Whether a flavorful appetizer or a quick and healthy vegetarian dinner, these Gluten Free Italian Chickpea Stuffed Mushrooms are sure to please. White button mushrooms stuffed with a creamy mixture of chickpeas, cream cheese, tomatoes, and Italian spices.
Well, well, well. Look who has arisen from the celebratory national food coma we like to call “Thanksgiving Aftershock”. I hope you have enjoyed yourself. But more importantly, I hope that you are ready to eat again because I am.
I have to admit, as much as I love food and cooking and baking and eating…I kind of dread Thanksgiving. Being a health nut and conscientious about what I eat and how I exercise, Thanksgiving is quite overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE all the food elements of the holiday; the stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, you name it. But, having an entire plateful of food staring me in the face, expecting to be eaten ALL in one sitting…well, it’s a bit terrifying. Not to mention the appetizers beforehand and the desserts following. And to top off all that anxiety, you’re mainly just sitting around in between sessions of eating, socializing and enjoying company, so all that food just sits and sits AND SITS.
I know, I know! None of this is inherently bad. There is definitely a time and a place to indulge and enjoy. It’s just hard to find the balance sometimes. Keeping it real here folks.
BUT, I was telling Ben that this was the most enjoyable Thanksgiving I have had in a long time. I felt like I “enjoyed” the perfect amount. I ate more than I would during an ordinary evening at home, yet not so much that I left feeling uncomfortable, anxious, or guilty. I left feeling satisfied, happy, and THANK-FULL.
So now that Thanksgiving has been conquered, food anxieties and all, it’s time to tackle Christmas…or more realistically the entire month of December.
Let’s face it, between all the holiday parties and family gatherings, the amount of food eaten during December is probably equivalent to about 20 Thanksgiving feasts. Prepare yourselves!!!
So with all those Christmas parties coming your way, I thought it might be nice to share with you a quick and easy, healthy appetizer that will jump start your “I won’t shove ALL the food in my face” intentions.
These Gluten Free Italian Chickpea Stuffed Mushrooms are bite sized appetizers that are ready in 30 minutes. They are filled with a mixture of creamy chickpeas, cream cheese, tomatoes and Italian seasoning that is so delicious it’s hard to believe they are quite healthy.
The mushrooms are lightly coated in olive oil, salt, and pepper right before baking to ensure that there is flavor surrounding each mushroom. And after stuffing, you top the mushrooms with just a pinch of shredded mozzarella and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. Not only does the addition of cheese make it that much more delicious, but the color of the golden brown toasted cheese on top is so pretty.
You can also serve these stuffed mushrooms with marinara or Alfredo dipping sauce for an extra element of flavor. Who doesn’t love a little dipping sauce?!
And another plus, not only are these apps gluten free, but they are vegetarian as well so you can please a wide variety of food preferences. But, a little crumbled bacon on top of these babies would also be quite tasty. Just sayin’.
Ooooh! Wait! My brain is just now visualizing the possibility of pairing some Alfredo dipping sauce and crumbled bacon with these mushrooms. Wow! Okay, maybe we should x-nay the whole healthy vegetarian thing with these appetizers and GO ALL OUT! What do you say?!
And by the way, I just now came back from a 10 minute pumpkin pie break at 10:30 pm. So, you know, I’m not ALWAYS the healthiest. All things in moderation, right?
But seriously, these mushrooms are just waiting to be arranged on a lovely silver platter for everyone’s viewing and scarfing pleasure. Don’t disappoint them, the people or the mushrooms.
How do you balance your holiday eating?
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove)
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- 1½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 oz. cream cheese, softened*
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for a spicy kick)
- ½-3/4 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ can diced tomatoes
- 2 containers (8 oz. each) white button mushrooms
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil, shiny side down. Lightly spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Begin making filling by adding chickpeas, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, Italian seasoning, softened cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and tomatoes to a food processor. Blend until almost smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. You want a bit of texture to remain.
- Taste filling and add more salt and pepper if desired.
- Wash and dry mushrooms. Remove stems. Lightly coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fill mushrooms with filling and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Remove mushrooms from oven and add a pinch of shredded mozzarella cheese to the tops of the mushrooms. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are browning.
- Serve warm. You may serve with marinara sauce for dipping.