Kick off your week with a healthy dinner full of fresh ingredients and flavors, all while skipping the meat. The key to a successful Meatless Monday dinner is feeling satisfied by still including a protein source. By introducing more sustainable foods to your weekly diet, Meatless Monday will improve personal health and make the world a little greener. Check out www.meatlessmonday.com for more information on the amazing benefits and impact doing this just once a week can do for you and your family.
This week’s recipe is one of the most flavorful and delicious dinners in my meatless arsenal: stuffed Portobello mushroom “pizzas.” I fill these big, hearty mushrooms with creamy, cheesy, garlicky baby spinach and kale and then top them with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. This meal pairs perfectly with a Caesar salad using more baby kale.
Opting for big Portobello mushrooms instead of pizza dough is a great idea because the mushrooms deliver both meaty flavor and texture, and it is way easier to use them instead of making pizza dough from scratch.
The Italian seasoning mixture I created for this recipe was inspired by some of my favorite pizza flavors. The little addition of crushed red pepper flakes gives that classic pizza sensation without too much spice or heat. I love going to pizza joints and sprinkling some extra cheese and red pepper flakes on my pizza, and these elements make the dish feel even more like a pizza (especially to folks who are nervous about this non-traditional offering).
The filling is packed with baby kale and spinach, both of which burst with iron and vitamins. These two greens pair well with the cheesy, garlicky filling and provide essential nutrients important in vegetarian recipes.
Stuffed Portobello Mushroom “Pizzas”
Stuffed Mushroom Ingredients:
- 4 Large Portobello mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning mix (recipe below)
- 1 tbsp. Butter, softened
- 1 tbsp. Olive oil
- ½ tbsp. Chopped garlic or garlic paste
- 3 c. Chopped baby kale
- 3 c. Chopped baby spinach
- ¼ c. Half and half
- ¼ c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ c. Asiago or parmesan cheese, shredded
- ½ c. Ricotta cheese
- Marinara sauce
- Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh sliced basil
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Clean mushrooms with a wet paper towel by wiping them all around. Spread a little butter on the top round side of the mushrooms and sprinkle a little bit of the Italian seasoning mix as shown in the photo further down. Set the rest of the Italian seasoning mix to the side for filling.
3) Roughly chop the baby kale and baby spinach. Measure each of the 3 cups after the ingredients have been chopped.
4) Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add that ½ tablespoon of garlic paste to the olive oil and let it cook for 20 to 30 seconds to get fragrant.
5) Add chopped spinach and kale to the olive oil/garlic paste and begin to sauté and mix these ingredients together. Add ½ tablespoon of the Italian seasoning mix (only half of the seasoning, not all) to the pan. Continue to stir.
6) As the greens begin to shrink, pour in the ¼ cup of half and half. Turn the heat to low and stir together with the ¼ cup Mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Asiago or parmesan cheese. Once the cheese is melted, turn the heat off and stir in the ½ cup of ricotta cheese.
7) Fill the “bowl side” of the mushrooms with some of the cheesy greens. Add a little marinara sauce on top of the greens. Top with a good sprinkle of extra mozzarella cheese.
8) Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese on top bubbles and golden brown spots appear. If needed, turn the broiler on for 1 to 2 minutes at the end to get the cheese bubbly and brown.
9) Serve garnished with extra marinara sauce and fresh sliced basil along with a delicious baby kale Caesar salad.
Italian Seasoning Ingredients:
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- ½ tsp. Ground Oregano
- ½ tsp. Onion Powder
- ½ tsp. Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- ¼ tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
1) Measure out and mix all ingredients together. This will yield 1 tablespoon of seasoning mix.
2) Use seasoning mix in recipe above or as a sprinkle topper on Italian dishes or pizza.
There is no wrong way to serve the finished mushrooms, but they definitely need some kind of side salad for a complete meal. My favorite side salad for these mushroom “pizzas” is a baby kale Caesar salad. This is a great way to use the rest of the kale from the bag used in the mushrooms. Use baby kale instead of romaine lettuce, toss it with Caesar dressing (if vegetarian, look for one without anchovies), crunchy croutons, a little parmesan cheese, and some capers for the perfect briny, salty addition. The salad flavors perfectly complement those in the mushrooms.
I hope you enjoy making these cheesy baby kale and spinach stuffed Portobello mushroom “pizzas,” as they’re the perfect meatless dinner.
Please check out the rest of Direct Energy’s installments of Meatless Monday!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan