Ina Garten’s Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
I love Ina Garten. I have made dozens of her recipes over the years, and they always turn out perfectly. To me, successful results show that the recipes have been time-tested. I’m about to go on a small tangent, but Ina’s understated recipes are really what I think home cooking should be. She doesn’t rely on camera tricks or recipe buzzwords like “clean-eating” or “power [fill in the blank].” She is not a slave to food trends. She just has simple, trustworthy recipes that work every time. I find that to be refreshing in a world of Pinterest-hungry bloggers who seem more focused on getting pinned and taking good pictures than on actually creating quality recipes. I consider myself a pretty good cook, and I usually have success in the kitchen.
That said, there are some bloggers that you can tell, just by looking at the recipe, that they have not tested it, and that they worried more about the photos and the catchy name of the recipe than what they’re actually producing. The readers mostly comment on how amazing it looks, and rarely have they commented how it turned out. But when the recipe fails and readers comment on that, the blogger is quick to blame the reader and gives condescending, robot-like responses. Ugh! I promise you, I will never do that. If you make a recipe and it fails, please tell me. I would rather improve the recipe than push the blame to the reader.
With that out of the way, this mushroom recipe is one of Jon’s and my all-time favorite recipes. I have made it for 4 or 5 Thanksgivings in a row; I can’t remember. I like trying out new side dish recipes each year, especially new dressing or vegetables. But these mushrooms are a must. They can be served as an appetizer or a side dish, and they’re good leftover. I usually double the recipe.
The only deviation from the original recipe is that I use about 3 times as much marsala plus some olive oil to marinate the mushroom caps in, and I let them marinate for about 45 minutes before stuffing. Also, I do use mascarpone cheese, but if you can’t find it or want a cheaper option, cream cheese will work just fine!
I didn’t know this until recently, but panko breadcrumbs (aka Japanese breadcrumbs) are simply breadcrumbs that have had the crusts cut off.
Last year was my most successful Thanksgiving in the kitchen. I prepped almost everything the day before. On Thanksgiving Day, all I had to do was keep an eye on the oven to rotate everything in and out until it was all done. For the mushrooms, you can prep it all, arrange it in the casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and just bake it on Thanksgiving Day. Truly this is the best secret to having a stress-free holiday. And I just realized that I learned that tip from Ina herself!
I hope you enjoy these mushrooms as much as I do.
Total Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours
Difficulty Level: Easy
16 extra-large white mushrooms, caps and stems separated
5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
6 tablespoons Marsala wine
¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
¾ cup minced scallions, white and green parts (6 scallions)
2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
5 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 ½ tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and finely chop them. In a large bowl that you can seal, put the mushroom caps, marsala, and olive oil. Seal it, and let them marinate while you prepare the filling. Every few minutes, you can turn the bowl over to make sure the caps are being coated with the marsala and olive oil.
- Heat the rest of the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage, and break it apart while cooking for at least 10 minutes, or until done.
- Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the scallions, garlic salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the breadcrumbs, and stir to combine.
- Add the mascarpone or cream cheese, and stir until it has fully melted into the sausage mixture.
- Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season to taste. Allow the mixture to cool enough to handle.
- Generously fill each mushroom cap with the mixture, and arrange snugly in a casserole dish.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.