When it comes to Thanksgiving eating schedules, there are two schools of thought. The first is that you should avoid food up until dinner is served, lest you risk spoiling your appetite. The second is that hours of restraint while the aroma of roasting turkey fills the house requires a level of self-control that is just too much to manage. Can you guess which camp I’m in?
Sure, some guests may decide to exercise their iron will while you get dinner ready, but I’m all about the appetizers. Instead of leaving anyone with a growling stomach ’til the late afternoon, I set out some Thanksgiving-worthy starters, and people can pick at them as they wish… or totally devour them, as is the case with Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms.
Being honest, I never expected these to be a huge hit, but they are now my absolute favorite version of stuffed mushrooms. The filling stays moist and delicious, even when the mushrooms are made in advance and reheated (which is great news for anyone who likes to make holiday dishes ahead of time). The mixture of cornbread and breadcrumbs provides a great base that holds together easily, and the sagey breakfast sausage fits right in with that fall flavor profile. Thanksgiving or not, I’ll be making these again many times in the future.
Making the stuffing yourself is actually quite easy, so don’t try and substitute the boxed stuff here. First I grab some cornbread from my local supermarket and just crumble it up in a big bowl. I could make it myself, but it’s not at all necessary so I give myself that little shortcut.
Then I mix in a cup of breadcrumbs. That will make up the base of the stuffing! No need to buy some pre-cubed bag of bread, right?
Next, I take some raw breakfast sausage patties and cook them until they’re nice and browned, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon as they cook. You can also use the breakfast sausage links and just cut through the casing, but make sure that they are raw! The frozen kinds are usually fully-cooked and therefore they won’t crumble apart or cook the same way.
Once the breakfast sausage is all cooked, I remove it from the pan and add it in with the breadcrumbs, and then move on to sauteing up some onions, celery, fresh sage and rosemary, and the chopped up stems of the mushrooms in a bit of butter. Once the onions are soft and translucent, the mixture is ready to be added in with the other stuffing ingredients.
To keep the stuffing moist and keep it from falling out of the mushroom caps, I add in chicken stock and an egg before scooping it into the mushrooms. Don’t be conservative here– the more stuffing you can fit in, the better!
I drizzle a bit of melted butter over the prepared mushrooms before sticking them in the oven to bake, and when they come out, they’re lightly browned on top, golden all over, fragrant, and irresistible.
You can either serve them all immediately or refrigerate them for up to 3 days before reheating and serving. I personally think that the longer they have to sit and for those flavors to meld together, the better, so don’t be afraid to make them ahead of time!Print
- 18 stuffing mushrooms, cleaned
- 3 cups crumbled cornbread
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 12 oz raw breakfast sausage patties
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 large egg
- Fresh parsley, chopped, to top
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms and set the mushrooms aside. Finely chop the mushroom stems and discard of the hard ends.
- In a large bowl, combine the crumbled cornbread and breadcrumbs and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the breakfast sausage until well-browned, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Remove the sausage from the pan and add it in with the cornbread mixture.
- Reduce heat to medium and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pan. Add in the mushroom stems, onions, celery, garlic, sage, rosemary, and salt and pepper. Saute until the onions are translucent and softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add the onion mixture to the other stuffing ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pour 2 cups of chicken stock over the stuffing mixture and add in one large egg, stirring well to combine. The mixture will be very moist at this point. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan or in a microwave-safe bowl and drizzle it lightly over the mushrooms.
- Bake until the mushrooms are cooked through and the stuffing is browned on top, about 25 minutes. At this point, you can refrigerate the mushrooms for up to 3 days before reheating to serve.
- Top with fresh parsley and serve warm.