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Double Stuffed Mushrooms - Smokey Stuffed Meatballs Baked in A Mushroom Cap

I made some really delicious Manchego Stuffed Meatballs with Romesco recently to serve as tapas style appetizer. In fact, they have been such a huge hit that when I found out that Mushrooms Canada was holding their annual mushroom appetizer contest for the members of the Food Bloggers of Canada, I looked no further, although it required a bit of tweaking.

The original recipe called for serving meatballs on a plate, sitting on a thick smear of romesco, the Spanish sauce made from almonds, bread, olive oil and roasted peppers. Don't get me wrong, I love serving them like this but it really only works when we are actually sitting down to dinner as the whole idea is that you spear one with a fork and drag it through the sauce on it's way to your plate. For this contest, I know they are looking for an appetizer that can be eaten out of hand so what could make more sense than using an actual mushroom cap as a little bed for the meatball right? It's not like it can be too mushroomy.

Once you remove the stem, the little meatball just pops into the opening and bakes right inside it's little mushroom pillow. A meatball stuffed with cheese stuffed into a mushroom - a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in mystery nestled in a mushroom.

 You will have to roll the meatballs to fit the mushrooms so you should look for larger mushrooms or you will be making a million teeny, tiny mushrooms. I ended up making 1" meatballs and I got about 30 pieces out of this recipe but, obviously, the exact amount of appetizers will depend on the size of your mushrooms.

As in the original recipe, you will end up with way more romesco than you need but that is a bonus because you are going to want to eat it with everything - on eggs, in grilled cheese, in sandwiches of all kinds, on roast veg, meat and fish - this stuff is really versatile.

To me, this tasty little treat hit all the right notes -

Blend and Extend - CHECK

Able to eat out of hand - CHECK

Ontario beef, mushrooms and cheese - CHECK

Adorable as all get out - CHECK

Since I live in Toronto, my Canada = drawing from the cultural smorgasbord that is Toronto, so Canadian theme - CHECK

Use of mushroom cap as a serving vessel - CHECK

Double Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes between 25-30 mushroom stuffed meatballs

You will need:


25 to 30 large mushroom caps

approx 75 grams (3oz)  smoked cheddar ( Balderson's works great)

**Romesco Sauce

handful of chopped parsley


  • 400 g (14oz) ground beef
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) of button mushrooms, ground up in the food processor or chopped really finely (approx 5 or 6 large mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper

Pour the milk over the panko and stir to make sure its coated and set aside

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened, about 3 or 4 minutes and then set aside, off the heat, to cool down to room temp.

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Put the beef, ground mushrooms, onion and garlic, soaked panko, egg, smoked paprika, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl and mix, with your hand, until ingredients are well combined.

Carefully remove the stems from your large white mushroom caps and discard. Lay the caps, hollowed out centres facing up,  on the baking sheet.

Grab a little bit of the mixture to roll a ball that is about 1" in diameter - you will get the feeling for how much is needed quickly. Roll out a ball and then, using your thumb, make a deep indent and pop in a little square of cheese and then re-roll the ball around it, making sure it's totally enclosed. Place a meatball inside a mushroom cap, pressing down lightly to make sure it fits in snugly.

When all of the mushroom caps have a meatball inside, carefully pop them in the oven (you don't want them to tip over so handle the pan carefully) and cook for 20 minutes. Keep in mind, that if your meatballs are smaller than 1", they will cook a little quicker so if you go smaller than 1", cook for about 18 minutes.

*you can make the meatballs up to a day ahead and store them in a covered container in the fridge, being careful not to squish them. When it's time to cook them, take it from the place where you prep the mushrooms place the meatballs inside of them and continue as above.

**if you want to freeze the meatballs, put the baking tray in the freezer and when they are frozen enough to be quite solid, you can throw them into a freezer bag and leave them for up to a month. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before cooking them.

**Romesco Sauce:
this is, by far, my favourite recipe for romesco so apart from adding harissa to make it spicy, I haven't changed it
adapted from Saveur 

1 dried Ancho chili, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup whole, unsalted almonds
1 slice of bread, cut into small cubes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small onion, sliced thinly
4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp harissa paste (or to taste as the heat level varies depending on the brand)
1 1/2 cups chopped, jarred roasted red peppers
2 1/2 tsp sherry vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper

cover the ancho chili with 2 cups boiling water, let sit for 5 minutes before you drain it and chop it roughly.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat and cook the almonds and the bread for 4 minutes until golden. Remove the almonds and bread with a slotted spoon and put in the bowl of your food processor.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the chilis, onion and garlic and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the paprika and the harissa and cook for one more minute before scraping the mixture (olive oil too) into the food processor along with the red peppers and vinegar and then blend with the almonds and bread until the smooth

Taste, add salt and pepper to taste
You can make this in advance but make sure you take it out of the fridge an hour ahead of time so it can come down to room temperature. It keeps for a week in the fridge.

To serve, put a little dollop of romesco sauce on top of each meatball and you can either sprinkle some chopped parsley over the tops or just use a few sprigs to pretty up the platter.

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