There is no shortage of recipes for stuffed mushrooms in just about any Louisiana cookbook, but for those of us wanting to cut time corners, here’s another possibility.

How about the taste of stuffed mushrooms without the actual stuffing? It’s easy to accomplish by pairing sliced, fresh mushrooms with cooked Italian sausage and cream cheese.

Simply put drained, cooked sausage on the bottom of the slow cooker and top with mushrooms and cream cheese.

At the end of cooking time, stir well to blend in the cream cheese.

You will not end up with individually stuffed mushrooms, but rather a great appetizer all the same.

Serve with Melba toast or large pita chips. If, however, you want more of an entrée, try this same recipe as stuffing for bell peppers. Recipe versatility is a plus in today’s busy kitchen.

It’s also a fairly quick recipe by slow-cooking standards due to the fact the sausage is cooked on the stove-top before placing in the slow cooker.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at