Hearty Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms (VEGAN)

Mushrooms and nuts are my favorite sneaky protein foods. They're easy to prepare and add to other dishes for texture and flavor, without much forethought. Together, they make a delicious and satisfying vegan main course that pairs well with vegetable or grain side dishes.

As we work to eliminate processed foods, we are having a tough time parting with fake meats as the protein in these types of meals. Some nights I don't have time to stand at the stove managing complex concoctions, and I depend on quick easy meals I can toss on a sheet pan in the oven, while I keep the kids from killing each other until it's ready.

With very little prep time, nut-stuffed mushrooms are part of a great weeknight sheet-pan meal. Even the pickiest eater decided he liked these, although I have to admit I automatically added veggie nuggets on that sheet pan, too, just in case.  We do what we gotta do, here.
(Apparently "sheet pan recipe" is a thing on Pinterest right now... I never did it on purpose, it's just how I cook, but everything needs a buzzword right?) 

Heck, make it even easier for yourself, and prep a bunch of stuffed mushrooms on the weekend, or make a double batch, freeze them on the sheet pan without the breadcrumb topping and then transfer to a container or zip storage bag. Toss them straight in the oven as needed. Breadcrumbs can be added halfway through baking, but these will brown up nicely even if you skip it.

Vegan coming to your party and looking for appetizer and hors d'oeurves ideas? No one would miss the meat in these, and they pair great with a glass of red!

After enjoying this recipe three times, I feel it's a winner worth sharing. We are really into the nutty, cheese-less, version right now, but if you love a good stuffed mushroom you may enjoy these old stand-by's as well:

Portobello Mushrooms Florentine
Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms (Vegan)

Serves 2-3
Yields: (6) 3” mushrooms or (12) 2” mushrooms
Active Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

A simple stuffed mushroom recipe that’s a bit more filling and hearty with walnuts. You will need a food processor to blend the ingredients.

Tip: Most ready-made breadcrumbs contain milk, and other additives. So for a truly vegan version, as well as a cleaner and more whole-food version, you should make your own dried breadcrumbs by pulsing toasted fresh baked bread in the food processor.

6 extra large button mushroom caps, or 12 medium, stems removed and chopped
1 medium shallot, sliced
1 large garlic clove, sliced
1/4 C walnuts, chopped
1 T mint or other fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, etc)
¼ C dried breadcrumbs w/ Italian seasoning  + 2T  more for topping
2 T water
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 425F

2. On a lightly oiled or foil-lined baking dish or sheet pan, place mushroom caps and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté shallots until soft, 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, cooking for 1 minute and add mushroom stems and walnuts. Cook another 2-3 minutes, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and stir in mint or herbs of choice.

4. Place skillet contents and breadcrumbs into a chopper or food processor, adding a little water. Pulse until combined, almost a paste. Add more water as needed to blend, up to 2 T.

5. Stuff the mushroom caps with the paste and pack it down. Mix a few drops of olive oil into 2T of  dry breadcrumbs to moisten. Top each mushroom with the mixture breadcrumbs, and/or chopped walnuts, pressing in place.

6. Bake at 425F 20-30 minutes until mushrooms darken in color, release some  juices, and are cooked through. Cook longer for mushrooms larger than 2” diameter, as needed.
These may be frozen individually on a sheet pan and stored in a freezer bag or container up to 6 weeks. Adjust baking by starting with a 400F oven for 15 minutes, raising to 425F and bake another 20-30 minutes as needed to cook frozen mushrooms through.


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