Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms are a perfect party appetizer. Fill plump white mushroom caps with the easy, make-ahead filling, and they’re fresh out of the oven in about 20 minutes. Make more than you think you’ll need, because they will be gone in a flash
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I never ate a whole lot of mushrooms growing up, and I don’t remember my parents ever cooking with them. As an adult I ate them more often, but only at restaurants and usually as an appetizer. When I finally bought them at the store I used white button mushrooms, because I didn’t like the portobello mushroom texture. It took me a couple of years to make the switch to baby portobello mushrooms, and now I eat them almost exclusively.
I always have baby portobello mushrooms in the fridge, and use them regularly. Green Bean Mushroom Saute is one of my standby side dishes, and Red Wine Garlic Mushrooms is a fantastic date night side dish. When I’m in the mood for savory, I make Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad, and my Asian Salmon and Noodles is bursting with flavors.
Until about 18 months ago, the blog showcased only main courses and side dishes…no appetizers, drinks or desserts. I created blog posts based on my meals, and of course those were only mains and sides. So when I finally took the plunge with appetizers, I decided to start with Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Oh how I love these Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms! I’ve made them for parties in the past, and they are always a hit. The salty bacon and Parmesan pair beautifully with the savory spinach and mushrooms, and the pine nuts add a very nice crunch.
I based Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms off of another recipe, and of course that recipe was long gone by the time I needed to make it for the blog. And I hadn’t made them in over a year. Bad combination, because I made all kinds of mistakes and ended up with very dense, and not very good, mushrooms. After lots of trial and error, I redeemed myself
CHOOSING THE RIGHT MUSHROOMS FOR SPINACH AND BACON STUFFED MUSHROOMS
- I use white mushrooms, because portobello mushrooms tend to look burnt when they bake
- Use mushrooms that are about the same size, so they cook evenly
- Look for mushrooms that have a larger cap, for more fillable space
- If your grocery store sells mushrooms in bulk, choose from there so you can get exactly what you want
KEYS TO THE PERFECT SPINACH AND BACON STUFFED MUSHROOMS
- Use fresh baby spinach, as you won’t get the same consistency from frozen spinach
- Bacon. Everything tastes better with bacon! I use thick-cut bacon, and dice it small, for a wonderful salty bite
- Cook the spinach down in a little bit of the bacon fat, along with garlic and fresh onion. I use roasted and raw garlic interchangeably
- Don’t forget the seasoning! I use Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper
- Italian Bread Crumbs help to bind the mixture together, and add more flavor. To keep this gluten free, use Gluten Free Italian Bread Crumbs
- Don’t over-stuff the mixture into the mushroom cap, or it will get dense and not cook properly
THE FINAL STEPS FOR SPINACH AND BACON STUFFED MUSHROOMS
- Don’t overcook the Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms, or the mushrooms get too dark and the filling too dense. I bake them on the center rack in the oven, and for 18-20 minutes.
- I add toasted Pine Nuts at the very end. Toasting them releases the oils and adds a more intense nutty flavor
- Parmesan cheese: I always use fresh Parmesan, and buy the big chunks. It’s more expensive than the grocery store can, but there’s no comparison in flavor, and it lasts a long time
PREP, STUFF, BAKE, EAT…REPEAT!
I highly recommend you eat these Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms warm…as soon as you can once they are out of the oven. Room temperature stuffed mushrooms are not that good, and they do not reheat well. The great thing about Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms is that you can make the filling ahead, and then stuff and cook them off when needed. When I make them for a party, I make the filling about 2 hours ahead, and then stuff them right before I pop them into the oven. You don’t need to worry about them sitting for too long, because they are usually gone in minutes.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 12 ea white button mushrooms with stems, all about the same size
- 1 cup baby spinach, packed
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon yellow onion, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon pine nuts
- 2 Tablespoons fresh grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and make sure oven rack is in the center
Add pine nuts to a large skillet over medium heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until pine nuts are lightly browned. Pay attention, because pine nuts go from toasted to burnt very quickly. Remove from skillet and set aside
Add bacon to same skillet, and cook till desired level of done. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. When cool, dice into small pieces. Reserve a few larger pieces for garnish at the end
While bacon cooks, remove stems from mushrooms. Wipe mushroom caps with a towel. Dice mushroom stems finely. Depending on the size of the stems, you may not need to use all of them. YOU WANT A YIELD OF 1/3 CUP DICED MUSHROOM STEMS
Discard all but 1/2 Tablespoon of bacon fat. Add onion, and cook for 2 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Rinse spinach thoroughly, and add to skillet. Cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach mixture to cutting board and chop into small pieces
Add mushroom stems, bacon, spinach to large bowl. Combine with Italian bread crumbs, garlic powder and onion powder, and stir to fully combine
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place mushroom caps side down on the foil, leaving space between each mushroom so they cook evenly. Fill each mushroom cap with the filling.
Cook mushrooms for 17-20 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with fresh Parmesan, pine nuts, and reserved bacon. Serve immediately
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