Everybody loves a good , and stuffed mushrooms are an enduring classic: served at weddings, holidays, and corporate events. They're bite-sized and full of flavor, making them easy to pop one by one for hours on end — that is if they last that long. This stuffed mushroom recipe written with developer is filled with creamy, cheesy polenta and crumbly browned sausage. They're easy to put together and to use to refill platters all night; a necessity when serving a hungry crowd.
If you're not planning pre-dinner snacks, polenta-stuffed mushrooms make a good side dish too, satisfying the vegetable lovers and meat lovers alike. Polenta and sausage-stuffed mushrooms pair well with steak, scallops, and beef tenderloin, acting as both a roasted vegetable and creamy carb in one. Whether you're planning a side dish for date night or appetizers for a holiday crowd, these easy stuffed mushrooms fit the bill. And if you just have a few extra mushrooms to use up — why not go ahead and treat yourself?
First, you'll need mushrooms. You'll want about 24 medium-sized baby bellas, so you can either pick them out individually or buy a few packages and sort them at home. The size isn't crucial; some people love the itty bitty mushrooms for easy snacking. If you can't find baby bellas, we'd recommend swapping for white mushrooms, which are a similar size and shape. Next, you'll need polenta, water, salt, butter, and Parmesan cheese. From there, you'll just need Italian sausage and thyme — if you want a little heat in your mushrooms, choose hot Italian sausage.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms and arrange the caps on a parchment-lined sheet.
Spray caps with cooking spray.
Bring the water and salt to boil in a small saucepan.
Add the polenta and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Cover and cook until the polenta is very thick, another 2 minutes.
Uncover and add butter and cheese. Stir to combine, then remove from the heat.
In a small skillet, brown the sausage over medium heat.
To assemble the mushrooms, spoon 1 teaspoon of polenta into each cap.
Stuff the mushrooms with a teaspoon of sausage.
Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Bake for 20 minutes, until mushroom caps are softened and golden brown.
Polenta is made from a coarse-grain cornmeal (the kind you'd use in cornbread, for example). When standard cornmeal is boiled in water, it is technically referred to as cornmeal "mush," and not polenta — but the flavor is nearly identical. For stuffed mushrooms, the texture will hardly be noticed in a single bite, so swapping polenta for cornmeal will make little difference. To do this, simply replace the polenta with cornmeal and follow the recipe as-is.
Another option that saves time (and cleanup) is premade polenta, which is sold in soft logs. You can stuff the mushrooms straight from the package and bake as directed. This saves some time and space in a busy kitchen. If you don't have access to polenta or cornmeal at all, simply swap it for mashed potato. Make mashed potatoes using Yukon gold, russet, or even sweet potato, add butter and Parmesan to taste, then stuff the mushrooms and continue with the recipe as written.
Sausage-stuffed mushrooms are best made fresh, but you can prep some parts in advance to ensure easy serving when your guests arrive. You can make the polenta and sausage up to 3 days ahead, and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator until you're ready to stuff the mushrooms. The mushrooms should be prepared within an hour of roasting due to oxidation, which can lead to pink or brown spots on your mushrooms if they're exposed to air for too long.
You can also prep the mushrooms earlier on the day of the party by oiling and stuffing the mushrooms, then storing them in the refrigerator until you're ready to roast them. That way, you can simply throw the mushrooms in the oven when the guests arrive without needing to prep or clean further. Because the mushrooms would be stuffed, the risk of oxidation is lower, but we do not recommend stuffing more than a day in advance (largely because they are harder to store properly).