Appetizers and Snacks, Gluten-free, Side Dishes, Vegan/Vegetarian

Portobellini Cheese Melts with Pesto and Peppers

Loreto November 26, 2019

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Portobellini Cheese  Melts with Pesto and Peppers, an appetizer that will have you smacking your lips beginning with the meaty succulent Portobellini mushroom taking you into the wonderfully sweet pepper stuffing sitting on a tasty bed of pesto, finally finishing with a gooey cheesy Fontina topping.  How does that sound? Wondering what to make for a starter at your next festive or dinner gathering? Because I think these will be a hit!

Song of the day: “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears.

PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-in the plate

Appetizers a must………………………….. 

One of our favorite things to do is have dinner which consists of different appetizers. The variety along with the fun involved in getting it ready and just relaxing while eating entails enjoying each bite.

Having said that we have just the dish that would be a great starter for you why not try these Portobellini Cheese  Melts with Pesto and Peppers.

 

 

This post was originally published on Jan 14, 2016, and has been revamped and updated on Nov 26, 2019.

Inspiration is key………………………..

This appetizer was inspired by something we tried one day while out shopping. We were driving by a shop I love going to the Sunterra Market and wanted to share that with Nicoletta. This place is great, has wonderful produce and organic goods, and their deli is always amazing, as a result, this is where we had our wonderful lunch and inspiration to create Portobellini Cheese Melts with Pesto and Peppers.

    PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-in the pan, partial

It’s all about good local ingredients…………………………

Good ingredients grown well and also grown with passion are what really distinguish the flavors and textures of a dish in my humble opinion. I believe that what energy goes into growing and cooking is the energy that will be experienced while tasting and eating the food. It brings to memory a movie I  remember seeing called “Like Water for Chocolate” it exemplifies this theory and I highly recommend this movie to any of you foodies out there.

Now back to our ingredients, and what you will need for this Portobelini Cheese  Melts with Pesto and Peppers.

  • Portobellini mushroom
  • red and yellow peppers
  • onions
  • garlic 
  • pesto
  • Fontina cheese

Making it your own……………….

It is wonderful to experience a dish and knowing that you would like to make it, however, to recreate it with your own flair is always fun and exciting especially when you sit down to enjoy it and it tastes as wonderful as this Portobellini Cheese  Melts with Pesto and Peppers

Time to shop………………………………..

Off to The Old StrathconaFarmers Market to get some ingredients. The first thing was the portobellini mushrooms and a sure winner is Mona foods, it never disappointed in anything we bought there. The onions and garlic from Graham at Sparrow’s Nest Organics, peppers from Blush Lane, and finally Fontina cheese from The Italian Center Shop and let’s not forget right from our own kitchen our homemade pesto.   

We are set, let’s get cooking!

PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-ingredients

First things first……………

  • So the first thing we have to do is clean and take the stems off the mushrooms. I chop up the stems and add them to the pepper/onion stuffing mix.
  • Secondly, we need to sauté the garlic, onions peppers, and chopped mushroom stems.
  • Thirdly, a good grating of the Fontina cheese we picked up.
  • Lastly, time to assemble and get these Portobellini Cheese  Melts with Pesto and Peppers into a nice preheated oven.

Assembly is quick and easy……………………….

  1. Place mushrooms upside down on a baking sheet and spread some pesto into the middle of the mushroom.
  2. Fill cavity with the pepper/onion sauté.
  3. Top with a generous handful of grated Fontina
  4. Into the oven they go

I am always sold when I see mushrooms and melted cheese……………………..

There is something about melted cheese on top of a beautifully roasted mushroom. The aromas all those crispy cheese bits that have fallen to the pan. truly mouthwatering and an eye-catcher to say the least. However, tasting these is going to be even better!

PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-in the pan, before

I have to say these portobellini melts are amazing, the mushroom juices running with every bite so succulent and meaty packed with that earthy flavor. The peppers sweet and savory delicately smoothed by the caramelized onion and elevated by the garlic housed in our homemade pesto so tasty, fresh, rich, and luxurious. Let’s talk cheese: how about that crusty gooey melted Fontina cheese? Absolutely delicious.

PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-in the pan

Not only an appetizer………………………..

These are a hit and ones that I will think of for any party or gathering. I would even go as far as to say that this dish could stand very well on its own as a meal in itself!

So, next time you are craving mushrooms and want something spectacular, keep in mind our Portobellini Cheese Melts with Pesto and Peppers.  Even as a side dish, or on their own, they would be amazing. I know they will be a hit to all those mushroom lovers out there! In our home, they always disappear!

“Hey, where did you go?”

PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-all in the plate but one

Enjoy!

Song of the day: “Everybody Want to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears.

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PORTOBELLINI CHEESE MELTS WITH PESTO AND PEPPERS-in the pan, partial

Portobellini Cheese Melts with Pesto and Peppers

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Portobellini mushroom melts 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian/appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Description

Portobellini Cheese  Melts with Pesto and Peppers, an appetizer that will have you smacking your lips beginning with the meaty succulent Portobellini mushroom taking you into the wonderfully sweet pepper stuffing sitting on a tasty bed of pesto, finally finishing with a gooey cheesy Fontina topping.


Ingredients

  • 6  large Portobellini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of mixed minced onion (yellow and purple)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6  teaspoons pesto
  • 1/2 cup of grated Fontina cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Clean and remove the stem from Portobellini and mince.
  2. Dice up onions and peppers. Mince garlic.

Sauté:

  1. Heat up olive oil in a sauté pan.
  2. Toss in onions, peppers, minced mushroom stems. Season with oregano, salt and pepper.
  3. Cook till softened then add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes on medium to high heat. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F (180°C).
  2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on mushroom tops.
  3. On a baking sheet place mushrooms top side down, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of pesto into center of inside mushroom and spread evenly.
  5. Then add a couple of teaspoon fulls of the onion pepper mix, and top with some of the grated Fontina cheese.

Time to bake:

  1. Place baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake till cheese is melted and turning golden brown, roughly about 25 minutes.
  2. Take out of the oven and serve.

Enjoy!


Notes

These can be done in bite-size brown mushrooms or Crimini mushrooms, too!

We tried them with arugula pesto instead of basil pesto and they were great as well.

We love Fontina but you can be creative and use a favorite cheese of yours.

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12 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Taylor January 15, 2016 at 9:34 am

    I saw this on your Facebook page earlier this week and meant to head over to check it out! I’m obsessed with all things mushroom. Never thought of adding pesto and peppers to my stuffed mushroom, usually I add shredded chicken and cheese – that’s what’s great about them, so versatile 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 15, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Ah yes the world of food creativity, gotta love it and the possibilities endless, from vegetarian to carnivor lol these are wonderful easy eats appetizers that would be the hit of any party or just that simple romantic appetizer night. Thank you for commenting we are ever so gracious.
      Creativity begins now!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Tara @choperella January 15, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Mushrooms, pesto and cheese!!!! Can’t go wrong in my books. These look like the perfect appetizer and I love that they’re two bite!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Lol a two biter that’s funny. I hate when you are at a function and you have an appetizer that requires so much work and food is falling off your plate or even on your clothes. Not cool. These are perfect a couple of bites and their gone plus the mushroom has that perfect bowl shape housing the pesto and those wonderful peppers in, and the melted cheese holds it all together, amazing and eay eating, not to mention delicious. We are ever so grateful for your comment, thanks a million.
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Julia (@Imagelicious) January 15, 2016 at 9:49 am

    These are adorable. Since I was little I didn’t like mushrooms, but I slowly started warming up to them over the past few months. I think this is the perfect recipe for me to incorporate more mushrooms into my diet.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 15, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      I think as a child mushrooms are too earthy and healthy and what child would love those except for the keeners lol. I think you are going to love these beauties so full of flavor, melted cheese and those sauteed onions and mini pepper medley just the perfexct stuffing to the meatiness of the potobellini mushroom. Thanks a bunch for the comment, makes our work worthwhile.
      Bon Appetite!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Dana January 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Holy macaroni, I SO NEED TO MAKE THESE! I love stuffed mushrooms, but I find that so many recipes I stumble upon are the same ol’ game: cheese + breadcrumbs. The combination of pesto, peppers and cheese basically has me drooling on my keyboard here.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 15, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Thank you for your comment. Your going to love these the addition of the pesto and onions and peppers keeps the mushroom moist on the inside making them very juicy to bite into and the outside crispy with the melted cheese. Here is a napkin for that drooling don’t want to fry your computer lol. Would love to hear how you made out with these babies.
      Take care and happy cooking.
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Lily @GastroSenses January 15, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Oh, I absolutely love these! I used to make them all the time for holiday appetizers. I also like adding bacon to the stuffing. Yum!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Like tastebuds think alike they say. Adding the bacon would also be delicious. Bacon lovers stay tuned. Holidays parties are always a favorite, and these appetizers are a great addition to an entourage of other eats. Nice to hear from you and thank you for your comment we really appreciate it!
      Happy appetizering!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Julia January 15, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    I am eager to try these with my wedge of Manchego!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 8, 2016 at 12:05 am

      Thank you Julia, we love Manchego! I think they will taste delicious with it!

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