If you need a vegetarian Thanksgiving side dish or a Thanksgiving mushroom recipe, sage-vermouth mushrooms with whipped ricotta are the place to start.
Look at how luxe that whipped ricotta is! Paired with aromatic sage-vermouth mushrooms, this dish belongs on your menu as the perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving side dish.
This recipe is so easy to make and doesn’t require much prep or work at all, really. You can throw this together as a quick side dish and all you need is a skillet, bowl, and hand mixer or whisk. You can reuse the skillet to make crispy sage leaves or you can prepare them in a small saucepan, depending on how many burners you have available to you!
This recipe has just three components:
- Mushrooms: Use a mix of mushrooms and tear, slice, or leave whole depending on the variety to create contrast. Try leaving small baby bella mushrooms whole, use torn oyster or maitake mushrooms, and score long slices of king trumpet mushrooms to throw in the mix as well.
- Sage and sweet vermouth: Sage is first minced and added to the mushrooms along with sweet vermouth. The sweet vermouth adds a rich, sweet flavor to the mushrooms. If you need to substitute it, try using sherry or use vegetable stock. A few sage leaves are fried at the very end until crispy. Then, they are arranged on top for a bit of a crispy finish.
- Whipped ricotta: Prepared simpy with just ricotta and a touch of heavy cream.
How to make these sage-vermouth mushrooms with whipped ricotta:
First, prepare the mushrooms by sautéing in batches. Be sure to cook them in batches and really let them cook. You’ll need a solid 20–30 minutes to truly get them to their best state. They will release liquid, then the liquid will evaporate, THEN they will turn golden brown and crispy all over. Cook them in batches, if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Next, add plenty of butter (this is a Thanksgiving side dish, after all). Once the butter becomes bubbly, add the minced sage and sweet vermouth and bring to a boil along with a bit of water. Let it cook down for 5–10 minutes until thick and luxurious.
Whip the ricotta as the mushrooms cook down (protip: you can make the ricotta in advance!). Right before serving, add oil to a small saucepan and quickly fry up sage leaves until crispy.
To serve: spoon the ricotta on top of a serving platter and use the back of your spoon to create dips and valleys in the ricotta. Spoon the hot mushrooms on top and garnish with crispy sage leaves and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Looking for more side dish recipes? Check my archives!
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Sage-Vermouth Mushrooms with Whipped Ricotta
- Hand mixer or whisk
- Small saucepan
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon neutral oil
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms torn, sliced, or left whole depending on variety
- 2 shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- .2 ounces sage leaves minced
- ¼ cup sweet vermouth
- ¼ cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces ricotta
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream plus more if needed
- Salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons neutral oil
- 6 sage leaves
- Fresh parsley minced
Prepare the mushrooms:
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add the mushrooms in batches and cook, stirring regularly, for 15-18 minutes until the mushrooms turn golden brown. Allow the mushrooms to release liquid and for the liquid to evaporate before they turn golden brown—season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet.*
Cook the shallot:
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in the skillet and turn the heat to medium. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, for 5–6 minutes until they soften. Return the cooked mushrooms to the skillet and toss to combine.
Simmer the mushrooms:
- Turn the heat on the skillet to medium-high. Melt the butter into the skillet. Add the minced sage and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Pour in the sweet vermouth and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5–10 minutes until thickened—taste and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the whipped ricotta:
- Combine the ricotta and heavy cream in a bowl and use a hand mixer to blend until smooth, about 4-5 minutes of mixing. Season lightly with salt.
Fry the sage leaves:
- Heat the 4 tablespoons neutral oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the sage leaves, one at a time, and cook for 15–20 seconds until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Reserve the oil.
- Spoon the whipped ricotta onto a plate and use the back of your spoon to create dips and valleys in the ricotta. Spoon the mushrooms on top. Drizzle with a teaspoon of the reserved oil used to fry the sage leaves. Garnish with crispy sage leaves and fresh parsley, if you like. Enjoy!