Of all the recipes I've made, these mushroom tartlets are probably the easiest because they use a significant time saver: ready-made puff pastry. Baked until crispy, these bite-size savory mini tarts burst with flavor and are the perfect holiday-season appetizer or party finger food.
Enclosed in light and flaky layers of puff pastry, the classic French-flavor combination of garlic, shallots, white wine, and the brightness of thyme compliments the mushrooms' earthiness.
Ingredients for Mushroom Tart Recipe
- 8 ounces / 225g / 2 cups mushrooms, chopped - I use white button mushrooms as their taste and texture suit this recipe. Plus, they are always readily available at my local grocer.
- 2 ½ ounces / 70g butter - I love the richness of butter in a simple recipe such as this mushroom tartlet recipe.
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed - the garlic will infuse the mushrooms with delicious flavor.
- 1 shallot, finely sliced - shallots are a classic staple in French cooking and lend a pleasant onion flavor and sweetness to the mushroom tartlet filling. If you don't have shallots, you can use any other type of onion sliced finely.
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme - thyme is the perfect herb to use in a recipe like this. Its bright lemony, yet earthy scent cuts the richness of the butter and adds brightness to the garlic and onion. If you can't find fresh thyme, you can use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
- ⅓ cup dry white wine - adding dry white wine to these mushroom tartlets will add a nice acidity to this recipe.
- 2-sheets frozen ready-made puff pastry - using ready-made puff pastry is what will save you so much time in the kitchen. Make sure your puff pastry is thawed before use.
- 1 egg - whisked.
- Salt and pepper - for seasoning.
How to Make Mushroom Tartlets?
These mushroom puff pastry tarts may look sophisticated, but they are deceptively easy to make. I'll show you how to make them in my step-by-step instructions and photos below.
Preheat the oven to 425°F | 220°C and grease a 24-hole, 2-inch | 5cm-across mini muffin baking tray.
Make the Filling
- Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, mushrooms, and thyme - cook for 8 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for 3 minutes or until the wine is reduced - season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
Prep Puff Pastry
- If your puff pastry is frozen, give it time to thaw. Generally, take the pastry out of the freezer about 20 minutes before you need it and let it sit at room temperature.
- Lay your puff pastry on a clean and lightly floured kitchen surface. Cut the pastry sheets into 12 squares, around 2.5 x 2.5 inches / 6 x 6 cm each.
- Before assembling, ensure your mushroom mixture has cooled slightly.
- Line each muffin hole with your puff pastry square, then spoon the mushroom mixture into each tartlet hole. Fold the corners over the mushroom mixture to partially cover each mushroom tartlet.
- Brush the exposed puff pastry lightly with the beaten egg to give it a nice shine.
- Bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until golden brown and the bottoms of the mushroom tartlets are cooked and crispy (you can test by tapping the bottom of one). Serve warm.
Tips for Cooking with Puff Pastry
- Homemade puff pastry or laminated dough takes a lot of work and time. Instead, purchase ready-made puff pastry. The best ready-made puff pastry to buy is one that uses butter as the fat. Regular shortening-based puff pastry can be used if you can't find butter-based puff pastry.
- Wait for the pastry to thaw before working with it, as the pastry will likely crack or break while frozen. Remove frozen pastry from the freezer 20 minutes before using it and let it sit at room temperature.
- Don't let the pastry sit at room temperature for too long. If you leave it out for too long, the butter in the pastry will start to soften and melt. If this happens, it will make the dough sticky and much harder to work with.
- If your pastry gets too soft, pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up again.
- If your dough is starting to stick to your work surface, dust the surface with a coating of flour.
- Try to be quick and gentle when handling the pastry; otherwise, the cooked pastry of the mini tart appetizers can become tough.
- Ensure that you preheat the oven to 425°F | 220°C. This temperature is essential to ensure your mushroom tartlets are light and crispy on the outside. Too low, and the pastry will not rise and crisp.
Mushroom Tart Recipe - Add-ins
Increase the flavor of these flakey puff pastry cups stuffed with mushrooms and thyme with the following combinations:
- Caramelized onion mushroom tarts - if there's anything I love more than onions, it's caramelized onions! All it takes is a little patience, and you have a soft, sweet, jammy, and subtle onion flavor that perfectly complements your mushroom tarts. Just fold your tender caramelized onions into the mushroom mixture before spooning them into your tart shells.
- Creamy mushroom tartlets - add extra richness and creaminess to your mushroom tartlets by adding creme fraiche. Add ½ cup of creme fraiche to the cooked mushroom mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
- Cheese mushroom tarts - mushroom pastries are also a great way to showcase your love of types of cheese like gruyere cheese, gouda, parmesan cheese, or Parmigiano Reggiano. Grate 1 cup of cheese and sprinkle on top of the mushroom mixture before folding over the puff pastry.
Other Savory Tartlet Appetizer Recipes
Mushrooms are a key component in this mushroom tartlet recipe not only for their earthy flavor but also for their texture. But they are not impossible to substitute. If you want to get creative with other ingredients, here are some you can try:
- Quince fruit and cheddar - this tartelette recipe features cheddar cheese, quince paste, and creme fraiche. Also seasoned with thyme, these tartlet appetizers are perfect for your festive menu.
- Assorted mini mushroom tarts - you can use any mushrooms in this recipe: white or brown mushrooms, portobello, cremini mushrooms, or even shiitake. Or use a mixture of mushrooms with all different textures.
- Zucchini - like mushrooms, zucchini soaks up the flavors of what they are cooked with. They also have a soft yet firm texture that works well in a tartlet recipe such as this. To incorporate zucchini in this recipe, dice them up until you have about 2 cups and continue with the rest of the steps.
- Eggplants - although not quite the same, eggplants have almost a similar spongy and soft texture to mushrooms. To use eggplants in this mushroom tartlet recipe, substitute the mushrooms with ½-inch chopped-up pieces of eggplant. If you would like to read more about grilling, baking, roasting, and stir-frying eggplant, read my how to cook eggplant article.
What to Serve with Savory Tarts Mini?
Enjoy these savory mushroom tartlets as a fancy appetizer, breakfast, light snack, or a main course. You just need to be creative with what to serve them with!
- Light salad mix - Serve your mini mushroom tartlets with a side of leafy greens drizzled with a light vinaigrette or simply with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. The lightness of the salad will balance the richness of the mini puff pastry tartlets perfectly. There you go, a light and fulfilling lunch!
- Fruit and cheese board - These mushroom tart appetizers make a great addition to your cheese board; add a few mushroom tartlets on the side of your favorite mix of cut cheese, grapes, figs, and dried fruit.
- Soup - These mushroom tartlets also make a great side dish to your vegetable soup, such as tomato basil soup, pumpkin soup, minestrone vegetable soup, and so much more.
Mushroom Tartlets - FAQ
Can I Use Pie Crust Instead of Puff Pastry?
Yes definitely. Pie crust is less flaky but more sturdy and rich tasting than puff pastry and will work just as well in making appetizer tartlets. You can make your own pie crust pastry or grab a ready-made version from the grocery store.
Can I Use Phyllo Sheets for Mushroom Tartlets?
Another great ingredient to use as the base of your mushroom tartlets is phyllo dough (otherwise known as phyllo sheet, filo pastry, filo dough). Phyllo consists of thin layers of dough made with flour and water, with very little fat. This low-fat content means that the phyllo mushroom tart can dry out quickly and needs brushing with fat/butter before baking.
Why isn't my Puff Pastry Crispy?
Several things might be the culprit if the puff pastry is not as crispy and flaky as you'd like in your mushroom mini appetizer tarts.
- If your defrosted puff pastry becomes too warm and soft, the laminated layers (which create flakiness) will stick together and cause your cooked pastry to be dense and chewy. To prevent this, ensure your puff pastry is chilled until ready to use. If the pastry becomes too soft before you're ready to bake, place the whole thing in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes or until it's firm, and then bake.
- Ensure that the oven temperature is correct. If the oven is too low for puff pastry, it will not rise and become flaky and crispy.
Can I Make One Large Puff Pastry Mushroom Recipe Tart Instead?
A tartlet is just a smaller or bite-size version of a tart. If you want to make a full-size tart, lay the puff pastry on a lined baking sheet and score around the edges, leaving a 1-inch | 2cm border (don't cut through). Spoon the mushroom filling onto the pastry within the lines of the border. Keeping the border mushroom-free will ensure that the edge puffs up, thus helping contain the contents of this tart.
Can I Make this as a Vegan Mushroom Tart?
To make a vegan version of this mushroom tart recipe, omit the butter. Replace it with margarine or vegetable oil when cooking the mushrooms. You will also need to ensure the puff pastry does not contain butter. Replace regular butter-based puff pastry with gluten-free puff pastry. Replace egg wash with plant-based milk.
Can you Make Mushroom Tartlets in Advance?
Yes, you can make these delicious mushroom pastry appetizers in advance. I always do this as I like to minimize the preparation time on the day I want to serve them.
Make the filling only in advance: You can make the mushroom filling in advance and store it until you are ready; up to 5 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
Make the cooked tartlets in advance: Bake the mini puff pastry tarts and then store them in the fridge or freezer; for up to 5 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer. When ready, bring the tarts to room temperature first. Then preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until warmed through and the pastry is nice and crispy.
How to Store Puff Pastry Mushroom Appetizers?
- Room Temperature - store any left-over mushroom puff pastry bites in an air-tight container for one day.
- Fridge - store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezer - store in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Can you Freeze Mushroom Tartlets?
Can mushroom tarts be frozen? Yes, these appetizer mini tarts can be frozen.
Freeze the filling - Make the filling mixture and store it in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator for when you are ready to use it.
Freeze the cooked puff pastry mushroom appetizers - Yes! You can make the fully cooked individual puff pastry tarts way in advance and freeze the whole thing for up to 3 months. Just ensure they are cooled completely and store them in an air-tight container to prevent ice crystals from forming. To reheat, defrost in the fridge overnight and then preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until warmed.
What Can I Substitute Wine With in this Recipe?
If you don't have wine you could use apple cider vinegar in this mushroom canapes recipe. Substitute with the same amount. Apple cider vinegar is slightly sweet like wine and will add depth to the recipe.
- 1 Large frying pan
- 1 24-hole mini muffin tin
- 1 Pastry brush
- 2.5 oz butter 70g
- 8 oz mushrooms, 225g / 2 cups roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 shallot finely sliced
- 4 sprigs thyme sprits
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- 2 sheets ready-made puff pastry
- 1 egg whisked
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat oven to 425°F | 220°C. Grease a 24-hole, 2-inch | 5cm across mini muffin pan.In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic, shallot and sprigs of thyme. Cook for 8 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the wine is reduced. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
- Place the pastry on a clean kitchen surface. Cut the pastry sheets into 12 squares (approximately 2.5 x 2.5 inches / 6 x 6cm each).
- Line each mini-muffin pan hole with pastry.
- Evenly divide the mushroom mixture into each pastry hole. Fold the pastry corners over the mushroom mixture. This will partially enclose each tartlet.
- Brush the top of each tartlet with the egg.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and the tartlets have a crisp bottom. Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve warm.
- I like to always make a double batch of the mushroom mixture. This way, I have one spare batch to freeze, so it is on hand for an upcoming event.
- Slice the mushrooms roughly but still fine enough to ensure that they fit into the small puff pastry tartlets.
- If you don’t have shallots use another type of onion.
- You can substitute the thyme with chives, parsley, tarragon, basil, oregano, or rosemary.
- If you don’t want to use wine, use apple cider vinegar instead. Replace it at the same 1:1 ratio.
- To make this dish vegan, replace the butter with oil, choose a butter-free puff pastry, and plant-based milk to brush the top of the tarts before baking.
- Take the pastry from the freezer 20 minutes before using it.
- Work quickly with your puff pastry to ensure that it doesn’t get too soft. If it does, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on your workbench if your pastry is sticking.
- Double-check that your oven is at the right temperature. The temperature for this recipe is hotter than average as you need this amount of heat for the pastry to rise and become crispy.
- You can make these tartlets with other types of pastry such as shortcrust or filo (phyllo).
- Got friends coming around for lunch? Make one large tart instead and serve with a side salad.
Mushroom Tartlets – In Conclusion
This mushroom tartlets recipe is another one to add to your collection of simple yet sophisticated recipes. With just a short list of ingredients and an even shorter list of steps, there's no reason not to make these mushroom tartlets for your next get-together (or tomorrow's lunch!).