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Urban Foodies

Cheesy Swiss & Mushroom Pull-Apart Bread

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This cheesy pull-apart bread appetizer is a cheese lover’s dream and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at any party!  

Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Cheese and bread are always an awesome combination, and melty cheese and bread, well who can resist that! There are lots of flavor combination options when it comes to pull-apart bread, and of course, they always include cheese. This one combines swiss cheese and mushrooms for an extra special taste. Throw in a few mix-ins like poppy seeds and Dijon mustard and you have perfection. Just one bite of this warm, toasty bread and you’ll be wanting more!

I often bond with people over food….it creates an instant common connection. The original recipe for this bread was shared with me by a co-worker at my first job out of college. Some of the original ingredients do still remain, however, it was the idea of the cheesy warm bread that kept me making and tweaking it year after year. It has always been one of my favorites for football and other “Sunday Funday” parties.

Contents:

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Cheese! Do I really need to say more?!
  • The flavors are fantastic. Swiss cheese, mushrooms and dijon just work well together.
  • Great for parties.  This bread is always a crowd pleaser and there are rarely any leftovers, but if there are you can actually reheat to enjoy at a later time!
Sliced Bread for Pull-Apart Bread

Recipe Ingredients

The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Swiss cheese: I recommond a block of standard swiss cheese that you grate yourself.
  • Sourdough bread: An oblong shaped loaf is ideal (similar to what you see in the image above) but a sourdough round works as well. An Italian loaf with a good, hearty crust will work too. It needs to be able to hold up to all the slicing! The loaf should weigh about a pound.  It’s ok if the size isn’t exact – you might just have a little bit a cheese left over!
  • Mushrooms: I use sliced baby bellas for this recipe.
  • Green onions: You’ll need one or two onions.
  • Spices: poppy seeds
  • Pantry staples: Dijon mustard, unsalted butter
Cheesy Swiss & Mushroom Pull-Apart Bread

How to make this recipe

I’m not gonna lie, there is a lot of cheese in this, and once you start eating, it’s a little hard to stop. But it’s totally worth it!  

Slice the bread. You’ll be cutting the bread in a grid pattern, making sure you don’t cut all the way through the bottom. You want the loaf to stay together so you can pull out those cheese bites! Slice the loaf in one direction first, I usually do lengthwise if I’m using an oval loaf. Then slice across at a 90-degree angle to create cubes. If a few pieces fall out, just pop them back in.  Once the cheese melts it will hold it all together.

Cheesy Swiss & Mushroom Pull Apart Bread

Make the cheese mixture. In a large bowl, you’ll mix the cheese, mushrooms, green onions, poppy seeds and butter. The better everything is mixed, the easier it is to stuff the bread.

Stuff the bread. This step is a little bit messy so I recommend you do this on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You want to get the cheese as far down in the bread as possible while being careful not to break it apart. Check out the video above to get a better idea of how to best stuff it.

Bake and enjoy. This bread is best served straight out of the oven. I normally transfer to a large serving dish and serve immediately.

Make-ahead tip: The bread can be stuffed a few hours ahead of when you plan to serve it.  If you are going to stuff it ahead of time, wrap it in foil and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it.

Storing leftovers

Any leftovers can be tightly wrapped in foil and refrigerated for a day or two. When ready to reheat, sprinkle the loaf with a little extra cheese and throw it under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until warm and bubbly.

Bread Knife (not an affiliate link) – Using a serrated bread knife makes slicing any type of bread much easier. I find it also works well for slicing hard cheeses.  

Serving suggestions

This bread makes a great centerpiece for a game day party menu. I’d serve it with this Instant Pot Beef Chili, some Caramelized Onion Dip and Black Bean Taco Cups. Or check out the entire Game Day Recipe Index for more ideas!


Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Cheesy Pull-Apart Game Day Bread Recipe

This cheesy pull-apart bread appetizer is a cheese lover’s dream and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at any party!

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 35 mins

Total Time 50 mins

Course Appetizers

Cuisine American

Ingredients  

  • 1 large loaf sourdough or crusty Italian bread
  • 2 ½ cups grated swiss cheese
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoon butter, (melted)

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 350° F.

  • Slice the bread. Using a serrated bread knife, slice the bread lengthwise and crosswise, forming cubes, making sure NOT to slice all the way through the bottom. The bread “cubes” should still be attached at the bottom of the loaf.

  • Make the cheese mixture. Mix cheese, mushrooms, onions, poppy seeds and mustard in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Stuff the bread with the cheese mix, being sure to stuff it all the way down to the bottom of each slice in the bread. Don’t worry if a few of the bread cubes pop out while you are stuffing the cheese in, just push them back in. Once the cheese melts it will hold everything together.

  • Bake the bread. Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.

  • Serve. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Notes

  • While I recommend serving this bread right out of the oven, any leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated under the broiler for about 5 minutes. 

Keywords : Game day appetizer

This post was originally published in January 2017. It was updated in December 2021 with some new information. No changes were made to the original recipe.





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Urban Foodies

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary at Taco Maria (During Covid) –

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Taco Maria in Costa Mesa has always been one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in LA.

Chef Carlos Salgado is originally from Mexico but spent over ten years training in some of the best kitchens in the US, including 2-Michelin starred restaurants like Coi in San Francisco and Commis in Oakland. He opened Taco Maria in 2013.

Prior to achieving a Michelin Star, Chef Salgado was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef West consecutively for the past four years, and was named Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2015.

Dining During Covid

Notoriously challenging to book, this Michelin-starred restaurant got even harder to book during Covid. They removed all indoor dining and limited seating to parties of four. They also opened up bookings only 1-2 weeks in advance, so Bryan diligently logged onto their website (at midnight in Hong Kong!) to grab seats for us during popular, coveted weekend slots.

Taco Maria – The Food



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Urban Foodies

Visiting Family in Los Angeles During Covid

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Returning to the US



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Urban Foodies

A Weeknight Meal for Two

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This Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna gives you that great lasagna taste without all the fuss of traditional lasagne, making it an easy weeknight meal for two!  

Skillet filled with lasagne with bread, wine and cheese on the side

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product via these links, I will earn a small commission which helps to keep this blog running!

There is nothing like a good hearty pasta dish on a chilly winter night! This creamy, deconstructed lasagna takes all the components of traditional lasagna and incorporates them into an easy-to-make version. No need to spend time layering anymore. 

This skillet version might just change the way you make lasagne forever!

Contents:
Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna shot from overhead on a teal blue napkin

Recipe Highlights

  • Cheese sauce! Do I really need to say more?!
  • Designed for two. Since it’s made in small skillets, this lasagna is the ideal two serving meal.
  • Easier than traditional lasagna. Traditional lasagna can be time consuing to make. By deconstructing it a bit, this recipe is ready in just about 30 minutes, making it a weeknight staple.
  • Make-ahead option. You can make everything ahead of time and refrigerate until you ar ready to cook. Then just pop the skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Packed with flavor. Cheese sauce, red wine, tomatoes and ground beef combine to give this dish loads of flavor.

Key ingredients

The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.

Ingredients - corkscrew pasta, tomatoes, onion, red wine, cheese, herbs and garlic

The key ingredients include…

  • Cellentani pasta: This corkscrew style pasta works well with both the meat and the cheese sauce. Cavatappi also works for this recipe.
  • Ground sirloin: I typically use at least 90% lean ground beef.
  • Beef broth: Purchased beef broth works fine for this recipe.
  • Red wine: I recommend a fruitier red wine, but your favorite varietal or whatever you happen to have open will work.
  • Diced tomatoes: Ideally, you’ll use petit diced tomaotes for the best consistency in the sauce but sometimes they seem to be hard to fine so standard diced tomatoes also work.
  • Italian blend cheese: I normally prefer to grate cheese instead of purchasing pre-bagged, grated cheese, however since you want an Italian blend it’s easiest to purchase a bag.
  • Pamesan or Asiago cheese: Freshly grated is the best option here.
  • Spices: dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, sea salt, ground pepper
  • Pantry staples: Garlic cloves, milk, butter, all-purpose flour

How to make this recipe

Since it’s ready in just about 30 minutes, this lasagna is ideal for any night of the week.

Cook the pasta. I always recommend following the package directions, since cooking times for pasta vary based on brand. You want to cook to al dente.

Make the meat sauce. You’ll start by browning the ground beef, then adding in the beef broth, wine and tomatoes.

Make the cheese sauce. Starting with a traditional roux (butter + flour) gives you a nice, thick cheese sauce that eventually combines with the meat sauce to give you cheesy goodness in every bite.

Assemble the lasagne. You’ll divide the pasta between the two skillets, then top with the meat sauce, and then pour the cheese sauce over the top. Next, you’ll bake the lasagna for about 15 minutes and dinner is ready!

You can cook the pasta, make both the meat and cheese sauces and assemble the lasagna ahead of time. If you will be refrigerating for more than a few hours, I don’t recommend using cast-iron skillets. Stainless steel skillets or small ceramic baking dishes will be a better choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have mini skillets?

If you don’t have mini skillets you can either use another small baking dish, or you can make this in a larger skillet though you will need to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes.

How should I store leftovers?

If you used cast iron skillets, I recommend removing any leftovers from the skillets and storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Close up of Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna with a glass of red wine

Tools you’ll want for this recipe

Small cast iron skillets – Cast iron skillets are great for cooking so many things. Something about 6″ in diameter is ideal. I like to keep two of the smaller version in my kitchen for smaller servings. You can also use a small stainless steel pan.

Serving Suggestions

To keep it simple, I like to pair pasta with a nice green salad. My quick and easy salad is greens topped with some shaved asiago, toasted pine nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil, and a bit of balsamic glaze.  

And of course, you can’t go wrong by adding some homemade garlic bread to soak up any extra sauce! Add a nice glass of red wine, perhaps the merlot you used in the sauce, and you have the perfect meal!

More pasta recipes

If you are looking for other easy pasta dishes check out these reader favorites:

  • Creamy Lemon Pasta. While this recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal, the bright lemon flavor and parmesan breadcrumbs give it a touch of elegance.
  • Roasted Tomato Summer Spaghetti. This is pasta is perfect for an easy, everyday meal. Tomatoes, mozarealla, pesto and pasta combine for vegetarian dish that’s ready in just under 30 minutes.

Skillet filled with lasagne with bread, wine and cheese on the side

Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna Recipe

This Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna gives you that great lasagne taste without all the fuss of a traditional lasagne, making it an easy weeknight meal for two! 

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Pasta & Grains

Cuisine Italian

Ingredients  

For the meat sauce:

  • 1 cup Cellentani pasta, uncooked
  • pound ground sirloin
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 ounces beef broth
  • 4 ounces Merlot, or other fruity red wine
  • 1 15- ounce can petite diced tomatoes

For the cheese sauce: 

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup non-fat or 1% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Grated asiago or parmesan for topping

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two small cast iron skillets with olive oil. 

  • Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain when pasta is done cooking.

  • Brown the ground beef. While the pasta is cooking heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and onions; cook for 4-5 minutes until the ground sirloin is browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the basil through pepper and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

  • Make the meat sauce. Add the beef broth, wine and tomatoes; continue to cook until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer while you make the cheese sauce.

  • Make the roux. melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms.

  • Make the cheese sauce. Slowly add the milk, a small amount at a time, stirring with a whisk after each addition until the sauce is smooth. Once all of the milk has been added cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese; continue stirring until the sauce is smooth (sauce will be quite thick). Add the pepper and nutmeg; stir to combine.

  • Assemble and bake. Add half of the pasta to each of the prepared skillets. Top each skillet with half the meat sauce mixture then half of the cheese sauce. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese sauce begins to bubble around the edge of the skillet. Top with grated cheese and serve

Notes

  • If you are saving one or both of the skillets for another time, wait to put the dish in the skillet until you are ready to bake. You can refrigerate in an airtight container and then transfer to the cast iron skillet. Alternatively use a non-cast iron mini skillet or baking dish. 
  • When ready to eat, cook as directed, however, you will need to increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes to ensure everything gets hot!

Keywords : cast iron cooking, pasta for two

This post was originally published in January 2016. It was updated in January 2022 with some new photos and information. No changes were made to the original recipe.





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