Not too long ago, I read an article about a man who had eaten pizza every day for about a decade. I was equal parts concerned and jealous.
After all, there a handful of basic dishes that we all are a little obsessed with, right? Pizza, hamburgers, tacos… Whether the allure is their actual flavor, comfort derived from them, or the feeling of decadence from indulging in them despite our gym goals isn’t important. The fact is, there are few food experiences as drool-worthy as diving into a perfect pizza.
That said, chomping down on half a pizza on the regular isn’t going to work for most of us. So, to curb my pizza cravings while keeping the carbs and calories in check, I whip up the alternative – pizza on portabellas.
You can grab the ‘shrooms at the store already packaged and cleaned (though I still rinse them), or get the loose ones (these require a deeper cleaning, usually). I like to smack some cream cheese on top of those bad boys to add some extra creamy cheesiness, but you can omit it to save time or calories. Then, spoon the marinara of your choice generously on top, and spread slices of fresh mozzarella (or heap some shredded mozzarella on there) atop that and sprinkle whatever herbs and spices you like – oregano, basil, or garlic salt are ideal, and crushed red pepper can add a little punch of fiery flavor. Start checking around 20 minutes to make sure the cheese is browned to your liking. After that, indulge in as many of these guilt-free pizzas as you can handle.
- 4 portabella mushrooms
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (can substitute shredded mozzarella)
- 4 ounces cream cheese (optional)
- ½ cup shredded parmesan (optional)
- ½ jar marinara sauce of choice
- Basil, oregano, or other spices and herbs of choice
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Rinse portabella mushrooms and remove any remaining stem. Let dry for a few minutes if possible.
- Spread cream cheese on top of portabellas.
- Sprinkle basil and oregano on cream cheese.
- Cover with a generous amount of marinara.
- Top with slices of fresh mozzarella and shredded parmesan.
- Sprinkle liberally with basil and oregano.
- Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
- Check to see if cheese is melted to the desired level. If not, continue to cook, checking every ten minutes until finished.
- Allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
- Allowing cream cheese to come to room temperature will make it more easily spreadable and lessen the chance of breaking the portabella.
- The portabellas will release a large amount of moisture while cooking. Using a pan with high sides (like a cake or lasagna pan or casserole dish) will prevent oven messes.