Last Saturday Ben and I were on a romantic lunch date at Costco, eating samples and looking at tents hanging from the ceiling, when we turned a corner past the hummus tubs and both let out a tiny gasp.
Bagel Bites! we whispered in unison, both way too excited about the bite-sized frozen pizzas on wee bagels that were being demo’d in front of the freezer aisles.
“I seriously ate bagel bites like, everysingleday when I was a kid.” Ben confessed.
“Um, me too! So much better than pizza…not on a bagel!”
“Dang, that guy just took the last sample. Should we wait for the next batch?”
So we did, indeed, stand there like those Costco people until the next piping hot batch of bagel bites came out of the sampler woman’s tiny portable oven all hot and cheesy 2 minutes later.
These are even better than I remember!” I reminisced, burning the roof of my mouth.
“We should probably get a bag, don’t you think?”
“Are you crazy?! I’ll eat all 1800 bites in one sitting, then where would we be? No, I’m going to recreate these at home…and make ’em healthy!”
Thus, Mushroom Cap Pizza Bites were born! Hollowed out cremini mushroom caps are stuffed with any combination of pizza toppings, sprinkled with shredded cheese, then baked ’til golden brown. The perfect, healthy pizza bite!
First things first, if there’s one thing you gotta know about me, it’s that I hate mushrooms. The only thing worse than their cholorine-like smell when cooking, is their rubbery, squeaky texture. I’d rather eat cooked carrots, which is really saying something.
Something about the idea of stuffing mushroom caps with pizza toppings sounded oddly appealing to me though. Perhaps it was the idea of baking the mushrooms instead of sauteing them? Stuffing the caps instead of slicing them up? The promise of melted cheese?
I couldn’t pin point it, but Ben adores mushrooms so, I said to heck with it and decided to give them a go.
Start the Mushroom Cap Pizza Bites by snapping the stems off a carton of cremini mushrooms that have been washed and patted dry. You could use white button mushrooms, or even big shitakes it you want, but I thought baby steps and went with the medium-sized creminis.
Scrape out the insides of the caps with a small measuring spoon. I’m not a huge fan of saving stems for other uses, but I would definitely freeze the scooped out part to add to soups, stews or anything made with ground meat, as mushrooms pump up the volume for virtually no calories, and are high in Vitamins B and D.
Be careful not to crack the caps, and don’t scoop too much out or else your mushrooms will collapse. You’ll know how much is enough when you’re doing it.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, then bake the hollowed out mushroom caps for 6 minutes.
Afterwards they’ll be a little shriveled, and filled with liquid. Pour the liquid out, then place the caps back on the baking sheet, and turn the oven to broil.
Spoon 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pizza sauce into each cap, then fill the rest of the way with your favorite pizza toppings. Mine is black olives. Just black olives. I love black olives.
Top the caps with finely shredded mozzarella cheese, then pop under the broiler for a minute or two, until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
I ate a mushroom, and I liked it!
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Mushroom Cap Pizza Bites
Mushroom Cap Pizza Bites are the perfect healthy pizza bite. Decadent yet better for you!
- 8oz medium-sized cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- Pizza toppings of your choice
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, then pat dry the mushrooms and snap the stems off. Using a 1/4 teaspoon, gently scrape out some of the insides of the mushroom caps, being careful not to crack the cap. Don't scrape out too much or your mushroom pizza bites will be flimsy and collapse. Bake the mushrooms on a non-stick sprayed, foil-lined baking sheet for 6 minutes. Pour out any liquid that's pooled in the caps, then set the oven to broil.
- Spoon 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pizza sauce into each cup, then fill with desired pizza toppings and top with shredded cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
I devoured 6 cheesy, delicious bites before I started getting a little gaggy. The flavor of the cremini mushrooms actually reminded me of pizza crust a little, but it was still a mushroom ya know? Totally a texture thing!
Mushroom lovers: you will rejoice, much like Ben did, at these hot, stuffed Mushroom Cap Pizza Bites! Healthy, customizable, easy (seriously, ready from start to finish in 15 minutes) and just fun, ya’ know? Make a double batch to serve as a light supper with a side salad, or even as an appetizer that will go quickly at your next get together.
PS can I please show you the hilarious appetizer plates my friend Lindsey got me from Crate & Barrel? It’s a set of 4 and each plate has this little man interacting with images of food, including riding a biscotti like a sled, and burning his tongue on jalapeno slices. So cute! ;)
Mushrooms: Yay, or nay?
Kelsey @ The Secret Life of Kelsey 03.21.2012
GENIUS!!!!! :) but I love mushrooms already, so this is even better!!! yum!
Iowa Girl Eats 03.21.2012
No – a yummy healthy alternative though!
These sound easy and healthier then pizza bites! And I would love to make it even bigger in portabello mushrooms with even more toppings stuffed in there:-)
I love mushrooms! Can’t wait to try these!
Wow. I swear this was written for me – I hate mushrooms (and cooked carrots) and my husband LOVES them. I have been determined to learn how to eat mushrooms since they are so good for you so I’m sure this will help….I love pizza so if there is any hope of me enjoying a mushroom, it is this.
Side note – Shake Shack (in NYC) has a portobello burger that is good….of course that is because it is breaded and deep friend and smothered in cheese. So of course that mushroom is edible.
I love mushrooms I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Ew and double Eeewwww to mushrooms. I loathe them. I can’t imagine myself buying mushrooms, thus I probably won’t try this recipe. But I do love good Bagel Bite! :)
Okay, this looks super e-z, I heart mushrooms………..thank you again, for giving us new ways to enjoy food IGE!
Hmmm…..I hate mushrooms also, with a passion..rubber, squeakiness.. blah! I think your palette might be a little more advanced and adventurous than mine (you like avocado..I tried them when my daughter needed to gain a bunch of weight and they were nasty!)
I am going to show this post to my husband, he might develop a wee crush on you though, he loves mushrooms AND black olives.
ate them as a kid and grew to hate the texture until about a week ago when I had a mushroom risotto, then yesterday i made blackened mushrooms.. guess i’m a lover again. this is a ridiculously good idea. def making it soon!
I love cooked mushrooms, but raw ones (like the ones you might occasionally find in a garden salad) are a big ol’ NAY for this girl.
Oh man! I’ve not bought sooo many things at Costco for fear that I would eat the entire pack in a few days only.
Oh my goodness…these sound amazing! I’ve recently had to cut out gluten and pizza is something I have missed sooo bad. I will be making these soon…thanks for sharing :)
love this idea! and mushrooms – yay! olives…nay. but that’s ok, i’ll substitute:)
Jessica Sliman 03.21.2012
Ohhh…I feel like this post was written for me. I was feeling lazy after cooking a good lunch and was thinking about ordering pizza. And then I saw this, and I just happen to have crimini mushrooms from the market. I think I will try it tonight!
kathleen @ the daily crumb 03.21.2012
these are so cute and delicious looking!! i love mushrooms… and cheeeeeese. olives, not so much, but i would think the ingredient options are endless!!
super adorable plate :)
Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) 03.21.2012
Oh bagel bites…. brings back SO many memories. We made these all the time in middle and high school. Late night hang out with friends = way too many bagel bites consumed!
Yay! And this recipe would be a great appy idea!