5 stuffed mushrooms, lick your fingers stuffed mushrooms, “I don’t even like mushrooms but I LOVE these stuffed mushrooms” mushrooms.
These Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms look gourmet but are actually easy to make with some of my helpful tips and tricks and they can be made ahead of time and refrigerated!
They are filled with the most fabulous sausage cream cheese filling that is stand-alone-delicious but made pop-in-your-mouth convenient in buttery, meaty mushrooms. The filling boasts hot Italian sausage, luscious cream cheese, silky sour cream, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, Parmesan and mozzarella. Need I say more?!
I’ve also done a few things differently in this stuffed mushrooms recipe to make them the absolute best and easiest such as using a freezer bag to conveniently pipe in the filling, brushing the outsides of the mushrooms with lemon butter so they don’t dry out and combing the panko with butter first so it crisps up evenly. More tips and tricks for the best Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms below. Read on or skip to the recipe. Happy eating!
What mushrooms do you use for stuffed mushrooms?
This recipe calls for 24-28 white mushrooms that are approximately 2 ½ inches in diameter. But what exactly is a “white mushroom?” If you go to your grocery store looking for white mushrooms you may or may not find them called by that name. White mushrooms are also known as white button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and portobello mushrooms.
These varieties of mushrooms are actually all the same type of mushroom but just different ages and therefore different sizes.
- White button mushrooms are the youngest and therefore the smallest.
- Cremini mushrooms are a more mature version of the white button mushroom. They are younger than the next mature variety, the portobello and that is why it is often called “baby bella” or “baby portobello” mushrooms.
- The portobello mushroom is the most mature white mushroom and that is why it is the largest.
You can use any of these white mushrooms, but I prefer white button mushrooms because: 1) they are they the perfect size for a finger appetizer, 2) they tend to hold together better than larger mushrooms, 3) most importantly, the ratio of filling to mushrooms seems to be just right. Portobello mushrooms, on the other hand, are too much creamy dip and not enough substance in my opinion.
If you choose to use a larger mushroom, just be aware that the recipe will make less mushrooms due to their larger size and you will want to bake them longer.
what do you stuff mushrooms with?
- Hot Italian Sausage. Hot Italian Sausage does not make the Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms hot due to all the other creamy ingredients – just sooo flavorful. If you like heat, then add a pinch of cayenne to the filling (I add 1/8 teaspoon for a kick).
- Sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes add a wonderful sweet-tart flavor to the Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms. Use the sun-dried tomatoes in the jar and not the bagged variety. As the stuffed mushrooms recipe is written, they have a pronounced sun-dried tomato flavor but you can use less if you prefer.
- Diced onion. I use yellow diced onion but you can also use 1/4 cup diced shallots.
- Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire Sauce enhances the sweet tang of the sun-dried tomatoes. If you don’t keep it stocked, then you can omit it.
- Garlic. An aromatic must! Use 4-6 garlic cloves depending on your love of garlic.
- Seasonings. We season our Sausage Stuffed mushrooms with dried parsley, dried oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. You can taste your dip once it is completed before stuffing your mushrooms and adjust to taste.
- Cream Cheese. Cream cheese is the base of our luscious, velvety dip. Take care to soften your cream cheese at room temperature or in the microwave at 15 second intervals before adding to the skillet.
- Sour Cream. Sour cream adds a silky, tangy dimension to our cream cheese dip. I don’t suggest substituting with Greek yogurt as it doesn’t melt as well or blend as well with the cheeses.
- Parmesan Cheese. Parmesan Cheese adds its characteristic fruity, nutty, salty fabulousness to stuffed mushrooms. You can substitute it with additional mozzarella if you prefer.
- Mozzarella Cheese. Freshly grated mozzarella is preferred for its superior taste and melting ability but if you already have pre-grated cheese on hand, then feel free to use it.
- Fresh basil. If you don’t have/want to purchase fresh basil, you can substitute it for 2 teaspoons dried basil and add it with the rest of the seasonings.
How to make Stuffed Mushrooms
Making Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms is very simple but does require a few steps, namely:
- Cook Filling
- Fill Mushrooms
- Coat Mushrooms
- Bake Mushrooms
Here is a breakdown of the process:
- First, wash your mushrooms and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Next, twist off the mushroom stems with your hands. They twist off super easily and quickly and is actually kind of fun.
- Add the mushroom stems and the sun-dried tomatoes to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (alternatively you can chop by hand.) I LOVE using my food processor for this step because it takes seconds!
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and onion and cook while crumbling until sausage is almost cooked through. Drain grease.
- Add mushroom/tomato mixture, Worcestershire, and all seasonings. Cook for 3 additional minutes or until sausage is completely cooked through. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.
- Turn heat to low and stir in cream cheese until melted followed by sour cream, mozzarella and Parmesan until melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil. Set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl in the microwave. Add panko and stir until evenly coated. By stirring the panko with butter it not only emerges beautifully buttery, but ensures the panko will brown and crisp evenly.
- Melt 2 tablespoons in a separate medium bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Dip the outside of each mushroom in the lemon butter mixture and set mushrooms on prepared baking sheet. This step ensures the mushrooms don’t dry out when baking and infuses them with lemon butter goodness.
- Add Filling to a freezer size bag and snip off a corner. Squeeze filling into mushrooms until it is overflowing. Alternatively, you could spoon the filling into the mushrooms with a spoon, but this pastry bag-like method is SO quick and easy – you will love it!
- Pat mixture down to create a rounded top.
- Dunk the top of each mushroom into panko mixture.
- Return stuffed mushrooms to baking sheet.
How long do you cook stuffed mushrooms?
- First, grease a baking sheet with sides with nonstick cooking spray. You can also line your baking sheet first with foil for easy cleanup.
- Line your mushrooms on the baking sheet in a single layer so they are not touching each other so they can bake evenly. Bake mushrooms for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F or until the filling is heated through and panko is golden on top.
- Next, I like to broil my stuffed mushrooms for 1-2 more minutes to achieve crispier edges. You could even boil longer if you prefer, just take care not to burn your panko!
Tips for Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Try and find mushrooms similar in size so they cook evenly.
- Dry the mushrooms very well so they don’t release excess moisture.
- Use a rimmed baking sheet because the mushrooms will release juices when cooked.
- Rinse your sun-dried tomatoes very will so they don’t add excess oil to the sausage cream cheese filling.
- If you don’t have food processor, you can chop the mushroom stems and sun-dried tomatoes by hand.
- If you can’t find hot Italian Sausage, then you can use mild or sweet and then season with some red pepper flakes.
- You can substitute the hot Italian Sausage for lean ground beef, ground turkey or turkey sausage but take care to season it with some Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Full fat cream cheese will melt the best but you can use reduced fat as well.
- Italian Style panko comes seasoned with Italian seasoning. If you already have plain panko on hand you can use that instead and add ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning.
- If you find you have left over filling, it is fabulous in pastas, as a spread or dip for vegetable or crackers.
Can Stuffed Mushrooms Be prepared Ahead of Time?
Yes! Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms can be made ahead of time so they are the perfect appetizer for Thanksgiving or entertaining. Prep ahead and then just pop them in the oven! When making stuffed mushrooms in advance, take care to use only the freshest mushrooms.
To make Stuffed Mushrooms ahead of time, you can either:
- Make the dip up to 3 days in advance, cover and refrigerate. When ready to bake, follow remaining instructions, adding a few minutes extra baking time due to chilled filling.
- Stuff your mushrooms per instructions, place on baking sheet, cover tightly and refrigerate but do NOT brush with butter. When ready to bake, brush with lemon butter and bake per instructions, adding a couple extra minutes due to chilled filling.
CAN YOU FREEZE THESE SAUSAGE STUFFED MUSHROOMS?
Although freeze-ahead appetizers are convenient, these Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms unfortunately aren’t one of them. I don’t recommend freezing these mushrooms because freezing destroys the texture of the mushroom. When the mushrooms thaw, they lose their structural integrity and become soft and slimy.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH SAUSAGE STUFFED MUSHROOMS?
I am posting these Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms right now because they are decadently cheesy for Game day or gourmet and beautiful enough for Thanksgiving. But of course, they also make an ideal appetizer or side dish for any Italian meal such as Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna (recipe coming next week!), Million Dollar Macaroni and/or Lemon Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine.
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Looking for more Holiday appetizers?
- Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Log
- Bruschetta Cheese Ball
- Italian Sausage Pesto Ring
- Cranberry Meatballs
- Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
- Artichoke Dip Bites
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