I've been making pesto stuffed mushrooms for almost 10 years, and they're still a holiday go-to.
If you haven't made cashew pesto before, you're in for a treat. Pine nuts make a lovely, creamy pesto for sure, but pine nuts are super expensive! Cashews give that same creamy texture for a lot less money. You can really use any nuts or seeds you like to make this pesto stuffing! If cashews aren't your thing, try:
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
Any of these would be really tasty and give the finished product a slightly different flavor profile. Choose your own pesto adventure!
Related: If cheesy stuffed mushrooms are more your thing, try portobellos stuffed with tofu ricotta and Swiss chard!
If you've never stuffed mushrooms before, don't be intimidated. It's so, so easy. Wiggle the stems just a bit, and they pop right out of the caps, leaving you a perfect vessel for your pesto mixture. Once you've got the stems out and the pesto stuffing made, just pile it into the caps, letting the mixture mound up a bit above the rim of the mushroom.
You can serve your stuffed mushrooms baked or unbaked, though I prefer the baked version, because the pesto gets a little bit browned and crispy. If you don't want to bake them, just stuff them the night before you plan to serve, so everything has a chance to marinate a bit.
These are also a great make-ahead dish. You can make the pesto mixture up to a day ahead, and you can even bake these the night before serving, if you want. They're good hot or at room temperature, so if oven space is at a premium, bake these early in the day, and just pull them out of the fridge 30-40 minutes before serving, so the chill has time to leave them.
Cashew Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
- 2 8-ounce packages button mushrooms or baby bellas, stems removed and reserved (25-30 mushrooms)
- 1 slice of bread, toasted and coarsely chopped (The heel of a loaf of bread will work great for this.)
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup cashews (I've made this with raw and with roasted cashews. Either will work fine, since you're going for a thicker mixture.)
- ¼ cup baby spinach, baby kale, or other tender, leafy green
- ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- juice of ½ a fresh lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt, pepper, and onion powder, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Chop the woody end off of the mushroom stems, and discard. Then combine the mushroom stems (not the caps!), bread, garlic, cashews, spinach, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and olive oil in your blender or food processor. Puree until you have a nice, even mixture. You can add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if you need to get things moving. In my very old Magic Bullet, it took just 1 tablespoon.
- Season your pureed mixture with salt, pepper, and onion powder.
- To stuff the mushrooms, scoop about a tablespoon with a small spoon, and cram it right into the mushroom cap. Repeat until all 12 mushrooms are stuffed. Arrange the stuffed mushrooms in a single layer in a greased glass baking pan. Crowd them together a bit, because this will prevent them from tipping over when you are moving the pan around and while they bake.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Exact cooking time will depend on the size of your mushrooms. The good news is that you can't undercook these stuffed mushrooms, so just kind of eyeball it.
- Serve them right out of the oven or at room temperature.