Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Ground beef, peppers, onions, and lots of cheese stuffed into a portobello mushroom cap to create a leaner, low carb version of the iconic Philadelphia sandwich.

The other night while scrolling my Facebook feed, I saw one of those recipe videos that a friend shared. You know the ones I mean, by Tasty or Yummly or whoever, that are sped-up, top-down, and design to make the viewer drool?

This one was for Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joe’s. It looked amazing. I knew instantly that I could create a leaner version of it. I also knew that bread wasn’t really worth my carbs right now, so my good friend the portobello mushroom would be the perfect substitute. Besides, who doesn’t like mushrooms on their cheese steaks as well?

People who don’t like good things, that’s who.

Ingredient line up for Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Mushrooms

I rounded up some ingredients according to the original recipe, and some on my own. I chose lean 93/7 ground beef instead of ground chuck, but you could go higher fat, or even use OG thin sliced ribeye chopped up sandwich style if fat isn’t a concern for you.

Browned ground beef and chopped peppers and onions

The other most important ingredient is cheese, of course. For melting into the beef mixture, I used my favorite Velveeta Queso Blanco. I just love the mild taste and creamy, melty texture of this. You can use whatever you want, but choose something that melts well.

Shredded cheese added after a bit of baking

For the topping, I originally planned on sliced Provolone as you can see in the first picture… only I opened the package and discovered that it had gone moldy.

Womp womp.

So I went with whatever shredded cheese was in my fridge, some cheddar blend I think, but next time I’ll use Provolone.

The instructions for the recipe are pretty darn simple: Brown ground beef, mix in veggies, season with sauces, add in queso cheese until melted, stuff inside mushroom caps, bake, top with cheese, bake again. If you need more detail, you can find it in the recipe card below.

Stuffed mushrooms ready to eat!

This dish is filling and cheesy and delicious and sure to please even the most discerning “meat and potatoes” types, while being low enough in carbs to allow for more volume in your meal. I liked to have mine with a side of cooked greens!

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Ground beef combined with cheese, peppers, and onions, stuffed into juicy portobello mushroom caps creates a delicious low-carb version of the iconic Philadelphia sandwich. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 6 whole portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
  • 1.25 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 whole green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 whole medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp steak sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 oz Velveeta queso blanco or queso cheese of choice Cut into 1 inch blocks or slices for easier melting
  • to taste Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.

Prepare the Philly Cheese Steak Mix

  1. Brown and drain the ground beef. While the beef is cooking, finely chop the bell pepper and onion if you haven't already.

    Browned ground beef and chopped peppers and onions
  2. Remove the browned ground beef from the pan and set aside. Add chopped bell pepper and onion to hot pan. Cook until onion is soft and pepper is tender, but neither are completely cooked.

  3. Return beef to pan with pepper and onion. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, and salt & pepper, stirring to combine. Allow to simmer 4-5 minutes to incorporate flavor and finish cooking pepper and onion. 

  4. Add queso in blocks or slices, stirring continuously to melt cheese and combine. Turn down heat to low while preparing the mushroom caps. 

Prepare the Portobello Mushroom Caps

  1. Wipe or rinse and pat dry, remove stems and gills from mushrooms. 

  2. Coat a casserole dish with nonstick spray or cooking oil of choice. 

  3. Lightly spray or coat each mushroom cap, inside and out, with nonstick spray or cooking oil of choice. Season each cap, inside and out, with salt and pepper to taste. 

    Portobello mushroom caps, oiled and seasoned
  4. Place mushroom caps in dish upside-down, so that they are little bowls. 

  5. Fill each cap with evenly with beef mixture. You may have some leftover depending on the size of your caps and how much you fill them. 

  6. Bake at 400º for 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. 

  7. Remove from oven and top with Provolone cheese slices or sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese. 

    Shredded cheese added after a bit of baking
  8. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

    Stuffed mushrooms ready to eat!

Recipe: Creamy Sausage & Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

Last week I became obsessed with the idea of making stuffed mushrooms. I really have no idea why. I was mostly trying to figure out something to do with the pile of cremini mushrooms in my fridge, other than just eating them on a salad like I had been. Normally cooking something, stuffing it inside another thing, and then cooking again is way too much work for me.

I looked up a few stuffed mushroom recipes and decided there wasn’t enough protein in the meals, so they would be a side dish. Ain’t nobody got that kinda time for a side dish. But now I was onto an idea of “sausage stuffed” something.

Enter, the chicken breast. Nature’s perfect meat pouch.

Everyone knows that pork and chicken go together like peanut butter and jelly. With a combination of sausage, chicken, mushrooms, and cheese, I knew I could have a winner winner chicken dinner. Literally.

I assembled some ingredients partially just based on what I had in my fridge. I chose my go-to low fat cream cheese because there really isn’t anything that isn’t improved by cream cheese. But for an extra creamy, cheesy kick, I also added some shredded KerryGold Skellig sweet cheddar (not pictured). The other base ingredients are the chicken breasts, the sausage (I love Jimmy Dean’s reduced fat pork sausage, but any sausage will do), the aforementioned cremini mushrooms, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper.

I also added some of this delicious hot sauce I found in the commissary, because I’m obsessed with it. You can leave that out if you like.

First, you’ll need to prepare the stuffing by browning the sausage and giving the mushrooms a good chopping. If you’re not using pre-shredded cheese, you’ll need to shred some cheese as well.

In a separate bowl, combine your cooked sausage, cream cheese, shredded cheese, chopped mushrooms, hot sauce (optional), garlic, and some salt and pepper. I mostly squished it together with a combination of a fork and my hands, but it’s a bit easier to mix if the sausage is still warm.

Begin by trimming the chicken breasts of any excess skin and chewy bits, and then carefully cut them into meat pockets.

I’m fully aware of their resemblance to female genitalia.

Ahem.

Then, liberally salt-and-pepper the outside of the pocket, and maybe the inside a little too. It’s easier to do this now than after they’re stuffed with deliciousness.

Once seasoned, you can stuff the chicken pockets with your desired amount of stuffing. The first night I made these, I stuffed waayyyy too much into them, and they became some sort of frightening chicken popover thing. Still delicious, but a bit over the top (heh).  The next night I halved the amount so I could pin the pocket closed with a couple of toothpicks so it would roast all nice and evenly.

Scary overstuffed chicken
Frightening overstuffed chicken popover thingie.

It ended up being about a quarter cup of stuffing per normal-sized chicken breast. You may need more or less depending on the size of your breasts. Um…your chicken breasts, not your actual breasts, if you have breasts, though I suppose even men technically have breasts…

Anyway.

Whether you have actual large or small breasts, you will need to stuff your meat pockets with as a much sausage as they can accommodate……

Giggity.

….

This is escalating quickly.

Pin them closed with some toothpicks and quickly throw them in a baking dish and into a preheated 400° oven before they continue making jokes about meat pockets and sausage.

You want to bake them until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165. This took about 30 minutes for mine, but that time will vary depending on your oven and the size of the chicken breasts and the thickness of the pockets. Anywhere from 25 – 40 minutes is probably a safe assumption. Pro tip: Remove the chicken when it reaches about 160 and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. During the rest period, it will continue cooking internally and the juices will pull back into the meat. Everyone likes a juicy chicken breast.

Following the resting period, remove the toothpicks, and serve with your favorite sides. I enjoy it paired with some roasted broccoli because the broccoli is great for soaking up escaped cheese sauce.

Yum! Much creamy. Much meaty. Much cheesy.

You’ll notice the recipe that follows is a bit odd. It’s a serving for one. This recipe is intended to be modified to suit you and your needs/tastes. You can very easily increase the amounts to make a whole family dinner. I found that once the sausage was cooked and mushrooms chopped, it was very easy to make this again on subsequent nights and adjust the amounts of stuffing ingredients as needed. Measure, manage, and enjoy!   

Creamy Sausage Stuffed Chicken

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts stuffed with a delicious mixture of sausage, cream cheese, and mushrooms. Single serving recipe!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 person

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • 40 g Jimmy Dean reduced fat sausage, browned and crumbled Sub with your favorite sausage if desired!
  • 20 g Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 20 g Reduced fat cream cheese Sub with full fat cream cheese if desired
  • 14 g Kerry Gold Skellig sweet cheddar cheese, shredded Sub with any shredded cheese
  • 0.5 tsp Minced garlic or 1 clove fresh garlic
  • to taste hot sauce
  • to taste salt and pepper

Chicken

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • to taste salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Prepare the Stuffing

  1. Begin by browning the sausage and setting aside. 

    Browned sausage in a pan
  2. Chop the mushrooms into roughly 1/4 inch sized pieces. 

  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sausage, mushrooms, cream cheese, garlic, shredded cheese, hot sauce (optional), and salt and pepper to taste. 

    Mixed sausage stuffing ingredients

Prepare the Chicken Breasts

  1. Carefully cut the chicken breasts down the long sides, but not all the way through, to form a "pocket." 

    Chicken cut into meat pocket
  2. Salt & pepper the outside of the pocket to taste. 

  3. Stuff the sausage and mushroom mixture into the chicken breast, pressing firmly to keep it in. Pin the pocket closed with a couple of toothpicks. 

    Assembled stuffed chicken breast
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165. Tip: Remove chicken around 155/160 and allow it to rest until 165 for maximum juiciness!

    Finished stuffed chicken breast meal

Date Night: The Opal Thai “Experience”

I’ll admit, we are pretty lazy when it comes to driving all over the island, so we’ve only been to Haliewa on the North Shore a handful of times in the 2 years we’ve been here. Unless we’re spending the day there, it just isn’t worth it for a meal. Thus, we had never been to Opal Thai despite hearing good things about it from several friends.

So, when Opal Thai moved to Chinatown and our neighbor/friend (and longtime fan of Opal’s) chose there for her birthday dinner, we had to finally see what the fuss was about.

On the drive there, I was super excited, and began prattling on about all the dishes I had looked up on their menu ahead of time. My friend just laughed at me.

“You don’t get to order at Opal’s,” he said. “Opal Thai is not meal – it’s more of an experience.”

As a pretty adventurous person when it comes to food, I was stoked. I’ll try just about anything once, and Asian cuisine is a favorite of mine.

Once we got into the restaurant, seated, and drinks ordered (note: as of right now Opal is BYOB for booze, but they are working on obtaining their liquor license), Opal came to greet the table, immediately seizing the menus and removing them. Opal (which, from what I understand, is actually his real name) is the owner, head chef, and only waiter. He immediately recognized our friends and had handshakes and fist bumps to go around. Upon learning we were celebrating a birthday, he promised “something special” for the birthday girl, and that her husband, the other Opal veteran, could order whatever he wanted since he’d had everything before. He still insisted on Opal taking care of his order.

After that Opal turned to us newbies. First, he asked into name five Thai dishes, excluding Pad Thai and fried rice. Between the 4 of us (Babe and I and another couple), we came up with satisfactory answers. Next, he asked how spicy each of us preferred our food and if we had any allergies or dietary restrictions. Confirming all of this information, he swept off to the kitchen.

A short time later, Opal’s son, a teenager full of wit and a hilarious self-deprecating sense of humor, who is the food runner and busser, arrived with our first course: Spicy garlic glazed chicken wings with fried basil.

You guys. These were probably the best chicken wings I’ve ever had. They were hot and crispy with very little breading. The glaze was a little sweet and spicy (but not overwhelmingly so). The fried basil leaves were little treats all on their own. They were accompanied by a plate of sauteed eggplant and string beans which were quite tasty as well. I could have eaten about 3 more plates of just the wings, but I was wisely cautioned, “This is just the beginning.”

Next came the “lettuce cup salad” which is precisely that: A mixture of meat and pickled veggies with carrots and purple cabbage that you scoop into a “cup” made from a lettuce leaf. It was indescribably good. I honestly can’t even say which one we had. The menu has choices of larb, chicken, pork, or tofu. It could have been any of those and I would have devoured it all the same. We had two choices, a “mild” version and a spicy. Needless to say the mild version was spicy enough for this white girl.

The third course was, of course, the soup. I have no idea what, exactly, it was, but judging by the shrimp I believe it was Tom Kha Soup. This was my first experience with Tom Kha but I’d been told in the past that Tom Yum and Tom Kha soup were both excellent treatments for the common cold. Now I know why. The amount of spice in this soup was enough to clear out sinus crud from 3 years ago. But the flavor was amazing – sour and citrusy but also very savory.

Spicy shrimp soup

Here’s where things get tricky. Not having ordered our food, and being too busy stuffing our faces to ask questions, I’m not entirely sure what our main courses comprised of. I’ve deduced what I can using the menu, but your guess is as good as mine.

The first dish, I believe, was Chow Fun, which is beef and large, sort of squishy, flat noodles. It was delightful. Who doesn’t love big fat squishy noodles? Next we had a pad thai with shrimp. It was tasty and not overly greasy like some pad thai can be. Lastly we had two types of curry, one was the red and the birthday girl, I think, had the roasted tomato pineapple, but only Opal knows for sure. All was served with a nice pile of fried rice to help soak up those spices.

We were served all of the dishes at once and shared plates family style, which I always think makes for such a fun dinner experience. Everyone gets so excited to try each dish and to share their thoughts. It almost makes you forget you’re in a restaurant and transports you straight home, where you’re being fed by a loved one and sharing a meal with family (or framily, in this case).

Family style dining at Opal Thai

As we finished, Opal’s son cleared away the plates with more jokes around and Opal returned with a celebratory birthday shot to share with our guest of honor. There’s no better way to become family than to share food and spirits with someone.

In the end, we left stuffed, happy, and newly minted fans of Opal Thai. If you’re interested in some really delicious Thai food and you’re pretty adventurous when it comes to food, give them a visit. Leave your preconceived notions of how restaurant service should be, and just enjoy the experience!

Recipe: Lazy AF Chicken “Pot Pie”

Chicken pot pie is probably one of my top 5 favorite comfort foods. I mean, all foods are pretty “comforting” in my world, but big pans of hot, rib-sticking, carb-o-licious homestyle comfort foods really have my heart. Chicken pot pie is one of the best of the best. Tender, juicy chicken. Scrumptious vegetables. Creamy sauce. Flaky, buttery crust. What’s not to love?

Here’s what: The prep time. You have to precook all the ingredients. You have to make the roux and make the gravy. You have to make the crust. Fill the crusts, and bake it. For most days, that’s just way too much work. Usually when I want pot pie, I want it NOW, not in 4 hours.

So, I’ve come up with the laziest fucking substitute chicken pot pie – that still satisfies my pot pie standards. The prep time on this bad boy is about 10-15 minutes (a bit more if you’re blanching fresh veggies) and the bake time is about 45. Plenty of time for most of an episode of Shameless while you pre-game with a glass of wine.

The key to this recipe is that most of the ingredients are pre-made. Don’t judge. There is no shame in letting the store do some of the work for you. The point here is convenience and not showing off your fancy crust-making abilities. Of which I have none.

First, the chicken. I’m a big fan of grocery store rotisserie chickens, as I’m sure many of you are. I’m not sure what makes them so good. It could be lots of salt. It could be crack. Who knows? Anyway, grab one of those monsters and try not to eat it all as soon as you get it home (guilty). If you don’t want to go that route, leftover cooked chicken (light or dark, depending on your preferences) or even canned chicken will both suffice.

Next, vegetables. I mean, you don’t have to add them if you don’t want to, but I like the added volume that fills my belly without taking up all of my precious carbs. I like the frozen mixed vegetable blends. We buy them in giant “family size” bags. You can use whatever veggies you like; frozen, fresh, or canned. For fresh, you may want to blanch them before adding to the “pie” to ensure thorough cooking.

Third, gravy. You have a couple of options here. You could use a jar or two of chicken gravy, depending on how soupy you like it. I prefer a creamier sauce, so I use Cream of ___ Soup. Any flavor works here, but my favorites are Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom. I also add a few tablespoons of sour cream for a little extra creamy something-something.

Last, and most important, the “crust.” Refrigerator crescent rolls FTW. One time I found that Pillsbury makes these “sheets” of roll dough that are insanely convenient for this, but no such luck at this last grocery trip. As someone who measures and manages everything I eat, these reduced-fat crescent rolls intrigued me. They were pretty darn tasty. I couldn’t tell the difference between them and the “regular” ones. Now if only made the full sheet in reduced fat…

Assembly is pretty easy, provided you know how to dismantle a rotisserie chicken. That part is straightforward. Step 1: Pull off the meat. Step 2: Chop meat into bite-sized tasty morsels.

Add all the chicken to a large mixing bowl. You can use just the light meat or just the dark meat or both. I use both because yum.

Next, add the can of Cream of ___ Soup and the sour cream on top. You might want to add some milk or water to bring it all together. I used a ½ cup of milk here. At this point you can also add your favorite seasonings. This time I did salt, fresh ground pepper, and some dried parsley.

Mix it all together into a delicious blob of creamy chickeny goodness. One time I tried to do all the mixing in my baking pan. The result wasn’t pretty. Trust me on this.

Finally, add your vegetables. Eyeball as much or as little as you want. This was 400g for those keeping track of my measuring and managing. Mix that all into your blob.

Spray nonstick spray into a 9×13 baking pan. I like the butter flavor. Mmmmmm…. Butter….

Anyway, after ensuring non-stick-ness, spread your blob of creamy, chickeny, veggie goodness into the pan.

I see you eyeballing those crescent rolls now. BUT, STOP. Wait. Leave those off for now.

Throw the pan, sans crescent rolls, into a preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly.

After the time is up, carefully remove the pan from the oven and spread the crescent rolls on top into something resembling a top crust. Sometimes you get lucky and you can unroll the whole thing into one sheet. Obviously don’t roll them into their signature crescent shape. See how that sheet of dough would have been so much more convenient? Sigh. I digress…

So, you’ve covered your “pie” with the “crust.” Now crank up the oven to 375 (or whatever your dough package’s instructions say) and throw it back in for 10 minutes (or however long your dough package says). You just want it to bake until you get that beautiful, golden brown color to the dough.

Beautiful!

The last step is just to dig in! It may not be quite as decadent as a true chicken pot pie, but it tastes damn good and saves a ton of time and effort. Plus, it is remarkably low calorie for the volume, so I get to enjoy a huge helping and have it fit my dietary parameters. 

Lazy AF Chicken Pot Pie

A crustless chicken "pot pie" made with pre-made rotisserie chicken, refrigerator biscuits, vegetables, and canned soup. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1600 grams
Calories 270 kcal
Author Que Sarah, the Okayest

Ingredients

  • 580 g Rotisserie chicken, chopped into bite size pieces Approx one whole small chicken
  • 4 tbsp Light sour cream
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup or your choice cream soup
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 0.5 cup Low or fat free milk
  • to taste Salt & Pepper
  • 400 g frozen mixed vegetables or sub for canned or fresh vegetables
  • 1 can Crescent Reduced Fat crescent rolls

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

  2. In large bowl, mix chicken, soup, sour cream, milk, salt & pepper, and parsley. 

  3. Add vegetables and mix until incorporated. 

  4. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Spread mixture evenly into pan. 

  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 min or until hot and bubbly. 

  6. Unroll crescent roll dough from can, do not separate into individual pieces. Place on top of heated mixture to form a top "crust." 

  7. Turn oven up to  375° and continue baking for another 10 minutes or as instructed by dough package directions. 

Recipe Notes

Number of servings shown in grams for ultra-precise measuring and managing. Caloric content is based on a serving of 200 grams. Macro values as prepared are: 22 carbs, 12 fat, 17 protein. Actual calories and macros will vary depending on ingredient amounts and substitutions.