Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Crispy Goat Cheese
These amazing stuffed portobello mushrooms are topped with marinara sauce, spinach, and crispy goat cheese medallions. A delicious and easy vegetarian main course that is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Substitute gluten free breadcrumbs to make gluten free.
Roast the Portobello Mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the center position. Lightly spray or brush a standard sheet pan with olive oil. Distribute the portobello mushrooms, stem side up, on the baking sheet and brush or spray lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes (*this time will vary depending on the size of your mushrooms, check after 10 minutes or so to be sure), or until tender. If any moisture collects in the mushroom caps, carefully drain and discard. Set mushrooms aside on a large plate as you prepare the filling and crispy panko breadcrumb topping.
Prepare the Sautéed Spinach: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced shallots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until soft and translucent. Add the baby spinach, increase the heat to medium-high. Sauté until just wilted, stirring continuously. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Prepare the Crispy Breadcrumb Topping: Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once the butter is just beginning to sizzle, add the chopped shallots and a pinch of salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the panko breadcrumbs and minced garlic, and toast for three to four minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the breadcrumbs from burning, or until the breadcrumbs are very light golden in color. Transfer to a shallow bow and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assembly: Reduce the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Line the same sheet pan with parchment paper (*note: if you have a baking rack that can be set within a baking sheet, I prefer to place the mushrooms on this, as it helps prevent the mushrooms from sitting in any juice that releases during cooking).
Distribute the roasted mushrooms, stem side up, on the sheet pan, in the center of the sheet pan so that they are just touching each other. Fill each mushroom with a large spoonful of marinara sauce. Distribute the sautéed spinach evenly among the mushrooms, spooning it on top of the sauce.
Slice the goat cheese into ½-inch thick slices (roughly half an ounce). It may crumble a bit, but do your best to keep it in a roughly round slice. Carefully press the goat cheese slices, on both sides, in the panko breadcrumb topping and place on top of each mushroom. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the remaining breadcrumb mixture.
Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown and goat cheese is just beginning to soften. Be careful to ensure that the breadcrumbs do not brown. Serve immediately.
Homemade Marinara Sauce:
Using large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, add the 4 cloves roughly chopped garlic, stirring continuously for 30 seconds, making sure that the garlic does not brown (this is essential). Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and stir over low heat for a minute or so, stirring continously. Add 2 dried bay leaves and 1 tablespoon dried oregano to the pan, and 1 (28 ounce) can Italian crushed tomatoes, stir together, and bring to low simmer. Cover and simmer sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tips for Success:
When picking portobello mushrooms, look for completely firm caps and gills. The skin should be dry and unbruised. Shriveled, bruised, or moist mushrooms should be avoided as they are past their prime. While you can adjust this recipe to work for any size portobello mushroom, I recommend finding large portobello mushrooms that are roughly 4-inches in diameter and have slightly deeper caps for filling. This will make them easier to stuff.
If you do not enjoy the texture of mushroom gills, you can remove and discard them prior to roasting.
These stuffed portobello mushrooms are hearty enough to be served on their own with a simple salad. I find that 2 stuffed mushrooms per serving work well. If you serve these as a side, you can get away with just 1 stuffed mushroom per person.