Cast Iron Skillet Mushrooms with Spring Pesto

Cast Iron Skillet Mushrooms with Spring Pesto

Yield: 4 to 8  |  Total time: 30 min
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This stand-and-snack appetizer of stuffed mushrooms is a go-to recipe for me, whether for summer camping or more elegant occasions. Make the pesto with your favorite garden herbs.  This time of year, I try everything from fresh carrot tops to arugula, nettles, celery leaves and pea shoots. 

Have leftover pesto?  Toss some with hot pasta or serve over warm soft polenta, stir into a vinaigrette or a marinade for vegetables or chicken; mix into mayonnaise for sandwiches or deviled eggs; spread over salmon or scallops and top with fine breadcrumbs before broiling until bubbling and hot.    


For the mushrooms:

    • 2 to 3 (8-ounce) packets whole cremini or white button mushrooms
    • Spring Pesto (see recipe below)
    • 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
    • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


    • 2 cups packed spring greens such as celery tops, baby arugula, pea shoots, carrot tops
    • 1 cup tightly-packed basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup tightly-packed fresh mint leaves or flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 1 cup walnuts, raw almonds, or pine nuts, lightly toasted if desired
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed (and seeded, if desired), optional
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
    • About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


    For the Mushrooms:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°. Clean the mushrooms by gently wiping with a damp kitchen towel or paper towel. Trim and remove most of the stem, discarding the stems.  Using a small spoon, gently scrape some of the inside of each mushroom cap and discard the scrapings.
    2. Scatter the thyme sprigs across bottom of the skillet (or a baking sheet) with a little olive oil. Fill each cap with 1 heaping teaspoon (amount will depend on size of mushroom) of spring pesto and place mushrooms, filled-side up, in the skillet. The mushrooms can touch; they will shrink as they roast in the oven.  Place in oven and let cook about 25 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and pesto is bubbling and puffed and golden on top.  Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

    For the Pesto:

    1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until well blended. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice, or salt, as needed. Can be stored, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator up to five days or in the freezer up to one month.

    Date Published: May 31, 2017

    All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

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