If you’re looking to step up the bourgeoisie factor at your dinner parties, there’s no better way to do it than by serving up some stuffed baby bella mushrooms on pristine white serving platters. While you’re at it, get a butler to answer the door for you and some swanky-looking waiters to pass these delicious appetizers around the room.
What most people don’t realize is that most of these elaborate-looking arrangements are quite easy to pull off. Take the Baby Bella mushroom recipe, for instance. It works well as an appetizer, or as a tasty side dish that’s bound to add some elegance to whatever shindig you’re hosting at home, the office, or at a fancy event venue.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to make these tasty little treats.
First Things First – Why Baby Bella
While you could very easily use any other type of mushroom for this recipe, there’s a reason why we recommend using Baby Bellas instead. For one thing, they are the perfect size for “bite-sized” appetizers. They are small enough to eat in one mouthful, without looking like you’re trying to chow down an entire tennis ball while at a social event.
Depending on the crowd you’re serving, you could also use larger mushrooms with bigger caps, although it could be at the expense of flavor. Baby Bellas have a delicious earthy and meaty flavor that zhuzh up the taste of whatever stuffing’s inside. So, in essence, you get a two-for-one deal with them.
How to Prepare Baby Bellas for Stuffing – Start With Clean Mushrooms
Before getting into the recipe details, you need to prepare your Baby Bellas for stuffing. By now, you know how dirty fresh mushrooms can get, considering the environment in which they grow. So, you need to make sure that you have clean mushrooms to start with.
Use a mushroom brush to remove any visible dirt on the mushrooms. Some people place them in a colander and run cold water over them to clean them, but I usually skip this step. If you do run cold water over them make sure you don’t do so for more than 5 seconds, tops. You don’t want these little water magnets absorbing too much moisture, and risk ending up with a soggy mess. Then use a very absorbent paper or kitchen towel to pat them dry.
Take off the Stems
The mushrooms caps are the stars of the show. So, you need to remove the stems to create room for the stuffing. You could gently twist off the stem with your fingers or use a paring knife to slice off the base of the stem.
Ensure that you make a clean cut, or you may end up damaging the cap to the point that it won’t hold the stuffing. So, you need to remove the stem carefully while making sure that you leave the cap intact.
Don’t Throw Away the Stems
Simply because you chopped off the stems to make room for the stuffing, doesn’t mean that you should throw them away! That’s a classic rookie mistake. The stems have loads of flavor that you can use in the actual stuffing. Why on earth would you want to waste them? Chop them up into fairly small bits and incorporate them in whichever stuffing you’ll use.
The Actual Stuffing
Once you have your stuffing ready, dab a little melted butter on the inside of the mushroom cap using a basting brush, before spooning the mixture inside. To prevent them from becoming soggy, ensure that you bake them in a preheated oven at high temperatures. Anything above 350°F should suffice to draw out the moisture.
If you don’t intend to use them right away, you can prepare them in advance and refrigerate them for a maximum of 12 hours, at which point you’ll need to bake them. You can, however, store them in the freezer before you bake them, for up to one month.
When you’re ready to use them, don’t thaw them. Simply place them on a nonstick baking tray and pop them straight into the oven. You’ll need to add an extra seven to 12 minutes of baking time over and above what the recipe calls for.
The Best Baby Bella Mushroom Recipe – Garlic Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
- 20 Baby Bella mushrooms – washed and dried
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic – chopped
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese – shredded
- 1 cup cream cheese – softened
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley – chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup unsalted butter – melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the stems from each of the mushrooms and chop them up. Set the caps aside for later.
- Heat the oil and garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until fragrant.
- Add the mushroom stems and cook them until they turn brown. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent them from sticking to the surface of the skillet. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine half of the shredded parmesan, cream cheese, cooked mushroom stems, and parsley and lightly season with salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly to ensure that all the ingredients are evenly combined. The consistency should be thick.
- Space out the mushroom caps you had set aside earlier evenly on a nonstick baking tray. Baste the top and the cavity with the unsalted butter and place them cavity-side up on the tray.
- Stuff the Baby Bellas with a generous amount of the stuffing and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and transfer the stuffed mushrooms onto a serving platter.
- Sprinkle the remainder of the parmesan and parsley on the mushrooms to garnish and enjoy!
Little Bursts of Amazing Flavor With Every Bite
Use this Baby Bella mushroom recipe to make an easy and tasty appetizer that’s guaranteed to be a hit among your guests. It’s a foolproof way to class-up your party.
If you’re not a fan of parmesan, you can substitute it with cheddar, mozzarella, or any other kind of cheese you like. Either way, it’s delicious!
If you want a gluten-free side dish, check out our blog for an easy garlic butter mushroom recipe. You’ll love it!
For a more detailed overview about cooking mushrooms, see our article The Essential Guide to Cooking Mushrooms.
And see our main recipe page for tons of other mushroom recipe ideas.
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