Stuffed Morels: Out of the Wildfire and Into the Oven

Five days of hunting burn morels in Montana in July alongside Trent and Kristen Blizzard of Modern Forager as well as Jay, Tom , and Jon from the Colorado Mycological Society led to an absolute bonanza of morels. We found them thick and fast, and so plentiful that I was giving them away in multiple pounds en route back to Michigan. 

The morels we found were incredible: dense, firm, and not at all buggy. The ones that really shone were the Morchella tomentosa. Dark grey, and found in burned conifer forests, they’re covered in a near imperceptible fuzz when young. We gathered them incredibly fresh out there in last year’s American Fork fire. 

A morel harvested in Montana in 2022 and stuffed with cream cheese, spinach, shrimp and more.

Many of the morels I brought home were huge, so when my parents invited me to a dinner party with their friends, I knew what I had to do: stuff some tomentosa, wrap them in bacon, and bake them in the oven. 

This stuffed morel recipe is one my Seattle foraging partner, Jim, and I developed a decade or so again. When I told my uncle about it back then, he accused me of gilding the lily. Indeed. I’m writing now about hunting burn morels, and morel hunting in general, for Northeastern University’s Experience magazine, and I’ll share that story once it’s out. For now, here’s that stuffed morel mushroom recipe. Quantities are estimated so feel free to riff.  

Stuffed Morel Mushrooms, aka Gilded Lilies

By Julie H. Case and Jim Van Damme


Morel mushrooms
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan
Fresh Spinach
1/2 small shallot, sliced
Shrimp (cooked bay shrimp work fine), chopped 
Bacon, cut in half


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place cream cheese and shallot in a food process and pulse to combine. (Note: You want just a hint of shallot, not so much that it overpowers the morels.) Add in handfuls of spinach and blend until you get a speckled mix. Don’t puree. 

Dice large shrimp or barely cut smaller bay shrimp. Add shrimp and parmesan to cream cheese and spinach mixture and stir well to combine. (You could pulse this in the food process, but be wary of pureeing the shrimp.) 

Stuff morels with cream cheese mixture. Wrap stuffed morels in bacon, secruing with toothpick as needed.

Place stuffed morels on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until done.

How to Stuff Morels

There are two options here. I think the first works best.

Slit and Stuff: Pare away part of one side of a mushroom, keeping the stem intact if possible and reserving the cut piece. Push the cream cheese mixture into the morels, then cover with the trimmed piece. 

The benefit of this method is that it allows you to look for any extra protein that might be hiding inside the morel.

Pipe and Stuff: Using a piping bag or ziploc with the end cut off, squeeze the cream cheese and spinach mixture into large morels through the hole in the stem. 

Morels harvested from the American Fork fire in 2022.


  1. Michelle Martineau

    October 27, 2022 at 1:25 am

    Hi Julie,
    This spring was my first foray into foraging burn morels from a local fire, and I was hooked on the excitement! My first outings only brought in a few, which we sauteed in butter and garlic; simple and delish. Then when I hit the jackpot we made a mushroom risotto, and a wild mushroom stroganoff, both of which were fantastic (and merited a bottle of wine, being a Friday night). However, my husband became quite ill on both occasions (approx. 6 hrs later, vomiting etc.) and will no longer eat morels. I don’t think it’s an allergy, and when I looked into it, some people say you should not mix morels and wine. But how do you know? There seems to be no hard and fast rule. I have to say i also felt mildly unwell on one occasion, but although I ate more morels, I drank less wine. I gave away morels to friends and neighbors, who ate them (with and without wine) and suffered no consequences. I dried all the rest of my pickings as I couldn’t eat any more by myself, but I know I’m going to be out there again next spring, hunting…
    Do you have any advice or information on mixing morels with wine? Thank you in advance (I really enjoyed your article!)

    1. Julie H. Case

      July 10, 2023 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Michelle, I’m just now seeing your comment for some reason. While you won’t see a lot on the internet about morel allergies, let me tell you they exist. My mother, my uncle (her brother), and my brother are all very allergic and have the same reactions as your husband. A good friend (one half of who is a morel maniac and also can’t eat morels.
      There are mushrooms that should not be eaten with wine — especially the inky cap, aka Coprinus atramentarius — but I’m not familiar with a wine-and-morels concern.
      Assuming you only fed your husband morels and not anything similar but-not-morels, I bet he is allergic.

  2. twicsy reviews

    July 7, 2023 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about > Stuffed Morels: Out of
    the Wildfire and Into the Oven – So I Gather < Loved it!

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