Children (and grownups) will love these fun mushroom dishes

Beef, Bean & Mushroom Sliders with homemade tomato sauce

THE South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association’s new child-friendly recipes will have everyone leaving the dinner table happy, healthy and satisfied without feeling bloated. Plus, they are quick and easy to make: exactly what we want to hear when racking our brains to find the best option for a busy weeknight dinner when the little ones don’t want to eat their veggies.


Makes ± 12-15 sliders, depending on size



  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, rinsed, drained and lightly mashed
  • 250g portabellini mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 50g panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Homemade tomato sauce:

  • 1 x 400g tin tomato purée
  • 40g brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½  tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp celery salt

To serve:

  • 12-15 white slider buns / mini burger buns (Many bakeries also call these cocktail buns) 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Sliced tomato
  • Sliced red onion
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


To make the tomato sauce:

  • Place all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir gently until everything comes to a light simmer.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes for the flavours to develop.
  • Taste to adjust seasoning.
  • Cool.

For the patties:

  • Preheat a braai to medium high heat.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the onion and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook until tender, golden and lightly caramelised.
  • Place in a large bowl.
  • To the bowl add the black beans, beef, breadcrumbs and parsley.
  • Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Mix thoroughly until very well combined.
  • Shape mixture into patties.

It is a good idea to check the size of your slider buns and make your patties are just larger than the buns as they will shrink during cooking.

  • Brush patties all over with olive oil and braai until golden brown on both sides.
  • You can also bake them in the oven or cook them on the stovetop.
  • Allow the patties to rest.
  • Build sliders with your favourite burger toppings.
  • Add a generous dollop of homemade tomato sauce to each slider and tuck in.


Serves 8


  • 500g portabello mushrooms
  • 350g macaroni or similar short pasta 
  • 500g medium fat cream cheese
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated 
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives, minced
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated 
  • 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Fresh basil leaves, for serving 
  • 28 x 18 cm baking dish


  • Preheat oven to 200˚C, fan on.
  • Place portabellos on a large baking tray, season with salt and pepper. 
  • Roast in the middle of the oven for ±7 minutes until tender and juicy. 
  • Allow mushrooms to rest, drain off their liquid and slice into large chunks.
  • In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook the macaroni until al dente.
  • Using a jug, scoop out a generous cup of pasta cooking water and set aside.
  • Drain the macaroni.
  • While the macaroni is cooking, place cream cheese, cheddar, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and nutmeg in a large saucepan. 
  • Switch heat onto very low and allow everything to melt together. 
  • When the cream cheese is almost melted, pour in a little pasta water, mixing well until you achieve a smooth silky sauce. 
  • Add the drained macaroni and the fresh chives, stir to combine. 
  • Keep adding a little extra pasta water to keep things saucy. 
  • Finally fold in the large chunks of roasted mushrooms.
  • Taste to adjust seasoning. 
  • Scoop mixture into a baking dish and top with remaining cheddar and breadcrumbs. 
  • Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 – 15 min until the top is golden brown and bubbling.
  • Scoop into bowls, top with some fresh basil and enjoy! 


Serves 6



  • ± 1.2 kg stewing beef
  • 50g flour
  • 2 leeks, washed & sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1L beef stock
  • 4 shallots, peeled & halved
  • 500g white button mushrooms, quartered 


  • 100g self raising flour
  • 50g butter, cold and cubed
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • ± 60ml cold water
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 


For the stew:

  • Preheat oven to 160˚C.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over a medium heat. 
  • Place the beef in a bowl, toss with the flour and season well with salt and pepper. 
  • Add the seasoned meat to the hot oil and brown all over.
  • Remove and set aside. 
  • Heat another drizzle of oil in the same pot.
  • Add the leeks, carrots, celery and herbs. Sauté. 
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. 
  • Add the balsamic and stock, making sure to scrape any stuck brown bits off the bottom of the pot. 
  • Return the browned beef to the pot along with the shallots. 
  • Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the meat is fall apart tender.

When the stew is almost done cooking, make the dumplings:

  • Place the flour, butter and salt into a bowl. 
  • Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Add the chopped parsley and mix well. 
  • Add 2-3 Tbsp water at a time and knead into a soft dough. 
  • Shape the dough into small balls. 
  • Remove stew from the oven.
  • Turn heat up to 180˚C, with the fan on.
  • Stir the mushrooms into the stew.
  • Cover the surface of the stew with the little dumplings, spacing them evenly all over.
  • Cover with the pot lid and return to the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Carefully remove the lid and bake for a further 15 minutes until the dumplings are golden. 
  • Scoop the stew into bowls, dividing up the dumplings and serve.


Serves 8


  • 320g spaghetti
  • 250g brown mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled & diced
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 250ml cream
  • 150ml milk
  • 4 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Grated parmesan, for serving 


  • Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
  • Cook the spaghetti until it is just shy of al dente.
  • Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Set aside.
  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan. 
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown. 
  • Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  • Add a fresh glug of oil and cook the onion and carrot until tender. Add the baby spinach and switch off the heat, just letting it wilt.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the cream, milk, eggs and cheese. 
  • Season well with salt and pepper. 
  • Add all the veggies and the spaghetti to the cream mixture and toss to combine.
  • Mix well so the veg is evenly distributed throughout the spaghetti. 
  • Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and the filling has just set. 
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan. 
  • Slice into chunky wedges and serve with a green side salad. 
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