Stuffed Portabella Pizzas are a fun, easy game-day appetizer, or even a light dinner when you’re craving pizza but not all the carbs. Read on, or jump straight into the recipe HERE.
When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with the idea of stuffed portabella mushrooms. Portabellas just seem like they’re meant to be filled with delicious things, don’t they? It’s like nature said “here, have a bowl.” Thanks, nature.
Combine that with the other thing teenage me was obsessed with (pizza, duh) and you get these: Stuffed Portabella Pizzas.
Aka, porta-pizzas. Not to be called porta-pies, because that sounds way too much like porta-potties. Ew. Porta-pizzas it is.
There is one hitch when it comes to stuffed mushrooms, and that is: mushrooms have a ton of moisture in them. Fill ’em up with tasty ingredients, bake, and voila, you’ve just made a soggy, soupy mess. Wa-wa-waaaaa.
I wasn’t savvy enough to figure this out as a teenager, but fortunately, adult-me knows a work around. By scraping out the gills with a spoon and baking the mushroom caps for a few minutes before stuffing them, you can effectively cook out some of their liquid and drain it away.
Add your filling as you normally would, pop ’em back under the broiler for a few minutes, and now we’re talking.
I was actually really surprised with how pizza-like these were. (I’m one of those people who thinks the best part of the pie is the crust, so I was skeptical to say the least.) Obviously, they won’t replace pizza all together in my life, but they can certainly stand in as a fun way to lighten things up when cravings strike.
If you’re serving these as a meal, I’d say you want 2-3 per person. For appetizers, just one or two will do. Of course, it all depends on the size of your mushrooms, so YMMV. I was a little disappointed with the selection my grocery store had this time (they were almost sold out!) so my mushrooms are a bit all over the place in size.
As for toppings, you can use whatever you like on your pizza. I made a bunch of different ones, some with meat and some without. If you wanted to make them vegan, you could probably use your favorite cheese substitute in place of the mozzarella, too.
And yeah, I totally put some mushrooms on my mushroom stuffed pizza. It’s like pizza inception y’all.
- 6 large portabella mushrooms
- about ½ cup marinara sauce (storebought or homeade -- I had some in the freezer from our garden last year. This is simply tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil cooked until thick and saucy.)
- 2-3 oz. shredded mozarella cheese (or other good melting cheese, or your favorite vegan substitute)
- Meats: pepperoni, crumbled sausage or bacon (cooked first), diced ham, shredded chicken
- Veggies: finely chopped green bell pepper, red onion, black olives, chopped artichoke hearts, mini button mushrooms (mushroom on mushroom action!), baby arugula or spinach, etc..
- Other add-on ideas: crushed red pepper flakes, finely chopped fresh basil (optional but recommended), tiny pinch of garlic powder or cajun seasoning, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, ranch powder, etc..
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F., and (optionally, for easier clean-up) line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment. Prepare all your toppings and have them at the ready (if you're using meats, cook them and set aside. Chop all your veggies, grate the cheese, etc.)
- Wipe the surface of the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth, then remove the stems with a paring knife and scrape away the gills using a spoon. The gills are perfectly edible, but removing them will give you more room for stuffing, and help reduce the amount of moisture in the mushrooms.
- Place the mushroom caps open-side up on the baking sheet, and roast for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, and gently use a pair of tongs to pick up each mushroom and drain off any moisture that has pooled in it.
- Return the mushrooms to the baking sheet, and add a small spoonful of marinara sauce to each. Top with a little cheese, and then a small amount of whatever toppings you like. I made some with meat and some without. My favorite was the sausage / green pepper / red onion pizza. (Go figure, these were my dad's favorite pizza toppings, too.)
- Once the pies are topped, return them to the oven. Let cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. If you want, you can switch on the broiler in the last minute or two to get the cheese nice and browned. Once baked, you can add fresh ingredients like baby arugula or chopped fresh basil. Serve.
One other option, which I didn't try this time but plan on doing next time, is to use a little of your favorite barbecue sauce in place of the marinara. Top with shredded chicken and sliced red onions, and you've got yourself a barbecue chicken pizza! If you want my favorite BBQ sauce recipe for this kind of pizza, you can find that here: Barbecue Chicken Pizza With Homemade Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce.