Sausage, Bacon, and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

I'm always on the hunt for an easy appetizer to bring to parties or serve when I'm entertaining. Sometimes, I get in a rut and just make boat loads of bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Don't get me wrong, they're always a hit and quite yummy, but sometimes you just feel like making something new. I totally forgot about stuffed mushrooms... I used to make them a lot when I lived back in New York, and in high school I was obsessed with the stuffed mushrooms at Houlihan's. Does that place even exist anymore!? So I thought it was time to bring the stuffed mushroom back. I brought them over to a friend's house for a little NCAA basketball tournament watching party (surprise, surprise, I didn't watch any basketball, I was too busy playing drinking games.) But they were a hit and therefore will be included in the regular appetizer rotation -- you've been warned friends. Get the full recipe below.

Sausage, Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes approximately 30 mushrooms

3 (10 oz.) packages of white button mushrooms
8 oz. sweet italian pork sausage, remove meat from casing
4 strips of bacon, chopped
1/3 cup of red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Rinse and dry the mushrooms. Remove the mushroom stems by gently wiggling them out. Chop up the mushroom stems and set aside for later

In a non-stick saute pan, brown the sausage and bacon over medium-high heat. Break up larger pieces of sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once browned, remove sausage and bacon from pan and let drain on a paper towel and cool. Leave approximately 1 teaspoon of grease in the pan and discard the remaining bacon and sausage grease. 

Add chopped mushroom stems, red onion and garlic to the pan and reduce and saute over medium heat until soft (approximately 3-5 minutes.) 

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients (sausage, bacon, mushrooms, onions and garlic, softened cream cheese and grated parmesan) and mix until combined and smooth. 

Put bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the mix to firm up. 

Using a small spoon scoop the mix and generously fill in mushroom caps.

Bake on a baking sheet lined with tin foil for 25 minutes. To brown the tops, turn the broiler on high at the end for an additional 3-5 minutes. 

Note: The mushroom filling can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

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