Friday, May 17, 2013

Recipe for Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese

Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
These Grilled Portobello Mushrooms are stuffed with sausage, spinach, and cheese, but you could easily make this a vegetarian recipe as well.

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and since it's finally grilling weather again, how about making these Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese over the weekend?)
Portobello mushrooms are something I haven't cooked with nearly often enough, and they're a wonderfully healthy ingredient, particularly popular with people who are looking for something besides meat to cook on the grill. This isn't a vegetarian recipe since the mushrooms are stuffed with spicy Italian sausage, but I think the idea could easily be adapted to a vegetarian stuffed mushroom, maybe even replacing the sausage with diced portobellos.

The idea for stuffing grilled portobello mushrooms with sausage came from Bobby Flay's Grill It.  I'm a fan of Bobby Flay and I like the creative grilling ideas in this book, but on this recipe, there are confusing directions and omissions which should have been caught in editing. Maybe it's just the school teacher in me that makes me mention it, because overall I love the book, which already has lots of pages flagged with post-its, and this recipe was really delicious.

Start by cooking pork or turkey Italian Sausage until it's well browned. Remove sausage, saute chopped onion, then mix sausage back into the onions.

Add tomato sauce (original recipe used red wine) and red pepper flakes to onion/sausage mixture and cook a few minutes while you chop the spinach. Then add chopped spinach, which will look like a lot at first.

After a few minutes the spinach has cooked down and looks like this. Turn off heat and stir in chopped chopped basil and parsley.

The book didn't mention removing the brown gills inside the portabella mushrooms, but I scraped them out with a spoon (partly to give more room for the stuffing!) Then brush both sides of the mushrooms with olive oil, put mushrooms on the grill inside facing down and cook about 4 minutes before you stuff them.

Bobby Flay's version of this used fresh mozarella with tomatoes on top, and it looks delicious. There are no garden tomatoes here yet, and I substituted grated mozarella which is a bit more widely available. The stuffed mushrooms cook on the grill for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting to brown, mushroom is cooked through, and stuffing is hot.

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese
(Makes 4 large stuffed mushrooms, recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Grill It.)

4 large Portobello mushrooms (get the biggest ones you can find)
12 oz. mild or hot Italian sausage (use turkey Italian sausage for South Beach Diet)
1-2 T olive oil (for browning sausage and onions and brushing on mushrooms before grilling)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic (or use chopped garlic from a jar)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used garden tomato sauce from my freezer. If you open a can, just freeze the rest.)
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
8 oz. coarsely chopped spinach leaves
2 T chopped fresh basil (probably optional, but recommended)
2 T chopped fresh parsley (probably optional, but recommended)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella, plus 1/2 cup for sprinkling on top (I used low-fat mozzarella)

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Heat a small amount of olive oil in heavy frying pan, then crumble Italian sausage into pan and cook about 5 minutes, breaking apart with back of the turner as it cooks. When sausage is well-browned, remove to bowl.

If needed, add a bit more olive oil, then saute onions until they're starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions are starting to brown, a few minutes more. Add Italian sausage back into pan, then add red pepper flakes and tomato sauce and simmer 2-3 minutes while you chop the spinach.

Add chopped spinach and let it wilt and cook down, stirring so it's evenly distributed in the sausage/onion mixture. Turn off heat and stir in 1/2 cup mozzarella, chopped basil and parsley.

Remove stems from mushrooms caps, being careful not to break them. Scrape out brown gills from inside mushrooms if desired, then brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil. Put mushrooms on grill, inside facing down, and cook about 4 minutes, until mushroom is slightly browned and starting to soften.

Remove mushrooms from the grill. (I put them on a wooden cutting board.) Carefully stuff the inside of each mushroom with sausage/spinach/cheese mixture, then top each mushroom with about 2 T grated mozzarella.

Carefully put mushrooms back on grill, stuffing facing up of course! Cover grill and cook about 5 minutes, checking often and removing from grill when mushrooms are cooked through, and cheese is melted and starting to brown, and stuffing mixture is hot. Serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
I changed the red wine in this recipe for tomato sauce to make it suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and ate this as a main course with a simple green salad. Everything in this recipe is a low-glycemic food, suitable for any low-glycemic eating plan.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Mushrooms on the Grill
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Easy South Beach Friendly Grilled Mushrooms
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms from A Veggie Venture
Grilled Portobello Caps from The Well Seasoned Cook
Ideas for Grilled Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from Ramblings of a Frantic Home Cook
Grilled Mushrooms with Pesto from Coffee and Vanilla
Grilled Mushroom Caps with Pesto and Pepper Filling from Deb's Key West Wine and Gardening
Grilled Enoki Mushrooms Wrapped with Smoked Chicken Breast from Rasa Malaysia
Grilled Stuff Portobello Mushrooms from Fearless Kitchen
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger (video) from Dani Spies
Grilled Portobellos with Garlic, Pine Nuts, Basil, and Goat Cheese from Al Dente
(Want even more recipes?  I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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This cookbook was sent to me by the publisher back in 2008 (when I still accepted books), but I never write about a cookbook unless I would actually buy it myself.
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More to Chew On:


  1. Ooh Kalyn, what a lovely idea for a summer supper! My husband loves all forms of mushrooms. I'll definitely give this a try.

  2. I think I might make a vegetarian version by replacing the sausage with tempeh.
    Not smoked or flavored tempeh, just plain tempeh browned in some oil with maybe a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end to deglaze the pan.

  3. Ive copied the recipe down already. I love mushrooms - hubby isn't quite so in love with them as me, but Im working on it!!

  4. Another great recipe! I appreciate and enjoy the step by step photos, too.

  5. I love making grilled portobello "burgers", with a slather of soft goat cheese, lettuce and tomato, on a bun. Delicious!

  6. I loved stuffed portobello mushrooms. This looks like a tasty variation!

  7. What a great idea! I've been making spinach and cheese stuffed portobellos as a quick side dish to serve with grilled steak for a long time, but I never thought of adding sausage to make a main dish. I'll definitely try it.

  8. Mushrooms stuffed with spinach and covered in cheese sound really good!

  9. I bet I could make this with soy sausage for my wife

  10. I bought some Portobello Mushrooms today, but wasn't sure what to do with them yet... That picture is tempting me to try them this way!!!

  11. This is a delicious idea. Will try it tonight. I love checking out your blog for new South Beach ideas when I'm in a cooking rut. :-)

  12. Oh, Kalyn, those look fantastic! I am a huge fan of mushrooms, just had a wonderful appetizer last night at a local restaurant- crab-stuffed mushrooms. I'm in search of the recipe so that I can try them myself.

  13. Yum, Since I don't eat red meat I often order a Portobello Sandwich if I am going out with friends for "burgers" . Yours look great!

    Sharona May

  14. Hi Kalyn,

    I have been following your blog for awhile but this is the first time posting - I love your site, great information!

    One question about this mushroom dish - which looks so yummy - what would you/did you serve these with? Just a big salad? Any side ideas to make this a full meal deal?

    Thanks in advance!

  15. Thanks everyone for the nice feedback.

    Hana, the mushrooms I had were huge and I stuffed them pretty full, so I just ate one big mushroom for a meal. But I think your idea is a good one, a green salad would be perfect to go with this, or something like sliced cucumber with caesar dressing.

  16. My vegetarian taste buds missed sausage, but there are now wonderful analogs which would be great in this recipe. I object to portobello "burgers" -- not a nutritional substitute for protein!

  17. Looks incredibly good. I love the idea of using sausage in the stuffing.

  18. I love portobello mushroom but find that grilling dries it up...any tip not to make it too dry?

  19. RM, this was not dry at all. Maybe it was brushing on the olive oil before (both sides) or the moisture in the filling, not sure which made the difference, but it was very juicy.

  20. ooooh, these look delicious! To someone else's mention of crab-stuffed ports, I have a packet of crawfish that would make a great stuffing ingredient. It's ashame the bf doesn't like mushrooms.

  21. Portobellos are my dad's favorite. I'm passing this recipe on to my mom to make them. He's gonna go crazy!

  22. Joyy, sounds good with the crawfish.

    Susan I do hope your dad will like it. Betting the Italian Sausage won't hurt!

  23. Yum! Another successful dinner. I made four mushrooms (I could not find any HUGE ones) and my fiance and I each ate two. Perfect for summer!

  24. so i made this for dinner tonight. don't have a grill, so i just used the oven (thankfully, it wasn't too hot today).

    and my, was it tasty.

  25. Tashamort and Laci, glad to know you liked it. Laci, thanks for the info that it can be made in an oven too.

  26. This was unreal! When making it, I wasn't sure I'd like it at all, but one bite and I was sold!

    I skipped the oil on the mushrooms and they were still extremely juicy and didn't stick at all!

    Thanks for a great recipe!

  27. "Maybe it's just the school teacher in me that makes me mention it, because overall I love the book, which already lots of pages flagged with post-its, and this recipe was really delicious."

    Too bad the teacher in you didn't catch the error in this sentence.

  28. Anonymous, even school teachers are not perfect, what a surprise! I just hope that when I leave out a word, the meaning is still clear, and I always appreciate it when someone catches it for me.

  29. Kalyn, it's so easy for errors and misspellings to occur when the thoughts are flying faster than the fingers! *grin* As one of your biggest blogger fans, if there are errors, they're certainly lost on me; I'm too in awe of the FOOD to notice anything else! ;-)

  30. Rapunzel, you're sweet. Truly I'm always glad someone tells me if I've made a mistake. (I hate catching it months or even years later!)

  31. Absolutely delicious. Used some fresh chicken kielbasa instead of turkey sausage in one batch, and substituted walnuts and the mushroom scrapings in another batch for myself (being vegetarian), and both tasted amazing. Made it together with the the Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin, and had a fabulous meal. Thanks!

  32. Really really great idea :)
    Thank you for linking to my mushrooms... I must admit I never tried portobello mushrooms yet, I may give them a try this Christmas... I was thinking of making stuffed eggs but mushrooms sound much better ;)

  33. Hi Kalyn, I've been wondering if there is a reason you cook the turkey sausage and onion separately? I've always thrown my onion in the pan while I'm browing the meat. Also, do you think this would turn out OK in the oven? It's raining here in VA all week but I don't want to wait to try this delicious looking recipe!

  34. I'm sure you could cook the onion with the sausage. I think the reason to pre-cook the sausage is so you can wipe out the pan if you're using more fatty pork sausage. With turkey sausage this would not be a problem.

    I think it could be cooked in the oven, can't think of any reason why not.

  35. I came across your site surfing for a stuffed mushroom recipe--and it was like opening up a present! I'm excited to find a site dedicated to the low GI lifestyle. I made this recipe for my hubby and he loved it--even asked for seconds! I substituted the mozz for feta and tomato sauce for pizza sauce because I had it on hand. Thank you Kalyn for your site--I saved it in my Favorites and look forward to searching through it for more tastey treasures!

  36. Denise, what a nice comment; so glad you are excited to find the blog!

  37. This was great! We don't have a grill so I just used a grill pan and it came out juicy & delicious. We just started South Beach and your blog is a lifesaver! Thanks!

  38. You're welcome, so glad you liked it!

  39. Nikki, glad you enjoyed it!

  40. I had four portabello mushroom caps, some chicken sausage in assorted flavors, and went looking for a low-carb recipe. Knew I would find one here - thanks so much, Kalyn.

    I hope your arm is better soon.

  41. Amazing amount of flavor... Fantastic! I substituted baby kale for the spinach. Either would work well.

  42. Great idea; I would love this with kale!

  43. Hello Kalyn! These stuffed mushrooms sound delicious! I have never tried making stuffed mushrooms before, but just might try them now! Thank You & Cheers!

  44. I actually did these in the oven. The only warning I will give is make the heat low about 250*F or they will flatten out like pancakes and shrivel. I also used frozen spinach with great results. I was lazy after a 10 hour work day. Great recipe I will use it again : D

  45. which type of grill did you use? I ask because you said to cover at the end... Charcoal gets cooler when covered because the fire starts to die, but propane gets hotter when covered because it has a supply of gas coming in and you're trapping the heat.

  46. I used a gas grill. I don't think they're covered long enough for the charcoal to go out; most grills are not air tight. But leave the lid off if you prefer.

  47. I couldn't find the post on your FB account so I'm writing this here. I wanted to do them meat free so I substituted Jicama for the ground meat. I steam the Jicama whole in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes. Let it cool and then shred. All else is the same. I also used a Vidalia Onion. I added a tad more hot flakes and hot sauce to balance out the sweetness. It's a slightly different consistency then w the meat. But a GREAT meat alternative.


  48. Jeff, thanks for sharing that. Very interesting way to use jicama!

  49. Outstanding!!! We made this tonight and decided it should be a staple in our house. We used what we had on hand, which is red wine, tomato paste, and Gouda. I am excited to eat this again. Thanks for sharing!


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