My friends still don’t believe me that I never serve a drop of cream or a shred of cheese when we host a gathering. What do you mean this is cheeseless pizza? There’s no way those cookies are free of butter! And those paleo stuffed mushrooms … oh my how they impress. Each bite is filled with bold flavors and an undeniable rich “cheesiness” that will be savored by even the most adamant dairy-lovers, whether served al fresco in summer or on a warm platter at winter holiday events. I’ve received recipe requests for these many times and they’ve even been raved about at tester kitchen parties. And today, I’m sharing the recipe for these beloved paleo stuffed mushrooms, made with some wonderful lean chicken sausage (yes, seriously!), with you.
Though we sometimes make homemade sausage, al fresco all natural fresh sausages (gluten-free and dairy-free*) are readily available in my area, and have delicious options that I’ve purchased on many occasions for recipes. And because these paleo stuffed mushrooms are rich with nuts (don’t be afraid – the results are amazing!) you can use this lean chicken sausage and still get very indulgent results. Al Fresco offers both Sweet and Hot Italian Sausages, which produce an obvious flavor difference – mild or spicy – but are equally delicious in these paleo stuffed mushrooms.
And when I found out al fresco all natural was hosting a big sweepstakes with Cavit Winery (sorry, the sweepstakes has ended now), I decided to trial a little wine pairing with these paleo stuffed mushrooms (I know, I know, I’m so sophisticated). I purchased a bottle of Cavit Pinot Grigio and it went perfectly with both the mild and hot versions of these paleo stuffed mushrooms. It was bright, crisp and had delicate fruity undertones that complimented these fresh appetizers.
This post is sponsored by al fresco all natural, but the recipe and opinions are my own. This is a product that I’ve purchased and enjoyed myself on several occasions. Hence why I wanted to share it with you!
Special Diet Notes: Italian Paleo Stuffed Mushrooms
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and 99.9% primal / paleo …
Paleo? I can hear just a few of you crying that the sausage I use in these paleo stuffed mushrooms contains sugar in the ingredient list. Please note that the amount is so small that the total sugars in a serving of al fresco sweet Italian chicken sausage is 0 grams. Far less than the sugar Mark Sisson, the founder of the Primal Diet, has in his morning coffee!
*al fresco all natural is a fully gluten-free brand. Most of their sausages are dairy-free, too, but just a few of the fully-cooked varieties contain cheese (clearly marked). All of the fresh sausages (the ones I purchase) are dairy-free. Yes, I confirmed with the company that the butter flavor they use in the Buffalo is indeed dairy-free!
- 24 ounces baby bella mushrooms (about 32)
- 3 to 4 teaspoons oil, divided
- 1 lb al fresco fresh Italian-style chicken sausage (sweet or hot)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
- 1¼ cups raw, unsalted cashews
- 6 tablespoons (or a rounded ⅓ cup) pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ⅜ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (can sub oregano, marjoram or tarragon)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat or grease a large baking dish.
- Wipe away any dirt from the mushrooms with a dry towel or paper towel. Remove the stems, placing the stems on a cutting board, and the caps in your prepared baking sheet or dish.
- Cut away the rough or browned ends from the mushroom stems and discard. Mince the remaining stems.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Remove the casings from the sausage and add the meat to the pan. Cook, while breaking into small bits, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the minced mushroom stems and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Remove the meat and vegetable mixture to a medium bowl.
- Place the cashews and pine nuts in a spice grinder or small food processor and whiz until they begins to turn into nut butter. Add the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the oil, salt, and pepper, and blend until smooth.
- Thoroughly stir the nut mixture into the meat mixture until all ingredients are evenly distributed.. Taste test and add more lemon juice or salt, if needed. If the mixture is too dry, stir in another 1 teaspoon oil. Stir in the basil.
- Firmly pack the mixture into the mushroom caps – really pile them high if you like. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and the filling is beginning to brown on top.