Jennifer Morgan
Student Writer

As college students, it’s difficult to cook meals that are quick, easy, affordable, healthy and delicious. Do such recipes even exist?!

I wondered the same question, so I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen over the past year to try and figure out how to make recipes that fulfill as many of these elements as possible.

During my search, I came across a recipe for Portobello mushroom “pizzas” and knew I needed to try it. Mushrooms are rich in zinc, support immune function and provide antioxidants. They are also a great substitute for meat if you’re a vegetarian or if you’re trying to become one.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t eat beef out of personal preference and I’ve been trying to cut back on meat in general this semester. These mini “pizzas” come in clutch when I want something substantial. Since my initial trial of this recipe in September, I have made some modifications in order to make it more collegiate-friendly.

Prep and clean-up time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 8-12 minutes
Total time: About 15-20 minutes

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– 1 can red pasta sauce
– 1 package Portobello mushroom caps (usually contains 2-4 mushroom caps)
– ½ cup shredded cheese of your choice
– ¼ cup baby spinach (optional)


Step #1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step #2: Wash the mushroom caps thoroughly and pat dry.

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Step #3: Using a clean spoon, remove the stem and gills from the center of the mushroom.

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Step #4: Lay out your mushroom caps top-down on a cookie sheet covered with a piece of aluminum foil. Make sure you spray the aluminum foil with a non-stick cooking spray, as the mushrooms can easily stick to the foil while cooking.

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Step #5: With another clean spoon, add a few tablespoons of pasta sauce to the center of the mushroom caps, spreading the sauce evenly.

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Step #6: Add a few pinches of the shredded cheese on top of the sauce. If you decide to incorporate the spinach into this recipe, add a few leaves on top of the sauce before adding the cheese.

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Step #7: Once the oven has pre-heated, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the mushrooms, so stay close to the oven to check on them every few minutes.

Step #8: After the mushrooms have finished cooking, place the cookie sheet on top of the oven and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

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Step #9: When the mushrooms are cool enough to remove from the foil, move them to a plate and let cool for an additional 1-2 minutes.

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Step #10: Serve to friends and roommates and enjoy!

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For a more substantial meal, pair the mushrooms with one serving of whole wheat pasta and sauce. I recommend searching for mushrooms that are a bit larger and thicker so they resemble a meat patty.

What types of recipes would you like to see on this column? Do you have any dietary restrictions you’d like an easy, healthy recipe for? Did you try this recipe and love it?

Let me know by tweeting to @JenMorgan94 or @MessiahPulse – I can’t wait to hear your feedback!

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Jen Morgan, Column Writer
Jen is a senior journalism major from Boston. She loves makeup, puppies, cookies, tattoos and magazines, and will never turn down a trip to Sephora or Starbucks.