Call me materialistic or superficial, but I like things that come in pretty packages. Sure, I want the surprise on the inside to be just as nice, but the packaging on the outside totally adds to the excitement and anticipation of what’s to come. For example, after opening my gifts from Santa on Christmas morning I
still used to dutifully put everything back in the boxes and was careful not to untie the ribbons, so I could slide them back on, making it look as though it were Christmas all over again.
Just as I like jewelry or clothes to come in pretty packages, so do I with food. Don’t get me wrong, I love a messy burger or a sloppy casserole, but there’s something about a neatly presented dish that really tugs at my inner neat freak. These Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Portobello mushrooms are like the perfectly wrapped present just screaming to be open, or eaten. The meaty portobellos are sturdy enough to house the heaping pile of chicken, spinach and tomato sauce without falling into a crumbly mess. It’s a satisfying, well-rounded meal in one little package – it’s just too bad I can’t rewrap this one and eat it over and over again, like I do with my Christmas presents!
Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos
makes 4 servings
4 large portobello mushroom caps, stemmed and gills scooped out
freshly ground black pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb chicken sausage, casings removed (mine had feta & sun-dried tomatoes in it, but use whatever kind of sausage you like)
1 10-oz box chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup jarred marinara sauce
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place mushroom caps upside down on the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the oven, turn right-side up and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Set aside and turn down the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Meanwhile, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until the onion is just translucent, 6-7 minutes.
3. Push the onion mixture to the edges of the skillet and add the chicken sausage to the middle of the pan. Cook, breaking up into bits with the back of a wooden spoon, until the chicken sausage is just browned and cooked through.
4. Add the spinach to the skillet and stir to combine with the chicken and onions. Remove from the heat to a medium-sized bowl and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
5. Add the breadcrumbs and beaten egg to the chicken sausage mixture. Stir gently to combine, but do not over mix. Scoop out the mixture to evenly top each of the 4 mushroom caps.
6. Spoon enough marinara over each filled mushroom to liberally cover the top.
7. Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray and place the mushroom inside. Bake 15 minutes until the mushrooms, filling and tomato sauce are warmed through.