Having friends over for dinner and drinks is something we haven’t been able to do in a long time. Obviously, COVID has been a factor, but even before that, I spent nearly all of my time in 2019 working on getting the restaurant running smoothly, and didn’t have time for parties. While we’re not able to have people over quite yet, the possibility seems close enough that the obsessive planner in me is already starting to think about cocktails and appetizers to serve. With that in mind, I’m excited to shared my recipe for Vegan Crab Stuffed Mushrooms.
I was once asked about the best bite of food I had ever eaten. Without hesitation, I replied that it was crab-stuffed mushrooms that I had eaten at a restaurant in downtown Denver nearly a decade earlier. Admittedly, when I thought about the question afterwards, there were other stronger contenders for “best bite,” but crab stuffed mushrooms were pretty darn good. I found out a year or two after that meal that I could not longer have gluten, and those crab stuffed mushrooms always stuck out in my mind as something that I would miss being able to have again.
Lucky for me, my cooking skills have come a long way since then, and I’ve found a gluten-free and vegan-friendly way to share that perfect bite of food with my friends.
While our crab stuffed mushrooms are a great dish to make for a stay-at-home date night with your significant other (or to impress your roommates), they’re also perfect for parties because the recipe is easy to prepare in advance and cook shortly before guests arrive, and they fit a wide variety of diets. Plus, they’re super delicious, and stuffed hors d’oeuvres are pretty much always a hit.
The only special ingredient needed for these vegan crab stuffed mushrooms is Dulse Flakes, which are helpful to have on hand for other vegan seafood recipes. Everything else should be available at your local market, but here are links for Old Bay, Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs and Vegan Worcestershire, in case you have any trouble finding them.
Making Vegan Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
The ingredients list may look long, but the preparation is actually pretty simple. After boiling and draining the cashews and chopping the veggies, you basically just throw the first ten ingredients in a blender and sauté the green onions, celery and garlic, then combine both mixtures together in a bowl along with the parsley, hearts of palm and bread crumbs.
Prepare the mushrooms by rinsing or brushing off any dirt and scooping out the gills, then proceed to stuff them and dip the tops in your bread crumb/old bay mixture. At this point you can either cook them right away or wrap them and store them in the fridge until you are ready to cook and serve them. The final cooking process takes about 25 minutes, but it requires very little attention. You just have to shake the pan a couple of times to keep them from sticking and transfer them to the oven for a final broil.
If you have excess filling, and would like to make additional crab cakes, just form into patties, dip in the breading mixture and cook with a small amount of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until golden brown on both sides (flip halfway through cooking).
Detailed instructions on how to cook the vegan crab stuffed mushrooms are below, including plating and garnishing. Please feel free to leave a comment if anything is unclear or if you would like to share your experience making them. For other party ideas, checkout our Sesame Cauliflower Wings or Strawberry-Infused Gin.
Vegan Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
- ⅓ cup Cashews Boiled for 30 minutes
- 1½ tbsp Fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Water
- 2 tsp Worchestershire (Gluten-free and anchovy-free)
- 1 tbsp Vegan mayo
- ½ tbsp Dijon
- 2½ tsp Old Bay
- 1 tsp Corn starch
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Dulse flakes
- 3 Green onions Finely chopped
- ¼ cup Celery Minced
- 1 Large clove of garlic Minced
- 1 can Hearts of palm (14oz) Well-drained and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh parsley Finely chopped (cut extra for garnish)
- ½ cup Gluten-free Italian Bread Crumbs
- 2 tbsp Olive oil Divided
- 24 oz Cremini Mushrooms
- ½ cup Vegetable broth (I used Better than Boullion)
- ¼ cup Gluten-free Italian bread crumbs
- ½ tsp Old Bay
- Parsley for garnish
- Sun-dried tomato pesto (Optional)
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in pan over medium heat. Sauté celery and green onions for about 4-5 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue cooking 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Rinse and drain the boiled cashews and transfer to your blender. Add lemon juice, water, mayo, Worcestershire, and dijon. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer cashew mixture to medium bowl and stir in cornstarch, baking powder, dulse flakes and 2 1/2 teaspoons of Old Bay, then add the sautéed mixture, hearts of palm, parsley and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. Stir until well combined.
- Clean any dirt off of the mushrooms and remove the stems and scoop out the gills. Stuff the mushroom caps evenly with filling rounded over the top of the cap.
- Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of GF bread crumbs and 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay. Dip the top of each filled mushroom in the mixture, rotating slightly and gently pressing down to coat. If you have excess filling and bread remaining, you can use it to make a few extra crab cakes (see note).
- Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms fill-side up and cook 6-8 minutes. Shake pan occasionally or use tongs to keep mushrooms from sticking. Once the mushrooms have begun to release their juices and brown on the bottom, add the veggie broth and let simmer 10-12 minutes, or until all of the broth is absorbed.
- If you have an oven safe pan, put the pan directly in the oven, otherwise carefully transfer to a baking sheet that is either greased or lined with parchment. Broil on high for 5-7 minutes. Bread crumbs in top should be golden brown. Keep a close eye on it the last few minutes to make sure they don't burn.
- Transfer mushrooms to serving platter and garnish with finely chopped parsley and a small dollop of sun-dried tomato pesto. Enjoy!