Crumbled Italian sausage, tangy blue cheese and crunchy pork rinds all stuffed into tasty little mushroom cap bites. Sausage & blue cheese stuffed mushrooms are the perfect appetizers to start a meal or to share with friends over a bottle of red!
This post is sponsored by Mushrooms Canada. I have been compensated to sponsor this recipe but -as always- all opinions are my own.
The one thing I learned in my wine appreciation courses at Mohawk College is to not underestimate the power of a good pairing. Whether that be a food pairing or a food and wine pairing how flavours work together when combined can make all the difference.
There are many familiar pairings like PB & J, strawberries and whipped cream, chocolate and mint…. the list goes on forever but what about giving foods you may not like a chance? Could it be you aren’t a fan because you have never had it done the right way or maybe it is what you ate with it?
For me, blue cheese is this food. On its own, I can’t stand it. I mean it smells… it is stinky cheese but with gross blue mould running through it …. when paired the right way it is magnificent!
These sausage and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms are just that… the perfect pairing! Add a glass of pinot noir and you have a match made in heaven.
INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS
- Mushrooms – Since you are stuffing them you will want to use a mushroom that has a firm cap. I like to use a combination of white button and cremini mushrooms but look for larger caps so you have room to stuff them. Alternatively, you could also make one larger mushroom for a lunch-size portion using portabello mushrooms.
- Italian sausage – Italian sausage is made with the perfect seasons with flavours of garlic, oregano, fennel and black pepper. Any unsweetened sausage can be substituted.
- Garlic – because every meal that is delicious seems to have a healthy dose of garlic. And it keeps vampires away…. which is always a bonus.
- Thyme – a subtle herb that has an earthy, slightly sweet minty flavour. If using dried thyme use 1/3 of the measurements. For this recipe that would be 1 tsp.
- Chicken broth – Adds a little moisture and is used to deglaze the pan of all the browned sausage bits creating a flavourful broth used to steam and soften the chopped mushroom stems. You can substitute the broth for a dry white wine if you prefer.
- Blue cheese – There really is no substitute for blue cheese but Roquefort would be the next best thing… still a stinky intense cheese. I highly encourage doubters to try this recipe with blue cheese but if you are adamant or have trust issues feta is a pungent and crumbly cheese that will work as well. But not the same.
- Pork rinds – low carb and slightly salty are an excellent replacement for panko crumbs often found in stuffed mushroom recipes. Plus when you crumble them up they don’t get soft and add a great crispy texture to every bite. If you don’t have pork rinds around and aren’t following a low-carb or keto diet you can replace these just the same with panko bread crumbs.
- Black pepper
How to clean and Prepare mushroom caps
- Use a damp paper towel and gently dust off any dirt or black bits from the mushroom caps and stems.
- If the ends of the stems remain black simply slice the end off
- Gently twist the stem and it should easily pop away from the cap. If some breaks off use a sharp knife to pop the rest out of the centre. Don’t throw these away… you will need them!
- On the inside of the cap just above the gills, there is often a soft overhang of mushroom sort of like a moustache. I like to gently break this away. By doing so it makes the opening of the mushroom cap slightly bigger. If you have no idea what I am talking about though this step isn’t necessary.
What are pork rinds?
Pork rinds are pig skins that have been rendered to remove as much fat as possible and then fried or baked to produce a crunchy almost popcorn-like texture. While pork rinds are almost zero carbohydrates they are still very high in fat and often salt. But eaten in moderation just like anything else they are a great ingredient to experiment with or eat as an occasional snack.
Making sausage & Blue Cheese Stuffed mushrooms
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the sausages from their casings and add to a large non-stick pan. Fry over medium-high heat using the end of a wooden spoon to break the sausage up into small pieces. Continue to cook until the sausage is browned.
While the sausage is cooking finely chop the stems of the mushrooms… told you not to throw them away! Just put these aside for a minute.
When the sausage is browned throw in the minced garlic and let cook for another minute.
Add in the time and chicken broth and using the end of the wooden spoon scrape up all the brown bits off the pan. This process is called deglazing and creates a broth full of flavour.
Add the fresh thyme and mushroom caps and let simmer until all of the moisture has been soaked up and the mushroom stems have softened.
In a large bowl add the sausage and mushroom mixture from the pan as well as the crushed pork rinds, crumbled blue cheese and pepper. Mix just until combined.
Brush the tops of the mushroom caps with olive oil and place the top-side down on a non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle the open mushroom caps with the remaining olive oil.
Using a teaspoon, stuff the mushroom with the sausage and blue cheese stuffing pressing down softly to keep the bits from tumbling off the sides. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and serve.
can you make these in advance?
You can but served the next day the pork rinds will lose their crunch but they are still delish!
If you’re preparing for guests and want to get most of the work done ahead of time I would stick to preparing the mushroom caps and making the sausage mixture. Then the day off preheat the oven, mix the blue cheese and pork rinds in at that time and bake.
storing stuffed mushroom caps
Since this stuffed mushroom recipe is made with blue cheese I would not recommend letting them sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. After that store them in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or microwave.
Are these stuffed mushrooms keto or low carb?
Yes! Because this recipe is using pork rinds instead of the usual bread crumbs in the stuffing they are very low carb.
more tasty appetizers
- Spanish Deviled Eggs
- Cucumber Peach Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
- Salmon Croquettes – just make them a little smaller
- Pico de Gallo served with tortilla chips
- Turnip Fries
- Calamari Fritti
- Asian BBQ Cauliflower Wings
- Turkey Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce
Sausage & Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- Non-stick Baking Sheet
- Chopping Knife
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large Bowl
- Mixing Spoon
- 20 larger mushrooms cleaned, stems reserved.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz Italian sausage casings removed
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 oz pork rinds crushed
- 3 oz blue cheese crumbled
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Set stems aside for later. Baste the tops of the mushrooms lightly with olive oil and place top down on a non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle the open tops with the remaining olive oil.
- In a large non-stick pan add the sausage with the casings removed over medium-high heat. Break the sausage apart with the wooden spoon to resemble a crumble. Continue cooking until browned.
- While the sausage is cooking finely chop the reserved mushroom stems.
- Once the sausage is browned add the minced garlic and continue to cook for another minute. Add in the thyme and chicken broth and use the wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in the finely chopped mushroom stems and let simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mushroom stems are softened.
- Transfer the sausage and mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add the crushed pork rinds, crumbled blue cheese and black pepper. Mix gently until just combined.
- Place a heaping teaspoon full of the sausage stuffing mixture into the open mushroom caps and press down gently to form mounds. Bake for 20 minutes and serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.