By Cassie Johnston
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Our family Christmas celebration is a bit…unorthodox. We’re a blended family. I have three half-siblings– all four of us are married, and we all have kids.
To save hassle and struggle, my parents long ago decided that we’d have the celebration for our family the weekend before Christmas—leaving Christmas Eve and Christmas Day free for in-laws, other parents, grandparents, whatever.
The unorthodoxy doesn’t end there. We also nixed the traditional Christmas dinner a while back. With each of us going to multiple big, honkin’ turkey dinners during the month of December, we figured we didn’t need one more carbo-load. I love turkey and stuffing as much as the next girl, but it sorta loses its novelty if you have it every week for two months straight.
So instead, we do an appetizer buffet for our Christmas dinner. Every family brings an appetizer or two, plus a dessert. It ends up creating this awesome spread of deliciousness that definitely won’t be repeated the next weekend. Because we’ve been doing this for so long, a few appetizers have become staples. I usually make my Christmas quiche, my sister usually smokes a salmon (she lives in Oregon, so Mr. Salmon flies with her, in her suitcase), we have beer-boiled shrimp, and my Dad always makes stuffed mushrooms.
Dad’s stuffed mushroom recipe is incredibly simple, and like most simple recipes, the success of it hinges on the quality of ingredients. I highly recommend getting some great quality sausage (I get mine from US Wellness Meats) and Parmesan—you’ll really be able to tell the difference—and stick with fresh herbs only.
These mushrooms are just so dang flavorful, delicious, and… poppable. These guys are the perfect little treat for drive-by eating. Stroll by the buffet table on the way to the Christmas tree, pop a mushroom. Stroll back, pop another. Before you know it, the whole tray is empty. It’s like magic.
Oh! And my favorite hidden little secret about these mushrooms is that there is almost always leftover filling. Unless you happen to find the world’s largest button mushrooms, you’ll probably have some of the flavorful sausage filling kicking around once all is said and done. And that leftover filling makes for some insanely delicious meatballs. So just sauté them up, toss them with some tomato sauce, and put them on a bed of hot spaghetti. Yum. Dinner is done.
If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing app, these mushrooms will do the trick. Even mushroom haters can’t hate on ones stuffed with delicious Italian sausage. Enjoy!
These Parmesan and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms are the crowd-pleasing appetizers that will be the star of all your holiday parties.
Keywords: appetizers, mushrooms, holidays, Christmas, sausage
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Bookmarking this as a potential dish to bring to my family’s Christmas gathering :)
Our Christmas eve is usually at my grandparents with my side of the family…Christmas itself seems to change a lot. Now that our kids are getting a little older, we are happy to be in our house for them to wake up Christmas morning. But when they were babies, I feel like we were shlepping them all over the place.
I absolutely love stuffed mushrooms. I can see how these would go fast!!
Our traditions have evolved, but now we do Christmas Day with my parents & grandparents. We have giant stockings, drink mimosas, and have a breakfast feast (staples are always Polish sausage, peel & eat shrimp, ham and rolls, and fruit slush). We do everything in the morning and then are left with the rest of the day for ourselves. My mom and I are both only children so it’s nice to spend this holiday with our family.
I won’t be with my family this year, but normally on Christmas Eve we have a “dinner” of salami, cheese (not fancy cheese, like cheddar and jack cut from the blocks), crackers (Ritz and Club), and apples. We’ve been doing it that way as long as I can remember. To this day I have a huge love for cured meats and cheeses, and I can only guess it started from this tradition :)
I made a version of stuffed mushrooms for Thanksgiving at BF’s request, and they were super tasty. They involved mixing up cream cheese, sausage, and herbs and stuffing in the mushroom caps, then baking. Pioneer Woman has a similar one where she actually chops up the stems to use in the stuffing too. So good!
And apparently I need to read more carefully because I see you also chopped up the stems :)
My stuffed mushrooms have always been vegetarian (stuffed with ricotta and spinach) but I’m anxious to try these. So adorable and bite-sized too!
These mushrooms look terrific. My spouse and I are big shroom fans, and it’s like a date night at home to eat shrooms. The kids are about as icked out as they are if they see us kiss, which means all the more for us!
I love the idea of appetizers prior to the holiday–wish I could get some relatives to think that’s a good idea!
Stuffed mushrooms are my jam! Love that you packed these babies full of sausage….yum!
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