Sometimes we crave a quick, meatless meal. These stuffed portobello mushrooms fit the bill! Roasted portobello caps are layered with a tasty Mediterranean mixture of vegetables and creamy goat cheese. A light sprinkle of breadcrumbs (or nut crumbs) and a drizzle of za’atar-infused olive oil add texture and additional flavor. It’s a healthy meatless entree that satisfies.
Portobello mushrooms provide a wonderful base for building healthy entrees. The portobello’s meaty taste and texture come from exposed gills beneath the large mushroom cap. As air moves through the gills, moisture evaporates, resulting in a rich and hearty flavor and texture. When you combine the meatiness of a portobello cap with a mixture of roasted peppers, briny olives, and goat cheese topping, you’ve got yourself a seriously satisfying dish.
This is one of those dishes that I threw together using leftover items from the crisper drawer and pantry. These mushroom caps provided a fabulous stage for a layer of creamy, tangy goat cheese crumbles. I’ve been buying more goat cheese lately, thanks in part to my Grandma Avey. As I was reading through her memoirs recently, I was reminded that she raised goats on a small farm in Van Nuys, California. Those who know Van Nuys today don’t associate the area with farmland, but at the time by grandparents lived there, there were more fields than industrial buildings. They lived on a small piece of land with an orange grove and a herd of goats, which my grandma milked. She fed her family goat milk and they made their own goat cheese.
Whenever we eat goat cheese now, I smile, thinking of my grandma and her goats. She would have loved this dish; she was vegetarian in her last decade of life. She and my grandpa traveled the Mediterranean extensively. I think the flavors of this dish would have brought up wonderful memories for them both.
Serve these roasted portobello pepper caps on their own for a low carb entree. For a heartier meal, try them with polenta or roasted vegetable rice. Make them once as written, and before long you’ll be experimenting with your own stuffing ideas. It’s a very flexible recipe. Enjoy!
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 2 roasted red bell peppers skinned, seeded, and diced
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 ripe roma tomato seeded and diced
- 8 pitted Castelvetrano olives, chopped - ripe green, black or kalamata olives will also work
- 5 oz goat cheese
- 4 tsp breadcrumbs or nut crumbs (use nut crumbs for gluten free or for Passover)
- 1 tsp za’atar spice blend
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes (optional - adds spice)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a half baking sheet generously with olive oil. Cut the stems out of the portobelllo mushrooms, then place them on the oiled baking sheet, ribs facing upward. Sprinkle the mushrooms with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Roast the mushroom caps, ribs facing up, for 15 minutes.
- I usually do the chopping and prepping of the veggies while the caps are roasting. In a bowl, stir together the chopped bell peppers, chopped tomato, and chopped olives. Crumble the goat cheese into rough crumbles.
- Remove mushrooms from the oven and drain off any liquid that has accumulated during cooking.
- Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between the 4 caps, spooning it into the cap to make an even layer.
- Divide the crumbled goat cheese evenly between the four caps. Sprinkle the top of each stuffed cap with 1 tsp breadcrumbs or nut crumbs.Return to the oven and continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir together the za’atar with the olive oil until well blended. Let the mixture sit while mushrooms are roasting.
- When the cheese starts to lightly brown around the edges, remove the portobello caps from the oven. Drizzle lightly with the za’atar oil, then sprinkle with the chili pepper flakes (use more or less to taste). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.