Wild Mushroom and Hazelnut Baked Brie is a stunning appetizer showcasing gorgeous mushrooms, crunchy hazelnuts, and buttery brie cheese. This easy baked cheese (it looks a lot fancier than it is) will be the star attraction of your next party, just add wine and a roaring fire.
Looking for a knockout no fuss holiday appetizer?
For us, this baked brie is more likely to be a cozy dinner on the couch than a party appetizer, just because that’s more our lifestyle. But I love that it can do both (just adjust the size of your wheel of brie) and that makes it a handy recipe for this time of year.
My ‘wild’ mushrooms came from Whole Foods, not exactly foraged in the forest, but you get the idea.
It’s really amazing what you can find in supermarkets now, like these gorgeous oyster and maitake mushrooms. If you’re a forager and have your own stash of wild mushrooms, go for it, but you can definitely use store-bought, too. Look for the most interesting ones you can find, I think shiitakes and creminis would work well, and almost every supermarket stocks them.
Tip: I don’t recommend using dried wild mushrooms, because even when rehydrated they remain very chewy and wouldn’t be ideal for this application.
To wash or not to wash? What’s the deal with cleaning mushrooms?
I’ve cooked with mushrooms all my life and I’m still confused over this issue. A quick google search will bring up many authoritative sources…all giving different advice, from using paint brushes, to salad spinners, to compressed air! So I set out to get the straight facts…
- The best method for cleaning mushrooms is to brush them with a soft brush made for the job.
- Damp paper towels are sometimes recommended but I find they often damage the delicate surface of the mushrooms.
- Rinsing is also ok, especially when you have too many mushrooms to clean individually…but rinse them briefly and pat dry on paper towels. Rinsing isn’t ideal for salad mushrooms or any mushrooms you’re using raw, so take a brush to those.
I love baked brie, and I think this recipe is nice because it strays from the more typical sweet profile that so many baked brie recipes go for. It’s savory and earthy all the way, and just perfect for fall and winter. Though, I have to say, I’ll take my molten cheese any way I can get it ;) Here are a few more to try ~
- Brûléed Brie
- Easy Baked Brie with Figs and Honey
- Baked Brie with Apples, Pecans, and Maple Syrup
- Baked Brie with Maple Roasted Cranberries
Brie bakes in the oven in no time, so chopping and sautéing your mushrooms and shallots is really the hardest part of this recipe. Feel free to do that ahead of time so you can pop this in the oven right before guests arrive.
How to make this baked brie ahead
This fancy looking appetizer can be made almost completely ahead, making it perfect for the busy holidays.
- You can go right up through step 4 in the recipe, and then package up the mushrooms and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Reheat the mushrooms on the stove, and pop the brie in the oven when you’re ready.
The mix of textures here is really great ~ crunchy toasty hazelnuts, melty, buttery brie cheese, and hearty mushrooms make a dream team. Wine, shallot, and thyme are classic pairings with mushrooms, and boost the flavor beautifully.
The best dish to use for baked brie
- You’re going to want to bake your brie in an oven proof dish
- It needs to be large enough to accommodate your cheese and toppings, but with room all the way around so that people can get at it easily.
- As a general rule, allow 2 inches larger than your wheel of cheese all around…so if your brie is 5 inches, you’ll want a dish that’s about 7 inches in diameter.
- Ceramic pie plates work well for standard sized brie, and that’s what I’ve used here.
- I don’t recommend most so-called brie bakers, because they’re too small.
- You can bake your brie by itself on a sheet of parchment paper, and then transfer that to any dish you like. This works well when you want to use a dish or plate that isn’t oven safe.
Wild Mushroom and Hazelnut Baked Brie
- 12 ounces mushrooms, mixed varieties
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 small shallots, sliced into half rings (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 Tbsp white wine (about 1 splash)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or the leaves from about 5 sprigs), plus a few more sprigs for garnishing
- 8 ounce wheel of brie
- 1/8 cup hazelnuts, or one handful, toasted and coarsely chopped.
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- Place your brie in an oven-safe dish. If you would like to be able to serve the brie out of the same dish, make sure there is enough room for your mushrooms and hazelnuts. I used a 9-inch ceramic pie plate, which was perfect.
- Sautee your mushrooms in a dry pan, in batches if needed, until lightly browned and most of the moisture has evaporated. Set aside.
- Add the butter to the same pan, and sautee the shallots in the butter for about 5-10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the wine, thyme, and the mushrooms, toss together, and cook a bit more until most of the liquid cooks off and the mushrooms are fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, bake your brie in your preheated oven for about 7-12 minutes until soft. I covered mine loosely with foil.
- Remove the brie from the oven and top with the sauteed mushrooms and hazelnuts. Tuck a few more sprigs of thyme around the brie if you'd like. Serve immediately with a crusty loaf of bread.