Let me take you through a quick stroll down memory lane. About 18-19 years ago, I was a vegetarian. Portobello mushrooms were always incorporated in so many of my meals. I used to use them as buns, “meat” patties, sliced into thick slices and topped fajita style veggies and I even used them as layers between a vegetarian lasagna. Once I started eating meat again, I stopped purchasing these amazing mushrooms for some reason — and I really don’t know why! They are amazingly delicious and super nutritious! (I kept that stroll quick, didn’t I? So proud of myself!)
Baby bella’s are a nutritionally sound choice to add to your meals. They are not only cute, they are loaded with benefits to help protect your body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. They are super good source of Vitamin B which is important for energy and red blood cell production. And often we don’t think about other minerals that are essential to our bodies but they are an excellent source of:
Aside from the nutritional benefits, they are delicious! I recently realized that I hadn’t kept these mushrooms in my rotation much and I’m going to make that change now. I miss them and even though I’m now a carnivore, I can certainly add these in with my meaty meals OR simply go meatless from time to time and make some of the yummy foods I made back in my vegetarian days.
These stuffed baby bella’s started out to be what I thought would be a stuffed “lasagna” flavored bite but it turns out, it’s just a good bite without much of the lasagna flavor. I was going to try again with the recipe but my hubby raved at how good they were so I’ll just keep them as is and create another one that will resemble more of a handheld bite of lasagna.
The key to this recipe is to use a spicy sausage – or at least a sausage sprinkled with a generous amount of seasonings so you don’t have to add much to the assembly of these stuffed baby bella’s. I like easy and I like quick. When you can omit a step in a process, I’m all for it! So, the sausage I use is spicy and definitely doesn’t require additional ingredients to get a pop of flavor with every bite. I do add cheddar cheese to the top but if you’re steering clear of cheese, these are still pretty amazing without that addition.
I grabbed some regular sized portobello’s and am going to make a few using the same recipe so it’s more of a meal, if you will. These mini’s are a great addition to a veggie or salad. They are also a perfect appetizer and/or contribution to a social event. It’s always a great idea to take along something that you know you can eat and get a pretty good fill off of. Sometimes it’s hard to know what else will be on that buffet table. Anyway, my friends ….have at the recipe! Enjoy it and reap all the delicious and nutritious benefits!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Take stems off of mushrooms and wipe mushrooms off with a lightly damp paper towel.
- Lay the caps on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine the sausage, pasta sauce, mayo and garlic.
- Spoon the sausage mixture into the mushroom caps ...push into cavity and make as much of a mound as possible without it toppling over.
- Sprinkle cheese on top of each.
- Bake for 15 min. Turn to broil for 5
- Once out of oven, top with chopped basil!
- *I keep the stems of the mushrooms to chop up into another meal (riced cauliflower, greens ....) or you can add some of the chopped stems to the meat mixture!