01/17/2012 01:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms

I'm not a vegetarian, by a long shot. I enjoy poultry and beef too much to give them up completely. But I am trying to consciously cut down on my meat consumption. As a result, I've become more interested in developing main course recipes that use little or no meat.


These stuffed mushrooms are vegetarian, but if you're a meat-lover, don't let that fact scare you. They are filling enough to be a main dish and tasty enough that you won't miss the meat. Or, you can always use them as a side dish with a simple chicken cutlet or piece of baked, poached or broiled fish.

The spinach and cheese that form the basis for the stuffing are a great combination and a healthy way to get calcium and vitamins A and C. Also, the tomatoes included in the stuffing help you absorb the iron in the spinach.

This recipe uses a toaster oven, but you can use a regular oven if you prefer. In that event, you'll need a small cookie sheet or pan, preferably with low sides.

Stuffed Portabella mushroom caps - 2 servings. Total cost $9.20 (less than $5 per serving) 



There is no standard size for large portabella mushroom caps - packages usually contain 2 or 3.

  • 2 large portabella mushroom caps (large enough to stuff) 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ medium onion (about ⅓ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach (smaller, more tender leaves than regular)
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese (soft cheese, like cottage cheese but no water or lumps)
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped (about 6 cherry tomatoes or 8-10 grape tomatoes)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs (I prefer Panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

Equipment (besides toaster oven with its own tray)  


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Small spoon - I used a grapefruit spoon (with a serrated edge, handy for cutting out the inside of the mushroom caps) 
  • Large spoon
  • Garlic press
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium-large pan
  • Cheese grater or shredder 
  • For step-by-step directions, including pictures, click here.