Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms are quick and easy to prepare! Perfect appetizer to serve to a crowd – and delicious and absolutely guilt free too!
Really, how cute are those little guys?! Super cute, right? You know what’s less cute? The way they are prepared a lot of times. Let me explain…
Growing up my mum didn’t always have an easy time as a single parent with two small children.
That’s why it was always a special highlight for my brother and me when we went out for dinner, just the three of us.
And guess what guys, my absolutely favorite restaurant in the entire world was a place serving up American style food in front of a Rock n’ Roll – Diner – 60’s atmosphere.
To be honest it is quite a cool place but oh the food…
It’s not that it tastes bad or anything, it’s just that my favorite thing to order when I was eight years old used to be a platter full of deep fried food.
And it’s not even meant to be shared (well, they say girls should share, boys can eat one alone. My stepsister claims to know two guys who asked for seconds once, seriously impressive!).
We shared it between a grown-up and two kids and it was still too much.
Chicken tenders, chicken wings, onion rings, fries… And stuffed, deep fried mushrooms.
Fatty, greasy, heavenly delicious fried mushrooms. Oh my.
I loved them so much that sometimes I begged to order only mushrooms (which my mom would never agree to).
Luckily the aforementioned stepsister came into the picture a few years later.
She hates mushrooms, I’m not that much into chicken wings.
A deep-fried-super-combo-match made in heaven (this sounds like I only like her for not liking mushrooms – she has of course thousands of other great qualities.
Like loving chicken wings for example!).
Right, back to my childhood problems.
My mum would never make me some deep fried mushrooms at home either (we didn’t have a deep fat fryer anyways, something I also always begged her to buy without any luck whatsoever).
I had to wait for the few annual visits to my fave place ever and hope to get as many of the mushrooms as possible.
Come to think of it, I actually have never tried to stuff and fry mushrooms myself either, probably because at some point I grew out of the “anything deep fried my way please” phase and my taste buds grew up a little bit.
Unless I’m making Honey Lime Crispy Chicken Wings. In that case, all bets are off.
Instead I started stuffing them with pesto and baking them for an easy and delicious appetizer.
With all the delicious basil growing in our garden right now I wanted to come up with a way to not let it go to waste.
And the best part is – this is lightening the whole thing up even more!
The fresh basil meets up with Parmesan, pine nuts and some light cream cheese to create a nice stuffing for the mushrooms.
And they get baked in the oven – no deep fat fryer required!
These are perfect to make for a crowd, though you can just as easily make them as a treat just for yourself (if you’re like me you will eat them all before anyone arrives at your house anyways).
They can be easily prepared in advance, too.
Just stuff them and put them on a lined baking tray, then pop them in the oven just before your guests arrive (this also saves you the trouble of explaining why there are no appetizers left – though at less than 40 calories a piece at least you don’t need to worry about that if you do end up “accidentally” polishing off the entire batch…)!
And if all else fails – there’s always Crispy Garlic Chicken as a backup plan.
- 12 medium sized white mushrooms
- 3.5 oz low fat cream cheese
- 1 cup packed basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms and clean the caps.
- In a food processor combine the cream cheese, basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Process until creamy (or use your immersion blender to achieve the same consistency).
- Add bread crumbs to the filling and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stuff each mushroom cap with approximately one heaping teaspoon of pesto filling.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops start turning golden brown.