Those who know me know I love pizza in any and every form at any time of day. Unfortunately, general logic and my arteries tell me that I can't have it for every meal, so I do what I can to incorporate the same tastes into new dishes. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and knew I had to make it. With a few amendments to the original recipe, these were a very satisfying substitute (and the perfect appetizer/finger food) for the I-wish-it-was-acceptable three Artichoke Pizza meals a day.
pizza stuffed mushrooms
serves about 4 (as an appetizer)

For mushrooms:
2 packages of baby bellas
4 oz softened cream cheese
¼ cups grated parmesan
¼ cups grated mozzarella
1 tablespoon ricotta
¼ teaspoons Dried Basil
⅛ teaspoons Dried Oregano
garlic salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped white mushrooms
note: as you can see from my amendments, you can really use any pizza topping in this filling. Use what you like and forget what you don't for your perfect pizza reincarnate!

For (optional) red sauce:
can or jar of pre-made marinara or pizza sauce
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more for extra heat)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a small, rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil.

Wash mushrooms with a damp cloth, remove stems (they should come out easily) and arrange in one layer, with the well from where the stem used to be facing up on the cookie sheet.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir cream cheese, mozzarella, basil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper together until combined. Stir in remaining ingredients, excluding the baby bellas. Grate parmesan and set aside.

Spoon into prepared mushroom caps by the spoonful. The mixture should be heaping out of the mushrooms. Sprinkle grated parmesan on each mushroom once filled. Bake 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, switch your oven from bake to broil and brown the tops of each mushroom.
Remove from oven.

While the mushrooms are baking, heat oil in a small pan over medium heat and pour about 1/2 cup of pre-made sauce into heated pan (or more or less to your liking). Stir with oil and add oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and any other spices you desire to heating sauce. Once heated and the spices are incorporated, turn heat to low and stir occasionally until mushrooms are ready.

While the mushrooms are still hot, either drizzle sauce over them or put a small dollop on top of each mushroom (like I did). If you want to be fancy, you can also line the bottom of the serving dish with the sauce and place mushrooms on it. This step is not only optional, the presentation is up to you. The original recipe didn't call for red sauce, but in my opinion, any pizza-inspired dish should have sauce!

If you have extra parmesan, sprinkle over top of mushrooms. Serve hot and enjoy!


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