Kale & Basil Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

At the beginning of each Alaska season on the ship we have a period in Seattle that we call start-up where we get the boat ready to sail, in this case to Alaska. During this time the only people on the ship are crew and outside contractors and as one of the chefs we get to play a bit with different recipes to feed the everyone. We don’t have a lot of Vegans on board but most of the crew eats real healthy and lots of Veg. We usually have a limited mix of things to work with so this next dish was what i came up with and it was a hit so I made the Hors D’oeuvrs versions of this for guest the other day and they vanished fast.

This makes about 24 mushroom Hors D’oeuvrs or 4-6 entrees depending on the size of the mushroom.


1 block of extra firm tofu
1 cup fresh basil
2 cups curley kale
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lemon zested then juiced
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 Tbs garlic chopped

2-3 Tbs nutritional yeast
24 crimini or baby bella mushrooms (larger ones if you can find them 1/2 -2 in.
Olive oil (optional)
Balsamic Glaze

Salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. De-stem and brush any dirt from the mushrooms (don’t run under water to clean). Place on a lined sheet pan bottom side up.

3. Brush balsamic vinegar onto each mushroom. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

4 Drain and add the tofu to a food processor and grind until pretty fine. Transfer to a bowl.

5. Add basil and Kale to processor and grind until chopped pretty fine as well and add to the bowl with tofu.6. Process pine nuts, nutritional yeast and garlic together in the processor and then add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

7. Add lemon zest and juice to the bowl and mix all ingredients well. Here is where you can use the optional olive oil if you like but it itsn’t necessary.

8. Depending on the size of the mushroom you have add about 1 Tbs of the mixture to each mushroom. I tend to press each portion of the mixture befor adding to the mushroom. Divide the mixture evenly between each of the mushrooms.

9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

10. Serve on a platter w/ a drizzle of balsamic glaze over the top. If you can’t find balsamic glaze in the store you can easily make your own.
16 oz balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar

Combine in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil then let simmer to reduce by half. Takes about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and
Let cool.

Serving option- switch to a larger portabello mushroom for an entree and leave the mixture a bit chunkier. Top with sliced tomato and the bake. I love with risotto and asparagus.

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