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Eric Brown - The Second Act Entrepreneur
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Sheet-Pan Mushroom Parmigiana

This smart weeknight dinner offers all the comforting flavors of a classic Parmigiana, but with minimal work. Earthy portobello mushrooms are used here, offering a perfect cradle for the red sauce and creamy mozzarella. Use good quality store-bought marinara sauce (vodka, arrabiata or amatriciana), a much-underrated pantry item that can turn around a meal quickly. This flexible recipe can be scaled up or down without too much fuss. It accounts for two portobello mushrooms per person, but if you’re serving them with pasta or a salad, you could reduce to one each. The basil-scented bread crumbs finish the mushrooms with a lovely, herbaceous crunch. Extra bread crumbs keep well in an airtight container and are wonderful for topping pasta, salads, soups and roasted vegetables.


  • 10 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (1 pint)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  Extra-virgin olive oil
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 8 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 3 cups store-bought or homemade marinara sauce
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded low-moisture mozzarella
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup (1/2 ounce) basil leaves, finely chopped, plus more leaves for topping


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the cherry tomatoes on a sheet pan, along with half the garlic, and drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, and toss to coat the tomatoes.
  2. To the sheet pan, add the mushroom caps in between the tomatoes, gill side up, and drizzle each generously with olive oil. (Don’t skimp here, as the olive oil will add lots of rich flavor.) Scatter the mushrooms with the remaining garlic, and season each mushroom with salt and black pepper. Fill each mushroom with marinara sauce, and top with cheese. Place in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly and golden.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the bread crumbs, basil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to a bowl or jar.
  4. To serve, transfer mushrooms to serving plates, along with a few of the roasted cherry tomatoes. Top each mushroom with the basil bread crumbs and scatter with a few basil leaves.

Eric is an Entrepreneur, a Real Estate Developer and an Apartment Operator. He is also a Writer/Published Author of SecondAct Entrepreneur, For more of Eric’s Musings, get your copy of Second Act Entrepreneur Here

From Detroit, he has returned to Indian Lake where he grew up. Eric has a deep love and passion for HotSauces, and CutFlowers. His UrbaneFarm, is a purveyor of special one of a kind HotSauces, Salsa’s, BBQ Sauce, Rubs, Gourmet Salts, Spices, Chips and Jerky, available at TheDepot. CutFlowers are available in season. You can meet Eric most Friday and Saturdays slinging Chicago Dogs at BackAlley Eatzz, a GrillTrailer located at TheDepot in Downtown Lakeview, OH. Stop in and say Hello!