Vegetarian Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms

Earthy and robust cremini mushrooms, filled with a savory and buttery blend of chopped mushroom stems, shallots, herbs, spices, and (wait for it…), crushed saltine crackers! You can't stop at one. Nor should you...

I'm serious here - you WILL NOT miss the sausage in this vegetarian version of stuffed mushrooms. To be honest, I adore mushrooms in every way shape and form, EXCEPT when they're stuffed with a sausage-based filling. I'm not sure why - I guess I feel like the filling overpowers the meaty and magical, earthy quality of the 'shrooms. This recipe showcases mushrooms in all their glory by using the stems as the base of the filling. The chopped stems are sauteed in butter and herbs and, well, you can only imagine what an awesome base of flavor that is. Then, saltines add a wonderful toasted quality (and they're way cooler than bread crumbs). Fresh parsley and parmesan cheese take the whole cap over the top.

Want vegan 'shrooms? Choose vegan parmesan cheese and you can make these stuffed mushrooms completely VEGAN!

Want to prep ahead? Of course you do - you want to party with your guests! This is a great make-ahead party appetizer. Assemble the mushrooms up to 24 hours in advance; cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Vegetarian Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms

Cooking spray
24 cremini mushrooms, wiped clean
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup crumbled saltine crackers (just break the crackers into smaller pieces, the food processor with do the rest!)
1 large egg
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling over top
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop them. Set the caps aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems, shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until soft. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and add the crackers, egg, 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Process until blended and smooth. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and arrange the caps on the prepared pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender, and the top is golden brown. Sprinkle the top with more parmesan cheese and serve warm or room temperature.
Makes 24 stuffed mushrooms